I held a precious jewel this morning. It sat right in the palm of my hand, twinkling like a beautiful gemstone or an ornately decorated broch. However this jewel fell from a tree and bumped into my kitchen window with the softest of taps to then flop to the ground. At first I thought it a leaf until I noticed its beady wee black eye, needle sharp beak and flash of yellow across its crown. This miniscule bundle of olive feathers and grey fluff was a somewhat dazed Goldcrest.

It is never good when a bird hits a window, its chances are usually slim. I scooped the weightless bundle up into my hand, expecting to read it its last rights. It sat motionless for a minute or so, just long enough for me to appreciate its perfection. 

I always think it is most satisfying when you get a good clear look at a wild bird through your binoculars or even better through a powerful telescope – but it is not until you actually hold a bird in your hand that you can really take in just how delicate; just how colourful; just how perfect they are.

There was nothing to this little shrimp. He was struggling to get his act together, however I gave out positive encouragement to him (or her) – not sure - I actually don’t think there is any real differentiation between the sexes other than the male perhaps has a flash of orange in his crown, but for the purpose of my tale, let’s be honest it makes no difference.

The bundle of fluff responded to my good karma and as I gently raised my palm up and down he ruffled once then caught the breeze and was gone – back up to the canopy of cypress trees from where he fell.

I often hear the trill call of the Goldcrests high in the trees at Walls Farm – so when you come and stay on a Somerset Birdwatching Holiday be sure to look out for the one with the bump on its head.

Graeme Mitchell