Monday 15 December 2014

The Road to Catbird Slough

Dec 15 2014 Grant Narrows Sunny morning and cloudy afternoon 5c

I have to admit, I had only ever seen one Bohemian Waxwing before so when the news broke that there was a flock at Grant Narrows I decided to search them out. I was lucky, Monday morning was sunny and a cancelled appointment left me the whole day to bird.

The road to Grant Narrows.
This is the last corner before the straightaway to the car park, the location of the waxwings.

The very first subject was this juvenile Northern Shrike. I photographed it from out my car window with the shift stick digging into my ribs.
Northern Shrike (Lanius excubitor)
Catbird Slough was alive with American Robins, a flock of Varied Thrush, another adult Northern Shrike and a large flock of Purple Finch. It was a spectacle, the mountains in the background made for great viewing.

Catbird Slough

Finally after driving all the way to the parking lot I found one Bohemian, alas it flew off as soon as I stopped my car.
An hour later I finally caught up with the flock and had a few minutes with them before another photographer stopped to talk and flushed them.
Here are a some of the results;
Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus)
 These birds spent an equal amount of time eating berries and hawking insects.

The rufous under tail coverts differentiates it from its close cousin the Cedar Waxwing.

"It's never too late to start birding"

John Gordon

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