A woodland fit for a kinglet

The Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) is the UK’s joint smallest bird (alongside the Firecrest, R. ignicapillus. They’re both usually about 90 millimetres long and weighing approximately 9 grams.

 

Both species favour pine trees, but you see them in other wooded areas and occasionally in gardens. I say “you see them”. But, they’re so small and flighty that it is quite hard to spot them and even harder to get decent photographs of them in their natural habitat.

They dart about in the darkest recesses of the woods, apparent only through their high-pitched whistling tweets and occasional flash of gold. So, I was quite pleased to catch one Goldcrest in the sunlight in one of our nearby woodlands, Rampton Spinney, about eight kilometres north of Cambridge.

The sunlight meant I could have a short shutter speed with the intention of freezing movement without the ISO being too high and the pictures noisy. These three shots were taken with a Canon 6D, with a Sigma 150-600mm zoom lens at full stretch, f/5.6, ISO 2500 and a shutterspeed of 1/1500 second.