Waxwings on the way


North-West Europe looks set to enjoy a healthy influx of Waxwings this winter, with large numbers already appearing in southern Scandinavia.

Healthy counts have been reported from many sites in Finland and now Sweden, with the Euro Bird Portal illustrating how good numbers have arrived in southern Sweden over the past week. The first bird of the autumn to be seen in Britain was recorded on Yell, Shetland, today [20 October].

A relatively poor berry crop in parts of southern Scandinavia is likely to mean birds continue their westward movement and begin to arrive on British shores in the coming fortnight.

This coming winter looks set to potentially be one of the better seasons for Waxwings in recent years (Frank Golding).

Britain last enjoyed a 'Waxwing winter' in 2016-2017, with a succession of particularly poor years for the species since then. However, even that season didn't produce one of the bigger invasions, with that in 2012-2013 being the biggest of the past decade. In the decade prior to that year, there had been several winters of abundant Waxwings in Britain, but the species has been much scarcer in recent times.

Keep up to date with arriving Waxwings and other exciting migrants at www.birdguides.com/sightings or using the BirdGuides app.