27th December 2020 – shoelace worms and our native humming bird

We’re proud of ourselves setting off in the tail-end of Storm Bella, and in very little time we are soaked but jogging just fast enough to keep warm. It’s crunchy under foot again, not from leaves this time but all the lichen daubed twigs decorating the pavements.

On our way back we cut through the woods which for the first time in over eight months are almost empty. This morning in the rain and slop it’s truly the birds’ domain. Magpies and crows are feasting on the pink shoelace worms floating in the puddles now the rain has eased.

The seep seep of a pair of goldcrests give them away and they hop around in a hazel sapling within touching distance. They check branch tips for food faster than I can really follow and hum underneath the leaves picking off indiscernibly tiny things. It must be a meagre feast but as our tiniest birds, hopefully it will be just enough to get them through to spring.

(Drawing courtesy of Rosa Fawcett-Tuke)


  1. Thanks for this. I am always amazed at how small goldcrests are.

  2. Amanda Tuke · · Reply

    Me too Philip, and the speed with which they move around 🙂

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