Gold Crest and Starlings

Taking advantage of the fact I am feeling "almost human" again (thank you to those of you who have sent me such lovely "Get Well" messages; I am on the mend, although still spotty, still itching in places and still feeling more tired than a tired person - I've been over 3 weeks now. Surely the spots should have gone?) I decided to take advantage of the lovely weather on Sunday (in my part of the world it has been cold (3'g - 37'f) sunny, blue skies, with the occasional cloud drifting over. I did consider heading off out somewhere with Mum but she has a cold, and managed to break her wrist (we really are a disaster zone) and with me still no being 100% I decided to leave it for now. Instead, I headed off into my own back garden, armed with my camera, in the hope I might see our resident Robin, the little Wren who visits often, or even one of the starlings which nest under the eaves of a neighbours house.

Set up (with a blanket over my lap, like a sweet little "old person" - before any snowflake pulls me up on that get "Get a life") with a woolly hat, scarf, thick jumper, cardigan and my fur lined (fake) slippers, I was good-to-go. I wasn't disappointed when within just 5 minutes one of the starlings put in an appearance, sitting next to my neighbours chimney pot. I never realised just how many colours they have on their chests until I zoomed in on it after I'd taken some photo's.


He sat there quite happily (I'm saying "he" it could have been a "she" - I've never paid much attention to birds and am still learning) before another neighbour dropped something which clanged, and away it flew (never returning).

Big, black (what looked like snow filled) clouds put in an appearance, and I believed any hope then of seeing anything else was gone. The minute they began to appear, so all the other birds around (crows, seagulls, pigeons) disappeared. However, never one to give up on such things, I continued to sit there (I'd have sat there even if it had snowed - it never did) and my patience was more than rewarded. 

Scanning the skies (wondering whether I should stay-or-go) something caught my attention no more than 10 feet away from me, on the small wall we have running around our patio area. There, before me, was a tiny little bird, with a bright yellow stripe atop his head. I assumed it was a tit of some kind, took the camera off the tripod, and started to snap away. It moved so quickly I didn't really get a proper chance to focus, on it; no sooner had I got it sorted when it moved to another spot, however, I managed to get a good enough shot to see it. I was mighty surprised when I got indoors to look up what it was, to find it wasn't a tit at all - it was in fact, a Gold Crest. Mum said she's never seen one before - even though they are meant to be popular across Europe - so she was chuffed I got to see one (she's been an avid bird watcher her whole life, so I was sad for her she didn't get to see it when she's not seen one before, although I was happy for me :) )

As you can see above it is well camouflaged. I promise you, if you look close enough, you will see it :)
For those of you who are not able to see it, below is another photo so you can see what it looks like :)

The photo doesn't do it justice, for the yellow (I'm guessing it's where it's got it's name from "Gold Crest" although it really is  more yellow than gold) is so vibrant I hope it doesn't have many predators for it will not be able to keep itself too well hidden if is has. It may appear camouflaged in the above photo but that's the angle it was at. With it's head up there is no way it cannot be seen.

I need to thank the friend I am no longer friends with for telling me to sit and take photo's of the birds on the feeder when we were away last year, because had he not, I would never have paid attention to birds (I certainly wouldn't have wanted to photograph them) and yet, here I am, happily sitting out in the cold waiting for a winged creature to appear. I never thought I'd see that day :)

If only I had seen such a bird when I did my hour in the garden last week for the RSPB's Birdwatch!

I also tried to get another "time lapse". I don't know what it is with me and those, because all week the skies were beautiful; come the weekend when I was ready to, so it was thick cloud on Saturday and Sunday promised so much and delivered so little. I am partly to blame though, for I was trying to avoid getting the roofs of houses in the shot and as such I did miss out on a bit of a orange sky. I think I need to head off somewhere with nothing to get in the way. I just don't know if I can spend 5 hours sitting somewhere in one spot. Oddly, the roof of my shop would be a perfect spot, however, I can't get up there, and wouldn't trust it to walk upon if I could :)