Thursday, 17 March 2011
I was cycling home on Sunday from a 30 mile bike ride along the Erewash Valley Trail. Despite having picked up a puncture somewhere in Ilkeston, I was quite content with the fact that I'd managed to spot some Water Voles along the way in the Nottingham Canal and the sun was still shining. I turned on to Long Lane in Attenborough for the final stretch of the trip and as I approached the Cemex plant a familiar sound came from the trees above - 150 Waxwings!
I tracked them down to a feeding spot on Milton Crescent where they were gorging themselves on the berries of an ornamental Rowan. I tried calling Kevin and Mick P, but nobody was answering. I feared that we would lose our oppurtunity to ring these birds, then at around 5:00pm the birds moved off to roost.
Mick P called me back later that night and we decided to try an early morning netting session. Arriving at 7:30am on Monday morning, the waxies had beat us to it and were already sat in the tree. Within half an hour of getting the nets up, we already started to catch some birds. A mixture of juvs, adults, males and females. We continued to catch small quantities despite most of the flock (c.100) flying over the nets.
We ended up with 17 birds and one House Sparrow. Not bad for a mornings work.
We returned Tuesday afternoon following further sightings on the street, yet despite increasing the number of nets we had up (and 80 or so waxwings flying overhead) we only caught a Blackbird...some you win, some you lose!