Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Birdwatching at the Cemetery.

It was great to see that the Waxwings are hanging about. Kate spotted 91 of them in a tree in Nairn Cemetery as we were walking on the footpath outside. Their behaviour is very similar to that of the Starling at this time of year. They group into large flocks and fly in formation, but not as fast or as spectacularly as the fantastic Starling displays. When they fly their wing beat is a bit faster, but when gliding into to land they could easily be mistaken for Starlings as they make the shape of a diamond with their wings. Only a slight curve into the body at the base of the wing differentiates them from the Starling.

The Waxwings attracted us into the cemetery for more! What was noticeable in there was the large number of Blackbirds. We have seen very few this year, probably as a result of the hard winter last year, but today there were at least 15 of them darting from grave to grave; screaming their familiar flight call as they passed low in front of us. I look forward to getting them back in the garden this winter. 

The cemetery is a lovely and peaceful place to do some bird watching, and a fascinating place to get a feel for the history of Nairn.  So the next time you are out for a wander, pop into the cemetery - and don't forget your binoculars!

I was visiting a local farm at the weekend and enjoyed watching the Redwings resting in the trees. I was confused by what I thought was sound of Fieldfares, so I trained my binoculars on the trees that the rattling Fieldfare noise was coming from, but all I could see was Redwings. Then I spotted a solitary Mistle Thrush at the rear of the tree. This is a much bigger bird that the Redwing and slightly larger than the Fieldfare. It has a similar call to the Fieldfare: a jangling, rattling warble. You would likely to see this bird, with a companion, foraging for food on the ground, often standing upright to observe their surroundings and then marching onwards uncovering their food.

One final point to note: the Whooper Swans have found the fields at the back of Auldearn again; I remember they wintered here last year. 34 of them so far and no doubt more to come.

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