Thursday, 24 February 2011

SkyWatch Friday - waxwings

Periodically, sometimes for several years in succession, large flocks of waxwings fly from their breeding grounds in Northern Europe, often in Finland, to the UK. Such events have been recorded since 1679. They are visitors to these shores and do not breed here. 
They arrive in November and leave in March so we were particularly lucky that Barry saw this treeful yesterday. They are the first we have ever seen. It was late afternoon and the light was not good.
We identified them mainly through their silhouettes.
This is the sky we saw yesterday. Today was sunny. Tomorrow will be dull and drizzly again. I love British weather - it's rarely the same two days running and that's what makes our skies often dull and also frequently fascinating.
Thank you to the SkyWatch team for organising this meme. Click here to marvel at more skies around the world.

32 comments:

  1. They are beautiful birds that I do not see often, but usually if I see one I will see more!

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  2. It is always nice to have visitors, especially the winged variety (they are so undemanding)

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  3. I love wax wings, but haven't seen many of them in recent years. This seems to be the month for cloudy skies, and some of them are quite lovely.

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  4. Great pictures. I love Cedar Waxwings. They nest in my backyard and are a lot of fun in the summer.

    Great post.

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  5. Wow! So many in one tree. They are gregarious but I don't believe I have ever seen this many at once!

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  6. Once in a while we get waxwings down here. If there is one there are always more nearby. They are a very elegant bird, I think.

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  7. Now that is a tree full of birds! I love it! Great shots for the day! Looks like you've got grumpy old skies like ours!! Enjoy your weekend, Janice!

    Sylvia

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  8. Thanks for posting such interesting pictures and also - I never knew about waxwings before. It's always nice to learn something new. ☼

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  9. Great to see the waxwings and the sky photo. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  10. We had some waxwings earlier this month, and it has been so cold and snowy, I've been worrying about them and the sparrows who arrived a couple of days before them.
    -- K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

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  11. I had a great laugh over this week's coincidence--but I think your waxwings are bigger than mine. These are incredibly engaging birds, but the mess they leave isn't quite as amusing as their antics. I had to hose off the garden chairs this week in order to sit out, because the droppings were everywhere. Biologists could have a field day analyzing bird poop to detect what's edible in the neighborhood.

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  12. A tree growing birdfruit!

    SKY-SEEKERS

    The sky-seekers, some people say,
    Do not favor night over day;
    They always look up,
    The sky is their cup,
    And keeping it full’s their cachet!


    © 2011 by Magical Mystical Teacher

    Sky and Lupine

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  13. Wowza, stay inside. Looks like a storm is brewing. Nice job!
    Joyce M

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  14. Did you ever see the movie "the Birds"? Whenever I see a huge flock of birds it reminds me of that movie!
    Love the drama of the clouds in your last photo!

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  15. Love the waxwings, they are pretty birds. And the last sky shot is beautiful. Great photos!

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  16. silhouettes of the birda re so bautiful. We have wax eye birds.

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  17. Interesting how they only sporadically visit. I wonder if it doesn't have something to do with, say, the periodicity of La Nina or some other ocean current trend?

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  18. Eerily pretty sky. Waxwings must like to stay together in a flock. Nice pics. Mickie

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  19. Wonderful sots. Those birds look like they are part of the tree.

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  20. Those trees are smothered - great shots - we have a tree outside our front door that has waxwing visitors for one day a year. They feast on berries but I'm not quite sure how they take off after all they eat!!

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  21. Gorgeous!

    Please come and see the Irresistible Sky at my page.

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  22. Had to google Waxwings and discovered that they are 'our' pestvogels. I've never seen them live, although they visit the Netherlands too. You lucky people, to find a whole treeful ;-)

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  23. Hi - saw my first Wax Wings through the dirty window of a Newcastle bus - the whole city was a grey as the skies in your picture. That was in the 1980's - a different century!

    Nice to see them again.

    Stewart M - Australia

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  24. I read somewhere that the waxwings got their name because they are so beautiful, they appear to have been cast in wax. ~karen

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  25. I have not seen these kinds of birds here. They make a lovely picture atop the tree!

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  26. Studying bird migration is fascinating. We see cedar waxwings here, but I'm not sure which months they are present.

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  27. I don't believe I've ever seen a waxwing. I've seen photos of them. They look like very beautiful birds.

    I remember the weather in England. I loved the fog.

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  28. How precious to see a big flock of birds like that, Janice! I live in a bird sanctuary but I find it hard to photograph them in a tree, not that I've ever seen this many at once; the light behind always turns them into silhouettes. Beautiful sky you got for SkyWatch. [No, the black pigs in my post are "free range" on the streets of a town in Gansu province... one day to be someone's dinner. Not at all wild. :-D ]

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  29. I don't think I've ever seen a waxwing either - they look lovely, and that sky is wonderful. We had an amazing early morning sky here yesterday too. I can never understand people who moan about our weather - I love the variety.

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  30. Watching the birds come and go is a favorite pastime here on The Prairie ... we have Waxwings too, which were the first to return this year. Your blog is so pretty with its watercolor background.

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  31. That tree looks like a chandelier with all the birds!

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  32. Wow, you were lucky to see them. ;-)

    I am now off to check out skywatch thanks to your link, I hadn't heard of them before.

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