Wednesday, 8 December 2010

A School Tick and More Waxwings

I thought I'd quickly drop in a post to say that my 'urban birding' is still coming on strong. There have been a reasonable number of Waxwings about in the city within the last week and a half or so, with the biggest flock being c.50 over Rose Street on the 30th November, and since December has started the largest flock I have had was 30 on Osborne Place on the 3rd, the first flock in a while that I had seen perched up on top of a tree rather in flight. Despite enjoying the very close views I was getting, the flock got spooked by a Sparrowhawk after about 5 minutes, bombing it southwards, so I didn't have too long to enjoy them.

The highlight, though, has to go to an unexpected school tick on the 3rd. I was sitting in Biology (on the top floor) at 1:00pm. I sat there, staring out the window as I waited for the lunch bell to go, when I noticed a medium-sized, plump looking bird zoom past. I rose to my feet to see what it was, knowing that was something interesting, and discovered that it was a Woodcock. I watched it as it went westwards, erratically zigzagging back and forth at high speed, propelling it further and further away until it became a mere dot and then disappeared. I sat back down, delighted and pleasantly surprised to have come across a bird that I rarely see in the city, let alone in school. I am pretty certain that this individual had been brought into the towns due to the bitterly cold and harsh conditions that we are experiencing right now. A very nice school tick indeed!

This weekend I'm hoping to get out and do some birding. There has been a Glaucous Gull near Girdleness in Torry, which I am hoping will stick around so I can have a try for it. I am also hoping to go up to Peterhead Harbour, where a couple of Iceland Gulls have been recently. It's not so much a trip for year-tick purposes (seen Iceland already this year), but photography purposes. My aim would be to get up close and get some close range shots of them. I have heard the best way to do this is to have a substantial supply of bread at hand to lure them in... I think I will have a search in the bread bin to see if there's any old bread worth using... if not, I'll have to go up to the shop and get some!

Thanks for reading, hopefully I'll have some Iceland Gull shots to show you when I next post, and maybe even Glaucous Gull shots if I'm lucky.


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