The cold weather has brought an influx of the beautiful Bohemian Waxwings into Britain, including into south Wales. In the last couple of weeks, I've had fruitless trips to Cardiff and Ebbw Vale in pursuit of these avian aristocrats. (They had always left before I arrived, but often reappeared after I'd gone!)
I half expected today to be third time unlucky as I headed out before dawn under a clear, starry sky for Monmouth, where a flock of twenty or thirty of these birds has been reported for a couple of days.
Unfortunately, Monmouth was shrouded under a heavy fog, the surrounding countryside being beautified by a thick coat of hoar frost.
Anyway, I went to the location I had been given, and there were the birds, about twenty, mostly roosting in a nearby tall tree; but, in rotation, a few would fly down to feed on a white-berried Rowan tree on a grassy area in front of some flats. Conditions were not ideal for photography, with the low light and thick frost. "You should have been here yesterday!", a local man said to me, when the sun had been shining brightly. So, I'd come on the wrong day, but at least the birds were here!
I began taking some pictures, setting the camera to ISO 800, and hoping my handholding skills were up to holding my 500mm f/4.5 lens steady at shutter speeds from 1/320th to 1/500th of a second.
Here are a few of the shots: