As I'm pretty sure I mentioned in a previous post, during my last trip down to Calgary I picked up a new camera so hopefully we will now see some improvements in picture quality. It's much easier to do some posts about my birding excursions when I have a half-decent camera to use. (I've actually started to give some thought to starting another blog devoted just to birding, but we shall see.)
Ironically, now that I have a new camera I haven't really been able to use it all that much, partly because we are seriously lacking in sunlight here with the sun setting just before 4pm and partly because of work. I now leave for work in the dark and return home in the dark. The other big complication (until this afternoon really) has been that there really hasn't been anything of interest poking about. I'm used to filling up my backyard feeders about once a week but I haven't had to do that for a couple of weeks now and all I've seen around date house lately are the ubiquitous ravens and magpies.
Fortune, however, smiled on me this afternoon as I was hit with a rather large incursion of waxwings. My ash trees didn't really grow that many berries this year so I'm not sure how long they will be able to attract large flocks, making today's "invasion" all that more welcome.
For about 20 minutes, there must have been between 80 to 100 waxwings in the front yard and while I wanted to get a wide shot of them I was too nervous about startling them away. While they are one of my favourite winter birds, they are also notoriously skittish. If you're looking for displays of territoriality and dominance amongst a flock of waxwings, you'll be sorely disappointing. They all just get along swimmingly.
I had a fantastic vantage point from a couple of second floor windows so I was able to get set up and sneak in a few shots without freaking them out too much. Given the overcast skies and that the sky will soon begin to darken AND the fact that I am hardly a professional photographer, some of my shots turned out not too badly. Certainly they are a big step up from what I was able to manage in the past. Anyhow, here are the best of the bunch.