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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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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

Feb 22, 2012 10:54

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Shar824
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Wonderful shots Dave, would love to see this many of these beautiful birds all at one time. Looks like they found the buffet.

Feb 22, 2012 10:58

Sharon

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Snydremark
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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.

Feb 22, 2012 11:02

- Eric S.: My Birds/Wildlifeexternal link (7D MkII, 7D, 40D, 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, Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro, Tamron 18-270 DiII PZD, 580EX II)
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Wallace ­ River
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Up to your ankles in ice water was worth it, Dave! Hope you went home and put on dry socks :)

Feb 22, 2012 11:06 as a reply to Snydremark's post 4 minutes earlier.

IAN - Living life on the shores of the Wallace River in northern Nova Scotia, Canada :
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jodelak
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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 :)

Feb 22, 2012 11:45

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CDMOOSE
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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

Feb 22, 2012 11:48

Al
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2slo
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Very nice series, especially that last shot.

Feb 22, 2012 11:52 as a reply to CDMOOSE's post 3 minutes earlier.

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

Feb 22, 2012 11:53

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Levina ­ de ­ Ruijter
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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!

Feb 22, 2012 12:56

Levina

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

Feb 22, 2012 14:02

Fee

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

Feb 22, 2012 14:22

.

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

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dfbovey
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Very nice :)

Feb 22, 2012 15:12

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blakeG!
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Beautiful shots!

Feb 22, 2012 15:25

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

Feb 22, 2012 15:34

A little L goes a long way.

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Don1
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What an amazing series Dave. You really benefited from your knowledge of these birds and got great shots as a result.

Feb 22, 2012 15:37

Don
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Waxwings and Ice Water
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