This winter has seen an unusually large number of Waxwings in the country. The term used is an ‘irruption’, I believe.
I call it, ‘bloody amazing’. Reports up and down the country of large and small numbers of these beautiful birds; there’s sure to be, or have been, some near you.
Our local Tesco car park, at Bletchley, played host to a large flock, for a few days prior to my visit on Sunday. A lot of local birders had been to see them, and take pictures, so I thought I should make the effort too.
A frosty start to the day, with the promise of sun later; perfect.
I set off to my local lake first, topped up the seed on the little bridge, then went to the shops.
I parked the car in a deserted car park, and waited. I wasn’t sure how many would be here, if at all, or when they would arrive, or where they would settle.
It was just beginning to get light, and the first wave of 40 or more birds noisily arrived, and settled in a tree, just along from where I was parked. Almost immediately, another large group arrived, and joined them.
They sat chattering in the tree, and then suddenly all took to the air, as more birds swirled in to join the growing numbers.
It reminded me of a Starling roost. Groups of birds would break off, fly around, and then regroup, and finally settle in one or two trees.
I was in danger of filling up my memory card in the camera; I was taking so many pictures.
There must have been a couple of hundred altogether. A fantastic sight to see. I stayed for a couple of hours, and as the sun rose, it was even more spectacular.
An angry Mistle Thrush was frantically guarding ‘his’ tree, from these ‘invaders’, and calling for reinforcements.
Four more reinforcements soon arrived, and the car park became the setting for lots of flying around, and positioning.
Plenty of pictures taken, but none really special. No amazing close ups, no berry juggling, no hanging upside down……..just lots of shots from an amazing morning, spent in the company of amazing birds.
Waxwing invasion from holdingmoments on Vimeo.
As an interesting footnote to this, one of the birds I got a picture of, had at least two coloured rings visible on the right leg; red over white. It seems this bird may have been ringed, with quite a few others, in Aberdeen, Scotland, between late October and late November.
A distance of about 350 miles, (564.76km), in their search for food across the UK.
I’ll never moan about having to walk to the local shops again, for a loaf of bread.
For more great birds, click the picture below