If you’ve driven past a Doncaster branch of McDonald’s over the past few days, you might have spotted the unusual sight of a group of photographers pointing their lenses towards the skies.
There have been several reports of groups of men and women armed with cameras and video recording equipment near the fast food chain’s outlet at Shaw Lane in Wheatley over the course of the weekend.
Well, the reason for all the interest can now be revealed – a group of rare waxwing birds have been spotted in the area near to the burger joint – and birdwatching fans from across the country have been flocking to Doncaster to catch a glimpse.
The brightly coloured birds fly to Britain from Scandinavia to Britain each winter – with more than 10,000 settling on UK shores between October and March.
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The starling-sized birds normally stay near to the coast, but often move inland in search of berries to eat.
With its prominent crest, the waxwing, which is reddish-brown with a black throat, a small black mask round its eye, yellow and white in the wings and a yellow-tipped tail, is a rare UK sighting for wildlife fans.
It does not breed in the UK, but is a winter visitor, in some years in larger numbers, called irruptions, when the population on its breeding grounds gets too big for the food available.
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It is understood that a group of four waxwings has been spotted in the area around Shaw Lane over the past few days.
It is the second year in a row birdwatchers have flocked to the spot near Sandall Park. Last February, a group of 70 of the birds were spotted in the area.