"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Monday, 24 January 2011

Persistence finally pays off!!!

Having finally tired of countless unsuccessful trips to a local business park and round various local spots to check out berry bearing trees and bushes, I finally decided today that I would give up on the hope of finding my own waxwings and undertake a local "twitch" instead. A flock of about 60 had been reported on a local bird forum in the Nuneaton area on Saturday and Sunday. Nuneaton isn't exactly that local to me being at least a 50 mile round trip but the town and surrounding villages seem to be attracting a fair few waxwings.

Accompanied by my daughter I arrived there about 1.00. After driving up and down the road about 4 times without success my daughter suddenly announced that she had seen a man by a car in a side road staring up at a tree each time we had driven up and down. Why she hadn't mentioned this earlier I shall never know!!! So I turned round again and lo and behold right by the man and his car were a flock of about 20 waxwings in a tree!! We watched the flock for about 15 minutes. I must admit waxwings are one of my favourite birds - in fact I could have stayed there all afternoon!

One of the advantages of taking my daughter with me when I go birding is that she spots the birds that I miss especially when I'm driving but the one big disadvantage is that she gets bored so quickly so sorry no photos from today's trip but below is a really poor record shot I took with the Fuji Finepix when I last saw waxwings in January 2009 feeding on berries by a branch of MacDonalds.

Hopefully, I'll get another chance to see these beautiful birds before the winter is over and have another opportunity to take some photos.

We stopped off at one of my favourite local pubs - The Plough at Shustoke - for a celebratory lunch of cheesey chips!!

I also had good views of a buzzard perched on a roadside post on the journey so that's two new ticks for the year list.


Tricia said...

Well done - your persistence definitely paid off for the waxwings and lovely to get the buzzard as well.

(and the Plough and Cheesy Chips sounds rather attractive too ;) )

Pete said...

woo hoo !!! they are lovely aren't they

Ragged Robin said...

Tricia - Thanks - a real "red letter" day! The Plough is a lovely country pub with great food.

Pete - Definitely woo hoo!! Yes, they really are lovely. Whenever I get to see them I can't believe how beautiful their plumage is.

The Wessex Reiver said...

Well done, as with all wildlife watching, persistence and perseverance pay off, if accompanied by a lot of luck. Cheesy chips sounds yummy

Ragged Robin said...

Thanks Andrew - I think a lot of luck is involved especially with those who manage to find their own waxwings! You wouldn't believe how delicious a plate of chips covered in melted cheese can taste!