Waxwing Bombycilla garrulus

Oldbrook, Milton Keynes -  13th March 2005

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Photo copyright Mike Wallen

The winter of 2004/5 was been exceptional for Waxwings in Buckinghamshire and across the UK .  Quite a few pictures below show these stunning birds from various localities.  The above picture shows a not untypical gathering of Waxwings.  These birds were presumably perched in a safe place waiting to get at a nearby source of food.  The Oldbrook birds were present from about 10th March until the last two on 14th.  The maximum flock size was estimated to be 200+.

High Wycombe - 13th February 2005

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Photos copyright Mike Wallen

More Waxwings turned up just NE of the railway station and were seen in Slater Street and other nearby roads from 6th February until 15th at least.  At their peak just over 60 birds were counted.   At times they were seen to fly across the railway to rest in a tall tree in Station Road.  The orange/yellowish Rowan berries seen above and in the Lane End pictures seem to be favoured.

At least one individual was colour-ringed and was ringed as an adult female on 24th December 2004 in Airyhall, on the outskirts of Aberdeen, NE Scotland.  Apparently over 1000 Waxwings have been ringed this winter, including the bird in the top picture.

Lane End - 19th/26th January 2005

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Photos copyright Adrian Parker

More Waxwings from this winters influx, this time at Lane End near High Wycombe.  The birds had apparently been present since 11th January but did not come to birders attention until one week later.  The flock of up to 31 birds disappeared ,but returned a few days later when up to 54 when recorded.  The flight shot in particular is a good example of why they are called Waxwings.

Taplow - 14th January 2005

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Photos copyright Adrian Parker

January 2005 saw an influx of Waxwings into Southern England with a few flocks located in the county.  A flock of at least 21 birds was reported in the area ranging from Taplow Sailing Club east along the Bath Road.

Wavenden, Milton Keynes - January 2003

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Photo copyright Mike Wallen

Aylesbury - Spring 2001
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Photo by Frederic Desmette 2001


Aylesbury - 3rd March 2001

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Video still by Mike Collard

The above individuals were part of up a group of Waxwings that frequented the Thame Road area from 22nd February until 10th April at least.  The flock size varied but eleven were often reported and on one occasion twelve.  Although the 2000/2001 winter is a Waxwing invasion year not too many regular sites have been found in the county.


High Wycombe - 7th March 1996

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Video still by Dave Ferguson

During early 1996 a major invasion of Waxwings occurred with the species turning up all over the county with an estimated 230 birds involved and maximum flock size of c100.  At Deeds Grove, High Wycombe three birds were present (one of which was ringed) from 4th March, with four there on 21st March.   As can be seen from the above photo, one of the main sources of food of the Deeds Grove birds was Pyracantha berries.



Burnham/Cippenham - March 1989

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Photo copyright Mike Wallen

The above Waxwing was one of a group of up to ten birds which were present in this area from December 1988 until 9th April.  This was a little unusual as there was not a major invasion that year.   They were usually seen Hawthorn berries in a row of bushes that ran alongside the main A4 road.  They pleased a great many birders in that the site crossed the border between Bucks and Berks and therefore they made their way onto the county lists of quite a few birders.  Quite a few non-birders also got to see the birds as puzzled motorists stopped to see what everyone was looking at! 

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