The Goldcrest Hop

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It’s a writing day today, which means I’m cocooned in a large jumper, drinking coffee with Miss Marple on the telly (A Caribbean Mystery to help me dream of warmer climes). Writing days always start off with such great intentions. I settle into the cushions and compose my face into a most serious expression, ready to expose the world to my interesting verbs and pronouns – and then I glance at the window and my productivity simply melts away. My living room overlooks a large sycamore tree and hawthorn hedge, and at this time of year it is completely brimming with garden birds. Robins, blue tits, blackbirds, collared doves, magpies, long tailed tits, sparrows and pigeons transform the tree (rather scraggly at this point in the season) into a metropolis of avian activity, and it is way more entertaining than anything I can find on Netflix.

This morning I was delighted to find two tiny goldcrests hopping among the twigs, buttercup mohicans ablaze. The first time I saw a goldcrest was on a winter fungi walk at Sydenham Hill Wood with the London Wildlife Trust; they are so small that we all needed binoculars to spot them, particularly as they love gathering in the tops of coniferous trees. These two chubs seemed intent on scouring the entire sycamore for insects hidden in mosses and lichens, disturbed only by a great spotted woodpecker alighting nearby.

I’ve finished dillydallying now. Time for fresh coffee and the next section of my book… Milk thistle and hottentot figs!

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