I've been out birding and wildlife watching with the camera quite a bit this winter. I have seen a lot of goldcrests but a recent comment made me think about watching out for the rarer firecrest so I have been checking each bird for the telltale eyestripes. Lo and behold today I came across my target (above) while out at the Sussex Wildlife Trust's Woods Mill reserve near Henfield.
Most of the activity was in the vicinity of the birdfeeders at the small hide. A goldcrest (top left) showed up for a nice comparison with the firecrest and a nuthatch (top right) kept busy whizzing backwards and forwards collecting sunflower hearts. These were taken away to hide in nooks and crannies in the woodland trees for a rainy day.
There were three robins (bottom left) all in close proximity which kept them all on their toes and eyeing each other nervously but they all got along for a change. Meanwhile, the dunnocks or hedge sparrows (bottom right) were happily mopping up the food on the floor dropped by the visitors to the feeders.
Blue tits and great tits were the most numerous bird on the feeders by far and they were joined initially by a single long-tailed tit but eventually all his mates turned up too and they all piled into one of the cage feeders which was quite comical.
The roll-call for today's visit therefore was as follows;-
Blue tit, great tit, long-tailed tit, coal tit, greenfinch, chaffinch, bullfinch, greater spotted woodpecker, wren, goldcrest, firecrest, blackbird, moorhen, nuthatch, dunnock, robin and another treat was spotting a treecreeper doing what treecreepers do! Meanwhile a buzzard was mewing overhead too.