14th November 2012 – Wonderful Waxwings…

One of the good things about driving for a living is that obviously I’m not stuck in an office all day like so many others who also have to work for a living. Driving around the Carlisle and North Cumbria area means that very occasionally I can get to see some good birds whilst on the move! And fortunately whenever there’s a influx of Waxwings, Carlisle seems to get more than it’s fair share, making them virtually impossible to miss… So since last Friday I have been finding lots of these berry munchers on my travels, but today was my first opportunity to go and enjoy them properly. Unfortunately though, as so often seems to be the case, my rest day fell on yet another crappy day for weather – when will the sun ever come out again? – it’s so bleedin’ dark all the time! But try as hard as it might, even the gloomyness wasn’t going to spoil my enjoyment as I chased a large flock of these beauties around the incredibly busy and noisy Kingstown Industrial Estate. At times the birds were so close I could’ve touched them, I was surrounded by the constant ‘trilling’ as they flew around me. Clearly they can be very tame, and the only thing that kept them constantly on the move was the noise from loud lorries and constant traffic rumbling by – it was strange to watch such stunning creatures with all this was going on around me, people driving and walking by and not even giving them a glance – they really don’t know what they’re missing do they?! Still – it’s their loss…

My time with them was fantastic, and I tried desperately to ignore the ‘background’ noise. But the wagons zipping past just feet away, idiots beeping their horns, and weird glances from passers by, all gave me a feeling of increasing awkwardness. It’s one of the things that as a birder I have never quite been able to get my head around… why is society seemingly unable to grasp that watching birds and wildlife is pleasureable? If I went out and got stupidly drunk, or joined the thousands of people going to watch some blokes kick a football around, no-one would give me a second look – but put some bins round your neck and go birdwatching and suddenly you become labelled as a social outcast! People eh? I’ll never understand them! Needless to say I left the Waxwings in peace(!) and came home.

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7 Responses to 14th November 2012 – Wonderful Waxwings…

  1. craig@shaw6009.freeserve.co.uk says:

    Awesome Darren


    Craig Shaw


  2. Mike Mills says:

    What a stunning set of shots Darren, just as well that digital came along, imagine being on slide film! No it just wouldn’t be the same.
    You’re dead right about peoples attitudes. We watch a modest bunch of 10 at Cleator Moor on Sunday. Out of 9 folk who walked by no-one even looked in the direction of the birds to see what we were so interested in. One old boy engaged in conversation and wittered on while we watched. When he set off we mumbled goodbye without a look in his direction. Blow me he turned and came back and showed us an image on his camera that he was telling us about – we couldn’t make it out until he enlarged it. I was anticipating that he’d found another flock somewhere else, but no he just wanted to show us a crap shot of … a pheasant in his garden!
    He wouldn’t even take the bait that what we were watching might have been of interest and he wandered off without turning his camera on 10 little gems.

    Funny old world eh! Still that’s Cleator Moor. We’re all a bit strange .

    Mike and Lyn

  3. I know just how you feel Darren, the same thing happened to me while photographing them on the side of the A6 in Penrith.
    Great pic by the way. All the best Gordon.

  4. Fantastic shots Darren. Know what you mean about beeping horns, etc. Birding along Marine Drive at Marshside is a nightmare – birder with bins ‘n ‘scope at a bird reserve – would you believe it, better beep the horn!

    Bet you’re out goose watching at the moment.


  5. How fantastic 🙂

    Was this anywhere near the nature reserve?

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