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Where are the Goldcrests? (1 Viewer)

John Cantelo

Well-known member
Ever since I started birdwatching the best part of six decades ago the mass influx of Goldcrests on the coast has been a regular feature of autumn. As far as I can make out this has been an unbroken thread of autumnal birding back into the Victorian period. Victorians even called them "Woodcock Pilots" because their arrival coincided with the autumnal arrival of Woodcocks hence the belief that tiny Goldcrests hitched a ride on their backs. Yet this autumn I've not seen a single one (although Firecrests are around in their usual numbers and I have seen Yellow-browed Warbler). I'd have put this down to my increasing deafness had it not been that friends with working ears have had much the same experience: there are simply no Goldcrests. Is my experience in Kent reflected across the whole country or purely a local affair? Should we be worried? The only similar no-show I can recall was the mass disappearance of Whitethroats in the 1960s. It may just be that the continent has been exceptionally mild this autumn but, of course, that may tell its own story.
 

Richard Prior

Halfway up an Alp
Europe
I wouldn’t be too worried John, I would imagine the dearth of Goldcrest sightings is down to this period of anticyclonic weather that most of N and C Europe has been experiencing, here in my part of France for example we’ve had no rain or wind for over a fortnight.
 

Singlereed

Well-known member
Funnily enough, I saw a goldcrest in our garden yesterday, not seen one in our garden before although I have seen them on local walks occasionally. Surrey/Kent border UK.
 

Bismarck Honeyeater

Barely known member
Ever since I started birdwatching the best part of six decades ago the mass influx of Goldcrests on the coast has been a regular feature of autumn. As far as I can make out this has been an unbroken thread of autumnal birding back into the Victorian period. Victorians even called them "Woodcock Pilots" because their arrival coincided with the autumnal arrival of Woodcocks hence the belief that tiny Goldcrests hitched a ride on their backs. Yet this autumn I've not seen a single one (although Firecrests are around in their usual numbers and I have seen Yellow-browed Warbler). I'd have put this down to my increasing deafness had it not been that friends with working ears have had much the same experience: there are simply no Goldcrests. Is my experience in Kent reflected across the whole country or purely a local affair? Should we be worried? The only similar no-show I can recall was the mass disappearance of Whitethroats in the 1960s. It may just be that the continent has been exceptionally mild this autumn but, of course, that may tell its own story.
Definitely thin on the ground for the whole autumn, in my Suffolk garden. Just noted them in the last week or so. More around locally, so something has put them off my area. Neighbours chopped down a Lelylandii hedge probably didn’t help.
 

KenM

Well-known member
Here in average no’s in Epping Forest at present, that might change with the promised chill that’s “a’comin”.
Redwings and Fieldfares very thin on the ground of late, although a colleague flushed two Woodcock the other day and a reported nine of the latter were seen in Richmond Park at dusk last night!😮
 
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McHeath

Registered User
Supporter
Goldcrests are noticeably scarce in my part of Germany this autumn, but so are e.g. Fieldfares.
They must all be here in Berlin... haven't seen so many in years! No Fieldfares yet though, and the Chaffinches have all gone (several migrating flocks of 3k-5k+ birds were counted over the Tempelhof airfield about a month ago)
 

DMW

Well-known member
Fairly average for Goldcrests this Autumn in Jersey, but no obvious influxes. It's been a well-above average few weeks for vizmigging numbers generally, though. Record counts of Redwing, Fieldfare, Starling, Woodpigeon, Siskin and Brambling, and notable influxes of Hawfinch and Coal Tit.
I think what may have happened is that the lack of easterlies meant most migrants weren't blown across the North Sea into the UK, but rather headed down the Low Countries straight into France. We get these as they cut across the Cotentin Peninsula.
 

JTweedie

Well-known member
I've seen them on five occasions so far this year, most recently on 25 October. I live in a flat and don't have a garden, but there's a Scots pine outside my window where I've seen them on each of these five occasions. I'm sure I'd see them more often if I looked that way more. I'm sure these sightings have all been of resident birds though, as it's normally just one or two birds at a time I see.
 

aeshna5

Well-known member
Here in average no’s in Epping Forest at present, that might change with the promised chill that’s “a’comin”.
Redwings and Fieldfares very thin on the ground of late, although a colleague flushed two Woodcock the other day and a reported nine of the latter were seen in Richmond Park at dusk last night!😮
The Richmond Park Woodcock count was part of a co-ordinated survey for them, something the park's bird group does every autumn.
 

MJB

Well-known member
They must all be here in Berlin... haven't seen so many in years! No Fieldfares yet though, and the Chaffinches have all gone (several migrating flocks of 3k-5k+ birds were counted over the Tempelhof airfield about a month ago)
If you live up to your name, no-one's going to argue with you...

"Und MacHeath, der hat ein Messer
Doch das Messer sieht man nicht..."
MJB
 

MJB

Well-known member
Sprecken de English?
It's a play on that screen name as a quote from Die Dreigroschenoper by Kurt Weill, lyrics by Bertolt Brecht... ...but you are a tease, Ken!!

It doesn't quite work in English, despite the excellent and somewhat original translation, Mack the Knife, sung in 1970 by the late Bobby Darin...

My preferred performances are by Lotte Lenya and by Hildegard Knef (who also published a fine translation of her own).
MJB
 

McHeath

Registered User
Supporter
It's a play on that screen name as a quote from Die Dreigroschenoper by Kurt Weill, lyrics by Bertolt Brecht... ...but you are a tease, Ken!!

It doesn't quite work in English, despite the excellent and somewhat original translation, Mack the Knife, sung in 1970 by the late Bobby Darin...

My preferred performances are by Lotte Lenya and by Hildegard Knef (who also published a fine translation of her own).
Ella is my favourite! :)
 

Richard Prior

Halfway up an Alp
Europe
All the above explains why they’re proving hard to see away from Berlin then:
´Lots of Goldcrests
has McHeath yeh
but he keeps them
out of sight ‘
Satchmo’s version is a cracker too!
 

KenM

Well-known member
All the above explains why they’re proving hard to see away from Berlin then:
´Lots of Goldcrests
has McHeath yeh
but he keeps them
out of sight ‘
Satchmo’s version is a cracker too!
Agreed Richard!…Satchmo’s version is a hot number! 👍
 

Ratal

Well-known member
We are down massively in numbers of the following across the Moray Firth area.

Siskin
Bullfinch
Chaffinch ( !!! )
Blue Tit
Long Tailed Tit
Goldfinch
Goldcrest

Seeing any of the above more than once in a week is now a major event. I thought I was just stuck inside a vicious unlucky streak. But it has been 6 months now.
 
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KenM

Well-known member
We are down massively in numbers of the following

Siskin
Bullfinch
Chaffinch ( !!! )
Blue Tit
Long Tailed Tit
Goldfinch
Goldcrest

Seeing any of the above more than once in a week is now a major event. I thought I was just stuck inside a vicious unlucky streak. But it has been 6 months now.
Haven’t seen Green or Bullfinch since last year, no problems with the others though.👍
 

aeshna5

Well-known member
We are down massively in numbers of the following

Siskin
Bullfinch
Chaffinch ( !!! )
Blue Tit
Long Tailed Tit
Goldfinch
Goldcrest

Seeing any of the above more than once in a week is now a major event. I thought I was just stuck inside a vicious unlucky streak. But it has been 6 months now.
Might be useful if you said where you are? Is it UK or mainland Europe?
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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