Sunday, 10 February 2013

Waxwing lyrical

OK, a crap title but I was watching Siskins on the feeders out of the window this morning when I suddenly realised there was a flock of Waxwings in the trees across the road. I shouted around the house to let everyone know and ran upstairs with the camera to try and get a shot. Before the camera was out of the bag several flew across the road and into the front garden and eyed up the apples that I put out for the Fieldfare.

I didn't dare open the window to take a photo as I didn't want to disturb them and a couple dropped down for a closer look at the apples. Unfortunately they all flushed before eating as the road in front of the house was quite busy with both traffic and people. A short time later they came back but flushed again before eating. There were 22 in the flock so I put more apples out should they come back again. A flock that size would need more than 4 apple halves and they had clearly seen them so they could come back (he hopes).

I had to call in at a couple of work sites in the afternoon so I decided to look out for some berries or hips on route that I could prune and bring back to supplement the apples. One of the sites I called in at was Pennington Flash. Work done I checked out the Black-headed Gulls by the car park. I only noticed one ringed bird but managed to photograph the full ring number. It was a Lithuanian ringed bird that I had previously photographed on 1st January. Yes a big jump from Waxwings to Black-headed Gulls but that is just how this story goes.

One view of the Lithuanian ring photographed today.
This bird was ringed as a chick near Kalviai, Lithuania in 2008 and was first recorded at Pennington Flash in January 2009 and has probably wintered there or in that general area every year since.

View Black-headed Gull HA06.762 in a larger map

On my way home I called in a supermarket and bought three bags of apples which is very optimistic for me and I also had a passenger foot well full of berries that I had pruned en route. On getting home there was no sign of any Waxwings but I put more apples out and also tied the berries in the trees in the front garden. While I was doing this a Waxwing suddenly appeared in the trees across the road so at least one was hanging about. Hopefully it was a scout and will be back tomorrow. So we have finally got back to Waxwings via a Lithuanian ringed Black-headed Gull and hopefully there will be more Waxwing lyrical to come. At least the Fieldfare, with its shiny new ring, will have more apples to choose from and was already taking advantage this afternoon.

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