Monday, January 09, 2017

Mead Botanical Gardens

It was my first trip back to Mead Botanical Garden for the New Year and I was soon surrounded by the largest feeding flock of American Robins of the Winter. Problem was, they were all flying out of holly trees at waist level and quickly going into thickets across the path. I could not get a single bird out in the open for a photo. I could tell by the bird sounds all around me that they would be here for a while so I headed toward the Education Center for now.

Perched over the creek was a Red-shouldered Hawk scanning the trees for a meal.

Red-shouldered Hawk

As I approached the Cypress stand I noticed another Red-shouldered Hawk flying up into a tree. By the time I got in a good position for photos I could just make out that it was snacking on a frog.

Red-shouldered Hawk

There was not too much action around the boardwalk so I headed back to the 'island'. American Robins were still there and I finally got one bird out in the light but still behind branches.

American Robin

On the back side of a Brazilian Pepper shrub I could finally make out a few Cedar Waxwings darting in for berries. When a shadow passed over all the birds froze to stay hidden. It was the only way I could focus on this bird.

Cedar Waxwing

Soon, they resumed feeding and then would fly back to an adjacent tree. There have not been that many Cedar Waxwings around this season.

Cedar Waxwing

Also in the pepper tree was a female Northern Cardinal looking out over the pond.

Northern Cardinal

I headed back to the car. Along the way, a Great Egret was prowling along the path and paid zero attention to me as I got a bunch of shots as I walked beside it.

Great Egret

Finally got a nice feeding flock of Robins. Perhaps there will be a couple more before they all head back North.

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