Bri­tish gar­dens en­joy a ‘Waxwing win­ter’

Bird Watching (UK) - - News Wire -

An ex­plo­sion in Waxwing num­bers vis­it­ing UK gar­dens has been noted in this year’s RSPB Big Gar­den Bird­watch. Close to half-a-mil­lion peo­ple joined in the world’s largest gar­den wildlife sur­vey in Jan­uary count­ing more than eight mil­lion birds dur­ing the 38th RSPB Big Gar­den Bird­watch, wit­ness­ing some ex­cit­ing and un­usual vis­i­tors. The event held over the last week­end in Jan­uary re­vealed an ex­plo­sion in the num­ber of recorded sight­ings of Waxwings. Re­sults showed that Waxwings were seen in around 11 times more gar­dens in 2017 com­pared to the last cou­ple of years, with sight­ings as far west as Wales and North­ern Ire­land. Along with Waxwings, there was also a large jump in the num­ber of vis­its from other mi­grant birds escaping sub-zero tem­per­a­tures on the con­ti­nent, such as Red­wing, Field­fare and Bram­bling. Dr Daniel Hay­how, RSPB con­ser­va­tion sci­en­tist, said: “In the lead up to the Bird­watch there was some spec­u­la­tion as to whether we could see a ‘Waxwing win­ter’ and the re­sults prove that to be the case. Flocks of these strik­ing look­ing birds ar­rived in the UK along the North Sea coast and will have moved across the coun­try in search of food, favour­ing gar­dens where they can feast on berries.”

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