Waxwings and Wagtails
York has had a decent couple of weeks of Waxwing sightings since Christmas. Following a couple of individual records in late autumn and early December, up to a dozen were seen near the Swan pub in the Bishopthorpe Road/Nunnery Lane area on 27th December. Numbers built up to 44 in the following days, though the birds were elusive at times. Having stripped the bushes around there, they were spotted regularly in the Castle Mills area, behind the Castle Museum and at the entrance to St George’s Field car park, over the New Year weekend, peaking at 45 on the 1st January. Earlier in the day 40+ were seen near Heworth Green. Since then there have been reports of smaller groups at a variety of locations including Micklegate, Queen Street, Beckfield Lane (Acomb), Woodthorpe (24) and Haxby (28). Elsewhere in the area, there were reports of flocks at Melbourne and Yearsley (40+) in December on a couple of occasions. Follow @yorkbirding on Twitter, also to be seen on this site’s home page, for up to the minute information.
The city centre has also been hosting the regular and spectacular Pied Wagtail roost in Parliament Street, this is well worth checking out as the light starts to fade. This year 1100 birds were estimated on 27th December and a similar number on 3rd January.