Wordless Wednesday 5/52

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm @460mm| Lexar Digital Film| PS CC 2017

More to come…

Harbinger of Spring

Copyright © 2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

This has been a fantastic birding season so far!  The Vermilion Flycatcher,  the Red-tailed Hawk with its prey, the elusive Loggerhead Shrike, the Bald Head Eagle I didn’t get a photo of, the pair of Ring necked Pheasants, and the sweet Hermit Thrush on my fence all were amazing, and exciting sightings, but in Winter is there anything better than a Harbinger of Spring?

I heard Cedar Waxwings were showing up, a sure sign that Spring is on the way!  I’ve had Robins in the Ginko tree out in the front yard, and in back yard lately so, I’ve been looking for the Waxwings because, they usually arrive with the Robins, and last year there was a flock of Waxwings in the Ginko trees a few houses away from me. That was a first for me.  You can read about that here

Last week-end my birding friend and I stayed local and found some!

Cedar Waxwings

Soon they were taking turns flying down to the bush with  luscious, ripe red berries   beneath this tree.

Cdear Waxwing Feast

… and one was shy,

Cedar Waxwing

I spent some time photographing the Robins that also were there to feed on the same berries, but I’ll save those images for another post.

I’m off to Yosemite National Park today to photograph something other than birds, and my son and his girl-friend are arriving early Saturday morning for the week-end. It promises to be a stellar week-end!

I’ll catch up with all your posts when I return.  I hope you all have a wonderful week-end!

Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm VR| Lexar Professional Digital Film| PS CC 2015

More to come…



The Surprise Visitors

Copyright © 2015 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED!

This morning when I went out front I noticed a large flock of American Robins in the Ginko trees across the street, and there was a group of another bird I didn’t quite recognize, but knew it was something I’d want to photograph so, ran back in the house and grabbed my camera; hoping I had enough battery charge left to get an image or two!

I got a few shots then looked at them quickly in review mode, and saw that the birds were Cedar Waxwings! I’ve never seen them here before! Can you imagine my excitement? I was standing across the street from the tree which meant the images would need to be cropped in quite a bit so, I slowly advanced closer to the tree firing my shutter the whole time. I got too close, and all the birds scattered like leaves in a gust of wind. My only thought…COME B A C K!!!

Did I tell you that He-Man ruptured his Patella Tendon Nov. 10th?  Ruptured…the whole quadricep muscle came off his knee cap!  He had surgery on Nov. 12th and has been healing and in rehab since. His Surgeon told him he’d be “out” for the whole season and then some. He’s a cyclist, and a very active guy. This was the worst possible diagnosis. Yesterday he got the “okay” to start driving again. So, this afternoon he drove me in Pearl ( the Subaru Forester) to the post office which is 2 miles from our house.
It was like riding a bike. He was fabulous…moving from the brake to the gas pedal was no problem at all. When we got home he immediately got in Va-Va my 5 Speed Toyota Corolla Sport to take her for a spin, but I had spotted the Waxwings in the trees across the street again, and the light was nice. I begged for 5 minutes! As I was shooting he backed out, rolled down the window and said, “I’ll be fine. I’m just going around the block a few times.”  I said, ” WAIT I’ll come with!” He said, ” No need. I’ll be fine. Get the shots.”  He was back before I finished shooting. 🙂

5 Cedar Waxwings…

5 Cedar Waxwings

Mrs. American Robin with Mr. American Robin close by,

American Robin Female

Cedar Waxwings

Cedar Waxwings

Purple Finch

Purple Finch

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

Fabulous birds in front of my house, and the only thing He-Man needs me to do now that he can’t do for himself is put on his socks, and tie his shoes. Life is good!

Nikon D700| AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4 w?AF-S Nikkor 14eII TC| Hand-held| Lexar Professional Digital Film| Developed in CS6

More to come…

On the third day there was better light

Copyright © 2013 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

On the third day there was better light.I have gone out 3 mornings in a row trying to get a decent photograph of a Cedar Waxwing. The first morning the light was awful. It was overcast requiring me to really crank up my ISO to get the speed I needed to maintain a sharp photograph, but all my photos have too much noise…yes even with the D700 it’s too much noise for me. To keep my speed up I was using ISO 3200. These little guys move fast.
Yesterday wasn’t as overcast, but the Cedar Waxwings kept themselves high in the trees which was too far for my lens unfortunately, but this morning the light was better, the sun was breaking through the marine layer earlier, so I dressed grabbed a slice of toast, and a quick cup-a-tea then headed over to the park hoping to spot the Waxwings before the park got too busy.

Arriving in the park I saw a gaggle of geese with several goslings in tow-here’s just two,  two Killdeer in the grass hunting for breakfast, and there were robins, and crows as well.

Canadian Goose and Goslings

KilldeerThe early morning runners and walkers were already there, and several families were claiming picnic areas, and tables.

It took me a little while to find the flock this morning. They moved a little further south from where they were previously. I spent over an hour following them and photographing them.  They had flown to  some great low branches where the sun was at a great angle for both back-lit and side-lit shots. I was focused and shooting away when suddenly in the creek below this Canadian Goose started honking, and honking, and the Waxwings got upset; flitting around and then from the corner of my eye I spied a large bird coming in fast…it was a  Hawk! All the Waxwings, and the Goose took off for safer branches. I’m not sure if this is a Red-tail or a Coopers.

Hawk I saw this Hawk high up in a Eucalyptus Tree on my way out of the park. I think it’s a Cooper’s Hawk, but am not positive. Any help with the Hawk ID I’d appreciate it.

Coopers HawkWaxwings don’t normally live here. They will be gone by June I’ve heard. This is the first time I’ve ever seen them in the wild. I’m so happy to have seen them and get a few photos I like. I hope to get back here and photograph them again before they move on.

Cedar WaxwingNikon D700| Nikkor 80-200@ 200mm + Tamron 1.4x TC| f5.6| 1/1250s| ISO 1600| Manual Priority| CW Metering| Hand-held|