FLOCKS of stunning birds are poised to appear in north Essex this winter.

Waxwings occasionally migrate from Scandinavia when a successful breeding season means their local berry supply is exhausted and do not winter every year.

But experts at the Essex Wildlife Trust are hopeful for an irruption this year, where the birds arrive in large numbers, and there has already been some sightings at Abbotts Hall Farm, Great Wigborough, and Fingringhoe Wick nature reserves, and also further south in Maldon and South Woodham Ferrers.

Slightly smaller than a starling Waxwings have a mix of colours with a prominent pinky crest from which it gets its nickname pink punk. It is reddish-brown with a black throat, a small black mask round its eye, yellow and white in the wings and a yellow-tipped tail. The wax refers to the red endings on the feather tips which help identify the age and sex of the bird.

  • Regular updates of Waxwing sightings will be given by Essex Wildlife Trust on their website.

The trust wants to collate records about Waxwing sightings in Essex this winter and people are asked to email details of their sightings and any photographs to records@essexwt.org.uk.

The email subject should be Waxwing and include your name, an accurate location including a postcode and if possible six-figure grid reference, who saw them, when, and how many birds were recorded.