Friday, 6 January 2012

Morning Of Waxwings

For a while now I have been looking out for Waxwings (Bombycilla garrulus) around Norfolk, with no success. But last night, I found a location via Twitter and decided to see if they were still there today. I was surprised when I found out that the sighting was in the middle of a suburb of Norwich called Costessey in a small park.

I arrived about 9am with my mum as she was interested in seeing them as well and to my amazement, I found around 25 of them straight away in a single tree. I was buzzing with excitement. This was my first ever sighting of Waxwings and they didn't disappoint. You can easily identify them, by their crest on the head. I was also surprised at how tame they were, rarely did they fly off even when I got within five metres.

Waxwing's crest.
The majority of the time they rested in the tree together, preening and sleeping. Every five minutes or so, one would move closer to the neighbouring berry-laden tree to have a look. After inspecting the tree, it would quickly fly onto it, followed immediately by the rest of the flock.

Resting in the tree together.

A lone Waxwing inspecting the berry tree.

This scene was repeated every ten minutes or so, the birds only staying on the berry tree for around a minute or so at a time. This was plenty of time to get most of the shots I wanted.

Waxwing eating a berry.

Inspecting the berries.

Perched on the berries.

They stayed in the same place for about an hour before all flying off for a post-breakfast rest. I have been told that they have been here for the past week and have already stripped three trees of berries, with help from the blackbirds, of course. There are now only two trees with berries on and I cannot see them lasting too long, so get down there as soon as possible if you want to see them yourself. I returned later on and they had returned, but this time I only saw them for ten minutes before they all flew off. I did, however, get a few more shots of them.

Posing with its berry.

About to fly back to the tree with its food.

Catching the falling berry.

Watching the berry tree.
  • Use Twitter, it's a great place to get information on locations.
  • Arrive early in the morning, it is usually better light and you are more likely to find them.
  • Research the call of the bird you are looking for. You are more likely to hear a Waxwing before you see it.
Camera: Nikon D7000
Lenses: 300mm, 300mm with a 2X convertor

Cheers for reading and I hope you have enjoyed seeing these as much as I did today. Heading back to Cornwall on Sunday, so I might have to go visit the Waxwings again tomorrow!!

Feel free to follow me on my blog and on Twitter:  Josh_Jaggard

1 comment:

  1. What a fantastic blog entry! I have never heard of waxwings before and these stunning shots have really made me want to see them myself. Keep up the great work and thanks for sharing!