Saturday, 12 January 2013

Beaconsfield Motorway Services - 11 January 2013

Accompanied by EP, ESA and RMA we travelled from Chobham Common to the services on the M40 to see whether a Waxwing catch might be possible. Since they were first spotted at our previous attempt for Pied Wagtails on the 4th, the numbers have reached in excess of 40. Sadly, there were only 7 birds at the usual spot. They were still loafing in the tall trees and making forays down to the ornimental berry bushes on the services access road.

Netting looked difficult as the bushes were densely planted and mistnets could only be erected behind the planted area. The chance of catching from 7 birds was much reduced than had there been a larger flock.

We were relying on the birds flushing away from the rosehips as large vehicles travelled along the entrance  road. We had seen them doing this earlier in the week, but these birds had learnt to ignore the traffic and we were unlucky. The net came down and we took a break until it was time to set nets for the Pied Wagtail roost. 

We again tried nets either side of the roost trees. The birds again dropped into the coach park for a toddle about before retiring to roost. When they did move to the trees they flew high and dropped in, rather than gaining height gradually from the tarmac ( and potentially being intercepted by a mistnet.) There definitely appeared to be an element of net evasion going on and the catch was poor as a result. Again, there were no retraps.

Pied Wagtail - 5 female

Pied Wagtail, adult male


Pied Wagtail - 6