BIRDWATCHERS in Huddersfield are being urged to look out for waxwings, who have been flocking to the UK.

Small numbers visit Britain each winter but this year looks set to be one of the best on record.

A flock of 200 of the colourful birds was seen before Christmas near the Merrie England cafe at Oakes. A smaller number was spotted at Netherton.

They are flying to Britain in huge numbers because of the poor berry crop in their Scandinavian breeding grounds.

Waxwings feed on insects during the summer in Scandinavia. In winter, they switch to berries, especially the soft juicy berries of rowan trees.

Margaret Overend, a spokeswoman for bird charity the RSPB, in Denby Dale, said: "The waxwing is one of the most beautiful and easiest birds to identify and gets its name from the waxy red tips to some of its wing feathers."

The birds have a dark salmon-pink and grey plumage with an impressive crest. They have a black mask and bib, yellow and white in the wings, and a yellow tip to the tail.

The RSPB is asking people to record any sightings via its BirdTrack system, which can be accessed at