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Nature in it's glory

Nature in it's glory

Feb 2, 2012

A Magic Moment

Raven's call

When I headed out today, I did so just because I needed it.  I had no expectations, no direction and no purpose other than to soak up some light and breathe in the air.   As soon as I stepped out the door, I let my feet lead and my mind rest.  The first thing that I noticed was that the birds were very active and vocal.  In fact, I was surrounded by birdsong.  I stopped here and there just to listen.  The House sparrows and House finches were singing their mating songs.  The Nut hatches and Blue Jays were unusually vocal as well, although I don't know what their mating call sound like, and then I heard the high pitched voices of a flock of Bohemian Waxwings.

Bohemian Waxwings
It is then that I realized, that the bird song was more concentrated in a specific direction and I wasted no time in getting there.

All puffed up
It seemed as soon as I arrived in a small patch of forest just off the side of a busy road, I was literally surrounded by birds as if by magic.  House Finches and sparrows, Nuthatch, Downy Woodpeckers, Blue Jays and even a Raven, joined a huge flock of Bohemian waxwings that were feasting on berries.  The waxwings were not shy.  As long as I stood still they continued to consume berries at a incredible rate.

Downy Woodpecker

Downy above me

I wandered away from them for a while, only to have a Downy woodpecker land on a branch directly over my head.  Suddenly there were Downy woodpeckers everywhere, and they seem to have paired off.  No sooner would a female arrive on the trunk of a tree and a male would follow almost instantly.  They were calling to each other all the time.   I also spotted some Dark-eyed Junco's foraging on the forest floor and almost danced a jig.  Their presence is a sure sign that spring is not too far off.

Scarfing down a berry
All puffed up
When I returned to where I first saw the Bohemians, it was to find them still greedily consuming berries.  They would eat a few berries, then drop down to the forest floor to eat some snow.  Once in a while, one or two would shoot up to the tree tops, or off to another berry bush, their flight so swift that I trouble following it with the eye. These birds were in constant motion so that there was a steady stream of traffic from one berry bush to another, and from one tree to another.  I was delighted to discover, that I could get as close as five feet before they would all fly off.  Having discovered the distance that the birds would tolerate, I stayed there, working the shutter.

In Song
I managed to get a few decent photos as you can see.  Nuthatches came and went, and a Raven arrived to perch on the top of a pine, announcing his arrival with his harsh calls.  When I finally went home the waxwings were still mobbing the berry bushes and birdsong continued to fill the air.  This had been a magic moment, one that I will remember for quite some time.


1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful experience. A feast of birds. Great photos. The one of the waxwing is really nice