Friday, 31 December 2010

Monday-Tuesday 27th/28th December 2010

Off patch big time with a couple of days in Swindon and then Birmingham.  The trip to Swindon was most productive for birds with 10x Red Kites seen along the M4 between Reading and Swindon, by far the highest count I've had on this stretch, outnumbering Buzzards for the first time (saw three) doubt a consequence of the harsh weather.

Taking a breather on Monday afternoon I drove literately round the corner from sister-in-laws in Grange Park, Swindon and stumbled upon a large Blessing of Waxwings on Rowton Heath Way.  Fourteen were perched on a lamp post over the road I was driving along and when I pulled over I saw more on rooves, aerials and in nearby trees - 42+ in total.  It was late afternoon and the light was abysmal, confounded by fog starting to creep in, but I snapped away to at least get a record shot of this spectacle.

The trilling was fantastic, and when they took flight they swooped like Starlings low across the sky.  Fantastic!

I returned to the same site the following afternoon - this time the light was even worse but I managed to count at least 49.

They were mainly sitting out in a single tree in a nearby close, and when I approached I noticed some were feeding on the ground with Redwings (which were also numerous in the area).  

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