Sunday 3 March 2019

Wimbledon Waxwings

2nd March 2019
The previous day, I'd heard of a flock of Waxwings roosting in South Park Gardens, Wimbledon. I thought that there was probably no chance of me having the time total a train to southwest London, but since I had nothing to do, that's exactly what I did. One and a half hours on that train, I reached the Gardens, which looked extremely busy: not a place at all for Waxwings. I met up with Arjun Dutta and Alex Liddle, and we waited for about fifteen minutes. At 4:20pm, we heard a distinct call, and a flood of twitchers raced to one particular tree. At the very top were six Waxwings! None of us could get a clear shot (with cameras...) of them because of the light levels, but with their pink plumage and punk hairstyles, it looked like they were visiting the capital after thirty years (minus their electric guitars and drum kit), so it was a real surprise to those who use the Gardens daily. 

For about twenty-five minutes, they moved about the tree, and by this time, more and more people were joining the crowd, including one of Arjun's friends at school. Suddenly, at 4:45pm, a Sparrowhawk scared them away! It was great seeing these beautiful Scandinavian surprises, especially in the capital. This flock was thought to be from the Balham Waxwings last month. Who know where they'll go next? Wimbledon Common? Wimbledon Park? Richmond Park? Somewhere in Wandsworth, Richmond, Merton, Sutton, Lambeth or Kingston? Back to Scandinavia? We can only guess.

The twitch

The flock of six


Four of the six Waxwings


Heavily-edited Waxwing

Another heavily-edited Waxwing



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