Cedar Waxwing | 400mm F/5.6 ISO800 1/2000 sec
Interesting and completely useless piece of information about the Cedar Waxwing, besides being absolutely gorgeous...this bird can thrive on a diet of fruit alone, all year long. I didn't even need a blind or camo...just wait a few minutes near a tree sporting berries and they come right along in large numbers.
Another pretty good day of birding out at Presqu'ile Provincial Park...
The weather was near perfect with plenty of light and low winds coming off the lake. I was able to get away with ISO's between 400-800 and shutter speeds up around 1/1600's to freeze action.I wanted a day or two in the park ahead of the long weekend which is sure to see a crush of visitors for the Festival Of Birds.
A word of advice if you are headed that way: Wear good hiking boots at the very least, but really you should throw a set of Wellies' in the trunk of your car. The eastern side of the point is flooded ankle deep. I destroyed a perfectly good set of sneakers...probably time to move on from them anyway.
Second, if you are at all scared of snakes just know that they are coming out now to soak up the warm sun and hunt for small rodents. As you walk along the trails or thru the bush you can hear a chorus of leaves rustling under these critters. While your at it, apply a thin spray of bug repellant. The air is thick as smoke with swarms of them...a good thing since the fly catcher birds are among the prettiest.
On the beach side, shores birds are out in force...mostly Caspian Terns, Gulls, and Sandpipers of various breeds. There are four (4) look out stations...again you will want something in the order of 300mm or longer.
Wear clothes you don't mind getting dirty. The best shots are from a shore level perspective. The beach was absolutely crawling with ladybugs and small spiders.. not sure if the birds were eating those as they seemed more interested in small bits washing up to shore from the water.
I came home with a handful of them stowed away in my gear bag...trust me, from experience you don't want these multiplying in your house. They survive all year round' and get into everything.
Warblers are among my favs and they are out in force as well making nests and chasing flies and other small insects. These little guys rarely stay still to have portraits taken and dart in and out of heavy brush. I tend to focus on where I think they will make a pass and wait. I watched this Yellow Warbler collect material to build a nest for the better part of an hour.
As I was leaving this Eastern Kingbird landed on a branch about 40 yards from the road. Again...nothing less than 300mm is going to make you happy and you want to head north of 400mm to make things comfortable.
Images for this article were taken with the Fujifilm X-T2, paired with the XF100-400mm telephoto zoom lens. The landscape shots are courtesy of the Fujifilm X70 (which isn't manufactured anymore).