Next week Glendale aim to trim the hedge that borders the gardens on the north-east (Cliffview Road) side of the park, so I had a good look at the birdlife in the hedge today on my way to the Farmers' Market and the Ladywell Assembly.
Flitting from branch to branch today were about 16 House Sparrows, a solitary male Blackbird and a pair of restless Goldcrests. I've received a few reports of Goldcrests in the neighbourhood but this is the first time I've spotted any in Hilly Fields over the last couple of years. The BirdTrack site has none at all reported for Hilly Fields (or map reference TQ3775) since their records began in 2005.
This is a stock photo of a Goldcrest, not mine.
Often described as a snooker ball with legs, they're the smallest British bird and suprisingly common as there's probably 5M pairs around in the winter months, reducing to 1.5M pairs in the summer.
Very slightly larger and much much rarer at 400 pairs is the Firecrest, similar but with a bold white eyebrow.
The park was quite busy, so few other birds were around except 10 Woodpigeons and a pair of Magpies in the meadow.
3pm Friday 20th March
Sorry to say the hedge hasn't been trimmed yet, let's hope that late trimming doesn't disturb the all-too-rare House Sparrows.