Although 2-3" of snow had fallen overnight there was a very slow thaw in evidence and various breaks in what had been days of leaden skies.
Picking up on local information we visited various locations in Sheffield where Waxwings had been seen in the early morning , but with no success. We decided to go to the RSPB Old Moor Reserve, check additional areas on the way and, as a final fall back position, hope that the birds that had been seen regularly in that area were still about. In short, all birds had moved and even a couple of optimistic visits to new housing developments, and their pristine landscaped areas awash with Cotoneaster, failed to secure success.
Instead we finally fell back on what the reserve had to offer and thoroughly enjoyed the outcome. The feeding station was teeming with birds and it was a pleasure to see Woodpigeon, Stock Dove and Collared Dove feeding together along with birds like Bullfinch, Brambling, Tree Sparrow and Willow Tit. A quite lengthy walk along the nearby Pennine Way, which overlooks the reserve, and then continues past Bolton Ings, was invigorating if its bird species were few in number. An enjoyable afternoon and well worth the effort. Almost too soon the temperature began to fall and we contemplated a return, resigned to the fact that Waxwings would only show themselves when the appropriate occasion arose!!
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