Sunday, 13 February 2011
Worth Another Look....Waxwings
It had been the end of November last year when I had last seen waxwings. Since then waxwings have spread far and wide through the country and there will be few birdwatchers and photographers who have not had the opportunity to see these fabulous visitors from Scandanavia.An excellent supply of berries this winter has kept them going through the severe wintry weather and they will now be thinking of returning to their breeding grounds in the far north of Europe.
I got news late last week that there was another decent flock of waxwings in the vicinity and I had decided to visit the area with Mike to see if we could find the birds. So it was on Saturday morning we met up on what was to be a better day weatherwise than other days last week. Mike had received news that morning of another group of birds which had been seen that morning and they were only a mile from home. We soon found the birds, around seventy in number,perched up in a lookout tree close to a decent supply of cotoneaster berries. For the next hour or so we had super views of the birds as they descended in typical waxwing smash and grab fashion to consume as many berries as they could in as short a time as possible. Suddenly they all flew off and we failed to relocate them. We then visited another site where they had been the previous day but again they could not be found.
Mike and I returned home for lunch and I decided on a return trip in the afternoon. I again visited the first site but there was no sign of any waxwings so I went to have another look at the second site and there they were !! This time there were around thirty birds and they may have been a separate group of birds from those previously seen. By now it was a very pleasant afternoon with some very welcome sunshine. I once again had excellent views and this time I was able to photograph the birds coming down to drink from a roadside puddle. It had been a splendid session with this enigmatic and very photogenic bird. As usual I have posted some of my better images from the day and hope my readers enjoy looking at this beautiful bird. This may be my final opportunity to see them before they return soon to their northern breeding grounds.