Whew! Close call...
While standing in our front yard today, observing bees in the Ray Hartman ceanothus, I heard rustling sounds in our next door neighbor's magnolia tree.
At first I thought the sounds were coming from a Western Scrub Jay couple that seem to be building a nest high up in the tree. But the birds were Cedar Waxwings, and there were many of them. They quietly perched on branches or hopped around, making the rustling sounds among the leaves in the tree and didn't seem to mind me observe them.
I turned my back for a moment and heard a sudden whoosh.
The waxwings flew quickly westward in a big flock, high in the sky.
And almost immediately I observed a hawk dive into the branches of a large pine tree growing across the street.
All this time it was very quiet, on a warm and sunny afternoon.
I've never experienced anything like this. I wonder if the waxwings saw the hawk circling nearby in the sky.
From the quick glimpse I had of the hawk diving into the tree, it seems that it was either a Cooper's Hawk or Sharp-Shinned Hawk. Their feather color and markings are very similar but the Sharp-Shinned Hawk is smaller.
Cooper's Hawk photo by Alex Lamoreaux
Sharp-Shinned Hawk by Alex Lamoreaux