Saturday, December 17, 2016

Nature Walk / Bird-Watching Tour of BBG

The guides, a husband-and-wife team with a scope, were quite good.  We saw a red-tailed hawk, a turkey vulture, many white-throated sparrows, some mallards and black ducks, robins, cardinals (both male and female), a blue jay, and - most thrillingly - cedar waxwings.

Mallards always remind me of Suzie, who loved them.

A single rowan tree, its berries at just the right level of ripeness or fermentation, was alive with cedar waxwings.  The guides trained their scope on it, and I went back home to recharge my batteries and get more pictures in the late afternoon.  Unfortunately, only the close-ups really came out well; the photos that were intended to give a sense of scale and presence are singularly unimpressive (it's hard to distinguish between dead leaves and live waxwings, as you can easily in person).

Who is that masked bird?  Only the Waxwing knows!

Toward the end of the day, I also saw the red-tailed hawk again, much closer, with its back to me and the lowering sun, take off from its perch and fly away in a spectacular flash of red-gold.

The seeming yellow drips of wax on the tip of the tail were amazingly vivid through the scope.

The berries are always sweeter on the other end of the branch.

Trying another angle!

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