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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Waxwing invasion gathers strength in York

Waxwings are spreading like a rash right across the country and at the moment there is no better place to see them than in the middle of York. I was on my way to a job interview this morning and spotted one perched in the top of a tree, then a few more on my way back. I always have the camera in the car (it's chipped, so don't even think about it!) so, looking slightly incongruous in pin striped suit, binocs and long lens I climbed the bar walls nr Bishopthorpe road and managed some half decent photographs. The light wasn't brilliant but the birds were closer than a few days ago, more of them (a fellow birder reckoned on about 300) and from the bar walls the shooting angle was much better.

No need for much more narrative (see my last post for more detail on these marvellous berry eating marauders from the North - Waxwing hunting in York ), so here's a selection from the shoot.

I played around with the light settings in this last shot to bring out the colours a bit more, the original showed little more than silhouettes in the sky, but as with several other of these pics you can see just how rampaging these birds are. They're a bit like locusts in a way, devouring and stripping the berries of trees before moving on en mass to find more! You can see why they're regarded as somewhat of a pest up in Scandinavia, pretty though they are. At this rate they'll soon eat all the berries in York and have to move on but this is what they do and my bet is that the UK influx will move further south into France and maybe Spain before the Winter is out.


  1. Tim, very cool. You are spot on, there does seem to be huge numbers of them based on your photo!

  2. I had to come and have a look, I'm dead jealous one area has so many Waxwings. Great images, but the last one must have been a spectacle to see. Well done

    1. Great spectacle, dodgy photograph ... i'm still trying to get the best out of my camera, expecially in poor light.Cheers for the comment mate.

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