Sunday, 2 December 2012

Viking Invaders, welcome and not so welcome!

The weekend saw increased activity and numbers of Waxwings in and around Newtown College. On Saturday Jane, Dave and I, briefly joined by Andre, caught and colour-ringed a further 25 out of the 200 or so present. Never seen anything like it - at one point several small puddles in the car park were literally heaving with Waxwings drinking and bathing. Luckily they were coming down to berries in several parts of the grounds so we were able to net some parts whilst the gathering of local bird photographers got ample photo opportunities nearby.

In a slightly surreal episode, at one point four other Swedish visitors arrived, covered a large part of the car park in sacking and proceeded to thrash hell out of the hedges with long sticks collecting the very hawthorn berries the Waxwings were feasting on. A slightly heated exchange saw them moving on to collect their berries elsewhere!

Sunday morning started brilliantly with Paul, Jane and I catching and colour-ringing another 16 new birds and 1 retrap before 10 am but then two unwelcome appearances by a sparrowhawk wazzed them all off and they only returned shortly after we gave up at 2pm. Sod's Law. Ah well mustn't be greedy. Hopefully they might hang around a bit longer as the next couple of days are forecast as not too good!

Two of Saturdays colour-ringed Waxwings. Have great expectations for future sightings and some interesting onward journeys once the berries have gone. Many thanks to Phil Owen for the photos.

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