Western Morning News (Saturday)
THE waxwing is one of our more eccentric looking birds, sometimes described as a bit of a punk of the avian world, with its Mohican crest of head feathering.
Even stranger are the glossy tips of the exposed shafts of their inner flight feathers – wing adornments that resemble blobs of red sealing wax and give the species its name.
They are peachy brown birds, shaped a bit like plump starlings, and have a black face mask and bib and yellow fringes on the wings and tail.
Waxwings come to the UK in the winter from Scandinavia and Siberia and feed in groups on berries, being quite easy to approach – even flocking to ornamental berry-bearing shrubs in supermarket car parks. However, their arrival is sporadic, with plenty some years and hardly any the next (as has been the case this year).