It couldn't really happen, could it? There's no way I'd miss seeing Waxwings during their greatest irruption for some say 20 years. Well of course! The girlfriend and I finally connected with the Tibshelf massive which were hanging out in a school car park, up to nine birds while we were there but as many as 22 at other times. They were gorging on the fruiting trees, shared with not terrible hospitality with the local Mistle Thrushes and one Fieldfare.
Elsewhere in the county there are reports of more than 200 Waxwings in Ilkeston, which gives a handle on the kinds of numbers that have hit the UK this winter. Flocks of 1000+ in Scotland.
The girlfriend thinks they're plumage recalls some kind of exotic foreign dress, not a million miles away from geisha costume. That's one description of them I can certainly abide with.
While I type a glance out of the patio window here at my parents' house and I see 11 Blackbirds which is a probable record for the half tennis court or so of garden out there. 4 inches of snow and they've downed all arms, as they should in winter, almost tolerating one another - save for one really pissed off territorial male.
Had planned to volunteer at the Carsington ABB tomorrow, doesn't look like the weather will allow this.
Here's a video of the Waxwings shot by the girlfriend...
Be sure to select the HQ option in the bottom right corner or it'll look like the bad bootleg copy of the original. Better yet, you can select a High Definition version here. Listen out for their call too.
Happy birdwatching everybody, it's back to flatpack furniture for me.