Waxwing, Bombycilla garrulus is not a particularly rare
visitor to England but it is a fairly rare sight in this part
of the country, particularly in such large numbers as those
in the photograph left.
nest in the forest areas of Northern Europe, where during the
summer they live on a diet of lichen hanging from the native
conifers. During mid winter however, they switch their diet
to berries and if this food is in short supply, migrate south
in flocks, generally of around forty, showing up in the east
of England and Scotland fairly regularly.
this part of the country it is quite rare to see waxwings, especially
in such vast numbers. This winter however, flocks of the colourful,
crested birds have shown up in both the Forest of Dean, at Berry
Hill and in Ross-on-Wye.
photographed the waxwings on this page on Wednesday, 12th January
and think I counted something like 127 of the birds in the flock
pictured to the left, though both my eyes and patience are not
that good these days - perhaps you will count differently. A
flock of 160 was reported to have been seen a day or so prior
to my visit with the camera.
birds have been gathering daily in one of the larger trees by
the swimming pool and have been stripping berries from trees
in and around Greytree Road since a little before Christmas,
attracting daily gatherings of local bird watchers.
could be their presence so far west and in such large numbers
is indicative of cold weather ahead.