Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)
The sky is the vivid blue of (hopefully) early springtime. Below is the soft gray-green of evergreen needles and dusky brown of pine cones dancing in the wind, yellow ribbons of resin depending from their tips like icicles. The old crabapple tree's bark is tarnished and silvery, the withered fruit remaining on it a faded dusty pink.
All this is enough on a cold morning in late March, but along comes a skirling congregation of passerines to fill the air with their silky color and clamor and shrill pleasure in the day. They shimmy and frolic and strut, dance in whirling lemony throngs from branch to branch, from sleeping trees to roof lines, chimneys and telephone wires, then back again. They swallow last autumn's crabbed berries whole and hurl them playfully at each other like small hard bullets, plucking the thrown fruit right out of the air whenever it comes in their direction.
My visitors are definitely Cedar Waxwings, and perhaps they are a tad intoxicated by the fermented stuff they are noshing on, but these birds are always cheerful and full of life - such a spirited assembly ought to be called (like larks) "an exultation". They are too grand and noisy and exuberant and entertaining to be called simply a flock.