Waxwings in hunt for berries
A winter birdwatch found a growth in the number of exciting and unusual visitors to our shores, with a rise in waxwings and redwings spotted in the south east.
The RSPB event saw nearly 500,000 people taking part in the nationwide survey, which has counted more than eight million birds.
Birdwatchers in Kent took part in the final weekend of January, and there was an eruption of waxwings following a berry crop failure in Scandinavia.
There was also positive news that the number of robins visiting gardens was at its highest level for more than 20 years.
RSPB conservation scientist Dr Daniel Hayhow said: “The sight of a robin or blackbird perched on the garden fence is often one of the first experiences we have with nature.
“So to have over 500,000 people taking part and counting a bumper eight million birds across one weekend is amazing.
“This information creates a snapshot of how our garden birds are doing.
“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.
“With it only happening once every 7-8 years, it will have been a treat for the lucky people who managed to catch a glimpse of one.”
For more information visit www.rspb. org.uk.