While I love this blog, I now pretty much only write on my other two blogs: BirdingBlogs.com and 10,000 Birds - I would love to see you there!

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Bohemian Waxwings and Snowfinches in Tirol

I had just been wondering when things here would start looking up again. Sure, some of the birds are starting to sing and that is lovely. but not much is really happening here in the mountains on the bird front.

Then, this morning, I saw a single White-winged Snowfinch [see BirdPost map] in what only can be described as blizzard-like conditions, at the top of a mountain (Nößlachjoch above Steinach am Brenner). I found this rather strange as they tend to collect in larger flocks in wintertime. Maybe this guy was just wandering about by himself, or the rest of the flock was out of sight (this would not surprise me). Or, maybe these guys have started thinking about returning to their high alpine haunts to start setting up territories as they tend to be early breeders. If you are interested in White-winged Snowfinches, you might want to check out some of my other snowfinch posts.

Heading off of the Autobahn this afternoon, I saw a flock of birds fly over the traffic circle I was approaching.
Their shape and flight was not familiar.
I craned my head out of the window.
narrowly avoided a blue car.
starlings? thrushes?
red car hoots.
was that a crest?
no, can't be.
hard jolt as car bounces off sidewalk
pretty sure that was a crest.
hand brakes were invented for a reason.

I found a spot to park. Cursed for having taken my swaros out of the boot this morning.
Definately 14 lovely Bohemian Waxwings in the tree above me.
Cursed again for not having my camera.

If you use your imagination, you can see the Bohemian Waxwings there in the top of the tree. Don't blame me for the chromatic aberration. My cell phone is only just good enough to make phone calls and asking it to take bird ID photos is always going to be a challenge (but see my digiphoned Black Tern here, which I was rather proud of).

For those of you interested in the details, there were 14 waxwings in all, and had flown from the Völser Innau, landing in the trees at the large traffic circle outside Cyta Shopping Center, Völs (about 5km West of Innsbruck). The sighting map is here.

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