Finally managed to see these stunning birds in Great Yarmouth today. I’ve been trying to see them every winter for several years now and have always missed them. Last weekend was promising having caught a glimpse of a flock of around ten birds flying over the castle in Norwich, but we didn’t manage to catch up with them again, and later saw a Sparrowhawk gliding around the rooftops, so that was possibly the reason why.
Anyway today we decided to head for Yarmouth, as there have been many reports over the last few weeks of at times over 100 birds. The day started well with a good view of a Marsh Harrier flying over the road on the way there. Arriving in Yarmouth we saw the Waxwings almost immediately high in a tree. Parking up, we wandered down to some trees that were covered in berries, and a friendly photographer who recommended where to stand. “Just stand there and they’ll come right down here” he said, and glancing at the 50-500mm lens “you may want to zoom out…” So we stood and waited…… and waited a bit more…. Then down they came, right to where we were standing and after settling in the top of the tree they came down further and on to the berries. Suddenly we were surrounded by a trilling twittering flickering flock of them, hungrily eating the berries – magic! Their bell like call is somehow unexpected for this Starling sized bird, but it’s a beautiful and distinctive sound and the birds are very handsome indeed!
Later on a family with several children walked past and the kids were really interested in the birds “look they’ve got a funny bit on their heads..!” It was great to see them so interested and curious. They asked us what they were and we chorused “Waxwings!” which they duly repeated. Brilliant!
But, you may notice – no photos! Well, there were none to be had really, the light was terrible. Thick grey cloud, completely different to the forecast and the location was a bit difficult too with nothing to shoot towards for a good clean background.
Still I’m chuffed to have seen them, hopefully I’ll get to see a lot more of them and with any luck get some photos too!