Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day 2009: Starlings, Cedar Waxwings and Robins

I wish all my visitors Happy Holidays  and productive New Year, one filled with many birding  and photography adventures. It's  been an exciting six months since I wrote my first post, one triggered by my experience of environmental degradation and its devastating effects on bird life. . I read many interesting blogs and got to know some very creative people. I 'd like to thank you for taking the time and extra effort to leave comments.  I am learning from them and welcome also those that offer different points of view and suggestions on how to improve my blog.

Here is my curmudgeon view on the Christmas shopping season, not that shopping is not good for the economy, but don't let the Christmas spirit get squashed:

Santa Claus Express (card designed by German artist Michael Sowa)

This part of New England continues to be cold and quiet, particularly today - almost spooky; all stores closed, parking lots empty, with no scavenging gulls or crows, hardly a car on the road, the sky  a lowering gray.  I went down to the West River trail to give my dog some exercise and distraction. He had been sitting at the end of our drive way listening and hoping for a neighbor's dog to come by. We were alone on the trail.

He amused himself by chasing a green tennis ball on the half-frozen snow of the adjacent field. I heard a Northern Cardinal call, but as soon as I got close enough for a photo he flew away. The Marina Restaurant, a favorite eating spot in the summer, is closed for the winter and looked bleakly shabby and forlorn.

Back of the restaurant. The West River is frozen solid.

I checked on some crab apple trees on the way home. At first nothing, then a large flock of European Starlings descended on the trees, power lines and on the ground, filling the air with their conversational twittering. In the quiet what a welcome sound!

Upon looking around I discovered a large flock of Cedar Waxwings in another tree further off, making forays down into the crab apple trees.

Next I discovered several American Robins also partaking of the fruit..

Cheers to lengthening days and warmer times to come!


  1. ...thank you, Hilke, and I hope you had a wonderful day today too! The flock of Cedar Waxwings is gorgeous. I love the little sounds they make when they are feeding--beautiful little calls. I haven't seen a flock that large for a while...

  2. your pictures are wonderful and so is your blog! thanks for writing and I hope our birding paths cross sometime!

  3. Great selection of shots today.

    Best wishes for the New Year!!

  4. Your views of the Marina are superb - a common sight made uncommon.

  5. wonderful photos, love the effect you have and the artistry. The German Christmas 'warning' cartoon is hilarious! What are you using for camera equipment?

  6. Reading your profile, i answered my own question about equipment. I love the starlings on a wire, BTW.

  7. Thanks, Robin. For the photos in this post I used the 18mm-200mm lens which has a nice wide angle at 18mm for landscapes. The 200mm doesn't really get you close enough for birds; so it's a trade off. Often I find I had just taken the wrong lens along. I don't like changing lenses in the field. Anyway, I appreciate your comments.

  8. Happy New Year Hilke,may you see some fantastic birds in 2010.


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