EXPERTS are predicting a good winter for crickets as the “punk rocker” birds return to Scotland.

The pinkish birds are about the size of a starling and have “fluttering crests, orange, gray and lemon-yellow tails and wing feathers tipped with waxy red.”

They nest in coniferous forests of Scandinavia and Eastern Russia, and usually winter in the south.

Poor berry harvests in Finland and Sweden are pushing the birds further west this winter, and the first birds arrived at Anst in Shetland last week.

The last outbreak of whistlers occurred in the winter of 2015-16, but the last “good winter” for whistlers was in 2012-13, according to the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO).

Rob Jacques, development officer for the BTO’s Garden BirdWatch, said: “A true winter with hundreds of these birds visiting our shores is a rare occurrence, so it’s exciting news that so many of these gorgeous visitors are on their way to us right now.

“Keep an eye on your garden, especially if you have rowan or dogwood, pyracantha or viburnum covered with red berries.

“If you’re lucky, let us know by taking part in the BTO GardenBirdwatch survey.”

Read more stories at Scottish fieldwildlife pages.

Also, don’t miss the photos of the deadbeats taken by photographer Kevin Morgans November issue Scottish field magazine.