Bird's Eye View of Bute

Waxwings

(1) Waxwing
(1) Waxwing
(2) Waxwing
(2) Waxwing
(3) Waxwing
(3) Waxwing
(4) Waxwing
(4) Waxwing


A Birds Eye View of Bute

A rare wee bird at the TSB is enjoying itself eating the red berries at the adjacent gardens, giving the public a rare view of a winter arrival.

 

Saturday the 13th of February, 2010, as I was walking along Montague St I noticed a small girl with her mother looking at something in the bushes right beside the banks windows which look out into the gardens, when I saw what had attracted their attention, a lovely wee Waxwing.
Well, I have seen them before only once before in Union St, and I caught them on my Camcorder, but was always wanted to get one still shot, so that I could show it to you, and now I can. They arrive during most winters, some times in their thousands since 1679-80, with four successive invasions in 1956-60 which beat all records when more that 11,000 were recorded in two weeks, but by the time that they arrive most of their favourite food , the Rowan Berries have been stripped of the trees, so they move onto the berries of ornamental trees and shrubs, like what is beside the TSB in the gardens there.
In Norfolk, in February 1957, in two days a party of seven stripped the berries on 100 sq ft of a cotoneaster growing on a cottage. One bird ate 390 berries, roughly its own weight , in two and a half hours. The speed that they eat them it's a wonder they could be counted, not a job that I would like.

Recognition, waxy red, white and yellow markings on wing ; bright yellow tip to tail ; prominent crest ;black throat ; chestnut and grey above. pink-brown below. looks like a large plump finch at first glance.
It is reckoned that the ones that arrive here breed in Finland. ( according to my book 1981).
Altogether a very welcome bird which allows you to get quite close to it, so hopefully it will still be around when this is in the Buteman.

Norrie Mulholland


First published in the Buteman 2010.

 

 

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