They moved closer to the garden after about 10 minutes and then the first birds dropped down into the garden about 5 minutes later. I had put a net up but I didn't expect to catch many, if any, as I had loaded the tops of the trees in the garden with apples. I had also put some apples high in a neighbours tree and in the tree line across the road to give them alternative feeding areas and a better vantage point should the Sparrowhawk return. The weather was borderline for mist netting too as there was a bit of a breeze although it was nice and overcast.
The expected Sparrowhawk attacks didn't materialise and the birds fed in relative peace. I sort of relaxed too and indulged in a spell of Waxwing and net watching from the couch in the living room. I soon picked out the usual colour ringed bird and I also noticed that a good few birds were still unringed; perhaps there is a bit more turnover in the flock than I had thought. I didn't really relax that much as there was always the anticipation of catching a few more Waxwings!
|Waxwing and mist-net watching.|
|A Waxwing caught in the 18ft net.|
It is over three weeks since the first Waxwing turned up in the garden and they now dominate daily life. Buying apples, going up and down a ladder putting them out, acquiring cotoneaster berries and doing likewise, watching the forecast to see if there is a chance of mist-netting, watching the birds arrive each morning, checking birds for rings and colour rings, generally watching their behaviour and so on. Obsessed is probably the word and why not as this is not likely to happen again.
|Another Waxwing being ringed.|
|Male Waxwing tail with more extensive yellow and red feather shafts.|
|The waxy tips.|
|Who is looking at who.|
Ringing totals for 07/03/13 with retraps in brackets.
Waxwing 7 (3)
Siskin 3 (2)
Long-tailed Tit 3 (2)
Blue Tit (1)
Total 13 (+8 retraps)