Movement in the tangle of branches behind the feeder catches my eye: a tuft of head feathers is my first clue that something is different. The crest is almost cardinal-like, but the colour is all wrong. In lieu of binoculars, I grab my camera to get a better look. What the heck?
As the bird comes into reluctant focus, I get it: a waxwing. And, as usual, not just one but a bevy of these beauties. A small flock, forsooth.
What isn’t so clear in the moment is whether they’re Bohemian or Cedar Waxwings. I always check the options online before pronouncing on these birds that I see for only a few days in the Spring – and that, only if I’m lucky. They seemed to take the pandemic off.
A treat to find in your binocular viewfield, the Cedar Waxwing is a silky, shiny collection of brown, gray, and lemon-yellow, accented with a subdued crest, rakish black mask, and brilliant-red wax droplets on the wing feathers. – All About Birds
Shot to shot, the quality of light varies; the delight they give me does not.