Thursday, May 21, 2015

Chickadees and Waxwings

This is a sweet little stitch and I thought I'd have it wrapped up by now.  Not so much.  I'll post the finish next week.

With several gray days, the bird activity has been modest for the most part.

The peanut feeders though remain popular with the Starlings and Jays...

...and the Acorn Woodpeckers.

Monday evening a couple of male Flickers showed up in the backyard.
Both had a drink.
Bird #1

Bird #2 stayed around and foraged in the grass for a while.

Most evenings find the female California Quail bathing.
Dust baths are the preferred form of cleaning and grooming.
The birds make divots in the dirt, then fluff their feathers to stir up the dirt and dust.  I prefer a good bubble bath myself!  

As I was working outside Monday morning, I realized I could hear a familiar quiet, high-pitched sound.  It was a group of Cedar Waxwings! 

Though they are here all year, I do not see them in the Winter months. 

This was a group of about 12 or so birds.

A mix of females (left) and males (right).

I did not get the quality of photos I would have liked as I had problems with light and distance. Nonetheless you can see the black bandit mask on the eyes and the bright yellow tail tip feathers.

They talked and talked among themselves and then flew off.

The birds came back late Tuesday evening and once again I tried for a good snap or two.

I think these are a bit clearer.

Why is it that birds with crests look so smart?

Here you can see the red dots or marks on the wings - that's why they are called Waxwings. 

The red markings on the wings look like the wax used in seals on historic documents.
Once again it was the sound the birds made - the high pitched shrill / thrill that let me know they were in the area.

Late Monday evening I saw my first Flycatcher or the year perched atop the dead leader of a Big Leaf Maple. The bird sat there then made a short fast loop to grab a flying insect and returned to the perch.  Without a song it was hard for me to tell whether it was an Olive-sided Flycatcher or an Northern Wood Peewee.

I've discovered that my camera has a problem with zoom focus.  All these photos are in soft focus not sharp and clear.  I'm switching over to a back-up camera and the quality of my future photos will improve.


Margaret said...

Hope you can figure out the problem with your camera. You always take such good pics. Love your stitching too!

Ann at Beadlework. said...

The shade of blue on the jays is so sharp. Cameras can be frustrating when they don't do quite what we want - I'm such an amateur when it comes to photography.

Wanda said...

What a cute stitch this is! I can' get over the amazing picture of the flicker and those cedar waxwings are incredible!

Frances N said...

All the photos are lovely! You sure have a great deal of winged activity at your house!!! All the birds are so interesting!
Your stitching looks like it will be so cute when finished!

Happiness is Stitching said...

beautiful birds

Barb said...

The cedar waxwings are so pretty! Sometimes those small designs take longer than you expect.

Melody said...

Hope you figure out your camera issues. I have a friend that had to send his lens in for repairs. After that it was good again. We use Canon cameras.

Maggee said...

I enjoy seeing your pictures... hope you figure out the problem with the camera. I should be on the lookout for flickers now... saw some last summer. Hugs!