Chorleywood residents have been charmed by a flock of birds who have migrated to the village from Scandinavia for the winter.
For the first few days of 2024, bird-watching villagers enjoyed watching a group of 20 or so waxwings in Chorleywood Bottom who were nesting in a tree in a resident’s front garden.
It is believed they were attracted to the spot due to the tree’s pink sorbus berries, which have blossomed in the winter months.
Waxwings, which are described as plump, reddish-brown birds, have black markings around their bodies, white strips on their wings, and a yellow-tipped tail.
They are slightly smaller than starlings and are not natural residents of the United Kingdom. They usually spend their breeding periods in Northern and Eastern European countries, while visiting the UK for the winter.
However, around once every seven years, a larger influx of waxwings than usual will make its way to the UK in what is known as an irruption. This is because of a lack of available food or crop failures in their breeding grounds.
The small cohort in Chorleywood, of which there are believed to be about 20, are part of a wider group of 7,000 birds that are currently staying in the UK for the duration of the winter season.
Many residents have expressed delight over the waxwings’ appearance in the village via social media, with one describing them as “stunning”.
Photo credit: Lee Evans Birding