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Winter Waxwings

~ Monday, 13th December 2010

 We've had a really nice autumn and winter so far in and around Snowdonia. During October several Waxwings came to Bangor, no doubt encouraged by the abundance of berry bearing trees in the area and a lack of food in Scandinavia. Trees were awash withberries late in the summer which I certainly hoped was an indicator for a cold winter ahead. That has certainly been true so far, but the Waxwings were delightful. They have been on my list since childhood, so those first sightings will be a treasured memory. The cold spell has brought fantastic winter climbing conditions to Snowdonia,the downside for the birds and animals has been the difficulty in finding food and warmth. They are well adapted and no doubt imaginitive at times. We have had plenty of Chaffinch, Magpies, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird and even a Herring Gull feeding in our garden. We live at 300m above sea level, so not the warmest or sheltered of locations, but these hardy birds seem to love it! I took our son, Ollie out for a walk yesterday afternoon, on one of the clearest Sundays for a while, clear of snow I mean! A Buzzard flew pretty close to us as we walked up towards the Dinorwic slate quarry. Ravens and Magpies were around, but not alot else. The low sun provides great lighting for photography at this time of the year, so I played around a bit with Ollie providing some great silhouettes for me. The clear days have been quite special lately, see my climbing blog for a couple of lovely Snowdon views. All the best  for the festive season and enjoy your nature.