Cedar Waxwings

One of my more favorite birds is the Cedar Waxwing. Usually only hearing their zee-zee-zee high in the treetops, they tend to visit my garden only in early spring.

This fall though I’ve heard a small group visit the garden now and again. These masked bandits keep their eyes on me when I’m outside and stay away until I go back inside. They just sit up there taunting me. I’ve played the waiting game with them, and they always win.

As with anything, good things come to those that await.

Yesterday a huge flock of over 50 Cedar Waxwings came and visited my garden all day. The main attraction? A bird bath and two water fountains that I have near the house. Smartly, a long time ago I had staged a tree branch in a pot filled with sand near the bird bath so that I could get some nice captures of garden birds.

These guys are groupies and they like to do things together. If one comes down and all is safe, they all come down. If one flies up, all others follow in suit. Sitting inside my house with the window open and using my Canon 5D Mark IV with 500mm lens, I waited for them to drop down to have their swim party.

And swim they did!

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I love this bird bath, but it’s located in a terrible spot for photography. Back lit in the morning, in the shade in the afternoon. I did try to set up my shop light with daylight light bulb in front of the bird bath, but it didn’t throw off enough light. I really need a light box to do that. But it’s all good. Just the experience of watching so many masked bandits was reward enough for me.

I first saw the Waxwings the day before at the bird bath and I pulled out the Olympus OMD EM1 Mark II with 300mm f/4 lens. Love that kit as it’s so lightweight for 600mm reach. Not as much of a fan if I want high quality detail in my images. Unless the bird is filling the frame and in good light, it just leaves a little to be desired. But as I use most of my bird images for social media, that’s fine with me.

Below are a few captures with the Olympus kit so that you can compare the difference to the Canon full frame and prime lens kit. Some of these images have been cropped, especially the kinglet and warbler. I still think they’re pretty decent.

I apologize for the gap in posting lately. Last week I was in Shenandoah mountains, completely unplugged and it’s taken me a week to recover from the thigh busting Old Rag Mountain climb that I did. Lots to catch up on so stay tuned!

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