Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Waxwings in London!

This morning, the suburban demiparadise where I live was in full Winter Wonderland garb. Every twig and every leaf, every grass blade and strand of spider silk was rimed with white whiskery hoarfrost, to brilliant effect. The Beast from the East has moved back in, clamping its icy grip on the land. And moving in with it have been Waxwings - these spectacular winter visitors have been seen in London, busily stripping the rowan trees of berries. I've only once seen a Waxwing, and that was but a glimpse from a train - but I live in hope, especially this winter. Meanwhile mysteriously absent are the Redwings (and, come to that, Fieldfares) who normally sweep in with the first icy blast. There were dozens of them around in the demiparadise last winter, and the winter before that - the Hard One - they and the Fieldfares were everywhere. This year I've barely seen either. Has anyone else seen much of them this winter? Perhaps their absence could be a sign that the Beast from the East isn't all it's cracked up to be and we could soon be reverting to the familiar mild wet winter...
Meanwhile, there's a fine sun-warmed painting by John Linnell on The Dabbler, with a few words from me.


  1. I came across a small party of Redwings in a churchyard this morning. They let me get surprisingly close. I thought perhaps the Beast from the East had left them too weak and hungry to fly off. It's colder here than in London and it will be very cold further north. I've never seen a Waxwing, alas. Anything sun-warmed sounds pretty good today.

  2. No Beast from the East here -- seasonable weather & no frost yet, chilly looking roses still blooming.
    I've seen flocks of tufted titmice in the city parks, often in late fall a harbinger of cold weather to come.
    Susan from NYC

  3. Oh yes, I like the look of those tufted titmice! Just had a look at them online. Glad the cold's holding off so far Susan...
    And Mark, glad to hear you've seen some redwings. They can be surprisingly tame, tho by all reports waxwings are more so, seeming not to register human presence as anything to worry about. There's a theory that it's because back in the forests of Scandinavia they never see a human...

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