Saturday, February 5, 2011

Bohemian Waxwing Influx

 To a degree birdwatching is predictable but then again nature always has the upper hand. It was only last month that I posted my first sighting of a Bohemian Waxwing. I had hoped to see this bird all last year but not one appeared. The berry supply was plentiful and all indications were that we should see plenty of these beautiful birds. Maybe the supply was so great in the interior that they never made it to the Avalon.
 This year the story is completely reversed. There are hardly any berries this year to feed this bird and yet, there are hundreds of them around. Most any drive around town will yield a flock fluttering and trilling Bohemian Waxwings. They seem hungry and are moving about a lot, perhaps looking for food. A very helpful posting on the Discussion Group referenced in the right margins of this page offers some ideas on how to feed these birds.

 I came across this flock while driving down Quidi Vidi Road. The roads, of course, are narrowed due to the amount of snow and without much room, I pulled to the edge of the road. These few shots were taken through the sunroof of my car as it was impossible to get out.
 This berry supply is very scarce. During the time I was there the birds were all focused on one berry after another. It may have taken less than a half and hour for them to clean these branches completely.
 Newfoundland, and St. John's in particular, is in the eastern most wintering range for the Bohemian Waxwing. At one point this last week a flock of 250 was spotted moving from East to West. With so many birds the food supply will disappear very quickly. I wonder where they go next - work their way back west?

 This shot of a flock of 12 Bohemian Waxwings was taken today in Chapel's Cove, a community about 75 km West of St. John's. It seems that not all of these birds have reached St. John's yet. We may see even more Bohemian Waxwings before they move on.  If in the area don't miss the opportunity to drive around as they seem to be everywhere. Now, the question  arises - where is their cousin the Cedar Waxwing?

Note: I saw two very special rare birds today:) More on this at another time.

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