It was a windy overcast day. It was not a good birding day. The sun wouldn’t shine on the trees, but the birds didn’t care if it wasn’t the day for pictures. They were feeling the change in the air…and they were hungry. Mason Farm was besieged by the Grackle horde. The noise was deafening from both their calls, and the sounds of thousands of wingbeats in the air. They travel in a massive flock. Grackles are brutes. They force other birds from feeders and use their sheer mass to intimidate all the smaller birds. In nesting season, I have seen them shove other bird’s young right out of their nests. This lucky bird has managed to capture a frog from the Mason Farm pond, but they are also fond of grain…and eat far more grain than any crow could ever think of consuming.
The Hermit Thrush would be happier with an insect meal, but in winter, the insects are more scarce…and so it is berries for breakfast.
Just when the winds were at their strongest, I walked down to the Bolin Creek wetland, and heard the high pitched whistling calls of hundreds of Cedar Waxwings. The trees were dripping birds.
Hearing the commotion, the Barred owl dropped by to see if there might be some bird caught off guard by all the feasting. I saw him fly in and hang out at the edge of all the activity.
Above me, hundreds of Waxwings were chattering away. This is but one branch..imagine an entire tree full of birds…all talking at the same time. Such social happy birds.
This was so much fun. Many days, I trudge slowly on the paths, and hope to see a little something interesting…but when the Waxwings arrive…it’s like a blowout party. The Owl came by, the Pileateds circled, and even the Kinglets flitted by, checking the trembling branches for insects.
I was cold, covered in purple splats, and blissfully happy!
So long from Bolin Creek.