Yesterday I glanced out the window and saw a flock of birds in the distance. I grabbed the binoculars and watched as they descended into two treetops. Despite the added magnification, I couldn’t see well enough to identify them. But I kept watching them, hoping the image would miraculously sharpen. Alas, no miracles. However, at one point I thought I saw a little crest. Soon, the flock took off and I watched it wheel across the sky as the birds synchronized their movements. Tears filled my eyes as the mass of birds “shimmered” while it swooped low over the foothills and out of sight.
Later, I described the beautiful sighting to Zippy. I was so sad not to have identified the birds, but when I mentioned thinking I’d seen a crest when watching as they perched in the tree he suggested maybe they were waxwings. A ping went off in my head as I replied, “Maybe.”
Fast forward to this afternoon when I went for a run. Halfway up our street, I heard a commotion in trees on either side of the street. I stopped to observe and, sure enough, the birds had crests. Cedar Waxwings!
Probably about fifty of them, flying back and forth between those two trees (one of which was covered in berries). Some were on the pavement, drinking puddled water from the melted snowbanks. A glorious sight and sound!
I got to see/hear them several times as I ran back and forth on that sunny stretch of street (it was cold with 20 mph winds!) and then they were gone. It was such a gift. I don’t think I’ve seen a waxwing since we lived in Anchorage and would see them (Bohemian Waxwings) flying drunk on fermented mountain ash berries, and I’m extremely grateful for the timing of my run. If I’d procrastinated going out into the cold and wind, I would’ve missed them.
All gratitude to those beautiful, social birds!