Tuesday was a bright but cold day, and I had the day off work. I’d got all my jobs done, and so was able to react quickly when I saw a report on Twitter that a flock of waxwings was in the area, near a shop just ten minutes’ walk away.
I grabbed my camera, swapped the lens over for the telephoto lens I bought last year for taking pictures of birds, wrapped up warm, and trotted off down the road, optimistically.
Of course by this time the birds were nowhere to be seen. I wandered around, just in case I could find any berry bushes on which they might be feasting, but no such luck.
Earlier that morning, a noisy flock of birds had flown right over me when I’d been in the garden. The local birdwatching site lists of flock of waxwings as having flown over our area at that time, so it was probably them – but I didn’t get a good look at them.
The next day, which was again freezing cold, I got the bus to work. As it passed through a part of the city not too far from where we live, I spotted an unusual flock of birds in a tree near the road, moving around and adjusting their perches. While it crossed my mind to get off the bus to go and look at them, I decided not to as a) they might be starlings, b) I’d be late for work, and c) without my camera I would be annoyed that I couldn’t take pictures of them.
Later that day, I saw another report on Twitter saying there had been a flock of waxwings right in that spot. I should have got off the bus after all.
So while it’s likely that I have technically seen two flocks of waxwings this week, I’ve not been close enough to be sure – and certainly not close enough to see how beautiful they are. I will keep looking! There are plenty in the country this year, as there were two years ago – when I did manage to get a picture. But since then I’ve got a bigger and fancier camera, so if they would please come back I’d be able to get even better pictures. If you want to know when these Scandinavian visitors are in your area, following the UK Waxwings twitter feed.