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WYENOT NEWS - ROSS-ON-WYE
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The Local On-line Newspaper for Ross-on-Wye with a World Wide Circulation

Issue No. 28 [Back Issues]
18th January 2005

This Week's Issue: [Angie - Heritage Centre - Ross in Bloom] [Nature Watch - Topical Photography] [Archive Ross]

Ross-on-Wye Nature Watch - A rare visitation by the waxwing in January

Waxwings in Greytree Road, Ross-on-Wye. Ref: DSC_7600 (cropped)


Flying overhead in large numbers. Ref: DSC_7626 (cropped)

The 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.

They 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.

In 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.

I 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.

The 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.

It could be their presence so far west and in such large numbers is indicative of cold weather ahead.


Waxwings stripping the berries from a tree in Nursery Road, Ross-on-Wye. Ref: DSC_7606

Topical Photography This Week

Ref: DSC_7553


Ref: DSC_7682

Above - At the request of a viewer living in the United States of America, a photograph of the houses in Woodview Lane, Ross-on-Wye.

Left - 'Art Cases' made by pupils at John Kyrle High School to complement artist, Jeanette McCulloch's exhibition at Ross-on-Wye Heritage Centre.

Below - June Bevan 'Quilting' at Ross-on-Wye Heritage Centre on Thursday, 13th January 2004.


Ref: DSC_7694

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