More waxwings, mandarins and others

Today started off well, with a singing chiffchaff up the garden, and got even better on my way to the tram stop with a flock of 25 waxwings which were in a tall poplar south of the Loxley, and flew over my head on Loxley Road. Nice!

I spend the day at Ladies’ Spring Wood at Beauchief, where I was on a field trip for my vegetation analysis module. I can’t believe I’ve never been here before – it’s a gorgeous piece of ancient woodland, through which the River Sheaf runs, and is only a short hop from the City Centre. There were many interesting plants to see, as well as woodland birds such as stock dove, nuthatch and great spotted woodpecker, and a pair of grey wagtails on the river.

The best spot of the day was a year-tick I was very much hoping to get today, as I knew this stretch of the Sheaf was one of their local strongholds… just as I hoped two mandarins were on the river by the weir, and flew into the nearby trees when my group approached. It’s very strange indeed to see ducks in trees!

Mandarin

Mandarin

One the way back home I walked back by the Loxley. No waxwings to be seen, but I did get a pair of bullfinches and three redwings, both in the woods opposite the house. A good day all round!

Finally here’s a shot of one of the captive red deer at Beuchief Hall, which was posing nicely while we had our lunch.

Red Deer

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Pete

My name is Pete

3 thoughts on “More waxwings, mandarins and others”

  1. Mandarins actually nest in holes in trees, so they’re well used to spending time in them. I’m not sure what adaptations their feet have for this… something for me to look up!

  2. It was extraordinary to see those two ducks perched in the branches.

    Last year I got some close views of semi-captive manadarins at Grange-over-Sands. The drakes seemed to be particularly ungainly on land.

    One of the photos I took shows a drake mandarin walking. His feet don’t appear to have any obvious adaptations for tree climbing. The photo is here.

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