Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Bohemian-First Bird for 2008!
Did I keep you waiting long enough?-Sorry I meant to get to this sooner ;D
Sooooooooooo last Friday a birding friend phoned me up and let me know about a flock of Bohemian Waxwings mixed with Cedars demolishing some crabapple trees in the Toronto area. Bohemians!-yes a Life Bird for me-that's one of the good things about only being into birding for a few years-you can still look forward to lifers-in fact since last Friday I have added five Lifers to my list.
It was relatively warm and the Sun was shining too-perhaps we could catch a Bohemian for our first banded bird of 2008? No harm in trying. We gathered our banding, and photography equipment together and headed out.
We knew we were in the right place when we saw photographers with what we laughingly call "bazooka" lenses. (really we are just jealous of them ;D) There were also several birders with binocs watching. And sure enough after we parked and arrived at the trees Bohemians and Cedars were feasting away! Here's a few birds in one of the trees.
Since the temperature was above 0C we decided to try and catch one-it was worth a try at least right? So we set up the net (just one) and before we even had the net completely up the first Bohemian had flown in! While I finished the setting up-a small crowd of birders in tow followed the bird as she was taken away to be banded. Of course I did get there in time to photograph her as the first bird of the year.
It was a second year female. And she was beautiful! As you can see
Another female flew into the net as well and an American Robin too. Although this was excitement enough-it almost got even better-there was a Sharp Shinned Hawk keeping an eye on the flocks feasting and he was chasing an American Robin who ducked under the net-while the Sharpie went right in. He bounced off and according to witnesses fell into the snow and looked very peeved before flying off! Imagine having a Sharpie as the second bird-LOL!
The wind picked up and the birds no longer had any trouble seeing where the net was especially after the Hawk bounced off it. I saw one Bohemian fly up, see it, veer right, still see it-and soar right over it. No more captures for us but we had no complaints. We'd caught a Bohemian as the first bird of the year!
The temperature dropped, the sun was fading and it was no longer a safe temperature to band in.
This Cedar Waxwing was enjoying the fading light-I think Waxwings are such striking birds-and I don't think I'm alone in this thought. I hope reading about this makes you as happy as it made me to experience it.