Winter is a great time of year for birdwatching in the woods of Belfairs. With the trees having lost their leaves, birds are often much more visible. Food is also much scarcer, often making birds a bit bolder in their search for food thus still more easily seen. One lovely species to which this particularly applies is the Goldcrest.
The Goldcrest is the smallest bird in Europe; weighing just 5g. As a small, warm blooded animal, Goldcrest live on a real energetic knife-edge in the cold winter conditions; losing up to a fifth of their body mass in a single night keeping warm. This difficulty in cold conditions is perhaps why our resident Goldcrest are joined by migrants from Fennoscandia; incredible to think that a bird this small could fly across the North Sea.
The combination of an increased winter population and bolder feeding in winter make January the perfect time to see Goldcrest at Belfairs. Holly is a particular favourite of this species, so if you see a nice thicket of Holly, look out for this fabulous little bird.