Monday 11 March 2024

Waxwings - in the Abingtons - finally!

29th February 2024 - reports that it was going to be a 'Waxwing winter' started in November last year, with good numbers of these charismatic birds starting to appear in Scotland. Over the following weeks, these colourful winter visitors from Scandinavia slowly worked their way south and west reaching Cambridgeshire around mid-December.

Very small numbers of Bohemian Waxwing (to given them their full name) find their way across to northern Britain most winters, but occasionally when the berries run short in Scandinavia, this species can 'irrupt' across the North Sea with huge numbers visiting the UK for several months over the winter period. The last major 'irruption' was in 2012-2013, so for many this current winter's event was a spectacle not to be missed. 

During the run up to Christmas, small flocks of Bohemian Waxwing were being watched avidly in Coton and by the railway station in Great Shelford, but throughout January locally the birds seemed to be remaining largely within Cambridge.  However, as these flock methodologically stripped their favourite berries from the trees there, they would inevitably need to move on, and finally on 29th February a flock of 20 was spotted on Granta Park by Darren B.  Luckily he had his camera, and took a few photos.

No comments:

The Aims of Abington Naturewatch

At their meeting on 9 April 2005 the members approved this revised version of the aims of Abington Naturewatch:

  • To monitor and record the wildlife (fauna & flora) within the borders of the Abingtons;
  • To encourage protection of our wildlife, maintain its quality and foster its diversity;
  • To promote awareness of the richness, potential and problems of the natural environment of the Abingtons;
  • To cooperate in improving access to the local natural environment for the benefit of all Abington villagers.

Pat Daunt, Founder

The organisation is informal and communication is by email if possible; members are notified of events from time to time. Contact details are maintained by a small "project team". There is currently no membership fee as costs are covered by voluntary contributions at events.

Members are encouraged to report notable sightings of flora and fauna within the Abingtons to the appropriate sector coordinator and an illustrated record is published annually.

A map of the area covered, with some features noted, is available here:>

For more information or to join, please contact David Farrant on (01223) 892871.

Contributions to our records should be sent to sector contacts or either of the above. Photographs may also be submitted to Andy Merryweather (