Neither Allan or I have ever seen Waxwings before. That's not to say we haven't tried, but it's safe to say they've been (especially for Allan) our 'bogey bird'. So with early signs of this winter being a waxwing winter, we have been keeping watch on the SOS sightings page to see when they'd show up in Sussex. On Sunday it was reported there were 33 on an industrial estate in East Grinstead, which is about an hour's drive from here, and with Monday being our day off we decided it was worth a trip in the morning. Arriving shortly after 9am in the pouring rain, there were no other birders around yet so had to find them ourselves. Fortunately it didn't take much more than a minute to spot them sitting at the top of a tree not far from where we parked!
Shortly after grabbing a couple of pictures, them flew off deeper in to the estate, so we followed the direction they went and quickly found them again, sitting in a tree adjacent to a whole border full of rosehips - bingo! Luckily there was a bike shelter in the perfect location where we could watch them move from the tree to the rose bushes and back without getting soaking wet standing in the rain. We spent about an hour in their company overall, a magical birding experience for the both of us.
At about 10.15am they flew off and we decided to head off to Old Lodge Nature Reserve as it was on our way back home. An hour's walk around the reserve also came up trumps, with nice views of Stonechats, Meadow Pipits, Goldcrests, Bullfinches and best of all a pair of Crossbills.