White posts and waxwings

“Brrrrriiiinnnng….brrrriiinnng….brrriiinnng” went the two Waxwings as they scoffed berries from the central reservation on the A565 at Banks this morning as Neill and I watched ’em.
Lovely things as ever, if the racing traffic was a bit of a distraction.
Even better one of them (presumably a male, looking at the size of its crest), was colour ringed.
Who does that?
Yellow under metal (BTO) on the right leg, yellow, green and red on the left leg – see pics below.

The ringed bird had a pronounced “nail” on its bill tip too. Odd.
We watched the Waxwings for about 30 minutes or so, not forgetting to year tick the Banks Little Owl chilling on its barn on full zoom across the fields (don’t worry purists, I did motor round so we could “drive-by” tick it as well…).

Earlier we started off on the marsh with the young Scaup and Pochards in front of Nels at 60x hyper-zoom from the Hesketh Rd platform, Water Rail squealing in the SSSI ditch and at least three Sprawks in the area.
From the Sandplant the sub-adult male Hen Harrier was sitting out in the distance, two Merlin were hunting and Peregrine, 3 Marsh Harrier and Kestrels were about.
The Hen Harrier was a blob in the mist through the camera, but showed quite well via the ‘scope as an almost warm spell of all too brief sun got the Skylarks singing.

See?
Distant blobbbage.
At least the white survey posts make finding birds easy peasy out there these days (assuming you know which white post folk are referring too).
Neill picked up a group of four Barnacle Geese with the Pinks, and two Stonechats were on the fenceline.
Post-Waxwings I drove out onto Boundary Lane in the badlands, where a herd of about 200 Whoopers held at least six Bewick’s Swans – there were possibly more as a few distant white lumps were dozing, heads and necks hidden.

After that we buzzed over to Martin Mere (hi Andy) before hatching a cunning and inevitably messy, beer-related Sunday afternoon plan…

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