Sunday, 23 December 2012

Fly-catching Waxwings

We received a phone call from friends in the village this morning to let us know that the Waxwings were still in their favourite hedgerow behind the Shadoxhurst football field. So off we went on a walk to find them- which didn't take long.  In the hour viewing the Waxwings, the twelve birds took little interest in the remaining Berries of Haws and Rose Hips, but instead were fly-catching insects. Whilst it was difficult to see what they were catching, it was a fine sight to see, the birds oblivious to our presence. The resident Starlings were also feeding in the same way and in the warm sunny air we could hear if not see the occasional hover fly whizz by.  No doubt, a mid-winter insect bounty is a more energy rich meal than fruit berries despite the energy expended in catching suitable prey.

Before watching the Waxwings we had a little walk in the woods close to Hornash Lane and were rewarded with a calling Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. This is I think our first record this year - and good to know that there is still one around. 

Elsewhere on our walk, a Kestrel preyed on half-drowned Earthworms forced to surface heavy soils flashed with rainwater.  Two Buzzards were never far away, and a party of Meadow pipits were feeding in the Scout field. 

Thank you to David and Daphinee for telling us about the 2 Little Egrets that have returned to the ditches around the village - unfortunately today, we didn't see them.  

The Waxwings are now into week 2 of their stay around Shadoxhurst and we have Apples in the gardenand two bushes, laden with Rose Hip Berries. Fingers-crossed they're going to find them soon.


Neil Burt said...

Hi Nick. Great photos and what wonderful birds to have so close to home. My parents drove through Shadoxhurst this morning and had c30 Waxwings in the trees on the junction of Woodchurch Rd, Tally Ho Rd and Hornash Ln.

Merry Christmas and a happy bird filled 2013.

Clare Gillatt said...

Nice one - Merry Xmas, see you in the new year x