Thursday, January 10, 2013

Foggy Waxwings

I have been struggling to catch-up with Waxwings so far this year. Although I saw a good flock at the close of 2012 the flocks over the last week or so have been highly mobile. Present for a few hours one day and then gone. I suspect that they are constantly on the move looking for suitable food. The berry-bearing bushes and trees in my neck of the woods are all bare and have been for some time. I don't know what the ideal conditions are for a good berry crop during a year but last year couldn't have been right. I strongly suspect that this is the same reason that I'm not seeing thrushes. And NO I still have not located a single flock of thrushes and I still haven't seen a Song Thrush this year. So 'Bare Berry-bearing Bushes Beat Birds' is the headline.
However, I did get onto some Waxwings today. Thick fog did not prevent me driving over to Attenborough Nature Reserve on the West side of Nottingham just after lunch. But it almost prevented me from seeing the birds. I walked past them twice before I heard them trilling! There were a dozen birds listlessly picking at a few berries so I hung around to enjoy the sight before heading off back home.
Waxwing Bombycilla garrulous
I hadn't driven much more than half-a-mile when I spotted a group of birds at the top of a bare tree by the side of the road. Hello...these look like...Waxwings I thought. And they were. A group of nine birds. Typical. You see the first ones for the year and then they're everywhere...nearly.

The same Waxwing Bombycilla garrulous
The miserable, cold, foggy conditions didn't make for good photography and this second group of birds didn't hang around for long before they set off. In search of berries me thinks!

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