Monday, November 15, 2010

Saturday's Bird Shots

A few pictures from a walk along Swansea seafront with my big lens on Saturday last.
This juvenile Wood Pigeon was feeding near the footpath with many others of its species:

Rooks feed on the golf course, and have become quite used to passers by:

This Oystercatcher flew overhead, commuting between its various feeding grounds on the nearby beach and playing fields, as well as the golf course itself:

I talked to a local fellow who told me he had seen six Waxwings feeding in hawthorn trees on the golf course on Thursday. This was in exactly the same place where I had seen three during the 'invasion' of early 2005, so I went for a look. Unfortunately, they were not there now, but I did see some Waxwing-sized birds flying into a berry-bearing shrub across the main road, so I popped over to investigate. The birds I had hoped might be Waxwings were in fact Starlings:

Other birds feasting on these small cherries were a handful of Song Thrushes and Redwings, plus numerous Blackbirds, including this male:

I have set up a few Teasel seedheads in the sand-dunes at the top of the beach, and fill them up with niger seed every few days, hoping to attract Goldfinches. My efforts are beginning to pay off, and I was able to take a few photos in the afternoon sunshine:

My camera's battery now flat, I began walking the mile or two home. With Waxwings seemingly heading this way, I checked any berry-bearing trees and shrubs I saw for any sign of one of my favourite birds. As I turned left into Sketty Park Drive, about 4.15 p.m., I looked across the road to a group of Rowan trees growing on a grass verge, some still with berries. In the top of one of the taller trees was the unmistakable crested silhouette of a single Waxwing. Fantastic! I watched it through binoculars in the dusk light for three or four minutes, during which it barely moved, before rushing home to get another camera with a charged battery and a flashgun. On returning, you guessed it, the Waxwing was nowhere to be seen! Drat! It had probably been there feeding for some while, whilst I was photographing the common, but beautiful, species. Just my luck!
Anyway, I went out again on Sunday looking for Waxwings, but no sign of them, in Sketty Park Drive, or anywhere else.
Here's hoping I get another chance to see and photograph this species this year. If anyone reading this sees any Waxwings in the south Wales area, please let me know!


  1. so nice... I love your shot of birds, ma favourite is the black one, you catch his expression so good

    see you

  2. Great shots and nice find for the Waxwing. I don't know of any in South Wales yet but I am eagerly waiting as well.

  3. Greetings Jeremy! Gorgeous set of photos and a very lovely story, as I enjoyed reading about your wonderful afternoon birding! The colors of the berries and pattern on the Redwing is quite lovely and that look in the Blackbird's yellow-ringed eye, wow!

  4. Love your photos and the pretty birds in your region!

  5. Sorry you missed the Waxwing, but what STUNNING shots. I keep hoping to spot a Redwing round here ... haven't seen one this year yet.