Tonight is Birds and Beers at Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park--with maybe a little bird banding. Should be awesome with all the migrants around. Starts at 6pm. Birds and Beers is an informal gathering of birders of all abilities to mildly interested to hardcore. It's a way to get together and talk some birds. Normally, we meet in a pub, but migration is so awesome, we're meeting outside...and Coon Rapids does allow alcohol if you would like to BYOB.
A huge flock of cedar waxwings have descended upon my neighborhood. It started at dawn yesterday, I sat up in bed and Non Birding Bill asked, "What's wrong?"
"Waxwings," I groggily replied, "they're everywhere, hear them?"
"That sound is a bird?"
And they've been covering the trees and using puddles on the surrounding apartment buildings for birdbaths. They were using the one that was further away, but I set my scope and camera over towards the pool that's closest to my window (it's the puddle that the Cooper's hawk used a couple of years ago).
And sure enough, just as I was about to hop on my bike for a lunch meeting, all the waxwings finally came down to the puddle in good light. I decided to be late and get a few shots--look at them, it's like a bunch of tarted up female cardinals. I took a video and you can hear the waxwings, a robin, my cockatiel, and my fingers typing a text message to my friend telling him that I'm going to be late to our lunch because of the waxwing photo opportunity:
I wondered why the waxwings kept avoiding this particular pond and if you noticed in the video, they all took off as if startled by something? Well, here's the reason why:
This male robin was not happy with anyone using this puddle. He chased off house sparrows, the waxwings, and other robins. His nest must be near it. I'll be curious to see if he tries to chase off that Cooper's hawk if she decides to use it again.