Sunday, 2 December 2012

House of Wax(wings)

One of today's three Waxwings, back in the garden for the second consecutive winter.
Late yesterday afternoon, while scavenging for firewood in a skip down the road (as you do), I heard a Waxwing fly over. It was just before dusk and I assumed the bird was going to roost - but where had it come from? Last winter we were treated to great views of Waxwings from the house when a flock arrived to strip all the berries in the next road, so this morning I went to check - one Fieldfare was an excellent local bird, but no Waxwings. A half-hour tour of the local area to try and seek them out produced another Fieldfare, a fly-over Siskin and four Lesser Redpolls in nearby birches, but not the target species. Just as I was about to turn back into my own road, however, three crested silhouettes on top of a distant tree forced me to a halt: Waxwings! The tufted trio promptly flew down to feed on berries at eye level, and I began snapping away. After a couple of calls to friends to tip them off, I settled back in at home and watched (and filmed) them from my window. They spent most of the day quietly resting in the top of a large beech, in between shorter bouts of feeding, before finally flying off south just after 3.30 pm. There's still some berries left - perhaps they'll be back tomorrow.

UPDATE: indeed they were, dividing most of the next day between berry-stripping and resting. By the following morning, however, all the berries had gone - and so had the Waxwings.

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