A last minute entry for wildlife highlight of the year made an appearance on Boxing Day, Waxwings near Ruthin, North Wales.
They are a bird I have lots of fond memories with, when I was at high school a flock of 200 came daily for a week to the two Rowan trees at the front of the school. My history teacher even moved my desk to the window overlooking them so I could watch them whilst in class.
It left a last impression with me, the excitment of finding these birds, their exquiste beauty and character, watching them at such close quarters and people nurturing my passion which began a lifelong obsession with nature, all coming together and making great experience.
So when I was at a loose end on Boxing Day and hearing about this flock just down the road I thought it was a good chance to go and spend some time with them.
Initially they had flown off from their favourite haunt (Aldi Car Park) 10 minutes before I arrived (always the case isn't it), but after a quick drive to the nearby village where they were seen flying too I found them at the side of the road so I pulled up and enjoyed a lovely hour with them.
They would gorge on Hawthorn (I usually see them on Rowan berries but they once were feeding on Cotoneaster from my old front garden), and then decend to a little puddle at the side of the road for a drink. In total there were about 55 but they difficult to count when they are all very active and not nicely lined up at the top of tree sitting still.
I did not take many images, usual photographer excuses, their location was messy, no light blah blah blah, but I did manage to snap the shot above which I was more than pleased with.
Hopefully there will be more Waxwing encounters in the new year!