Waxwings give birdwatchers a treat

THIS beautiful shot of a waxwing was sent in by wildlife photographer Wayne Geater after a flock of 50 birds descended on Copdock.

THIS beautiful shot of a waxwing was sent in by wildlife photographer Wayne Geater after a flock of 50 birds descended on Copdock.

The birds are annual visitors to Britain but they usually come further north and in smaller numbers.

This bird, snapped at the Tesco store in Copdock, was part of a flock of about 50 birds that has been in the area this winter, and another flock of 40 has been sighted in Rendlesham.

Ian Barthorpe, of RSPB Minsmere, said: “We tend to think of them as Viking invaders. Every four or five years we have a big invasion from Scandinavia when the population gets high and there are fewer red berries for them to eat.


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“They will all have gone by the middle of April but how long they will stick around in a single place depends primarily on how long the berries last. They may hang around in Suffolk for the bulk of the winter.”

The flock in Copdock has been drawing photographers and ornithologists to the park and ride at Tesco, while smaller flocks have been seen in gardens and parks.

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Mr Barthorpe said: “They are notorious for not turning up in places where people go birdwatching, so we have a few at Minsmere but not the larger numbers that have been seen in more surprising places.

“If it is an area with lots of berries it can hold on to flocks for two or three weeks. It's a bird that can be difficult to catch up with but they are stunning, one of the most attractive birds that we get in Britain.”

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