21 February 2008
What a surprise!
Lily and I were just leaving the grocery store this morning when I saw a Northern Cardinal flying low between two trees in the woods adjacent to the parking lot. Just as I turned left to leave I saw another bird fly between the same trees, but this one was more drab. Thinking that was an odd place for a Northern Mockingbird to be, I parked along the curb and retrieved my binoculars from the floorboard. What I saw when I focused them made me almost uncontrollably excited . . a small flock of Cedar Waxwings just perched among the trees and not doing much of anything. I absolutely love these birds, their dramatic crest, mask, and yellow-tipped tails contrast their satiny grey bodies so starkly. I remember the first time I saw a flock of them, they were devouring the berries on a pair of trees, and watching them at close range was mesmerizing. Thankfully, today before I left for the gym I had switched lenses on the camera and put it in the car, a decision which paid off with this photo and a few others the waxwings posed for. They are entry number 61 on my Big Year list, but without a doubt one of my favorite entries. And on a day that I never even expected to do any birding at all, it makes it that much sweeter.