Last night I got a tip-off from Roger B that he’d seen a flock of waxwings in Crosspool at 4pm yesterday. I was starting to worry that despite the waxwing-heavy winter they may escape my 2009 list due to recent sightings being too far away for a lunchtime dash (such as the recent flock at Hackenthorpe), or me not knowing about them until after they’d gone (the 100-odd by Mecca Bingo on Penistone Road a couple of weeks ago would have been ideal!).
It didn’t take me long to find them today – there were about 40 in a tall tree on Coldwell Lane, close to the junction of Manchester Road. Not showing too well for photographic purposes – as the photo above shows!
That brings the year’s total to 99. I also heard my first tawny owls of the year hooting close to the house last night, but I’ve made a decision not to let heard-onlies on the list this year, and I’m sure it won’t be too long until I see one perched on the telegraph pole outside the bedroom window. I may be cursing this self-imposed rule when it’s time for the cuckoos and grasshopper warblers, though!