Monday, 23 January 2017

Invasion of the Berry Snatchers !

The Bohemian Waxwing, one of those 'must see' birds that visits our shores from Scandinavia each year seeking out the winter berries that our local Thrushes and Blackbirds have been relying on to get them through the cold winter months.

Early winter and reports start filtering through from Northern observers. The Waxwings have arrived, as the winter progresses, some eventually turn up down here in the south of the country.

I have heard the term 'Irruptive species' associated with the Waxwing, usally when large numbers of Waxwings arrive in the country, and this could be one of those years because there appears to be a lot of Waxwings arriving here at the moment.

I spent the early days of January visiting a small influx of Waxwings that were raiding Berry trees at Rochester at the most twelve birds, feeding on the yellow berries of some Mountain Ash trees.
I spent a few hours trying to get some photographs which I posted in the previous blog entry.

Then unbelievably, a large flock turned up at the bottom of my road, the number seems to fluctuate each day, averaging about fifty birds and at their most eighty four.

This large flock that turned up in Northfleet spent a lot of time roosting in some tall Silver Birches close to their favoured feeding area, the trees they were feeding in are very sparsely covered in berries from what I could see, but the flock has been in the area for over a week now so the berries on offer must be attractive to the Waxwings, also noticed a small flock of Redwings feeding on the same trees.

The trees they are visiting are quite spread out and the birds appear a bit flighty, the Waxwings  have a reputation for allowing a close approach, but I think the local photographers have pushed their luck a little too much.

Most of my photographs have been a little distant, but there close attendance to me is to much to resist.

I made another visit to Rochester to see if the Waxwings here were still feeding on the Mountain Ash berries opposite the Bounty pub. They were there but once again roosting in the tall trees in the pub car park, fortunately the sun was shining on them allowing a few heavily cropped photographs.

Finally to finish off my Waxwing Portfolio, I thought I would use this opportunity to record some images I took back in January 2013, another good year for Waxwings, these turned up in the grounds of the 'Holiday Inn' at Dartford in Kent.

I don't think I will ever tire of watching these beautiful birds, I will look forward to next year, hopefully they will reach us here in the south again.

1 comment:

  1. I'm hoping the cotoneaster here will bring them in, along with the cold weather. There isn't much else left now.