In May 2011, after four years of life on McNutt's Island, we moved to Montreal. This blog remains, though, as a (sort of) daily record of our time on the island, and a winding path for anyone who would like to meander about among its magical places. For additional perspectives and insights I recommend Greg's book, Island Year: Finding Nova Scotia (2010), and my Bowl of Light (2012). I'll continue to post once in a while. If you do want to read this blog, one option would be to begin at the beginning of it (which is, as we all know, in blog-world, at the end), and read forward, concluding with the most recent entry. It's a journal, really, so it does makes more sense if you read it that way. But, you know, read it any way you like.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

synchronized flight

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.


Janet said...

Hi Anne: Ronnie certainly took some lovely pictures, but you're no slouch either - I've been meaning to compliment you on the header photo of the sheep on your orchard in the fog - pure magic!!

Gwendolyn said...

Hooray, you are back! I hope you enjoyed the time away. I love cedar waxwings, we used to get them at our house in Vermont, they are such beautiful birds.