Cedar Waxwing pair

December 7, 2004 [LINK]

Cedar waxwings are back

Upon returning from a pleasant (!!?) day of shopping late Sunday afternoon, Jacqueline and I noticed a noisy flock of Cedar waxwings feeding in the cherry (?) trees next to our parking lot. I ran inside to get the camera, and managed to get some good photos with the sunlight at a perfect angle. (Roll the mouse over the image to see 18 of them gathered in a tree top.) Cedar waxwings are surprisingly common birds, but many folks never notice them because they have such subtle coloration and seldom stay in one place for very long. If you ever hear a flock of pale birds calling "tseee - tseee" in a high-pitched voice, especially in the cooler months, take a close look and chances are your eyes will be delighted by the bright yellow markings and (not seen here) red wingtips of these gregarious berry eaters.

While driving through the Bell's Lane area late Friday afternoon, I saw a group of eight or so Hooded mergansers, the first of that species I had seen since February 29. I was too far away to get a good view of the huge "hoods" on those migratory ducks, but I was able to pick out multiple key field marks, so there was no question about what they were.