Friday, March 1, 2013

I thought today would be different...

I was all set to post something―anything―that didn't have a bird in it. I'm boring my own self with bird shots. But the sun was shining so brightly that it practically begged me to go out and find some birds to shoot. You really have to take the opportunities when they present themselves.

Early this morning I found myself googling "wildlife areas in Baton Rouge". First on the list was something I had not seen before and was not on any of the local birding web sites: Waddill Wildlife Refuge. It's about 9 miles south of my house, so Bluebonnet Swamp now has some competition. And it's free!

The first thing I saw when I walked up was a red-headed woodpecker. Score! The next thing I came upon was a flock of Cedar Waxwings. They were eating some tiny red berries―I'm assuming holly berries. I photographed them for quite some time with glorious light, but the wind gave me heck. What's with all the wind lately? I managed to pull off several decent shots, so you will be seeing these guys for some time to come! I didn't want to flood you with them today, and besides, I'm tired from being out there for four hours. During that time I slipped in mud, catching my camera before it landed in the muck, almost fell into the Comite River because of mud, and got lost briefly on a trail giving myself a mild panic attack. Overall, it was a great day!





I thought I'd come back to them after my hike. Two hours later the berries were gone.
They had completely stripped every tree along the bank! Glad I took so many shots while I had the chance.
Cedar Waxwings have a smooth, silky appearance. They love fruit from cedar, juniper, serviceberry, dogwood, and hawthorn. Their call is a high-pitched dzeeee, sort of like electrical equipment giving off a high frequency sound. They are similar to the Starling in size and shape, so if you see a flock like that, look closely―it might just be the Cedar Waxwings!

45 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

gail, you DID get fabulous light to bring out their colors! wow! that 2nd photo is nothing short of glorious!

laughing at your mud, slips, and getting lost. just another day in the wilderness for gail. :)

Jacquelineand.... said...

It does sound like a heavenly day, outwith the panic attack!

Nope, not tired of your bird photos; they make me feel almost as though I were there peeking over your shoulder.

Tricia Hays said...

They're all beautiful captures, Gail, but that 2nd shot is priceless! WoW! =)

dinascitywildlife.com said...

Such a beautiful bird. And you caught them so perfect. It pays to go out.

Amy Burzese said...

We're glad you took many shots too! They are beautiful birds. I'm learning a lot about birds from you birders.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

I am in awe. These are such spectacular shots.Seeing these makes me eager to get out there and capture some birds,but I have to wait for more birds to show up.Gorgeous pictures,Gail.

Karen said...

Oh these are again fabulous! If there is mud, I slip in it. Didn't you learn about the buddy system when you were young! Never go hiking on your own, or at least take a compass.

Brian King said...

I know what you mean about getting bored with something, but I'm glad you went out...these are superb! Fantastic color and detail! I seem to be about the only one who doesn't see these beauties.

Evelyn S. said...

Gail! These are so fabulous! As I've told you before, I love Cedar Waxwings but haven't seen any for at least two years. The focus....wow! And I love the image of the bird with wings outspread and the light that seems to becoming from below. They're just wonderful.

Ann said...

how beautiful!
i just can't find words that express my feelings as I see these photos.
the simple ,breathtaking beauty of nature .

Hilary said...

I love waxwings.. though I rarely see them and never in large groups. You sure took some wonderful photos of these beauties. Nicely done.

Linda said...

Gail, these are fantastic, superb, exquisite...take your pick or apply all of them. I have never seen photos of cedar waxwings that brought out such brilliant color or such detail. They're all perfect, but I have to agree with the others about the amazing in-flight shot.

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Une Angevine said...

j'adore le deuxième cliché

EG CameraGirl said...

Cedar waxwings are so photogenic and you took some great shots of them.

Pam ;) said...

Although your slipping and sliding thru the mud at Waddill wasn't pleasant- you captured a mother-load of Gorgeous Cedar Waxwings as your reward Gail.
I never tire of your superb bird photos- have a wonderful weekend.

eileeninmd said...

Gail, sounds like a fun adventure! Glad your camera survived. Love the Waxwing shots, they are awesome! Happy weekend!

Linda R said...

