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Sunday, 2 December 2012

Wangford Waxwings

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Waking up this morning to a thin covering of snow and ice, I decided to have a look at my very local patch of Fallowfields in the hope of seeing a Woodcock. Having traipsed round for half an hour having heard 2 Bullfinches only, I walked into the middle of the area and immediately a Woodcock flew up from an area of bushes at around 9am and headed south- west towards Parkhill Hotel grounds. I then drove over to Wangford Playing field following a BINS message, always a happy hunting ground for me, I remember the Waxwings here in exactly the same place in December 2008. As I drove past, I could see and hear 42 Waxwings perched on the bushes bordering the northern edge of the field. Walking onto the field, I observed them perched around the top of the bushes before they all flew down to the north- west corner of the field. They flew down to a bush covered with a few berries. Later on they flew back to the bushes bordering the northern edge of the field, before several of their number flew across the road and started to alight and feed upon a berry laden bush in the middle of a garden (apparently owned by a 95 year old lady), where I had seen them before in Dec 2008. On their first visit to the garden, I witnesses one bird that had a colossal crest that looked like a Miter or an Archbishops's/ Bishop's hat! It spent most of its time on the edge of the bush. You can judge for yourself by looking at the picture above. The light was perfect (for once) and I finally managed to obtain the shots I wanted of this species this winter. I stood behind a bush on the path just outside and managed to get some really nice shots. The birds coming across too and fro with no more than 15 birds on the bush at any one time. Unfortunately after quarter of an hour, the neighbours of this lady, a father and 2 young children walked out flushed the Waxwings from the berry laden bush and onto the North bushes before walking across the road directly below them again, the children shouting, which unsurprisingly, totally spooked the whole flock of Waxwings. At 10.45am, the startled birds flew way up high and north east over the roofs of the houses. half an hour later, 17 of the flock returned and initially perched in a tall tree just east of the church, where joined by Dick W, eventually they flew to the north- west corner of the field and fed briefly from the scantily covered berry bush before perching up in bushes. at 11am they suddenly for no reason flew south- east. At 11.15am, Dick did really well to spot a Jack Snipe fly east and then south when I managed to see it.

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