Ban­dit birds are back

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

axwings, birds with a call that sounds like sleigh bells and a ten­dency for fes­tive over-in­dul­gence, have ar­rived in Bri­tain en masse, re­ports the RSPB. These vis­i­tors in black ban­dit masks oc­ca­sion­ally arrive on our east coast from the forests of North­east­ern Europe in win­ter in search of red berries.

The size of star­lings, with red­dish-brown plumage and red wingtips, the ban­dits tend to de­scend on rowan trees and hawthorn bushes, trilling away to one an­other with sea­sonal bon­homie as they gorge on fer­mented fruit.

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