Tuesday, 22 December 2015


I haven't had any new additions to the Year List for a while, so when news of a Waxwing at RSPB Old Moor came through on the BirdGuides website, I decided to have a drive up to hopefully get a view. Luckily, the weather was great on Sunday, with blue skies, and no rain, so I drove across, and spotted the bird perched in a tree above the main entrance.  Here are a couple of pictures.


I'm going to stick my neck out and say that this bird is an adult female. It's a adult based on the fact that there are several "waxy appendages" on the secondaries (hence the name), something that first winter birds don't seem to possess. However, it appears to lack any white on the inner webs of the primaries., something that I would expect to see on an adult bird.  Also, the yellow on the end of the tail is quite broad. In a first winter bird, this would, apparently, be much narrower. I think it's female because of the relatively small numbers of "waxy tips", and also because the black throat patch has a rather diffuse edge. In a male bird, the edge is much sharper. 

Anyway, that's my thoughts. If you agree or disagree, please let me know. I'm always willing to learn more! 

Year List update:
178: Waxwing

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