THE WAXWING WINTER

Bohemian Waxwing, Barrow, East Lancashire - oops!

AS IF THE INTERNET WAS NOT ALREADY FLOODED WITH WAXWING PHOTOS this winter! At risk of becoming part of the problem I had been patiently waiting for them to come to me instead of chasing them around. Strange how my first of the influx was in Stow-on-the-Wold in the last week of December. I just managed to add waxwing to my little ELOC year list on 31 January, ending up on 146 after I stopped trying for more species in early September. My highest total in East Lancs by far and not too bad considering I was out of the country for three months this year but I didn't even get within 20 of Mark Breaks's amazing total. I will not be doing it again. Instead I am planning to do more walks up Pendle Hill this year than ever before. I'm on four so far by 8 January and should manage at least 16 by the end of February before I go back to Ladakh. The only year list I will be taking an interest in will be a tree-less part of Pendle Hill, Bill Aspin calls it my 'Moorland Madness Mini-league of One'. I reckon the bird list will not get anywhere near the number of hikes up Pendle but ironically the very first bird on that list this year was one that eluded me completely in 2016, can you guess what it was?