I just had to post an exciting development at Hazel Cottage this past weekend. Whilst we were in the garden clearing up and digging, I was stood near to our old Christmas tree, which is stood at the back of the compost heap waiting for us to chop up. For some reason our tree this year hasn't lost its needles, and looks pretty much alive still. As I was wondering if we could reuse the tree this coming Christmas, I looked up and saw something darting in and out of the tree, with the odd flash of yellow. It was so tiny, smaller than than a robin, and it danced about up and down the tree, and then stood in an empty coconut shell hung on the hazel tree. In spite of its size, the goldcrest didn't seem to be worried by me at all.
Of course I didn't have a camera nearby, so I've had to find a picture to show you what I saw. When I came back in later on, I had to look it up. It seems that the goldcrest is the smallest bird we have in the UK and it is often seen in a group of blue/great tits in winter. It likes coniferous woodland - our Christmas tree was obviously an attraction! Luckily there are other fir trees in the area including a tall fir tree that the robin likes to stand on and sing noisily.
It was a wonderful highlight of a good day digging and cutting back. It seems that our little plot still has so many secrets still to tell.
The Gold-Crested Wren by Charles Tennyson Turner When my hand closed upon thee, worn and spent With idly dashing on the window-pane, Or clinging to the cornice -- I, that meant At once to free thee, could not but detain; I dropt my pen, I left th' unfinished lay, To give thee back to freedom; but I took -- Oh, charm of sweet occasion! -- one brief look At thy bright eyes and innocent dismay; My lesson learnt -- thy beauty got by heart: And if, at times, my sonnet-muse would rest Short of her topmost skill, her little best, The memory of thy delicate gold crest Shall plead for one last touch, -- the crown of Art.