Posted by Graeme Lyons , Sunday 4 March 2018 18:50

The festival of the crest to test which crest is best. 

I jest. We know the Firecrest (I mean look at it, thanks to Tony Davis for the photo) is infinitely superior to the Goldcrest. Goldcrests are cute but every time I see a Firecrest I get a little buzz, you know like when you see a Med. Gull? Anyway, what this is actually about is seeing which crest I hear singing the most. I like to do crazy little bits of pseudoscience and data gathering each year, like scoring every film out of 10 I saw in a year (I learnt I needed to watch more world cinema and less horror films), how much exactly I drank in a year (I won't say what I learnt about that!) or total distance walked in a year (before smart phones I would add - it was well over 1500 miles). I gave up on how many (and which) vegetables I ate in a year. I once tried to see how long I could go in a year without seeing a Pheasant. It's harder than you think. I've been working too much, can you tell?...

For years I've been saying I think I hear as many, if not more Firecrests, than I do Goldcrests. Now I'm talking specifically about singing birds, not calling birds. I am sure Goldcrest would win that hands down, I saw five in a tree yesterday on the way to the corner shop calling away. As I wasn't too well over the last few months I haven't been out much yet this year, so I haven't heard many of either but I did get a singing Goldcrest at Ebernoe at the end of Feb when putting some ARDs out for recording bats and today, two singing Firecrests and a Goldcrest (also at Ebernoe) when I was collecting them.

I'll also produce a little map of where I saw them. So here goes. Even Stevens for now but who knows which way it will go by the end of December? I just need to remember to keep it going and keep my GPS on me (it's highly unlikely that I'll forget that). Place your bets on which crest is best! Oh, if anyone else wants to have a go then the more the merrier, it would be interesting to see how the proportions compare in different regions. Not everyone knows the difference in the song, the basic difference is this; Goldcrest is a repeating pattern on two notes while Firecrest is only on one note.  They both usually finish with a little flourish. The basic vibe is the same in each; high-pitched. Like the worlds smallest violin playing just for you. 

1 Response to "Crestfest"

Hilary Melton-Butcher Says:

Hi Graeme - I hope your health improves and you can have a good 2018 ... lovely little bird isn't it. Cheers Hilary

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