Birds, Leps, Observations & Generalities - the images and ramblings of Mark Skevington. Sometimes.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Waxwings and bits

Today is/was the last non-working day for me - back to the grind tomorrow ...

I was up and out early with the intention of seeking a few more City yearticks before the return to work. I headed to Aylestone Meadows - a site that I have rarely visited, and certainly no been to for many years. Mainly due to excessive dog walking in the morning and evening, the risk of car theft later in the day, and other car park 'activity' later in the evening! Today, as expected, there were many dog walkers but the site is certainly worth the effort. Some of the habitat here is excellent - almost hard to believe you are within sight and walking distance of the city center.

Before the highlights, I found several of these around the site:

Dead lantern - on which the former owners thoughtfully wrote all over before lighting and releasing

Call be a miserable old bastard, but why the fuck is it legal to sell these? Imagine if this had landed in the same spot in the height of summer - or worse in the middle of moorland. We had at least a hundred of these floating over our house on New Years Eve. Won't be long before everyone starts using them for mid-summer birthdays and weddings - of course they'll be alright as the incendiary device will be floating away from them. Moan over.

An hour or so produced a few yearticks - a superb Sparrowhawk lazily drifting across below the tree line, two Kingfishers peeping their way along the river, a couple of Stock Doves over, Goldfinches and last but not least an unexpected Treecreeper feeding on low stumps by the river. I tried to grab a vid clip but it chose that moment to feck off ..

Blink and you'll miss it

Also around was another Bullfinch eating ash keys (as yesterday's at Knighton Park), and 8 Goosanders - none of which wanted to pose for a good shot in continued crappy light.

Before heading home to do a few jobs and tasks, I had a quick drive around to see if any Waxwings were still about. The light was terrible, and they were high up, but at least today when I found the flock it stayed put for a while. Initially there was c70, but then more joined and eventually there was c130. There are loads of great Waxwing shots about this year, so here's some shocking ones ....

I grabbed some grainy clips aswell. Despite their numbers, the whole flock was being initimidated by a pair of vociferous Mistle Thrushes defending the berries and a few Redwings were also knocking about.

Thinking about it

Grabbing and going



Dean said...

"Call me a miserable old bastard, but why the fuck is it legal to sell these?"

You`re right Mark (not the miserable bastard bit) it should be illegal. It`s plain & simple littering and that`s against the law.

Bennyboymothman said...

Great videos and pictures of the Waxwings, even I got to see 6 of them near where I live, beautiful aren't they.

Skev said...

The litter aspect is one thing Dean, but it's the fire hazard that strikes me as being a bit mental.

Yes Ben - they are great birds to see and hear, however they can be a complete pain in the arse to try and photograph. Seems to be harder (ironically) when there are more of them as they seem to wind each other up into a nervous frenzy!