Saturday, 18 December 2010

In Search of Berry Trees

Probably the most photographed species of bird in the UK this Winter will be the Waxwing.  Every year we have some over-wintering with us, usually in their hundreds, but this year has been exceptional with literally thousands arriving from Scandinavia and much earlier than usual.  Their main food is berries, the favourite being the fruit of the Rowan or Mountain Ash. Due to their early arrival there was still an abundance of berries and so they seemed to pick the ripest from each tree and then move on to a fresh source, eventually returning to the trees they had first visited some days later, presumably as the berries had ripened.

I had waited patiently for some to arrive locally and eventually a flew flocks were reported nearby.  The problem was that every time I went to photograph them they had moved on and I just seemed to be chasing around without any results.  After a few wasted trips I decided to head over to North Wales where several hundred Waxwings had been at a couple of sites regularly for a week or two.  It still took two days to get some decent shots and not exactly what I was after although  it was also nice to get some of them feeding on Hawthorn berries.

They are great fun to photograph and being so approachable makes all the difference, I'm sure that I'll be tempted to photograph some more before they head back to Scandinavia in early Spring.


Gary said...

An amazingly good series of photos especially the group shot. Boom & Gary of The Vermilon River.

Bob Bushell said...

Brilliant piece of photography.

Talibra said...

Wonderful pictures, beautiful colors, greetings.

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