Thoroughly depressed by the gloom and grey of this benighted land and now with heavy rain to contend with I found myself on business in Aylesbury. I was mindful of the regular appearances of Waxwings for the last few days on the Gateway Industrial Area- a large industrial estate in that town. Driving down the road I saw them briefly flying into some tall trees at the back of the estate. There was no way I could stop or even park the car safely. I found myself playing dodgems with courier delivery drivers, container lorries and sundry sales rep Mondeo's. A weekday here is not the best place to cruise around looking for Waxwings. Everyone and everything seemingly impatient and intolerant. I finally found the favoured berry laden tree standing in splendid isolation, almost overwhelmed and somewhat diminished amongst all the metal buildings, security fencing and opposite to a mobile food van dispensing industrial quantities of cholesterol to all comers.
I parked the Black Audi downwind of the van from which emanated an all pervading smell of fat and grease and fearlessly wound down the window to await the arrival of the birds. Huge lorries and delivery vans thundered past. For half an hour the tree remained devoid of anything remotely ornithological and then the Waxwings descended from the grey sky. In fact I heard their distinctive trilling first. Five minutes at the top of the tree and then one after the other they descended to scoff berries as fast as their little throats would allow.
Typically it was all over in a few minutes and then they were off, trilling frantically and presumably back to wherever they felt secure and could digest the berries they had plundered. I can only guess they flew to the higher trees surrounding the industrial complex. It is a paradox. Such beautiful birds coming from distant northern lands and endless pine forests but when they get here they always seem to be attracted to the most unappealing and unattractive of locations such as industrial estates and superstore car parks.