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lyskonoh úzkozobý, samice / Red-necked Phalarope, female (Phalaropus lobatus)

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Sunday, 14 November 2010 19:53

thumb Waxwings invade Bergen

 

I remember the winter 2008/2009 when large flocks of Bohemian Waxwings (Bombycilla garrulus) appeared in Czech republic and other European countries – it was a spectacle for ornithologists and photographers. I was lucky to spend few weeks at home during Christmas time and watch these beautiful birds flying around and feeding on frozen fruits left on the trees. Although a good number of these birds appeared, I managed to take a few pretty bad shots with only two of them being of an average quality after substantial effort in Photoshop. The good thing that happened that time was that I fell in love with Waxwings – the birds are a symbol of far north for me; a symbol of cold and desolate corners of Siberia and other sub-Arctic regions around the globe. Their metal twittering gives another lively dimension to the frozen country during wintertime.

 

Snack - Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus), Sotra, Norway

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Having in mind the Waxwings usually visit Central Europe in large numbers every 3 – 5 years, I thought the possibility to see another Waxwings before 2011 were quite small. So you can imagine my surprise when after returning from trip to Namibia in October I found that Waxwings were kind of flooding whole Norway including Bergen area – the place we live now.

 

Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus), Sotra, Norway

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Here the Waxwings are every-year sight but usually in rather small numbers directly migrating south. This year was different – in area of Bergen and surrounding islands Waxwing flocks numbering up to several hundreds individuals lingered for more than two weeks at the end of October and there are still some occasional records by now.

 

Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus), Sotra, Norway

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I spent only two days by looking for Waxwings at Sotra Island – I was lucky the first day to see a number of flocks but it was just impossible to get closer for any photograph. After several hours of hopeless driving I turned off at a parking lot near the road and watched a flock of thirty birds feeding on Juniper berries. Surprisingly the group got closer to the lot so I took the camera out from a bag and got out of my car. The birds came even closer and perched on a nearby tree. They let me quite close to take few decent shots – it was very windy and light conditions were not great either. In spite of that, I was more than happy – not because of those few pictures but because of the close encounter with these beautiful birds! I was not sure in that moment, if I was watching them or they were watching me…

 

Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus), Sotra, Norway

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The other day I encountered a flock of about fifteen birds at the very northern part of the island. I was curious what keeps the birds to linger at one spot – the reason was very simple and obvious – the hedge with black-coloured berries fencing one of the houses in the village of Hellesoy. I’m certainly not that kind of photographer who does everything for the picture and attracts attention of the locals by creeping on the ground of somebody’s garden but this time I could not resist and I hanged around the house and peeked into the backyards where the birds were feeding on the berries. Fortunately the Norwegians are not very talkative people so they let me do things without any notion and I took a few quite good pictures during that one hour.

 

Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus), Sotra, Norway

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Endnote: Recently, shortly after the appearance of Waxwings in Norway, observations have been reported from Belgium and other western European countries. It would be great if this winter would again be in token of Waxwings invasion to Central Europe but as the friends told me, there is not much food for this season in there – no fruit and hardly some berries left. Well, we will see what this season brings but I wish all of you to catch that famous and unmistakable sound of the overflying flock of Bohemian Waxwings, the visitors from the far north…

 


 

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 January 2011 08:45
 
Comments (56)
  • Ondřej Prosický

    Pěkné fotečky! Krasavci, loni ani pírko, tak snad letos. Zdravím na sever, Ondra

  • Jirka

    Ahoj Ondro, nejaka pozorovani jsou uz z Cech hlasena tak snad se preci jen zadari. Staci sledovat pozorovani na birds.cz

  • Libor Jabůrek

    Ahoj Jirko, třetí a čtvrtá fotka jsou lahoda pro oko! Krásné snímky, gratuluji!

    Měj se fajn, Libor

  • Jirka

    Diky Libore! Ja se zase obcas chodim divat na Tve Stehliky - u nas jsem zatim lepsi nevidel!

  • Jirsa

    U nás (kousek za Rožnovem p.R.) se teď dva dny zdržovalo asi 100 hlavé hejno na šípcích kolem cesty. Mně se podařila asi jen jedna fotka jinak vše do koše :o( Snad se tam ještě ukážou.

  • Jirka

    Ahoj Radomíre, není vždycky posvícení, já tu od Brkoslavů nenafotil nic kloudného, ty máš kolem úžasné lokality!
    Přeji Ti, ať se příště více zadaří, Brkoslavi jsou nádherní ptáci! Tady se občsa také pár jedinců ukáže ale hlavní tah už je dávno pryč.

  • Mila

    Díky těm krásným fotkám brkoslavů jsem zjistila, co nám to zrovna přistálo na ořechu. Koukala jsem jako blázen, co je to tady za ptáky. I když prý jsou tu v posledních letech celkem běžně vidět.

  • Jirka

    Ahoj Milo, setkání s Brkoslavy je vždy úžasné - hlavně ten jejich zvonivý cvrkot je jako z jiného světa, navíc jsou často dost krotcí a člověk se k nim může přiblížit na malu vzdálenost. Ačkoliv se dají Brkoslavi u nás vidět každý rok, jednou za pár let se objevují ve velkých počtech jako se stalo např před dvěma lety v prosinci a lednu.

  • Marie Kadaníková  - Brkoslavi severní

    Dobrý den- měla jsem to velké štěstí, že jsem letos- v půlce února 2013- při vycházce po Plzni-Kušutce, viděla velké hejno/cca 30 ks/ těchto krásných ptáků.Celý holý strom/asi jeřabina, ovšem bez plodů/ byla jimi asi 10 min obsypána. Nevěřila jsem svým očím, jelikož jsem je ještě nikdy na živo neviděla.

  • Jiri SLama

    Dobry den pani Kadanikova, jsem stale v zahranici ale vim, ze letos prisla do Cech opet invaze Brkoslavu - po 4 letech, takze statistiky nelzou :-) Gratuluju k zazitku, videt brkoslavy je neco jako poprve se podivat k mori - tak trochu exoticka podivana, ktera je nazivo az neskutecna. Nekteri Brkoslavi jsou dost netecni k cloveku tak priste muzete zkusit stesti a prohledout si je zblizka :-)

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