So there I was, minding my own business, walking to the supermarket when what should I encounter but one of these:
Having never seen Regulus regulus (the goldcrest or Wintergoldhähnchen) before, I was a bit mystified and fascinated.
The bird was tiny (it is apparently the smallest bird in Europe), seemed to be vaguely shaped like the also micro-sized wren (though without the upward-pointing tail) and also had similar, slightly mouse-like movements. But the colouring was both wrong and very striking. (I mean: check out that headgear! Lovely wings, too.)
I could be wrong about the resemblances: perhaps I'm just a bit hung up on wrens. (No, it seems that they were once known in Britain as gold-crested wrens, so it's not just me.)
Anyway, I must have stood there a good three or four minutes observing the goldcrest from quite close: along with whatever other characteristics they have, they also seem to be quite fearless, as he was apparently unbothered by my presence, the noisy street running along the hedge he was exploring or the busy petrol station across the road.
And he seemed far less put out by the bitter cold that eventually drove me off.
Nice to meet you, neighbour.