Sunday, 3 April 2011

Waxwing and other things at Kirkstall Abbey

Walking along the riverbank by Kirkstall Abbey I heard a familiar trilling in the treetops, and looked up  to see a flock of 20 Waxwing. Up until a couple of months ago I'd never knowingly seen Waxwing but was confident of a sighting having heard reports of flocks appearing in previous years in the urban parks of Leeds to feed on winter berries.

I consider myself lucky to have spotted them in Leeds on 4 separate occasions.  Firstly in January from my bedroom window (15), then half an hour later in the centre of town (50) and then my previous sighting during a coffee run at work (15) in a beech tree beside the Students Union just over a week ago. I'd read that they visit from November to March so I assumed that would be the last opportunity of the year to see them before they head back up to Scandinavia .

Walking on, I spotted them again in the treetops overlooking the rugby pitch, next to a busy Kirstall Road, Kirkstall Abbey is visible in the background.

Looping back down by the River Aire, on the opposite riverbank this Fox strode purposefully throught the grass, stopping to watch us for a few minutes before heading into the scrub. If I happen to see it again it'll be easily identified as it appears to have half a tail.


Other wildlife included a couple of Great Spotted Woodpecker, Kestrel, male and female Goosander, Wren, Mistle Thrush, Goldfinch, Great Tit, Blackbird, Robin, Jackdaw, Wood Pigeon, Mallard, Moor Hen and two Treecreeper's going about their business in this riverside willow.


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