Tag Archives: sidensvans

The return of the waxwings

Most of the thrushes were gone today, replaced by a flock of about 120 waxwings (sidensvans), picking up from where the thrushes left off!
The first two videos show waxwings eating apples opened up by fieldfares and blackbirds yesterday and also eating guelder rose (krossved) berries, so far not touching the elderberries (svarthyll).

Earlier in the day, the waxwings were hunting insects on birch trees and occasionally high into the air in pursuit of insects:

…and the morning after, they had discovered the yew berries!

…and on unharvested redcurrants (rips)….with a fieldfare (gråtrost) and brambling (bjørkefink) at the end of the video!

Yew berry year and the vine

There are an enormous number of yew berries on the tree next to the kitchen window this year  and this video shows how a vine (probably Vitis coignetiae) has found its way towards the light high up in the yew, which is Taxus × media “Hicksii”, the Anglojap or Hicks’ yew,  which is a hybrid of Taxus baccata and Taxus cuspidata.
Most will be left for the birds, bringing both waxwings (sidensvans) and blackbirds (svarttrost) close to the house!

Rowans and thrushes

Large flocks of noisy (in the positive sense) thrushes in the garden this morning. A flock of a 100 or so fieldfares (gråtrost) and a few redwings (rødvingetrost), song heard again today, were feeding on rowan berries, most of the birds lifting at the end of this video. At the same time there was visible migration happening. I counted a continuous stream of some 200 birds in 10 minutes moving westwards! A few waxwings (sidensvans) have also arrived.  Yes, rowans are a must have in the garden although I don’t use them much myself.

RIP Bombycilla garrulus

It doesn’t happen very often but the last few days at least 3 waxwings (sidensvans) flew into a window on the house, two of which recovered (have put something in the window to discourage them). Probably discoordinated after partying too hard on fermenting apples :(
I can only remember once finding a dead waxwing next to the house (and on occason there can be up to 1,000 of them in the garden).

Waxwings everywhere

Part of the biggest flock of waxwings (sidensvans) in the garden today, around 350 birds!….seriously distracted all day by these photogenic arctic “parrots”! Feeding on yew (barlind), hawthorn (hagtorn), elderberries (svarthyll) and guelder rose (krossved) berries…

1. Waxwings in flight

2.  Waxwings on the yew tree by the kitchen window

3. Waxwings on yew berries in the neighbour’s garden

4. Waxwings and sunrise

5. In this film you can hear waxwing poop falling to the ground…I thought it was raining!