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Rare 'cartoon birds' continue to delight nature lovers

PUBLISHED: 15:04 10 February 2019 | UPDATED: 15:04 10 February 2019

Patrick Allen’s photos of waxwings in Defoe Road, Ipswich. Picture: PATRICK ALLEN

Patrick Allen's photos of waxwings in Defoe Road, Ipswich. Picture: PATRICK ALLEN

A flock of "cartoon birds" who surprisingly picked a random Ipswich street to spend winter have continued to delight nature lovers.

Patrick Allen’s photos of waxwings in Defoe Road, Ipswich. Picture: PATRICK ALLENPatrick Allen’s photos of waxwings in Defoe Road, Ipswich. Picture: PATRICK ALLEN

The group of 20 or so brightly-coloured rare waxwings caused something of a stir after flying all the way over from Scandinavia to nest in Defoe Road.

Their arrival on telegraph poles, television aerials and in trees brought with it a flock of its own - as people with binoculars and cameras travelled from far and wide to catch a glimpse of them eating the plentiful berries on Defoe Road’s trees.

Amateur photographer Patrick Allen is one of the latest people to take pictures of the birds.

“Every few years the waxwings arrive in this country from Scandinavia to feast on the berries in trees,” he said.

Patrick Allen’s photos of waxwings in Defoe Road, Ipswich. Picture: PATRICK ALLENPatrick Allen’s photos of waxwings in Defoe Road, Ipswich. Picture: PATRICK ALLEN

“Last week a flock of about 25 arrived in my garden and in Defoe Road, where my photographs were taken.

“While waxwings are very attractive and colourful as individual birds, the fact that they flock closely together when raiding berry trees make them an ideal photographic subject.

“One of the joys of these birds is that they are happy to visit urban and garden areas where they can be seen by many.”

Waxwings 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.

Patrick Allen’s photos of waxwings in Defoe Road, Ipswich. Picture: PATRICK ALLENPatrick Allen’s photos of waxwings in Defoe Road, Ipswich. Picture: PATRICK ALLEN

According to the RSPB, waxwings tend not to go much more inland than East Anglia when nesting for winter. They are generally seen in the UK between October and March.

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