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Old 08-12-09, 01:01 PM
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Post Latest migration news 3rd December

(Martin's still away filming in Siberia, so the web team are posting for him.)

Another wonderful weekly catch up on bird world news from our friends at the BTO.

Will it be a 'waxwing winter'? Last year saw a large influx of these beautiful berry-gobbling wanderers from Scandinavia and beyond, and the winter of 2004/05 also saw large numbers of waxwings reaching Britain and Ireland. A few sightings have already been made this winter with individuals in Dublin and Galway and a flock of 23 seen in Suffolk this week.

Waxwing © Jill Pakenham / BTO
Waxwings are incredibly popular birds; not only do they look stunning and give a wonderful trilling call, but they also have a penchant for the crop of ornamental berry trees, which regularly attract them to areas of human habitation. Perhaps because they breed in areas where very few people live, waxwings are often fearless and can be easily observed gorging themselves on rowan, hawthorn or whitebeam berries, or lazily digesting their meals whilst perched on TV aerials or in leafless trees. The size and timing of waxwing irruptions are influenced by post-breeding population size and the abundance of its favourite food during autumn dispersal; let's hope 2009/10 proves to be another waxwing winter!

Stranded seabirds featured in two Autumnwatch blog posts in November. On 13 Nov we asked you to do something a bit gruesome: to check any tideline bird corpses for rings and (the less gruesome bit) for anyone lucky enough to find a bird with a ring on its leg to report the ring number. You never know, you might just find a bird with a story as incredible as that of a Manx shearwater! 2009 is the centenary of bird ringing; BTO bird ringers from across the country will be flocking to Swanwick in Derbyshire 4-6 December to share their latest findings and join in the celebrations. Visit our website if you are interested in finding out more about bird ringing.



More from BBC Autumnwatch...
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Old 09-12-09, 09:44 AM
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I did read somewhere that there had been a bumper crop of berries in Scandinavia this year, which will mean fewer Waxwings than usual in the UK this winter.
Disappointing as I've yet to see any!

Last edited by Bishopswood; 10-12-09 at 09:55 AM.
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