Yesterday was my first day out driving by myself since I dislocated my shoulder on January 16th. I drove to my first Physical Therapy appointment on the Bath Road. Thankfully the sun was shining and the roads were finally clear of snow. I still have limited range of motion with my arm and am having to accept that this is going to take a long time to heal. Still, it felt good to be able to drive myself and have a sense of freedom again. On my way home I had to pass the entrance of Brunswick Landing. In the summer I could just drive through this property on my way home, but at the beginning of winter they blocked the south end where the golf course is and one can no longer drive all the way through. Still, you can get onto the property and drive around looking at birds and so, as the turn to the Brunswick Landing neared, I debated about whether I should go straight home or turn in and bird. It was really no debate. I turned my blinker on, got in the left lane, and pulled in.
I drove around the property on snow covered roads with my heat cranking and my window down. I listened and looked but saw and heard no birds other than crows for the first couple of miles, but then, as I turned onto Neptune Drive I saw a robin fly across the road. I slowed down to listen and look, and then I heard waxwings. A high snow bank and a cluster of evergreens blocked my view of the parking lot beyond, but I turned in and followed the sound of the birds. With my foot on the brake I looked through my bins and there they were, in a tree by the Brunswick Recreation Center building and…I could clearly see the cinnamon colored undertail coverts of a Bohemian Waxwing!
I pulled into a parking space facing the building and scrambled out of my car as fast as I could in a tangle of binocular harnesses and camera straps! Not wanting to scare the birds off, I stayed by my car and looked through my bins, then raised my camera for the shot. I could barely believe my eyes or contain my excitement. This was a Life Bird for me! Of course they were mixed in with a flock of cedar waxwings and robins. They all seemed to be feeding from some kind of fruit trees that flanked the entrance to the rec center. Periodically the birds would fly to the rooftop to drink the melting snow, then fly back into the trees to look around. I was surprised at how much bigger the Bohemian Waxwings were than the smaller, paler, Cedar Waxwings. The Bohemian Waxwings were also more colorful and they had a more rounded, potbellied look to them. Cedar Waxwings often look elongated like a cigar to me, but today, every bird was puffed up due to the cold. after awhile, the Bohemian Waxwings flew off into a different tree by themselves.
I counted three Bohemian Waxwings in all.
I wished the Bohemian Waxwings had posed for me like this.
I took one more drive around the parking lot but all I found this time were Cedar Waxwings. I had been there for 30 minutes and it was time to head home. I could not believe I finally got my Lifer Bohemian Waxwings! I have been watching the Maine Birds Facebook page with envy as person after person posted pictures of Bohemian Waxwings. Now I have my own photos to share and what a bird to make species 200 on my Maine Life List!
This morning I awoke to a beautiful blushing sky, but now it has started to snow once again. I am so glad I was able to get out of the house yesterday. I also drove through the boat launch and counted birds there before heading home for good. Today I will stay home and make stew and watch the snow fall once again while I dream of Bohemian Waxwings. You can see my complete checklist here.