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 worked for more than 35 years as a flight attendant for an international airline. He came to birding late in his career but, considering the distractions, doesn't regret the missed opportunities. He was paid to visit six continents and took full advantage of the chance to bird the world. He adopted the nom de blog, Redgannet, to avoid remonstrations from his overbearing employer, but secretly hoped that the air of mystery would make him more attractive to women. Now grounded, he is looking forward to seeing the seasons turn from a fixed point.