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Waxwing? No picture sorry

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Old Thursday 23rd June 2005, 14:34   #1
ChrisLuv
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Waxwing? No picture sorry

Can anyone offer advice on Waxwings?

I've just seen a couple of birds that are unknown to me (I haven't been birding long) by the road as I left work. There key features, as far as I could distinguish before they flew off, were:
  • Black and whie wings with a definite yellow stripe
  • What I thought was a reddish cap - but I was looking from below
  • Slightly smaller than finch sized

Could this have been a waxwing (I work in Nottingham, UK) or are there more likely contenders based on the information above? How rare are waxwings, did I do well to see or are they common?

Many Thanks if you can help, I don't want to put a tick there unless I'm absolutely sure.

Chris
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Old Thursday 23rd June 2005, 14:40   #2
alan_rymer
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Chris

Sounds like Goldfinch?
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Old Thursday 23rd June 2005, 14:43   #3
ChrisLuv
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alan_rymer
Chris

Sounds like Goldfinch?
Just looked at a picture and you're spot on. I'll calm down now!
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Old Thursday 23rd June 2005, 14:44   #4
lou salomon
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sounds like goldfinch to me, any other guess?
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Old Thursday 23rd June 2005, 14:52   #5
jforgham
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[quote=ChrisLuv]Can anyone offer advice on Waxwings?

I've just seen a couple of birds that are unknown to me (I haven't been birding long) by the road as I left work. There key features, as far as I could distinguish before they flew off, were:
  • Black and whie wings with a definite yellow stripe
  • What I thought was a reddish cap - but I was looking from below
  • Slightly smaller than finch sized

Could this have been a waxwing (I work in Nottingham, UK) or are there more likely contenders based on the information above? How rare are waxwings, did I do well to see or are they common?

Hi Chris,
Good description you gave here so a quick correct diagniosis. Spot on for goldfinch I would say. Just for your info, waxwings are winter visitors from Scandinavia. They remain close to red berry bushes during their stay in the UK. Every 5 years or so there is a so called irruption where literally 1000's migrate to the UK. Last winter was such a year with them appearing as far west as Wales and Devon. Here in Hertfordshire we had 3 or 4 groups scattered around. Don't know why, apart from food plants being present, but they do appear to have a penchant for Tesco's car parks.
Unmistakable birds, starling size, but you were correct to note the yellow on the wings. Next winter (Jan onwards,) keep an eye open for them and visit local websites for news of their arrival. Altenatively spend Jan - March commuting to Tesco carparks!
Good luck with the birding. I have attached 2 photos of last year's Herts waxwings. Splendid bird.
Jono
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Old Thursday 23rd June 2005, 15:20   #6
ChrisLuv
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jforgham
Good luck with the birding. I have attached 2 photos of last year's Herts waxwings. Splendid bird.
Jono
Thanks for the info - we have a huge Tesco round the corner so I'll keep an eye out

The speed and quality of the answers I get from BirdForum members is fantastic - keep up the good work guys. Your help and patience is very much appreciated by those of us new to the hobby.
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Old Thursday 23rd June 2005, 16:38   #7
pianoman
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Yep, the first thing that comes to mind when you see a Waxwing is "Starling-like" in size and behaviour.

But prettier and less annoying of course.

Andrew
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Old Friday 24th June 2005, 18:55   #8
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Waxwings. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhghhhh
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Old Friday 24th June 2005, 20:11   #9
Sandra (Taylor)
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Smile waxwings

MISSING THEM ALREADY !!

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Old Saturday 25th June 2005, 10:49   #10
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Missing them?! God i saw too many this winter! It got to the point of "oh look theres a Waxwing. Right moving on..."
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