Waxwings at Ogston, 25th April 2017.

A surprise this late in the season were a party of 7 or 8 Waxwings in Ivy clad trees opposite the church in Brackenfield at Ogston. It was my t’other halves birthday today and after a nice meal we called in to see if we could see these birds. Just as we arrived the heavens opened and rain bucketed down! However we were able to see the birds perching and feeding in a large tree clad in ivy where they were pulling off the ivy berries enthusiastically.

At first they were always a tad distant and high up in the tree in the dull rainy conditions, this led to the first shots being grainy. But it was a joy to see them and hear their glorious trilling bell calls. As the rain got heavier we retreated into the car and they scarpered behind the house.

However we could see the sky lightening and the promise of sun hove into view over the horizon so we sat tight and watched the brighter weather advance. Once the rain eased the birds returned and began to sit in the tree right over the road before flying down to the ivy berries. They even displayed courtship behaviour in feeding berries to each other, only the second time I have seen that in the UK.

The weather brightened and the sun finally came out just as a single bird decided to feed low down in the tree right next to me. The views were amazing and it bounced around in the ivy at eye level…. just as my camera battery ran out.

It was interesting to see how the differing light changed the colours of the birds, the leaves filtering the light greenish, full sun more orange and sunny shade turning the birds pinker. These birds are just exquisite and it was hard to tear ourselves away. My final moment was when one bird flew and passed me so close I flet its wings brush my hair, just magical!

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