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athgarvan

Waxwings Arrive

waxwingI'm ashamed to admit it but I know practically nothing about birds - even our own native birds here in Ireland. But a neighbour is all fired up and excited about the arrival of about 20 Waxwings looking for berries in his little garden. Apparently we are having a Waxwing winter at present. Hundreds or even thousands have arrived.

I'm told they are regular winter migrants from northern Scandinavia and Russia, and tend to turn up in large numbers when berries are in short supply back home. However, unfortunately, I don't have berries such as rowan, rose, cotoneaster, or hawthorn growing in my garden. 

I'm told Waxwings are not frightened by humans but are harbingers of glacial weather. So I better watch out! 

Comments

I'm told Waxwings are not frightened by humans but are harbingers of glacial weather.

Oh noes!
That is one beautiful bird!
I've never seen one in real life and considering that they may be harbingers of glacial weather, I hope I don't see any for quite some time.

I love birds and travel to Costa Rica with my husband during the winter months where there are many varieties. The toucans are amazing to watch when they are communicating to each other.
Lucky you! We had waxwings come through when we lived in Alaska, and had great fun watching them fly after eating the fermented berries. I guess they get a little tipsy.
Beautiful birds.

The met are also forecasting an arctic blast coming off Russia, so they may well be right! :o)

Edited at 2012-12-10 16:06 (UTC)
My knowledge of waxwings is limited to their existence, as conveyed in Pale Fire:
I am the shadow of the waxwing slain
By the false reflection in the windowpane
I love waxwings and all sorts of birds. I am afraid to start feeding birds at my home as we have huge flocks of sparrow and they have torn the shingles off my porch and tried to come in the house through the window air conditioner.

After the Holiday I hope to get a pair of binoculars and go out bird batching in the more natural areas around my home.
I never see them much where I live, but there are a lot of them around!!
I have 5 bird feeders around my yard, and I am thrilled to see birds at them.

I even had quail this year.. on the back fence, but still.
Thank you all for your lovely comments. My brother and his wife love having birds around their garden. The cost of feeding them must be very heavy. They especially love the pheasants.
That is a beautiful bird.