It’s the same the whole world over. A rare bird draws a crowd of optics and men of a certain age.

The Tokyo Bay Wild Bird Park was exceptionally busy this morning. Rumour had it that a Bohemian Waxwing had been sighted and it had been noted consorting with 4 Japanese Waxwings. The Japanese Waxwing, Bombycilla japonica, is uncommon and would have been enough to draw a crowd from the Tokyo contingent of birders, but B. garrulus would be top of the bill.

The concerned faces that you might see at any Nearctic twitch were here too, worried that the bird might take fright before they got a chance to see it.

The moments when hope was fading and legs of a certain age were getting tired will be familiar to us all, but there might still be a chance, so leaving is not an option. Thank heavens for picnic furniture.

Every time a shutter fired, heads would snap round to see where the camera was pointing. Usually, it was just me taking a shot at a Warbling White-eye or a White-faced Starling that are too common for a local birder to bother with.

Then a call! A pointed arm!

A silhouette!

All optics trained in one direction, 200 frames per second firing at a tiny black shape in a bare tree. Sound familiar?

A waxwing! Red or yellow terminal band? Yellow. Hurray. Bohemian Waxwing.


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.