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Waxwing - Close Encounter

Waxwing - Close Encounter
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: 2012-12-02
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D300
Exposure: f/5.0, 1/800 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2013-02-19 2:14
Viewed: 2575
Points: 32
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Bohemian Waxwing Bombycilla garrulus is a colourful, plump little bird that breeds in boreal coniferous forests where it feeds largely on insects until the year's fruit crops ripen. In winter its diet switches almost entirely to fruits and buds, although flying insects are still taken in mild conditions. It is well known for making long-distance southward movements when food supplies run short in the northern parts of its range, and in these "waxwing winters" these birds may appear throughout Europe, often appearing in gardens and attracting attention by their exotic appearance and surprising tameness. This lack of fear leads to many being shot by "hunters" (not the word that actually comes to mind) in southern Europe, but in northern Europe they usually attract more benevolent attention and it is not uncommon to find small crowds watching waxwings when they settle in urban areas in the UK.

In the Nordic, German and Welsh languages the local names for this species translate as "silk tail" - for which any explanation would be welcome. The bird certainly has fine, silky plumage and this extends to the peaked crest, but the tail is rather short and "conventional" with a distinct yellow tip.

I find that the best way to photograph this species is to watch the feeding flocks to determine their favourite feeding places (they shift as the berry crops are eaten) and wait quietly nearby. If you stay silent and still, or move only very slowly they will often settle within just a few metres, although these feeding sorties may be very brief before they return to nearby treetops. It's a rare opportunity to meet these birds, but we have been fortunate to have two "waxwing winters" in a row.

This confiding little character is a first winter male. Isn't he stunning?

McQueenca, Alan_Kolnik, Miss_Piggy, ramthakur, rousettus, Mamagolo2, anel, drchoneydew has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Nigel
Excellent portrait of this Waxwing. Wonderful detail and colour. I like how your composition and especially the sharpness of the image.
Thanks for sharing
Best regards

This is a very interesting image technically and as a photograph of the bird. The tight feathers are quite distinguishable so there is plenty of texture.

Hallo Nigel
This is a super portrait with stunning details captured and seen in the facial area. I love the facial expression, the swanky crest and the beautiful colours of the plumage. Thanks for sharing. Best regards.

Super portrait of this gorgeous bird, Nigel.
What's more, you have used a tripod for taking this picture, as if you had a date with it for a photo shoot. :)
Thanks and regards.

Hello Nigel
what a nice portraite from marvellous silky-tail, with great details and eye contact. I call it with this name, since scientific name (Bombycilla means silk and tail).
Thanks for sharing this beauty. Well done.

Ciao Nigel, fantastic portrait of lovely bird, amazing details, wonderful colors and splendid sharpness, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

hello Nigel
great sharpness picture of the head
i like this bird with the beautiful colours
thanks greeting lou

Hi Nigel,
What a beautiful portrait of this waxwing. Fantastic sharpness and colour. Great POV. I like the catch light in the eye. Wish it was mine. Great notes. Excellent. Thanks for sharing.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2013-02-19 12:36]

Hi Nigel,fantastic portrait and spectacular quality!! The bird of the day on TN,really a great pic and the best details and colors,i like it! Have a nice evening and thanks,Luciano

Hello Nigel,

Incredible portrait! This bird was very confident, and you had a great POV. I like very much harmony between tones of the background and of the bird.
Great details, of course.
Tfs, Philippe

Amazing portrait Nigel! Excellent composition, fantastic colours and impressive sharpness!

Wow, what a beautiful portrait with asubtile look of the waxwing. Wonderfull!!
best regards

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2013-02-20 11:05]

Hello Nigel,
Yes, nice to have this kind of close encounters.. somehow funny portrait of this special bird. Fine colors and excellent sharpness. Interesting note too, especially what concerns the name "Seidenschwanz". Thanks too for your kind critique on the same species.
Take care!

EXCELLENT! Now this is how i LOVE to see our birds!! Stunning indeed with natural light and i am just smiling here! Talk about EYE CONTACT! Superb in every way

Hello Nigel,
An outstanding portrait,excellent clarity,colours and sharpness.
Best regards,

Dear Nigel
Your Waxwing puts to shame the South African Grey Lourie eg

Though they have in common the remarkably shaped crest. Both species have very smooth, silky looking feathers, the South African bird is also named "Go away" Bird, because supposedly the call sounds like "Go away". However I never understood that, although we had lots of them on our farm in Limpopo, previously Eastern Transvaal. ( must be my bad English :-))

I do like that you do not touch up much your photos! Many members overindulge with photoshopping to produce an image - what eg the elephant ought to look like - achieving a bad painting look alike.....

Your portrait of a waxwing is a beauty,
Thanks for sharing
Take care
Have a happy week

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