"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

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Garden Birds and Waxwings

The cold snowy weather is resulting in more birds visiting the feeders. A Goldcrest has been feeding on fat balls for the last couple of days.

A dreadful photo (too far away and too tiny and very heavily cropped!) but if you click on it to enlarge you will just be able to see its a Goldcrest - I hope :)

The lone Fieldfare is still defending its little patch of apples having skirmishes with Mistle and Song Thrush (new garden species for this year). This afternoon he/she must have been feeling rather harrassed as it was surrounded by nine Wood Pigeons feeding and refusing to let the Fieldfare frighten them off. Also pleased to see Coal Tit and Greenfinch returning to the feeders for the first time this year.

Tonight six Wrens tried to roost in the hanging basket but the last one had a problem squeezing in so the last two to arrive flew off closely followed by two others. The latter two later returned so I think there are just the four roosting again. We have put up some roosting pouches round the garden so I hope the other two Wrens or the Goldcrest have found these.

I finally caught up with Waxwings two days ago near my mother's Nursing Home. I spotted a flock of 10 birds in a tree and I just knew they weren't starlings. Did a rapid roundabout turn and spotted the crests on the birds. Managed to park very close (on a bus stop!) and get good views as they flew into a nearby hedge feeding on berries. I hadn't got the camera with me so I've "cheated" a bit here and this is a photo I took when I found some locally two years ago. I have been back since with the camera but no sign of the Waxwings - they appear to have been displaced by a huge flock of Fieldfares.


Em Parkinson said...

So pleased to hear about your Greenfinches but a Goldcrest is really exciting. I've only ever seen three and only one up here. Six years ago saw a Firecrest which I'll never forget or see again I should think!

Stewart said...

Thats a new one on me Caroline. I've had Treecreepers on peanuts in two different locations, but never a Goldcrest! A great record, you should submit it to your county recorder...

Rohrerbot said...

Congrats Robin!!! That's really exciting. Afterall, the Waxwing is your mascot:) You have some great birds around your area. We have wrens here, but they are very very elusive at times...except the Cactus. Those birds are rather bold:)

Pete said...

ah waxwings!! well done

Ragged Robin said...

Em Parkinson - Lovely little birds Goldcrests and can be amazingly tame. Well done on the Firecrest - I have tried several times to see one but never succeeded :( Another one of those "bogey" birds for me like Hawfinch and Brambling!

Stewart - I thought it was unusual too Stewart but from your comment it does sound as though its something particularly unusual so yes I will let County Recorder know - Many thanks for suggesting it :) I did see another one years ago which seemed to be eating peanuts but feeder was much further away and I couldn't be sure but this one was definitely picking at the fat balls.

Rohrerbot - Thanks Chris. Oh yes, I was SO excited re: the Waxwings. Shame about the camera but I did manage to get photos last time and for me it was the sighting that was so pleasing :) Wrens do tend to creep about! We do get them regularly and they usually nest each year but its amazing to see 6 and I do wonder how far they had travelled.

Pete - Many thanks :) Was SO excited to finally see them :)I really think they are at least in my top 5 of favourite birds :)

Deano said...

Nice Waxwing shots you got there Caroline.
I`ve noticed a few reports of Goldcrests coming to fatballs this winter.

Ragged Robin said...

Thanks Dean - shame they were from 2 years ago :) The light was really poor the other day so I doubt I would have got very good photos even had I had camera with me!! Interesting about the Goldcrests and the efforts birds make to survive.

ShySongbird said...

How lovely to have a Goldcrest at the feeders, I would love that! Well done on capturing it on camera too. Am I imagining it or have you had one in the garden before? I had a male and female Blackcap yesterday, they usually visit in the Winter :-)

Very well done on the Waxwings and that's a lovely photo from your archives! I have finally seen one locally, only the one but at last I've broken the bogey :-)

We have more heavy snow forecast for this evening, I suspect you may have too?

Ragged Robin said...

ShySongbird - Hi Jan. Yes, we do get irregular visits from Goldcrests - once saw a pair which was great :)

Well done on your Blackcaps especially two :) Had just one visit from a male last Winter.

So glad you have managed to see a Waxwing too - one better than none :) Perhaps we will both get more sightings :)

No snow yet - they seem to have revised weather forecast and it looks as though it will be arriving about 6.00 now.