A flock of bohemian waxwings swooped along the shore the other day, checking out the bayberry situation. These birds actually breed in northwest Canada. But in winter they like to take in the more moderate climes, and usually include Nova Scotia on their circuit. Nova Scotia is their Florida!
It's hard to tell bohemian waxwings from cedar waxwings, except that apparently if I'm seeing waxwings at the end of February I'm seeing bohemians and not cedars.
I barely had a chance to wave hello before they were off and away to visit some other part of Nova Scotia. They swirled from one part of the bayberry bramble to another, up into the swamp maple that's near the shore, and then -- all at once and all together -- came straight up over the bog into the oak tree. When they flew off again (which they did, immediately) they were a breath-taking sight: a hundred tails, a hundred horizontal bands of bright yellow. Then they were gone.
I couldn't take their picture but I knew somebody who had: Ronnie Dentremont in Pubnico, along the shore not far from here, earlier in the winter. Ronnie kindly gave me permission to use some of his truly amazing pictures. You can see more of his bohemian waxwing photos here and here.