Friday, 8 March 2013

Waxwing lyrical part 14 - the apple factor

I was up early to see how many Waxwings would turn up this morning. I counted 53 when they arrived at 7am but I didn't watch them for long as I had to call in work for a meeting. After the meeting I headed through town in search of more cotoneaster berries and to call in at a supermarket to stock up on apples. On route I spotted 8 Waxwings perched in a hawthorn bush by the road. I didn't have any binoculars with me so I couldn't see if any were ringed. This sighting was about 7 miles from home but these could have been birds that have been visiting the garden.

I collected a few more branches of cotoneaster berries at my next stop but I seem to have collected all that are within easy reach at this location now. I only take the low level branches that are too disturbed for Waxwings to feed on should they find these tree cotoneasters. The crowns are still full of berries but the Waxwings haven't found them yet.

Next stop was the supermarket where I bagged up around 3 days supply of the supermarket's basic range loose apples. I loaded the trolley and went to the checkout. Now if you want to get random women starting a conversation I can recommend putting 14kg of apples on a checkout conveyor. I have been asked if I run an after school club and if the basic range apples are good eating. They just have to know why you are buying so many apples.

Waxwing shopping.
The dog looks on in hope of there being something in those bags for him.

This is what 14kg of apples looks like.
It is only around 3 days supply for 60 Waxwings.
On getting home I could see there were plenty of Waxwings feeding and probably more than the 53 counted first thing. It was a grey meserable day but I decided to try and get some video with my compact camera as the garden was buzzing with birds.

I had only just stopped recording when the adult male Sparrowhawk had another go at the Waxwings. It didn't get one this time and briefly perched in the tree that had been full of feeding birds seconds before. It really spooked them and they didn't come back to feed for the rest of the day. Not sure what will happen tomorrow after that but I will be up early again to find out.

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