Monday, November 30, 2015

Cartoon Birds...

Being up north in the UK, Northumberland often misses out on some of the more southern specialities. Birds such as Firecrests, Black Terns and Honey Buzzards are genuinely hard to come by up here and things like Serin are the stuff of dreams, I still haven't had one in this country making it probably the commonest bird missing from my British List.

Still, living up here in a county with a very long coastline that faces Scandinavia does have its plusses. Little Auks, Glaucous and Iceland Gulls are annual, Long tailed Duck and Purple Sandpiper are common enough winter visitors and we do get more than our fair share of Waxwings.

In a big invasion year we can get many hundreds of them, and they turn up almost anywhere. This year though seems to be a slow one for the Waxwing. Luckily I managed one on patch back in May as they were returning, but the presence of a few in Ashington where I work was worth a detour all of one mile to attend a meet and greet.

A lone bird was typically lethargic hanging around ASDA petrol station in the town, feeding on the remnants of some rowan berries. Watching this one, I believe a first winter female, I realised that they are quite comedic birds? Curtseying, gargling and raising an eyebrow at passing blackbirds gave it a strange impression, a bit Chaplin-esque!

After taking some poor pics in dreadful light conditions I left her to go to her roost in peace...lovely.


Ragged Robin said...

Good to see they are returning Stewart - even if its only in your part of the world! Great sighting :)

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

A stunning bird. They've been within 100m of my flat, but I've never seen one!