I have also seen my first Waxwings of the year this year at Blaydon, I also found some this morning at Washington in the company of David Kay. Always a pleasure to find my own Waxwings, the year is not really complete without such an event! Only 6 birds present but very approachable, appearing to be all 1st year birds. I have been inspired by Boulmer Birder in regards to ageing and sexing Waxwings, now it may appear I am just thoroughly bored and trying to avoid my impending uni assignment at all costs, however I was genuinely interested to know to age and sex them.
I've always had a soft spot for them, I saw my first birds in Jarrow on the 22nd of November 2008.
So I took some of my typically wonderful photos of the 6 Waxwings today, only managed some half decent shots; surprise! So here's some general waffle, folk can correct my incompetence in comments below if I do happen to make a mistake; which is likely I am sure.
(1st year female Waxwing - due to fairly narrow tail band, lack of deep yellow on outer webs of the primaries, 'blurry' edge to lower edge of bib, and only a few red appendages, clearly less than a male should show)
(Foreground: 1st year male; many waxy appendages, with broad yellow tail band, other photos show a clear cut lower edge to the bib. But first year due to lack of intense yellow on outer webs of primaries and also lack of white edge running along base of primaries toward inner web.
Background: 1st year female; lack of numerous red appendages with little yellow in outer edge of primaries as well as clearly a duller tail band)
(1st year male - guess work! But looks to have a clear cut lower edge to the bib as well as a broad yellow tail band)
Cool birds. Until next time, Foghorn out!