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Waxwing - Winter Wanderer

Waxwing - Winter Wanderer
Photo Information
Copyright: Nigel Deacon (Merlin) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 445 W: 267 N: 455] (1713)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2011-02-12
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D300, 300mm f/4D ED AF-S Nikkor
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/640 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2012-09-14 10:36
Viewed: 3298
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 32
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
It's been a while since I posted anything, but I thought I would revisit the winter of 2010-11 for this one.

The Bohemian Waxwing Bombycilla garrulus, usually just called "the Waxwing" in the UK, is an uncommon bird in most winters, but occasionally we have a "Waxwing winter" where larger numbers come to our shores to brighten up the scene - and the winter of 2010-11 hosted one of these "irruptions," caused by a failure of the berry crops in Scandinavia. They are berry specialists in winter, and take a wide range of fruits that other birds usually leave untouched - sometimes because they are simply too large for the other species to swallow. Waxwings have a huge gape for their size, and can swallow eye-wateringly large berries.

This bird, which shows the "sealing wax" feather tips that give the species its common name, was one of a small flock that spent several days feeding on the edge of the car park of the local supermarket (not a very exotic place for such a striking bird). I set the camera on a tripod in the car park (and getting lots of odd looks and stupid questions) while waiting for birds to make feeding forays from the treetops down into the shrubs at eye level. Low evening sun helped light the scene, and the wall of the local railway station gave a nice complementary background. Well worth putting up with the ridicule, I think ;-)

They are lovely birds, and are usually fairly tolerant of humans, particularly if you remain quiet and still while they are feeding.

The image is completely unsharpened, illuminated only by natural light and the colour balance is "warm" - because that's an accurate reflection of the lighting at the time.

cobra112, Miss_Piggy, ramthakur, marius-secan, anel, energypolice, peter_stoeckl has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To PeterZ: Condolences.Merlin 1 09-14 13:18
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Nigel,
Clarity with softness,Harmony of colors,Balanced composition and a Feeling...
Thanks and my regards,_Joy.

  • Great 
  • pirate Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 799 W: 152 N: 1186] (7474)
  • [2012-09-14 11:41]

Hi Nigel
The bird is gorgeous and the bg just perfect!

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2012-09-14 13:15]
  • [+]

Hello Nigel,
Wonderful photo in splendid colours and sharpness. Fantastic!
(I was on my way to the Pantanal when I heard in Sao Paolo that my mother in law suddenly had died. So I'm back now.)

Ciao Nigel. Welcome back! Great professionali taken here. Fabolouse colours and excellent details in the lovely compo.


wow Merlin, this is a beauty! the bird, as well as the photograph. the BG is good, excellent sharpness and DoF, proper POV.. but what attracts me most is the play of light and shadow. hats off to my favourite cam D300, once again. and thank you for sharing such a beauty with us.

Impressive bird and impressive photo Nigel! Excellent composition, wonderful BG, fantastic colours and good sharpness.

Hallo Nigel
This is a great image with lots of details to appreciate. What I like the most in this image is the effect the natural sunlight have on the colours and detail. Indeed an image that is worthy lots of praise. Thanks for sharing. Best regards.

  • Great 
  • iti Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 577 W: 0 N: 650] (7939)
  • [2012-09-15 4:06]

Hi Nigel,
Very nice portrait of a beautiful bird.
Composition and light are very good.
Nice colours with excellent details.
Regards Jiri.

Hi Nigel,
Great capture of this Bohemian Waxwing.
Good sharpness and nice details. Great details and great colors. Excellent. Congratulation.

What a fabulous image, Nigel!
Superb POV, immaculate focus and mind blowing rich colours.
Thanks for sharing this beauty from your archives.


Hello Nigel,
A fascinating photo with razor sharp details, very nice vivid colors and perfect exposure. Nice composition taken from a excellent POV with lovely light and best clarity. As usual a exceptional image. I never meet this superb colorful bird species.

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2012-09-16 5:31]

Hello Nigel,
What a beautiful picture! How well taken and fine colors. It's my dream that I can take a shot of this beautiful bird one day.
Thanks a lot
Kind regards

Ciao Nigel, great capture of lovely bird on fantastic blurry BG, wonderful colors and splendid sharpness, very well done, my friend, have a good Sunday, ciao Silvio

fantastic colours, TFS Ori

Hello Nigel,
phantastic portrait of the waxwing! I love the warm colours all over the image, the perfectly smooth background, the very deliberate composition of three elements: twig, bird, and berries, the absolutely perfect pose of the bird, the excellent details and well shaping light. My congratulations!
Lovely colourful bird, not a regular visitor to my place, but usually seen after long periods of frost of hard winters, showing up in cheerful large groups at our gardens with enough supply of ripe berries to attract them.
Thank you for that beautiful posting.
With best regards,

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2013-07-28 17:50]

Hello Nigel
this is a lovely smooth view and an awesome capture. Really pristine sharpness.
The beauty is so well presented and the excitement of seeing such an image is really motivating.
Thanks for sharing this lovely capture of yours.
Like it so much.


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