The Safari loaded up Frank and headed off in an easterly direction this morning. 20 minutes later we were parked up with a dozen or so other birders in a back street of terraced houses overlooking a small park with some swings a bit of grass and half a dozen berry-laden Rowan trees. Word on the street was we'd just missed two Waxwings but they were likely to come round again fairly soon.
We waited and the local Blackbirds and Mistle Thrush tucked into the food that should have been left for the exotic voisitors. The Mistle Thrush was particularly noughty vigorously keeping the other birds away from 'his' berries.
Time passed and we waited and waited until three more flew over almost immediately joined by nearly two dozen more. They circled and looked like they were going to drop when - whoooosh - a Sparrowhawk tazzed through them - they were off like a shot - - darn it!!!
Nothing for it but to keep up the vigil and guess we'd have to wait about half an hour before they'd show again.
A pair of Coal Tits moved through and the Mistle Thrush continued to defend his berries against all comers. More interesting was a male Chaffinch that dropped in from quite high and proceeded to neck down berries on the most isolated of the trees.
Eventually a flock of 12 Waxwings appeared minutes before we'd planned to leave as we had chores to do....pppphhheewwwww!!!
Sadly they stayed right at the top of the highest tree in the park and refused to drop down on to the eye-level berries.
Still we left well happy..much better views than the bizarre flyover we had at Base Camp in the spring.
Talking of bizarre we were on a forum and the chat concerned Magpies dangling off feeders like Blue Tits. Something we've witnessed at Magpie Wood and the nature reserve but not very often. Frank dragged us past Magpie Wood where luck would have it in the garden of the corner house was a Magpie with its beak stuck in the port of a hanging seed feeder dragging out the contents like there was no tomorrow! How weird was that?
Also on the walk round Patch 1 - yes he got all the way round the park and played with a couple of long lost friends - was the Peregrine on the tower and a Goldcrest in the line of tall evergreens.
Where to next? The small matter of the Dolphin Watch tomorrow morning, wind permitting.
In the meantime let us know what's swallowing all the berries in your outback.