Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Birding Wonderland

December 30, 2009
Glen Lake, NY

Gone away is the bluebird,

Here to stay is a new bird
He sings a love song,
As we go along,
Walking in a winter wonderland.

Despite a busy work schedule, somehow I found time for one more hike to finish off 2009. The wind had died down and the sunny day was irresistible.
Glen Lake was close to home, and it would be good to see if the fens were freezing over again.

The trail was packed-down enough to walk without snowshoes, and the snow made crunching noises as I walked southward toward the sunlight.
Ash Drive is a birding hotspot, and today was no different !

Just yards from the car, I heard the squeals of robins. Sure enough, a small herd of them was flitting about in the shrubs just off the trail. I crunched up to where they were, and saw them plucking winterberries and gobbling them down nervously.

I stood still for a long while, and the bushes seemed to come alive with robins.
Then, from above, came the weepy sounds of cedar waxwings.

They landed among the berries, too.

A jay stood sentry in a tall cottonwood. He was keeping an eye on me, and on the feeders by the lakeside cottages nearby.

The robins sat in the leafless branches, as if turning their darker backs to the sun for maximum solar absorption.

It also helped to be wearing a down coat.

Besides winterberries, it looks like there are lots of other things for them to eat. I don't know if they do, but it's interesting that they are all RED things:

All too soon it was time to go. I crunched noisily back to the car, crossing the little fishing bridge near the road – and saw a flash of blue!

There in the sumacs, sat a bluebird.

He and his companion looked out of place. Usually bluebirds and robins leave in the fall, and the bluebirds return weeks before the more-heralded robins in the spring.

Maybe these guys plan to tough it out this winter!


  1. Fantastic you were able to get shots of so many great different colorful birds all at one spot!

  2. Beautiful pics - and a bluebird, no less! I haven't seen any berries hanging about up here - perhaps the birds ate them all already. Wish the berry bushes/shrubs I planted would hurry up and grow - I want my berry-filled hedge NOW! :)

  3. Winter wonderland, indeed! So many beautiful berries and birds! Thanks for these exquisite photos.