I will never ever get tired of seeing your bird photos. I LOVE them. So keep on shooting those shots my friend. LOVE these shots.

Hugs~

Lisa Gordon said...

But why are you trying to not post bird shots???
You do them so beautifully, and you find the most wonderful birds to photograph. I say, keep them coming!

Have a wonderful weekend, Gail!

rainfield61 said...

The bird must be looking so happy in the second picture.

Phil said...

Now I'm disappointed with you Gail. Bored with taking bird shots??? And with all those fine places to visit and so many species to set you a challenge? Not to mention the fact that you have the necessary skills and curiosity to want to do it. Get out there girl and don't come back until you've filled that card with bird shots. Love your Cedar Waxwing shots too.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Oh Gail, these are priceless. I LOVE cedar waxwings -- haven't seen any for a long time. I'd put any of these pictures on my wall. Wonderful. Can't imagine anyone being tired of your bird photos (least of all you).

Thanks for sharing... and be careful in that mud though. (I hate mud.)

bailey-road.com said...

Beautiful! I love Cedar Waxwings. I've seen them her only once and wasn't able to get very good shots.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

As someone who loves birds, I don't think I've ever seen a Cedar Waxwing in person...

hootnonny said...

Perfection! "Later" is a cautionary tale!

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

I have never seen this bird before!! He's lovely!! His coloring and yellow belly and the red tip wings are eligant! That one with the red berry in its mouth and an orange bead on top - The coloring for the top of its head, blending down its neck, then chest and belly- what a lovely afagan using these colors!! As always Gail --- Very NICE!!

Ruth said...

Gail, next time you think about 'not more bird shots' please remember these images because they are AMAZING! Those first 2 are simply stunning, thank you for sharing them with us :)

Chatty Crone said...

You need to work at National Geographic! Awesome bird.

ladyfi said...

These shots are stunning! I never tire of your magnificent bird photos. The first two are magical!

And I'm so happy you managed to save your camera from the mud.

Rosemary Aubut said...

Amazing as usual Gail! So glad you found this wonderful place. Can't wait to see more!

Rosemary Aubut said...

Amazing as usual Gail! So glad you found this wonderful place. Can't wait to see more!

Pam ;) said...

Great pics Gail- I'd be happy to spot just one of these beauties.
Happy Sunday ~:)

woopig said...

Such beautiful birds. I have yet to see any myself, but friends around here have posted their photos of cedar waxwings up on facebook, so I know they're here.

I love that second shot, so vibrant and colorful!

Katie

Deanna said...

What stunning captures, you do have a beautiful way of capturing these beauties. I spotted one, just one in a tree at the arboretum a few weeks back but my shot was so bad, I was so disappointed. The light was so poor. Keep it up girl. Just love your amazing birds.

Kathy said...

Love cedar waxwings. We just get some visitors soon.

Rosie Grey said...

What - no birds?! I would have hated to have missed these, Gail! They are fantastic!!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Nancy said...

I am just blown away by your photography....These shots are so incredible....

Being a newbie myself, I am just taking in every little detail of your work...Oh how I would love to be able one day to take pictures of the quality of yours....
You are an inspiration....

Patrice said...

Well done, Gail - I love all of your bird shots!

Shug said...

These pics are outstanding. The wind has been crazy around here. Spring is surely on its way. Love all the photos you bring us, but be careful ......sure don't want you to be gator bait!,,, lol.

Stewart M said...

Wonderful shots - and take care in the mud! It can be very well ..... muddy!

Stewart M - Melbourne, Australia

Cindy said...

Can I just say...WOW and WOW!!!

Barbara said...

Thank you for sacrificing yourself to get these shots for us. Cedar Waxwings are one of my favorites, after discovering a flock here one year. I haven't seen them like that since, and I didn't get anything as good as these shots. Beautiful!

Barb Brookbank said...

So glorious! These are beautiful birds and very hard to capture. (Sorry about the mud, etc.).

Georgianna said...

Hello, dear Gail! I don't think you should worry about doing anything different when you get such incredible images. These are truly amazing and beautiful. What lovely birds – we don't have them here, at least as far as I've seen.

Wishing you a great week ahead.

G

Nadine, Chewy and Lilibell said...

Gorgeous pictures Gail!!