"Beneath The Firdales Branches Dark ....

.... The little golden crested wren
Hangs up his glowing nest agen
And sticks it to the furry leaves.... "

From May by John Clare

In John Clare's time the goldcrest used to be known as the golden crested wren. Though a wren is tiny, the goldcrest is even smaller. I've photographed both today.

I encountered a pair of wrens near the farm this morning. One was shouting and flicking its wings and tail at me. Later I heard a chiff-chaff calling from the Christmas tree that MrQ planted in the early sixties. As I was trying to locate it I also heard the "tinkling of a fairy bell" as my old Observer's Book Of British Birds puts it. I get a kick out of hearing the goldcrest's song as I kid myself I can't be too ancient. :) Lots of older people can't hear the high-pitched notes.

My pic isn't great, the bird was too far away near the top of the Norway Spruce, they love conifers, but I like that it's my own little golden crested wren. They're brave little things. We have a resident population but in September migrants fly here just above the waves across the North Sea.

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