Friday, 19 November 2010

Waxie News

It’s been a month now since the waxwings started arriving in Aberdeen, and over 400 birds have been colour ringed.

OOB photographed at Penicuik, Midlothian by John Hogg

Please keep checking all flocks (and photographs) for colour-ringed birds. Recent sightings have come from Montrose (Harry Bickerstaff); Hogganfield Loch, Glasgow (Jim Duncan) and Manchester (Kane Brides).

Jim Duncan sent a photograph of a colour-ringed bird showing only the metal and white ring which wasn’t enough to identify the individual. He very kindly returned the next day only to get a photograph of a different colour-ringed bird! Tarry Harry at Aboyne colour-ringed 3 in his garden on 7/11/10 before the birds moved. 2 of them turned up in Aberdeen a couple of weeks later while it sounds like Kane Brides and colleagues saw the 3rd one in Manchester!

An Orkney bird (triple yellow) turned up and was photographed in George Begg’s garden in Oldmeldrum, a village 30km NW of Aberdeen, at 10am on 21/11. Raymond then saw the same bird 3 hours later on the south side of Aberdeen.

Allenvale Cemetery has been one of the main ringing sites with Lindsay able to look out of his window and call up a few troops for a ringing session when the birds are around. We’ve also had smash and grabs in and around the city but “The Shrine” has come into its own this past 2 weeks with nearly 200 birds caught in 5 visits. Usually this site, with 5 white rowan berry trees, is stripped in a few days a bit later in the season but with wide spread berries still available around town the birds seem to be coming and going here this winter, giving us some great ringing opportunities.

This site was first stumbled upon by Alan Leitch in 1990. He was sacked from his job at the Coop in Westhill after he phoned in “sick” and his boss spotted him out ringing waxwings the same day! Next day he borrowed Raymond’s car, got completely lost in Aberdeen, and had to slam on the brakes as a flock of waxwings nearly hit the car as they flew out across the road from the rowan trees. Alan now lives on Orkney so it is really smart indeed that we have recaptured 2 of the birds he has recently ringed on Orkney at The Shrine in the past 2 weeks.
Thanks very much to Betty Rait and all the other residents of “The Shrine” for allowing us to ring in this rather public site.

Raymond

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