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.


Carolyn said...

WOW I love that bird's coloring! Great photo and you're making some good headway (is that the right word here Webster?) on your list! Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous! Should I be seeing them up here now? I caught the woodpecker hiding seeds & nuts in the tree today...he must not like it when I go away for a few days. Mark is pretty good at keeping the feeders full while I'm away...they're just hedging their bets!!!