Photo of the Week: 23-29 October 2023


Waxwing by Anne Carrington-Cotton



Since the middle of October, Waxwings have begun to pop up in northern areas and, over the past fortnight, numbers have increased significantly to the point that many birders are now seriously considering whether a 'Waxwing winter' is on the cards. Although some will be cautious after last winter's initial rush of sightings which quickly fizzled out during November, there does seem to be more momentum to this autumn's arrival and it may well be that these wild-haired entertainers end up making plenty of birders and photographers happy right across Britain and Ireland this winter.

Waxwing is one of the most-photographed birds in the BirdGuides gallery, with close to 6,500 uploads. This species is often portrayed in beautiful winter sunshine against a pristine blue sky as birds pick the last remaining berries from Sorbus trees, but Anne Carrington-Cotton's delightful shot offers something different. Flocks are assembling early this winter and in many places trees are still cloaked in leaves, offering unusual opportunities to photograph this species in different settings. Anne has incorporated fiery autumn colours into her winning image thanks to a combination of low sun and the delightful golds and browns of the turning leaves, with the backlit bird highlighted by a 'halo' that emphasises the extraordinary crest. Congratulations to Anne for her effective use of light and colour in her winning image – something tells us it may not be the last Waxwing winner we see this winter!


Other notable images


Red-necked Grebe, Tynemouth, Northumberland (Jack Bucknall).

Ringed Plover, Prestwick, Ayrshire (Alex Montacute).

Grey Heron, Keyhaven Marshes, Hampshire (Christine Whiffen).

Grey Heron, Thornwick Bay, East Yorkshire (Paul Coombes).

Short-eared Owl, Sutton-on-Sea, Lincolnshire (Nick Clayton).

Red Knot, Snettisham RSPB, Norfolk (Maxwell Law).

Kittiwake, Holy Island, Northumberland (Jack Bucknall).

Arctic Skua, Cockenzie and Port Seton, Lothian (Lukasz Pulawski).

Waxwing, Lerwick, Mainland, Shetland (Rebecca Nason).

Two-barred Warbler, Flamborough Head, East Yorkshire (Ian Wells).

European Stonechat, Summer Leys LNR, Northamptonshire (Dave Jackson).

Common Linnet, Pilling, Lancashire (Phil Slade).

Northern Bullfinch, Fair Isle, Shetland (Alex Penn).

Snow Bunting, Nash Point, Glamorgan (Tate Lloyd).

Snow Bunting, Nanquidno Valley, Cornwall (Nick Truby).

Written by: BirdGuides