Garth Peacock
Coton Cambridgeshire


Catching up with a local rarity

Friday 14th June 2024

Tanzania - Day 1 - Arusha

Monday 13th May 2024

Spring Tide at RSPB Snettisham

Saturday 13th April 2024

Things didn't go to plan

Friday 5th April 2024

Fowlmere RSPB Cambs

Wednesday 20th March 2024

Another trip to Norfolk

Tuesday 12th March 2024

Frampton Marsh (again)

Tuesday 5th March 2024

Snettisham RSPB

Tuesday 20th February 2024

A new destination for me

Monday 5th February 2024

A change of plan

Tuesday 30th January 2024

Three hours at Grafham Water

Monday 22nd January 2024

A strange week overall.

Friday 19th January 2024

Norfolk Coast

Tuesday 16th January 2024

New Year - where to go?

Monday 8th January 2024

Coton Cambridgeshire

Wednesday 20th December 2023

Back to Burwell Fen

Saturday 9th December 2023

Short-eared Owls

Monday 4th December 2023

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Wednesday 20th December 2023

Coton is small attractive village West of Cambridge. Except for visits to the garden centre, it is a village that is passed through rather than visited.

This all changed last Thursday evening when arranging with a friend for a trip out the next day. He mentioned that a flock of Waxings had been reported that afternoon in Coton - just a few miles from me. Now Waxings (properly called Bohemiam Waxwings) are a winter visitor to the UK, nesting in the high Arctic of Scandinavia and Russia and, up to 2019, were regular and rather common visitors, roving the country in flocks to feed on berries, mainly Rowan.

The last time I had photographed any was 2019, so going the next morning to Coton was a certainty, especially with the weather forecast showing sunny. Waxwings are very attractive birds and sunlight really brings out the colours in the plumage.

Well it was cloudy and dull and that persisted throughout the day - BBC get it wrong again. We found the Rowan tree they were feeding on in a front garden opposite the primary school - caution as long lenses and small children do not go together!! In fact, we had parked just up from the school when we were asked by a chap from the school what we were doing - the local Special Constable. Full marks to him for that - cannot be too careful these days - he was very understanding when we explained the reason for our visit.

The flock appeared and flew to the top of a nearby tall tree. They usually wait while a scout flies down to feed and if all is well, they follow down. They are usually quite tolerant of birders and photographers once settled but they do not stay for too long.

I find them fascinating to watch as well as photograph as they are so acrobatic when feeding.

Flight shots were difficult in the poor light but still worth trying.

Now that there are flocks of Waxings in the country, it will only be a matter of time before more photos in sunlight are possible. Still, an enjoyable and productive morning.