Sunday, 17 February 2013

Waxwing lyrical part 5

OK the titles of recent posts may be getting a little boring and repetitive but the prospect of Waxwings in the garden certainly isn't. The forecast was for a lovely sunny day today which isn't good for ringing in the garden as there is very little shade. Sunshine makes nets stand out and birds can easily see them in these conditions. However, I decided to put a net up for an hour or so from first light to try and catch a few more Siskins before the sunshine became a problem.

Sunshine makes mist nets really stand out.
I was entering a few records on Bird Track while keeping an eye on the net when I suddenly noticed Waxwings dropping into the apple filled tree in front of the window. The laptop was thrown to one side and I grabbed my binoculars. A quick count revealed there were 16 and they included a colour ringed bird and another with just a metal ring. All the birds were actively feeding and it seemed that the best apple was the one another bird was eating as the birds constantly swapped places. This made getting the colour ring combination quite difficult as the birds frequently moved or obscured each other.

I eventually noted the combination and then set about trying to get a few photographs. I didn't dare open a window as the birds were so close. Another problem was the window faces east so all the birds were back lit by the rising sun and there was some glare on the double glazing to contend with. I managed to get a few record shots including the colour ringed bird but I didn't manage to get any photos of the bird with just a metal ring.

Colour-ringed Waxwing metal/red right, red/red /lime green left in the garden today.
It will be interesting to see where this bird had been ringed and if there have been
 any previous sightings since then. Details will be given in a future post.
The birds fed for half an hour before departing; presumably flushed by some activity on the street or in a neighbours garden. I thought they would come back as there were plenty of apples but unfortunately they didn't. At least 16 birds know there is food in the garden now so hopefully they will return on a more regular basis as other food sources are depleted. The supply of apples isn't going to run out in my garden while there are Waxwings around and apples in the shops.

I have emailed Grampian Ringing Group with details of the colour ringed bird as it could be one they have ringed in the Aberdeen area.
As for today's ringing the totals were:
Siskin 4
Blackbird 2 (2)
Robin 1
Blue Tit 2
Long-tailed Tit 2 (1)
Totals 11 (3)
(retraps in brackets)

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