Two ‘crests’ – fire and gold – vie for the title of smallest British bird. Both species weigh 5–7g and measure about 9cm. In comparison, a blue tit weighs twice as much. Firecrests are hyperactive sprites, moving through foliage non-stop and frequently hovering in mid-air to pick off tiny insects and spiders. They seem particularly fond of ivy-covered tree trunks. But they’re far scarcer than goldcrests, with just 550 breeding pairs in the country. October, when numbers are swelled by autumn migrants, is
your best chance of a sighting.
Watch a video on how to identify firecrests: bto.org/about-birds/bird-id