Every few years we have a Waxwing winter when these highly attractive birds turn up in numbers and strip the berries from Rowan trees all over the place and Cotoneaster bushes in Tesco car parks.

Waxwings come here in years of Waxwing abundance and berry-scarcity in Scandinavia. They are superb birds and all the more a treat because sometimes they come in big numbers but often they arrive in small numbers and are only seen in a few east coast localities.

The winter of 2010/11 was a good one, as was 2012/13, and so was 2016/17 and we haven’t had one since. Time for another?

Let’s hope so because they are such gorgeous birds. We should know by the end of October whether or not the Waxwings are coming and the Twitter account above (@waxwingsUK) is a good way to keep an eye on things. If there are loads of Waxwings on Shetland or in gardens in Aberdeen, Tyneside or Norfolk in the next two weeks then things will look promising for the rest of us.

Waxwings. Photo: Tim Melling
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