Blog #4 – A Cracking Start To 2017: Wild Waxwings

On New Year’s Day I went to the James Hamilton Heritage Park in Stewartfield, East Kilbride to try out my new scope. I didn’t expect to see much because it’s only a small loch.

It was freezing and there was a lot of ice but surprisingly there were a lot of bird species around.  I only had to walk a quarter of the way round until I saw some Scaup.  I didn’t even need to set up the scope at this point because three of them were only a couple of metres away which gave me the chance to get a few close up photos.

Scaup (male)


Scaup (juvenile/female)

Once I’d got some decent shots I walked further round the loch and saw six snipe preening themselves. They were quite far away at a part of the loch which was inaccessible so then I set up my scope and saw them really clearly.  

I also saw lot of other species around like Herring Gull, Tufted Duck, Goosander, Mallard, Canada and Greylag geese, Moorhen, Coot, Cormorant, Robin and Black-Headed Gull.


Later that day I went to the Hup-Lee Restaurant (Motherwell) a for New Year’s meal with my family.  On returning to the car park after our meal we spotted over 100 Waxwings on a large poplar tree; unfortunately I didn’t have my camera and was so annoyed!

The following day I returned with my camera to try and find them.  As soon as we got to the restaurant a large flock moving from tree to tree flew right over me. Fortunately I managed to get some nice shots. I was really happy because although I’d seen a number of waxwings already this winter I certainly hadn’t managed to see over 200 at the same time or get any decent shots with my camera.





I finished off the day with a quick stop-off at RSPB Barron’s Haugh, Motherwell where I saw a Shellduck, Wigeon, Teal, Grey Heron, Mallards and lots of other common birds and a number of small mice and field voles. 

As the sun started to set I headed back to my house, I was very happy with our sightings for the day!

Author: Michael Sinclair

My name is Michael Sinclair and I’m a young naturalist from Glasgow although I can be seen all over the place doing crazy things.

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