Waxwings Squabbling over rich red rowan berries.
At the beginning of autumn we expect to see birds migrating in from Europe, hopefully this particular bird the Waxwing. They come down from Scandinavia through Europe feeding on tree's and bushes laden with berries. When the crop of berries is poor they will move over to the UK and use this island as a secondary feeding ground. This year so far has been not a particular good year to see them but that could all change with the weather pattern being winter which makes it unpredictable, so anything can happen. What I have read, is that the climate in Europe has changed over the last century as has the weather pattern in the UK, so this year so far might be why we have seen so few Waxwings here in Britain. The weather tends to be warmer over this part of the world with global warming and this will have an impact on the migrating bird species and their feeding habits, if in mainland Europe the tree and bush berry crops are more abundant, then we will see less and less of such birds like the waxwing in the UK. One of the weather conditions that drives birds to our shores are the bad arctic winters in the north of Europe and Russia, when the weather has extreme low temperatures for long periods of time, the birds have no choice but to go to warmer parts in mainland Europe to seek cover and food. So keep an eye out over the winter and you might be lucky to see these colourful and amazing birds.
Waxwings on a tree in a local park.
This photo was taken in Norwich two years ago. I was informed by a friend that a flock of about fifty waxwings had crossed the east coast and had returned to two sites in Norwich, one being a park in the centre of the town. So the next day I got up early and drove up to Norwich which was about one and a quarter hours drive depending on the morning traffic that is entering the city. After two hours because of the delays with small roads full of vehicles entering the city I finally got there only to find it was a small road with a park on one side and bungalows on the other side. To my amazement there were at least as many photographers as birds and the road was full of parked cars and tripods, this made the task more of a problem than a pleasure but I found a parking space in the next road up and walked back to where the birds were. The second amazing thing was, the birds were all sat in the top of the trees together above the berry laden branches and then all of a sudden, they all came down together to feed on the berries just above the pavement area where people were walking with dogs, children or just passing through to the town centre. Such was the need to feed that the waxwings were not worried about people and all the vehicle traffic passing through, one can only assume they were very hungry or used to feeding in populated areas. I spent the whole day there and decided to return the next day and see if I could get the birds on different trees nearby with yellow berries as the red berries were disappearing at an astonishing rate. I was lucky, the waxwings began to split up and feed on the trees with the yellow berries so I managed to get some lovely photos of them feeding on those berries. Again I had the whole day there and it was my one and only sightings of waxwings over those two days and I have not seen any waxwings since.
Waxwing on the yellow berries from the Rowan tree, (sorbus)
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