Friday, 25 January 2013

Black Park & Eastcote - 25 January 2013

The weather looks less than promising this weekend so we decided to take one of our trips to Black Park lake and try to hand net Mandarins. This is something we do when it's too windy to do a full session using mistnets elsewhere in the park. When we've tried this before, we usually find the birds rather nervous of people - and the dogs that love leaping into the lake.


Much of the lake remained frozen.

The Mandarins kept their distance although they been much more confiding during the recent cold snap. We counted 31 in total.

However we did see a Goosander, the first we've ever seen there but it only stayed 20 minutes or so before departing, presumably to find somewhere with better feeding opportunities.

So, we moved on and after a fantastic breakfast at Griddles in Uxbridge, we went to see Mike and Margaret in Eastcote. They had seen two Waxwings outside their house on the previous day and, since Mike also rings, were trying for a catch. When we arrived just one had been seen coming to Pyracantha berries in a garden opposite.The 20ft net was in place - although success was unlikely with just the one bird present. Chris put out the audio lure but this didn't seem to be helpful as the bird flew off before long. The box was taken in and Mike put up a 60ft in the garden. We continued frequentmonitoring of the nets and an hour or so later the Waxwing had returned with pals and up to 12 birds remained throughout the day.

There was a lot of loafing in between feeding forays.

They rather liked the berries in the garden up the road.

Guttering became a convenient drinking trough.

We managed to catch a 5M bird in Mike's garden.

Later two more birds were caught in the neighbour's garden across the road. The bird below is a 5F.

We were later joined by two more members of the group, neither of which had seen thesebirds in the hand before, but there were no more captures. Many thanks to M&M for their hospitality. Ringing's always better with tea and biscuits. 


Waxwing - 3