Waxwings…. at last !!

After a 4-year wait waxwings are once again in the UK, its been a long wait but is such a thrill to have these beautiful birds back in the country. They are a non-native bird, and the birds we have with us will have come over from Scandinavia, when the population on its breeding grounds gets too big for the food available. They are generally first spotted on the east coast, many birds spotted and seen feeding in November they have then slowly made their way across the country, arriving close by to me in St Asaph on the North Wales coast just before Christmas.

Waxwings prefer to feed on berries such as Rowan and Hawthorn, but will also eat Cotoneaster and Rose, and many of these trees are used to the landscape such areas as Car Parks and industrial estates, and it is to these places that the photographer needs to go to photograph them.

The birds I have photographed so far this winter have been in flocks of up to 60 birds, generally perching on higher trees, and a few birds will scout the berry trees before the flock descends on mass to feed, a real thrill to see and photograph.
Hopefully, they will be around well into the winter, and there will be lots more opportunities to photograph them, but below are some of my images to date, more can be seen in the Waxwing gallery.
As usual, your comments are appreciated.

To highlight how far the birds travel and how quickly, the bird below with the leg rings was caught and rung in Aberdeen in December, it was photographed in Aberdeen on the 26th December, and I photographed it in Wrexham, North Wales on the 30th December!!

and such is the abundance of these birds they do attract predators, and whilst photographing a flock feeding in a Rowan Tree, this stunning female Sparrowhawk came hunting but sadly didn’t catch, but perched momentarily in the Rowan, giving me the chance of a few quick shots.