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Redpolls and Waxwings

Published January 05, 2013
Tags: General Observations, Common Redpoll, Cedar Waxwing, Bohemian Waxwing, Greater Black-backed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull

I was copied on a report saying a Bohemian Waxwing was found mixed in with about 350 Cedar Waxwings out in Newfane this morning. This guy has been on my Wish List for a couple of years now, so I decided to take the drive and see if I couldn't spot it.  I knew it would be tough since I don't have a scope and discerning a Bohemian amongst all those Cedars would probably prove quite challenging.

The directions were excellent and I found the large flock without a problem. And I could swear I spotted that Bohemian right off!  A group of about 20 had flown down to a shorter tree in the orchard and my binoculars quickly found one that looked different - one with distinctly dark black wings and pronounced white markings. I watched it for awhile and after it flew off, I looked it up in my bird guide. I think - I'm pretty sure - I'm fairly certain - it was the Bohemian.  BUT - by the time I got home after all the scanning of the waxwings, taking photos, and then looking through the photos, I talked myself out of adding it as a life list addition. I knew I didn't capture a photo of the one I saw because he had flown off before I could get my camera out.  And in this case, there's just too much margin for error for me to be sure.

Watching this large of a flock (aka museum) of waxwings was quite awesome - especially in the middle of winter. They are truly beautiful birds!

Afterwards, I drove down to the waterfront and found a couple more questionable gulls: Greater or Lesser Black-backed... again.

Oh, and the 2 photos of the Common Redpolls were taken shortly before leaving to find the Bohemian Waxwing this morning. Two stopped by, which was our third redpoll visit this winter so far. My husband actually laughed at how excited I got when I saw them; I don't think he's got "the bug" yet!  At least he affectionately tolerates mine!
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Common Redpoll
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Common Redpoll
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This shot gives an idea of the sheer numbers of waxwings that were around. This wasn't the only tree they were in either!
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Here they are in one of the lower orchard trees - the same tree I think I saw the Bohemian in.
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They sure are pretty!
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Two Lesser or Greater Black-backed Gulls out on the lake