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Thread started 22 Feb 2012 (Wednesday) 10:54
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Waxwings and Ice Water

 
dbriz
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Arrowhead of Minnesota
Feb 22, 2012 10:54 |  #1

The waxwings and Pine Grosbeaks have about depleted every berry and apple in the arrowhead. I have been photographing the waxwings since the end of November and now with the berries gone, I figured they would have moved on. On Monday, it was warm for this time of the year. The snow and ice had been melting for a few days of the same weather. I was checking out a few of my waxwing haunts when the sky erupted with hundreds of dark silhouettes. I was amazed to see a flock of at least 300 Bohemian and Cedar Waxwings circling an area of mountain ash trees. I knew there were no berries on these trees, because I had photographed there often. This flock had been eating berry residue on the ground; what the melting snow was revealing in berries. Each snowfall had covered up berries that dropped during the high winds accompanying the snow. So there were layers of berries the waxwings were picking through.

I quietly stood in an area that had ice and water cover. I knew that sooner or later these hungry birds would descend for another meal. I had to stand for about 30 minutes until first, a Common Redpoll descended, not for a berry, but a drink. Soon, numbers of waxwings joined them for baths and drinks, while others gorged themselves on the downed berries. It was quite a sight to see and hear and I ended up with some of my best "grounded" waxwing photos of the year.

IMAGE: http://i580.photobucket.com/albums/ss243/dbriz/Bohemianwax2feb20copy.jpg

IMAGE: http://i580.photobucket.com/albums/ss243/dbriz/Bohemianwax1feb20copy.jpg

IMAGE: http://i580.photobucket.com/albums/ss243/dbriz/Bohemianwax10feb20copy.jpg

IMAGE: http://i580.photobucket.com/albums/ss243/dbriz/Bohemianwax3feb20copy.jpg

Cedar Waxwing amongst the flock of Bohemians

IMAGE: http://i580.photobucket.com/albums/ss243/dbriz/Cedarwax1feb20copy.jpg

IMAGE: http://i580.photobucket.com/albums/ss243/dbriz/Bohemianwax5feb20copy.jpg

A small area under a mountain ash tree, showing the eating habits of the waxwings. They eat for 20 to 30 seconds and leave with a whir of wings... the next wave lands.

IMAGE: http://i580.photobucket.com/albums/ss243/dbriz/Waxwings1feb20copy.jpg

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Shar824
Cream of the Crop
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Lower Alabama
Feb 22, 2012 10:58 |  #2

Wonderful shots Dave, would love to see this many of these beautiful birds all at one time. Looks like they found the buffet.


Sharon

"If you want to see birds, you must have birds in your heart." -- John Burroughs

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Snydremark
Myth-informed
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Issaquah, WA USA
Feb 22, 2012 11:02 |  #3

Fantastic! I've never seen that many Waxwings in once place before; that must have been a fun shoot to do. Really like the closeups down on the ice, especially.


- Eric S.: My Birds/Wildlife (external link) (7D MkII, Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, Canon 24-105L f/4 IS, Canon 70-200L f/2.8 IS MkII, Canon 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 IS)
"The easiest way to improve your photos is to adjust the loose nut between the shutter release and the ground."

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Wallace ­ River
" ...a bit of a pervy voyeur "
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Wallace, Nova Scotia
Feb 22, 2012 11:06 as a reply to Snydremark's post |  #4

Up to your ankles in ice water was worth it, Dave! Hope you went home and put on dry socks :)


IAN - Living life on the shores of the Wallace River in northern Nova Scotia, Canada :
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jodelak
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Joined Aug 2009
Vancouver Canada
Feb 22, 2012 11:45 |  #5

And that what it takes, 1 to break the ice and others will follow :) Such a beautiful set here Dave, it is indeed bohemian rhapsody :)


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i see with my eyes, i shoot with my fingers.

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CDMOOSE
Cream of the Crop
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Joined May 2009
Rainy Lake, N. MN
Feb 22, 2012 11:48 |  #6

What a sight, Dave; good for you. I saw the first photo on the MOU site and was envious; I'm even more envious now. Well done.
Al


Al
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2slo
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Durham, England
Feb 22, 2012 11:52 as a reply to CDMOOSE's post |  #7

Very nice series, especially that last shot.


Mark
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straker
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Joined Jul 2009
Liverpool, England UK
Feb 22, 2012 11:53 |  #8

What a sight ... thats a really beautiful set and so different from the normal branch and berry shots ... an excellent set, Well done.


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Levina ­ de ­ Ruijter
I'm a bloody goody two-shoes!
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Joined Sep 2008
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Feb 22, 2012 12:56 |  #9

Excellent series, Dave, with some unique poses. The last shot is spectacular. But I think the drinking shot is my favourite. Never seen that before. Great work all around!


Levina
There is no such thing as ect. It's etc. (with period) from latin et cetera.
Colours are not complimentary but complementary.

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cfcRebel
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Joined Feb 2005
Austin, TX
Feb 22, 2012 14:02 |  #10

Absolutely fabulous! Well done Dave! Wish i could see that many Waxwings at the same time.


Fee

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squirrelsnest
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1,078 posts
Joined Jan 2008
Alexandria, Va
Feb 22, 2012 14:22 |  #11

Nice series of shots showing various "sides" of the bird!


.

"I never think of the future. It comes soon enough." Albert Einstein

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dfbovey
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Feb 22, 2012 15:12 |  #12

Very nice :)


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blakeG!
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Oklahoma
Feb 22, 2012 15:25 |  #13

Beautiful shots!


-Blake
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andrewhuxman
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Joined May 2005
Rockford Illinois
Feb 22, 2012 15:34 |  #14

Wow..... ...Dave what a Excellent series of shots of these beauties . That must be awesome to witness that.


A little L goes a long way.

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Don1
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Ontario, Florida
Feb 22, 2012 15:37 |  #15

What an amazing series Dave. You really benefited from your knowledge of these birds and got great shots as a result.


Don
Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 7D, Canon G9, EFS 15-85mm 3.5-5.6, EF 70-200mm F4 L IS, EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5, EF 50mm F1.8 II, EF 40mm F2.8, Sigma 120-400mm F4.5-5.6
See my photos on My Flickr (external link)

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Waxwings and Ice Water
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