Friday, 5 April 2013

When do the Waxwings go and richt braw Scottish Waxwing bird table

Many people ask when do the Waxwings leave.

The graphs below of numbers on fruit in gardens in Aberdeen in previous invasions gives some idea.

Timings differ between invasions but it’s not uncommon to have a large number (100+) during April when they start to fatten up and depart.

Double figures remain into May. The sudden increase and decrease in early May 2005 was accompanied by a bird caught which had been ringed earlier in the winter in Bristol, suggesting a surge of birds heading back north. However this appears to be very unusual. The number of birds returning back north is very, very small in comparison to the number which pass through earlier in the winter. Of probably over 1,000 colour-ring sightings in England, Wales and Ireland over the years none of these birds have been recorded back with us in NE Scotland on return spring migration. Most appear to depart from where they have settled earlier in the winter.

Finally thank you very much to Wendy Anderson for sending us a photograph of one of our colour-ringed birds from Aberdeen feeding in her garden in Culloden, near Inverness, 128km NW of Aberdeen. Their Waxwing “Scottish bird table” gave us all a richt guid chuckle. The colour-ringed bird can be seen top left. Hugh Insley and co. made a fine catch the following day, catching all 38 in a oner with a whoosh net.


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