Thursday, 29 November 2012

Thursday 29th. November 2012

I read on the web last night that 33 Waxwings had been seen during the afternoon , only five minutes away from home , just over the county border in Surrey . A check on the weather forecast , bright spells , and my mind was made up to try and find the birds as they got out of bed , and before I set off for the workday up on the Common . An early breakfast , and with the first light of the morning I headed off , arriving at a chilly Rowan tree in Shirley . Unfortunately the first light never got any better than that , and there was definitely no sign of any bright spells . Added to this , the tree in question is right in the middle of an estate and the workers were heading off for their day of toil , followed a bit later by the children , heading for or being taken to school . But , there were a few quiet periods in between , and it was during these that a flock of about 40 Starlings made their sortis on the Rowan tree . Things were not going well , but from nowhere , on three occasions , a single
Waxwing appeared right at the top of the tree , but never attempted to feed , flying off after a short period of time . In the dull , overcast conditions and a good breeze , the bird/birds were not shown at
their best , but at least I had seen it/them . Apart from the Starlings , other species breakfasting at the
tree included a single Redwing ( pictured ) , two Fieldfares which always flew into the back of the tree to avoid being photographed , and a single Mistle Thrush , which only showed with it's back end
to the camera . With my time running out , I had to get back home and get ready for the workday , swallowing a quick coffee whilst doing so . The weather remained the same for the rest of the morning , but , just before midday , the clouds parted and the sun appeared , and my thoughts strayed to what might be happening back at the Rowan tree . As luck would have it , we got our work done by two o'clock , and leaving two to finish off the fire , I chased back home , grabbed the camera , and headed for the tree . As I approached it , the sun was in my eyes , but I could make out several birds in a nearby tree and turning the corner , five birders on the pavement . Parking up and grabbing the
camera , I could now see that the birds were in fact 8 Waxwings , and they were using the tree to digest the berries from the Rowan , before making their next sorti . Talking to the other birders , most having arrived about midday , the 8 birds had only just appeared a few minutes before I arrived . For
once the plan had worked . The tops of both trees was in the sunshine , but the fast setting sun was
 reducing the sunlit area very quickly , but I had about an hour watching these beautiful visitors , before they finally flew off to roost , and I headed home for a hot drink , well pleased that the work had finished earlier than anticipated .


ShySongbird said...

Well done Greenie, Glad you got some nice pics. Your persistence certainly paid off in the end. I do hope I get to see some this time, I completely missed out in 2010/11.

Phil said...

Well done Greenie. I love it when a plan comes together!

Marianne said...

Lovely stuff, really pleased they stuck around for you :)

alan woodcock said...

Hi,pleased you got to see the waxwings in good light,nice pics.

Mike H said...

Well done Greenie, glad that your plan came together and produced great sightings and lovely photos for you. We need a few around here !!

Warren Baker said...

Nice one Greenie, I really hope to pick up a Waxwing here this winter, but it doesn't look too good with the lack of berries here :-(
Well done mate!