A Drop in the Bucket

Tuesday was a day of Cedar Waxwings.  Wing-loads of waxwings swooped into my garden, water features drawing them in for bathing, trees available for perching.

There were so many birds, it was almost overwhelming. These photos don’t tell the compete story–it was hard to get clear photos with so much activity–but they will give you an idea of the bunches of birds who bathed.

As I’m only adequate with a camera, clear group shots were challenging–at best. These birds rarely sit still and take off en masse when spooked by the slightest movement. I took most photos from indoors through *somewhat* clean windows, rather than becoming the cause of their frights and flights. When Cedar Waxwings visit, sidling outdoors, no matter how stealthily, elicits winged energy upwards and outwards from the garden.

Whoosh! Swoosh!!

So many waxwings…

Like many before them, the waxwings enjoyed the planter saucer for bathing and sipping.

The saucer, originally intended for my dog, mostly performs as a bird bath these days, with occasional slurping by racoons and opossums. Tuesday, it was all birds, all day.

In another part of the garden, this crowd awaited the arrival of Dear Leader.

Along a walkway,

…this bunch milled about, waiting for their turns,

…at this popular wet bar.

Tuesday was a wild day in the garden. Hundreds of these beauties descended on my garden, on and off throughout the morning–hanging out in trees, winging to the waters for swigs and splashes, and mingling with their mates.

Quiet moments happened.

Bird poop happened.

Cedar Waxwings will stay in Central Texas through mid-spring, munching fruit, seeking showers, and socializing with one another. Besides their visits to the popular water features, I expect that their next target in my garden will be the ripe berries on the Burford Holly.

When they come for the berries, I’ll get my hat!

Hear My Tweets!

It’s not what you think.

There’s always that one who looks at life differently!

Cedar Waxwings, Bombycilla cedrorum, gather in a circle at the bath and eagerly await to hear from Dear Leader.

Dear Leader arrives and takes the podium, followers bow.

Fellow Waxwings listen raptly to Dear Leader’s tweets, cheeps, chirps: So let it be tweeted, so let it be done.

Are the waxwings organizing something nefarious, or is Dear Leader simply imparting directions for the water feature visit? Considering the amount of waxwing poop the hordes of beautiful birds leave behind, the two goals might be the same.

For more garden stories, check out Anna’s Wednesday Vignette.

Berry Delicious

I continue enjoying visits from the wintering Cedar Waxwings, Bombycilla cedrorum.       An afternoon or two ago, I observed as they laid waste the berries on a neighbor’s Possumhaw holly, Ilex decidua, and wondered at that time why they hadn’t descended upon and devoured the berries on my Burford holly, Ilex cornuta, shrubs.

I wondered too soon.

A gaggle of waxwings found the shrubs and went to work–flitting, flapping, berries in beaks.

I assume waxwings ate the few berries that were on my Possumhaw–someone did– though I never actually saw any in that tree.  The Burford holly shrubs are located in a more easily viewed spot.  It was quite a show.

This one looked straight at me as he gulped a fruit, though probably didn’t see me. I was well hidden in another corner of the garden.

There are plenty of berries remaining; I wonder if they’ll return before they make their way northward?

The shrubs are also now blooming their tiny white flowers and the honeybees and hoverflies are at their pollination work.

There’s never a dull moment in the garden.