Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Waxwing lyrical part 35 - down but not out.

I now seem to wake up at dawn each morning regardless of how little sleep I have had or my intention to do so. This morning was no different and I got up to see how many, if any, Waxwings would arrive without the aid of an alarm. There had been 62 on Sunday and 46 yesterday but this morning the flock was down to 30. This is still an impressive number and now represents (provisionally at least) the latest record for Waxwings in spring for the county. The previous latest record the county recorder has been able to find being at Bredbury on April 29th 1975.

Having the latest record by a day if confirmed is no big deal in the scheme of things but as time has gone on I have developed a sneaking ambition to see a Waxwing or Waxwings in the garden in May, a fourth calendar month. Today has been glorious and the birds have spent very little time in the garden. Recently they have feeding more on tree flowers, on the berries of ivy and by catching insects away from the garden and they have also been avoiding the attention of the local Sparrowhawk by doing so. Tonight the conditions are perfect for migration with high pressure and crystal clear skies so it remains to be seen if any will be here in the morning.

One thing I haven't found in any literature or on the Internet is any reference to Waxwings being nocturnal migrants like thrushes. Waxwings do migrate during the day but then so do thrushes but thrushes are predominantly nocturnal migrants. Waxwings are probably the same and migrate at night in the main but if anyone can point me to a reference that confirms that one way or the other I would appreciate it.

The odds are probably stacked against any birds being here in the morning given the weather and their recent weight gains but there is always hoping. One thing for sure is that I will wake up automatically again and will be watching from first light to find out. Whatever happens there will be a few more Waxwing lyrical posts to come. I will have to confirm the date of last bird(s) seen, there are a few interesting stats around all the apples consumed and effort involved, there are the details of the origins of the birds controlled to date and there are a few other observations to be thrown in. With a bit of luck there may even be some interesting recoveries to report from all the birds ringed and there are loads of previously unpublished pictures.

I will leave you with a little video titled best of the crests but hopefully there will be a few more to come


No comments:

Post a Comment