Monday, December 10, 2007
Cedar Waxwing Weekend
I took a whole week off from work last week, because the year is coming to a close, and I needed to burn some very valuable days with pay. I hated to do it, because I had nothing planned, and the weather was pretty crappy, but use em or lose em! I wanted to have great days, so that I could run around the countryside looking for cool stuff, but the weather was dreery and on some of the days, freakin dangerous! I stayed in, watched everything I had Tivo'd, and surfed the channels in desperation because I was so bored. I watched all kinds of reality shows that I would have never watched, and even chose some classics, for instance, Casablanca. Well, I Tivo'd that, came home at the precise moment when Bogart said: "Here's looking at you kid", so I chose not to watch it afterall. Dammit! Anyway, I did get out thursday to check out a spot where I might find a long eared owl, but came back with a great place to shoot Cedar Waxwings. My friend Pam and I went to a place called Perry Farm in Kankakee. It is a city park that borders the kankakee river. Its like an extremely small Central Park of New York because once you are in, you no longer think you are in the city. It is huge for its location, and a great place for various creatures. It is known for its black squirrels, which we did see, but were eluded, as my car scared them off. So, we walked the trails in search of some pines (suspected of holding a long-eared or two) but didn't find any. (We couldn't even find a pine, which makes it harder to find a LEO). As we are walking, Pam takes a shot of some birds in a distant tree. Upon zooming in, we discover they are cedar waxwings. We find a new trail to get closer and find the source for their locale. There were winterberry bushes under the cedar flock's tree. We stood there shooting frame after frame until Pams battery quit. They didn't get too close, they never do, but they did get bolder. I went back with Cutti on Saturday to get even better shots (above). Big R hooked us up with some really cool winter camo, so I just can't wait for better weather to try my chances again with the Cedar Waxwings. They are one of my favorite birds because of their very cool markings. They are called Cedar Waxwings for 1, because they eat the berries of certain cedar trees and bushes, and the waxwing comes from the yellow and red markings on their wing and tail tips. It looks like their feathers were dipped in colored wax. Their black mask is a unique marking, as well as the tuft on their head that looks like a faux-hawk (not displayed in my photos, but still...very cool).