Thursday, February 12, 2015

Bohemian Waxwings on Brunswick Landing

1. Bohemian Waxwings-kab Bohemian Waxwings 2-11-15 Life Bird number 480!

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.

2. rusty undertail coverts-kab 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!

3. taking flight-kab 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.

4. in a tree-kab I kept hoping these birds were turn around but they did not.

I counted three Bohemian Waxwings in all.

5. fruit trees-kab These are the trees the birds were feeding in.

 

6. cedar waxwing-kab This is a very puffed up Cedar Waxwing. Notice the white undertail coverts.

I wished the Bohemian Waxwings had posed for me like this.

 

7. cedar waxwings-kab 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!

8. dawn today-kab 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.

9. BOHE-kab Bohemian Waxwings 2-11-15

on

Brunswick Landing 

20 comments:

  1. Awesome sighting of the Bohemian Waxwings.. They are beautiful. Lovely sky shots.. Happy Birding!

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  2. Great shots! I'd love to see some Bohemian Waxwings!

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    1. Jesus, I was beginning to wonder if I would EVER see them! It was so exciting!

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  3. Wow! Do these birds visit feeders?

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    1. Rita, I do not think so, unless you have fruit in your feeders!

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  4. Congrats!!!! So I hope you get more snow that you can see these birds more! Awesome!

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    1. Chris, I sure wish you had been here to see them. I keep hoping that some evening grosbeaks will show up, but I am not holding my breath!

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  5. What a wonderful experience - we can identify with your passion

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    1. Thank you Richard. I am glad it shines through!

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  6. Hi Kathie. That was a good decision to check out Brunswick Landing. Congrats on the new lifer.

    I was fortunate to see a flock of 11 Bohemian Waxwings close to home a few winters ago BUT my images were far inferior to yours.

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    1. Frank, it is so frustrating to find a Lifer and then not get a good photo. I hope they will come back and visit you for another photo op!

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  7. Congratulations on lifering with the superior waxwing species! Such a good bird!

    A former AZ birder cruising with the windows down during winter in Maine? You earned some serious respect from this fellow northern birder.

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    1. Josh, Your comment made me laugh! Try it sometime! Having heated seats makes it almost bearable!

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  8. Lovely to see the Waxwings Kathie. Unfortunately, we have not had a visitation this winter. Probably because it wasn't cold enough further up in Scandinavia. Harsh Winters and food shortage drive them down to our shores normally.

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    1. Roy, I had no idea you had them over there as well! I guess their name truly suits them!

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  9. beautiful shots of the Waxwings. Like Roy says, we have had very few here and I have seen none this year or last year. Have a wonderful Valentine's weekend.

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  10. Hi Kathie

    I am glad you were able to get a life bird and your photo of the cedar waxwing is wonderful. It is good to hear that your shoulder is starting to recover.

    All the best.
    Guy

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    1. Guy, thank you so much. the shoulder is not recovering as fast as I would like it to, however!

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Welcome to my nest! I hope you will enjoy spending time here with me and the birds. Thank you for your comments. I will try to get back to you as soon as I get back from counting more birds.