Friday, December 03, 2010

Not So Mundane

Amazing Waxwings
This is our 10th day of being iced in at the marina and with my water and fuel running desperately low I'd put aside the best part of today to replenish my supplies. Fortunately through good planning we're able to maintain a single unfrozen water hose, but it does mean making several treks across and back with my containers to the designated area. 

With the early freezing fog I'd felt that today would be a mundane one but it wasn't long before I was cheered by the sight of a lone Woodcock which darted in front of me from the general direction of the Oxford Canal as I took an early morning stroll. The day was to get even better when I then had the good fortune to come across 6 pristine looking male Brambling taking advantage of one of the many feeders. This along with several members of the local Tree Sparrow population, plus Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Reed Bunting and the usual Tit's.

With a good cheer I began my many visits to the water station, but of course once a birder, always a birder, and each visit took even longer as I stopped every time I heard the call of Fieldfare or Redwing, in their hundreds today, along with 5 Buzzard, 3 Kestrel and Sparrowhawk which was being harassed by several Jackdaw and a very vocal Raven! Slowly and after around 3 hours I was in business once more, fuelled and watered and settled for a well earned cuppa.

Having now completed my chores a sudden rap on the door alerted me to one of the neighbours, breathless and in need of calming down! However, it wasn't long before I realised what the excitement was all about when to my utter amazement no less than 26 Waxwing had arrived and had the good manners to stay for around 15 minutes before heading off towards Napton Hill.

A further walk around the marina just prior to sunset and the plummeting temperature produced around 1000 Starling, heading for Napton Reservoir, and around 100 local Pied Wagtail. I thought that was the end to a terrific unscheduled birding day until the local Tawny Owls fired up and several Snipe flew west towards the reservoir, I just love living on the water!!