Waxwings in Audlem

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There was a small 'eruption' of bird watchers in Audlem yesterday as reports reached enthusiasts that a flock of Waxwings had been seen near the village centre.

Waxwings are normally rare in Britain with around a hundred birds a year reaching these shores from their Scandinavian and Siberian breeding areas. Occasionally, however, if there is an 'eruption year' of Waxwings probably caused by particularly cold conditions to the north, thousands can arrive here. A good number arrived in Audlem a few years ago.

They are most commonly seen in the east of Britain but if they do turn up elsewhere, they can often be seen feeding on berries — mainly rowan, whitebeam and hawthorn — in gardens and built-up areas.

They are slightly smaller than a starling and also look a little like a starling in flight. The crest is prominent and there's a small red patch that looks like wax on their wings. There's also a yellow tip to the tail.

Did anyone see the waxwing flock? Reports say there were about thirty birds.


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