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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Blizzard Brings Bohemian Waxwings

This blizzard brings many birds to our yard for shelter. I feed the ducks and the pheasants cracked corn. They eat quickly before it is buried by the snow blowing sideways. Chickadees, purple finches, goldfinches and starlings come to the feeders, and pick seeds from the stag-horn sumac cones. These are the usual guests.

Late in the afternoon, the tops of the maples and birches fill with Bohemian Waxwings, and one robin. The waxwings are infrequent visitors to my yard. As I watch them, they take turns flying down into the crab apple tree, to eat tiny frozen apples the size of blueberries.

The strong wind makes photos a real challenge. The branches are moving, their feathers are ruffling and they have their backs to me, facing into the gale. The gusts make the pictures blurry with grains of snow.

Still, aren't these birds lovely?  Their grey feathers hide them among the grey of tree limbs this time of year.  Their cinnamon crests and yellow terminal tail bands, their chestnut under-tail coverts and white, red and yellow wing markings give them away.

It is growing dark now, but I know they are still in my yard.  I can hear, over the howls of the storm, their faint, high pitched, quavering whistles just outside my kitchen windows.

And one lone robin
I'm glad they are finding some shelter from the storm and feel lucky to have been able to watch them this afternoon.  They are a gift from the storm. And company for the lone robin.


Crafty Green Poet said...

Lovely photos! I love waxwings, I haven't seen any this winter...

Carol Steel said...

Hello Juliet.
This winter the snow is so deep that the waxwings can nearly stand on the snowbanks and reach the apples on the branches. They have been here many times and have eaten almost all the apples now. I wonder where they will go for dinner next.