Sunday, February 20, 2011
At last..... the Waxwing invasion that began in autumn last year has been one of the avian highlights of recent months, and from my urban outpost at Stoke Newington Reservoirs, I've had my fair share since the influx began; a couple fresh-in at the end of October, followed by a flock in mid December, and then a series of flocks (ranging in size from five to 60) during January and February. All good, except for the one thing they all had in common - all have been fly-throughs.
Over the last few weeks, several flocks have temporarily settled elsewhere in Hackney, some for a short period, others for longer; and the most reliable troupe have been here in Stoke Newington, visiting an enclave of back gardens between Winston and Albion Roads.
Sharp-eyed locals Penny and Neil have hosted a flock of variable size intermittently for over six weeks, kindly keeping me posted as the flock began to visit almost daily. A combination of work commitments and misguided patch faithfulness meant it took until this week to finally crack, and after an unsuccessful visit a few days ago, today, success.
A cold, damp and bleak Sunday afternoon prevented doing photographic justice to a group of 23 of the trilling beauties, but from the comfort of an upstairs window a short bus ride away, it hardly mattered. One of those birds it's seemingly impossible not to be heart-warmed by, and even better to see them posing beautifully in our beleagered urban borough.
....and a couple of different 'perspectives' of a flock in Bedfordshire in 2009 (for more, see here).
(Thanks again to Neil and Penny)