Sunday, 11 November 2012

Find some Waxwings

 Waxwings have been arriving in the north-east in good numbers the past week or so and I have seen them at several spots, so I had to look for some in Chester-le-Street yesterday. I did, amazingly, find some without too much difficulty. Not a flock of 150-200 like in some places but a small group of 12 in the trees of Park View School in the town centre.

I continued down into the Riverside Park. The Whooper Swan is still present and a few Cormorant  and 7 Goosander were on the river but very little else except for 2 Grey Wagtail. The little nature reserve near the cricket ground was, as usual, very quiet, with only a few Bullfinch, a Jay and a lone Siskin of note.

2 of the Goosanders, the drake looking uncomfortably like a duck out of water.

Today a single Waxwing flew over the house and landed in the nearby big Beech tree. This is the same tree that held a flock of 60 in November 2010. At lunchtime, on my way to Chester Moor, I found a hairy orange-brown caterpillar crawling across the pavement in front of me. It turned out to be the larva of a Ruby Tiger Moth.

I had sneaked out of the area early this morning to successfully see a Great Grey Shrike but was probably more pleased to see four juvenile Barn Owls getting what may be the last bit of warm sun this year as they sat outside their nestbox.

2 of the 4 Barn Owls I saw this morning
With two separate sightings of Waxwing this weekend with very little effort, it shows just how many are currently about and I'm sure anyone interested could find some if they were vigilant. But they need to hurry, as following the spring and summer we have had,  there are not many berries about, so they'll not be around for long. 

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