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Waxwings spotted early in season searching for berries

PUBLISHED: 12:47 06 November 2019 | UPDATED: 12:47 06 November 2019

A waxwing seen by Bob Jackson in Burnham Market. Picture: Bob Jackson

A waxwing seen by Bob Jackson in Burnham Market. Picture: Bob Jackson

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A charismatic bird that can get drunk on fermenting berries has made an early appearance on our shores.

A waxwing seen by Bob Jackson in Burnham Market. Picture: Bob JacksonA waxwing seen by Bob Jackson in Burnham Market. Picture: Bob Jackson

Retiree Bob Jackson spotted a group of waxwings in Burnham Market at the end of October, the start of the season these winter visitors can be seen in the UK.

The plump birds have a reddish crest, back throat and yellow-tipped tail. They make an annual migration to the east of Britain from Scandinavia and Arctic Russia, where they breed.

Mr Jackson, 64, a long-time birder, said: "They come over in search of berries, and if they do eat berries that have started to ferment they get a bit tipsy.

"They're very striking birds and it's good to see them. You don't get to see them every year, it depends how lucky you are."

A waxwing seen by Bob Jackson in Burnham Market. Picture: Bob JacksonA waxwing seen by Bob Jackson in Burnham Market. Picture: Bob Jackson

Waxwings can eat up to 1,000 berries a day, and have a preference for rowan, hawthorn, cotoneaster and rosehip berries.

A waxwing seen by Bob Jackson in Burnham Market. Picture: Bob JacksonA waxwing seen by Bob Jackson in Burnham Market. Picture: Bob Jackson

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