help with identifying a bird

I was in my garden in Birmingham at the weekend when a wren sized bird flew out from behind some irises in my pond. It had presumably been drinking. I only momentarily saw it, but was struck by its red head stripe, which was redder than that of a robin's breast. The stripe shape was similar to that of a goldcrest (but obviously different in colour) and in contrast to the patch of a lesser redpoll.

I realise this is very limited information. I cant even be sure of the feather colour of it, other than the size and the head stripe.

Any thoughts?

thanks a lot


  • Doesn't fit the description, but goldfinches drink from my pond. Placement of red is wrong, but can't think of anything that'll match what you wrote.
  • Firecrest has a red stripe, doesn't it?
  • In reply to PimperneBloke:

    PimperneBloke said:
    Firecrest has a red stripe, doesn't it?

    I wouldn’t describe the stripe as red, or redder than a robin, and personally, would have noticed other aspects I think, even with a couple of secs as firecrests are distinctive. But, probably as a reasonable fit, and they are less rare these days. Not sure about Brum though. 

  • In reply to ItisaRobbo:

    I've never seen one, it's just what I've noticed when flicking through my books, some images are almost yellow stripe, and others a deep orangey red... Certainly agree unusual to be in a garden, but if it was the only local water source.....
  • In reply to ItisaRobbo:

    Was just looking at the pictures of a firecrest and it appears as a golden stripe. Are there also red stripes?
  • In reply to ItisaRobbo:

    They are beautiful birds, but the one I saw was certainly not a goldfinch. Dont think I have ever seen another of the bird I saw, but have seen plenty of goldfinches
  • I would have thought the odds of seeing a Firecrest in a Brummie garden are pretty slim but with birds it is difficult to it could not happen


    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • Hi

    I have seen
    Olive Backed Pipit in a garden in Bracknell
    Slate Coloured Junco in a garden in Hampshire
    Spotted Flycatcher in a garden in Cambs
    Palass's Warbler in a garden in Hampshire
    Black throated Thrush in a garden in Peterborough

    Dipped a Northern Oriole in a garden in Oxfordshire

    it happens.......

    For advice about Birding, Identification,field guides,  binoculars, scopes, tripods,  etc - put 'Birding Tips'   into the search box

  • It does happen Seymour but the odds are fairly low. I found a Corncrake outside the college library when working there also only 400 yds from home.


    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • Could it have been an escaped waxbill or something?