Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Waxwings on Patch

26th Feb.  I took a stroll down to the lake today in the hope of watching the Great Crested Grebes as much as anything.  I soon had one of the pair in my sights.  Closer to me were a pair of Shoveller, occasionally calling and the male taking to fight.  One of the Coots appears to have already built a nest platform.

I’d been there for a short time when I saw Sam in the distance.  He didn’t see my waving as he was concentrating on the Great Crested Grebe, so I begun to walk towards him.  As I walked along a small flock of birds flew overhead.  Looking like Starlings, but sounding like something else!  I got my bins sighted on them as soon as they settled in top of the tree.  Waxwings, and at least twenty of them.  I shouted to Sam who at this point still not identified me.  He was already on the Waxwings as he had remembered what I had said some time ago about their call and he had recognised right away the fact that they weren’t Starlings.  The birds didn’t hang about for long and soon circled above us and flew off in the general direction of West Moor.  Great to see them on patch (often things come to those that watch and wait) and I’m pleased Sam was there too so as to get a short, but decent sighting.  He’d actually been watching the pair of Great Crested Grebes whilst I had until then only found one of them.  We watched them for some time and managed a few distant images.  They were far from active although initially had been diving to feed.  I reckon they are checking out the usual nesting sight and swam resting close by it. 


The Shovellers are more regular visitors now.

Goosanders remain along with Goldeneyes and the Whooper Swan.  The pair of Oystercatchers fed in the fields before flying off down the lake with the flock of gulls.  It soon turned chilly when sitting for a period of time so we said our farewells and made for home.  I walked home across the fields and via the Church grounds where I found a large flock of Redwing and Goldfinch.  A Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen briefly as it flew into the same area before flying deeper into the trees and drumming.  The grounds are a mass of Snowdrops now, with some snow still remaining in patches around them.  I thought I smelt spring in the air as the days grow ever longer, but I may have been overly optimistic.  It’s good to be optimistic.

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