Surprise arrival of rare ‘cartoon birds’ on random Suffolk street causes a stir

The waxwings have arrived in Defoe Road, Ipswich from Scandinavia. Picture: PHILIP CHARLES

The waxwings have arrived in Defoe Road, Ipswich from Scandinavia. Picture: PHILIP CHARLES - Credit: Archant

They are more like something you would see in a Disney film.

The waxwings have arrived in Defoe Road, Ipswich from Scandinavia. Picture: PHILIP CHARLES

The waxwings have arrived in Defoe Road, Ipswich from Scandinavia. Picture: PHILIP CHARLES - Credit: Archant

But these rare waxwings are causing something of a stir after flying all the way from Scandinavia and randomly picking an Ipswich street to nest for winter.

The 20 or so of the brightly coloured birds are currently camped out on telegraph poles, television aerials and in trees in Defoe Road - picking Suffolk, perhaps surprisingly, for its warmer winter climate.

They have brought with them a flock of their own - in the form of nature lovers with binoculars and cameras, who have travelled from far and wide to capture a glimpse of the rare birds famous for their plump shape and prominent crest.

In scenes watchers have described as something out of a cartoon, the creatures fly down from their perches to eat berries from trees, comically tossing the fruit up in the air before taking a bite.

The waxwings have arrived in Defoe Road, Ipswich from Scandinavia. Picture: PHILIP CHARLES

The waxwings have arrived in Defoe Road, Ipswich from Scandinavia. Picture: PHILIP CHARLES - Credit: Archant


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Alderman Road resident and wildlife photographer Philip Charles said the “beautiful flock” had caused quite a commotion since arriving about a week or so ago.

He said: “They’re beautiful, beautiful birds and the way they behave when you watch them, you would think they are cartoon birds. Suddenly they will flock down a tree and really feed on the berries - they’ll flick it up in the air and then eat it.

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“It’s great that they’ve decided to come to a road like Defoe Road. You don’t need a big telescope to see them. It shows people that wildlife can be right on your doorstep without you really knowing it.

“Right now you can still go out and see them and that should be celebrated.”

The waxwings have arrived in Defoe Road, Ipswich from Scandinavia. Picture: PHILIP CHARLES

The waxwings have arrived in Defoe Road, Ipswich from Scandinavia. Picture: PHILIP CHARLES - Credit: Archant

He added that it has resulted in “flocks of photographers, twitchers and wildlife enthusiasts to the area, often leaving local residents perplexed at what is going on”.

There is some method to the waxwings’ choice of Defoe Road - namely its plentiful trees, which contain plenty of food to keep them from feeling hungry in winter.

They used to be a far more common sight in urban areas but have become a rarer sight in recent years, not least because there are fewer trees in town centre settings.

According to the RSPB, waxwings tend not to go much more inland than East Anglia when nesting for winter.

The waxwings have arrived in Defoe Road, Ipswich from Scandinavia. Picture: PHILIP CHARLES

The waxwings have arrived in Defoe Road, Ipswich from Scandinavia. Picture: PHILIP CHARLES - Credit: Archant

They are generally seen in the UK between October and March.

The waxwings have arrived in Defoe Road, Ipswich from Scandinavia. Picture: PHILIP CHARLES

The waxwings have arrived in Defoe Road, Ipswich from Scandinavia. Picture: PHILIP CHARLES - Credit: Archant

The waxwings have arrived in Defoe Road, Ipswich from Scandinavia. Picture: PHILIP CHARLES

The waxwings have arrived in Defoe Road, Ipswich from Scandinavia. Picture: PHILIP CHARLES - Credit: Archant

The waxwings have arrived in Defoe Road, Ipswich from Scandinavia. Picture: PHILIP CHARLES

The waxwings have arrived in Defoe Road, Ipswich from Scandinavia. Picture: PHILIP CHARLES - Credit: Archant

The waxwings have arrived in Defoe Road, Ipswich from Scandinavia. Picture: PHILIP CHARLES

The waxwings have arrived in Defoe Road, Ipswich from Scandinavia. Picture: PHILIP CHARLES - Credit: Archant

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