Welcome to the first in our series of blogs on seasonal species to look out for, with a few of our best tips for success thrown in. We’re kicking off with one of the very best birds winter has to offer: the wonderful waxwing.
This is one of those birds that has it all. It looks stunning with a punky crest, pink-hued plumage and, depending on age and sex, a beautiful combo of waxy-red, yellow and white on its wings. It has a rippling, bell-like call which makes a wonderful sound from a big flock. It is super confiding and it doesn’t mater if you live in the countryside or a town or city because they can, and do, turn up anywhere. They’re entertaining to watch as they greedily gobble berries down, systematically stripping a bush and usually dropping as many as they eat! Finally, waxwings are enigmatic in their appearances: in some winters there are thousands and in others hardly any, begging the question as to whether it will be a “waxwing winter”...
Sure to brighten up any winter's day - a waxwing, or better still a whole flock of 'em (Andy Hay rspb-images.com)
The jury is still out on whether this will be a waxwing winter, but as the days are passing, more and more are arriving in a trickle rather than a flood so far. They have reached the west side of the UK now and into Ireland, so it is well worth keeping your eyes and ears out for a flock of these visitors over the next few weeks. You might get a bonus Christmas present.
Top tips for finding waxwings
Let us know if you see any. Nature's Home readers have reported them from a few spots already, with Yorkshire doing pretty well at present. Good luck!
This bird is very beautiful. Unfortunately, I have never heard about it and I am sure this is the problem of our education. I had to order several essays on proofreading service and it didn't give me anything. The topics were quite boring. I'd better learn biology and zoology. That's my personal view on this problem.
We spend 90% of net income on conservation, public education and advocacy
The RSPB is a member of BirdLife International. Find out more about the partnership
© The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654