Richard Smart - Nature Photography


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2012 and a bit of luck - sunshine.  A flock of 120+ were in Cheltenham for several weeks feeding on berries on several large trees.  In 2012 this was unusual, the bad spring had meant berries were very few and far between so this supply was a bit of an oasis.  Actual date of photos 18th Dec 2012.

In 2010 the word had it that the trees around Lidl in the middle of Cinderford were playing host to 250-300 Waxwings.  Since this is only about 5 miles from my home it had to be investigated.  I did not see 300 all at once but I did see 80 with other flocks joining and leaving making it impossible to assess the number, however there were a lot.  Rowans again were being stripped and these birds were not too bothered by shoppers and their trolleys.  The only problem - no sun.  13th Dec 2010.

Almost every Waxwing picture I see has them feeding on the pale pink berries that you see in the pictures above.  I knew these were Mountain Ash (Sorbus) but I did not know which variety.  A little research found that the following varieties do have these berries; they start a darker pink and gradually fade to the pinky white seen around December/January.  If you want to attract Waxwings plant:
Sorbus vilmorinii - 20ft - pink berries
Sorbus hupehensis 'Pink Pagoda - 66ft - red/pink/white berries
Sorbus 'Pink Ness' - 13ft - pink berries
Sorbus ‘Eastern Promise’ - 15ft - pink berries