Many people are reporting a strange and amazing-looking exotic bird in the gardens and parks of Wicklow. However, if you see one, or a flock of them, there’s no need to report it to the zoo as this species, the Bohemian Waxwing, is one of our winter migrants and arrives in both Britain and Ireland when there is severe cold weather on the continent. I first saw a flock of fourteen of these birds in late February 2002, but only today managed to get my first photo of one. Unfortunately the light was very poor, but here in all it’s glory is one of three spectacularly beautiful Bohemian Waxwings (Bombycilla garrulus) I saw today, foraging in Newcastle village.
The Bohemian Waxwing is actually a northern species, found across Scandinavia and Siberia, and in North America too. It feeds almost exclusively on berries, which is why it is especially fond of gardens and parks, where shrubs are grown. I think this just proves nature is the greatest show on earth, and it’s completely free.