Country Corner


Ok I surrender! I have been trying to resist a waxwing article but it’s no good.

My problem is waxwings are such an iconic winter sight and so photogenic, they tend to be all over the press like a rash when they appear. This is fine if you come across a flock, but it was starting to feel as if I was the only one yet to connect.

When I did finally spot a party, busy gorging rosehips on a roadside hedge, who should I see cooried into the hedge bottom creating one of his bird masterpieces, but Darren Woodhead, the local but world class wildlife artist. To stop may have ruined his chances, so I drove on.

When I passed much later, Darren was back at his car, so I stopped for a chat and a nose at the painting. What can I say? It was all there, waxwings, red/orange rosehips, bare twigs, winter sky and falling snow flakes .

In fact I have to says Darren’s are the only paintings in which I can actually hear the birds! A masterpiece indeed.

Standing under their tree, looking up at the waxwings through big fluffy falling snowflakes, I couldn’t help but recall Darren’s watercolour. There was that sound again, last heard in Darren’s picture, a jingling of sleigh bells, superply matched to birds so obviously dressed for the snow.

There are birds and there are birds, but there is a magic to waxwings!

More country corner in this week’s Advertiser