17 November 2008


For the last 2 weeks there has been an influx of waxwings into the Clyde area. These beautiful birds are rarely seen in Britain, but occasionally arrive from Scandinavia in large numbers during the winter.

Yesterday I was lucky enough to spot a flock of 12+ waxwings as I was driving through Dumbarton, close to the River Clyde.

Waxwings tend to congregate in a medium sized tree and then fly down, a few at a time, to feed on berries from low bushes nearby. At a distance they look a bit like starlings, but are paler and have a shorter beak, so they appear to have a spike out of the back of their heads (crest) whereas starlings have a spike at the front (beak).

The best places to look for them are within a few miles of the Clyde, anywhere from central Glasgow to Arran and beyond. If you see any, please note the date, time, location and number of birds present, and let me know.

The picture above was taken in our garden during a previous irruption. For more pictures of waxwings in our garden, see our website, where you can also see a picture I painted of a waxwing.

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