Friday, 7 January 2011

Friday 7th January 2011

Wet weather dominated the day again, but a few waxwings remained on East Malling Research land which managed to lift my spirits somewhat.  Seven Waxwings were seen in the orchard just before 09:00 before flying up to the wires,

and then onto a silver birch next to the 'Concept Pear Orchard' sign that lies next to the public footpath (nice bit of free advertising for Chingford there!).

Five or so Brambling were flitting around on the ground in the same orchard, but proved a challenge to photograph in the dismal light.  One flew up briefly onto the alder windbreak and just about managed a record shot.

The sun decided to come out to play, albeit briefly, at lunchtime, but after waiting all week for a blast of brightness to photo the Waxwings they decided to go AWOL!  I glimpsed three in the corner orchard but they quickly took flight strongly east.  I checked the Genebank at the back of the church but there was nought about.  The wires adjacent to the concept orchard were dripping with Starlings (over 200) and the wires near Egham Sheds had 150+ Fieldfares on them.  

The corner orchard remained pretty much deserted when I returned - Sue and Pete from Burham were also looking for the Waxwings but to no avail. I continued to the orchards to the east of the site and glimpsed 3x distant Waxwings on top of the trees on the western perimter of Ditton Court Quarry where they seemed to be flycatching!  One final check of the corner orchard before returning to work, once again with the couple from Burham, eventually turned up the goods - 13x Waxwings dropped into the same silver birch I'd seen them in this morning.  Fantastic!  I left the Sue and Pete watching them and walked back to the office, only for the flock to fly right over my head as I approached the main lab buildings.

Back in the office I casually glanced out of the window and saw 3x Brambling sitting out in the tree opposite my window!  I don't claim to keep an 'office list', that might indicate I do nothing all day but stare out the window, but suffice to say that if I did (!) this would be a new tick ;-)  A glance a short while later, out the same window, added Waxwing to the non-existent office list! A single bird with 2x Starlings (Sue and Pete - I saw you walk past the tree with another birder when the Waxwing was up there but didn't know how to attract you attention without scaring the bird off! NOTE:  They saw it!).


Warren Baker said...

Wish I had an orchard on my patch Adam, I used to have one, but it was grubbed up to make horse paddocks :-(

Sue said...

Hi Adam!
Your pictures of the Waxwings earlier in the day, on the apples, are great - ours later in the day when we met you were just silhouettes, but it was lovely to see them. As you say, they flew off to follow you just after you left us to return to your office. They aren't trained Waxwings by any chance? :-)

We did see the singleton in the tree just before we left. We will be back soon, it would be nice to see them again while they are around.

Sue & Pete - the "Burham Birders"!

Adam said...

Hi Sue & Pete

Good to meet you and glad you connected with the birds - I had to admit I thought they weren't going to show. Glad you saw the single bird in the tree top, I thought you'd missed it! Hope to bump in to you again soon.


Marc Heath said...

Good to see your Waxwing photos, looking good. They seem to be starting to dry up in my neck of the woods, just one's and two's at the moment.

Adam said...

Cheers Marc

They're drying up here as well now. But I can't complain I haven't had my fill this winter!