As the summer heats up, we birders are already looking ahead to returning passage migrants and waiting impatiently for the cooler temperatures that bring our respective winter visitors. The prime cause of my impatience is the Bohemian Waxwing. Seldom does a bird live up to its billing as well as this one.

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I suspect that I was the last person in the UK to get the waxwing tick after missing 2 good irruption years, but eventually my incompetence paid off when a flock was reported in a small village close to my home. The novelty had worn off by now and all the other British birders were away looking for other exciting species, leaving me with a bushful of Bohemian Waxwings all to myself!

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This species moves into Great Britain from continental Europe and Scandinavia when the weather gets really cold or when their food supplies run out. Good breeding years often result in the available resources being used up quickly, so the birds have to look further afield and often cross the North Sea to Britain. They are usually seen first in Scotland and the north of England where they appear in large flocks. Sightings further south are later and usually consist of much smaller flocks.

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Written by Redgannet
Redgannet has been working for over 33 years as a crew member/flight attendant and enjoys the well-ventilated air of the outdoors. The nom de blog, Redgannet, was adopted to add an air of mystery and to make himself more attractive to women. His father first whetted Redguga's appetite for all things natural by buying him his first pair of 7x35s and a copy of Thorburn's Birds. Having no mentor beyond an indulgent parent, he spent the first season hoping for an Egyptian Vulture at the bird table in his English garden. His most memorable birding moment is seeing an Egyptian Vulture with those same binoculars 26 years later. Redgannet is married to Canon, but his heart and half of his house belongs to Helen and their son Joseph. He is looking forward to communicating with people who don't ask if he is searching for the "feathered variety" of bird.