Monday, 17 December 2012

12/12/12 A Hoary Frost and some Waxy wings

This day was the day I had been dreaming about for, hmm... a couple of years!! And no I hadn't been dreaming of that crisp frost.

Last year when there was a bit of an influx of waxwings, I was at Uni and studying hard, so no time for gallivanting finding birds! I thought this year might be the one, but what with having a new puppy, I thought our time would never come! I'd been keeping an eye out on twitter for sightings of waxwings nearby and we were planning on going on a little outing to find some soon.

Anyway, this frosty morning not only provided many perfect photo opportunities but also some very welcome visitors just a 10 minute walk down the road!!

Here are a few of the best frost photos.

Further along in the field by the church were 50+ lapwings and 50+ golden plover ( a first for me) and I took quite a while back home trying to decide what they were! Very attractive birds!

Now for the stars of the show....

I spotted a lone waxwing in the top of a tree, I was ecstatic, but sad my Mum was at work and not sharing this moment with me! I managed to get this photo, but it was quite high up and I had an excitable puppy hanging off one of my arms on the lead.

My mum and I then went back later without the pup to see if these fantastic birds had hung around or if it had just been a fleeting visit. To our delight we spotted one, which then joined another in a tree right in front of us. A man on a bike was cycling past and said hello very loudly, I shushed him and told him we were watching waxwings, I don't think he was very impressed. His loss!

2 waxwings
 The fieldfares were watching the goings on from a nearby tree...

A tree full of fieldfares
 The waxwings then flew into a different tree and joined a couple of others

Then before we knew it they had flown off again, so we followed their distinctive calls into the orchards and got a few more glances. We carried on to the spot where I had seen them the same morning and were spoilt with a whole flock! Managed to get a shot of 11 of them!

We followed them into a different orchard, where they were feasting on copious amounts of rotting apples, yum! The glare of the sun hindered getting good detailed photos, showing off their vibrant colours, but I did get some nice silhouette shots. We crept up on them and when the sun dipped I did managed to get one fairly good close up.

So definitely my bird of the year! Another species to tick off my list! The best bit about it was that we didn't even have to get in the car to go and find them, they were right on our doorstep! A case of right place at the right time.

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