I just started re-reading Pale Fire over the weekend. And today, coming onto the deck at work, heard a bird-sound that grabbed my attention. Massed reedy scrapes. The sounds made me think of Cedar Waxwings, and sure enough, a still-bare tree by the door had a few dozen of them perched and chattering with each other. They were annoyingly backlit, but I found an obliging, handsome one in some sort of red maple (v. triloba?) which was starting to leaf out. Mellow and well-lit, the waxwing allowed me to pull up a chair close to it and sit and watch for a spell. Gorgeous.
- I had never seen these birds in the city before – only up at a campground in New Hampshire.
- I was a little surprised by their being present at all, since there aren’t any junipers or other berries around on the deck. My guess is that they were resting during migration. They all flew off together except for my special friend, who stuck around and let me watch him for a few more happy minutes.
- I saw my friend peck at a few twig interstices. Sure enough, wikipedia says that during the breeding season, they will supplement their diet with insects. From what I saw, I’d guess that this is also true during migration.
- Despite the abundance of windowpanes and false azure in the vicinity, no waxwings were slain in the making of this blog post.