Showing posts from October, 2011

Cedar Waxwing

One of our most beautiful birds is the Cedar Waxwing ( Bombycilla cedrorum ).  It can also be one of the most elusive.  I do see them in my yard, but very rarely.  Meanwhile, out on Fir Island, the wild Pacific Crabapples ( Malus fusca ) along Wiley Slough are now fruiting abundantly.  They have attracted large numbers of Cedar Waxwings.  I have never seen such numbers in a single spot. Fir Island, Washington is actually the Skagit River delta.  Most of it is farmland, protected by a system of dikes and drainage sloughs.  We have visited the island before to see concertizing  Song Sparrows  and flocks of Snow Geese . The Skagit State Wildlife Recreation Area at Wiley Slough is amicably shared by hunters, birders, photographers, hikers, dog trainers and a lot of big, friendly dogs.  Here, the barrier dike was moved inland to restore salmon habitat.  The old spur dike has been left in place.  The "Spur Dike Trail" now provides easy foot access out into these uni


A juvenile Glaucous-winged Gull ( Larus glaucescens ) grovels and pleads to an adult who remains impassive.  The youngster calls pitifully during this encounter in downtown Anacortes, Washington.  These are city birds who allowed me to take the photo from about 10 feet (3 m) away.