THE SILHOUETTE was enough for me to instantly identify the bird; slightly stubby and with a sharp crest; a waxwing. It flew off from the weather vane on which it was perched and settled on the apex of the roof of the nearby bungalow, joining six more waxwings which were perched on the television aerial and chimney pot.

They’re a reminder that although we’re already into the three months that the meteorologists refer to as spring, spring proper isn’t quite with us.

We’re having odd flakes of snow here today and a cold breeze. My thermometer is showing that it’s 5 degrees above freezing but the breeze makes it feel much colder. Cars coming down from the hills are covered in inch thick snow. Perhaps this is the reason that these waxwings have turned up here today in the Calder Valley.

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  1. Richard I love your drawings. They would complement my site called urbanwildlifediary.wordpress.com Please take a look. I am hoping to turn it into a book one day and I would love you to do the illustrations.

    1. Thank you Della, like your urban wildlife diary . . . but I mustn’t take on any more illustration work as I’ve got plenty of my own at the moment! With your eye for character and incident you should try a bit of sketching yourself. And, by the way, I’ve written a book on drawing wildlife on location; Drawing on Reserves, a much simplified approach.

    1. They’d be special birds anywhere but part of the magic is the way they turn up in the most unexpected places, such as supermarket car parks and shrubby roundabouts.

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