Monday, April 9, 2018

MY BIRDING GROUP STARTED SATURDAY.

      I lead a bird watching group in the spring and fall. Every Saturday morning at 10:00 AM will find us at some site where we will watch  birds for two hours.

     Saturday was the first scheduled walk of the spring season. Most springs by April 7 we will have mild spring weather. Not this year. In fact, it could be well compared to one of the colder winter days. It was minus 16 C ( 1 F) . There was a wind of about 30 km per hour . It was brutally cold. I had my wind pants on and a good coat with a few layers. Oh yes, I also wore winter boots. The other birders were well clad in winter gear.

    However, we did get bare hands out to use cameras and binoculars.

    Now none of us expected to see much. Birds usually stay close to cover when it's windy and cold.

    Well, on my way down to the location I saw a golden eagle.  It was flying across the school yard a block from my house. That was a big sighting  for  me.

    As we were waiting in the parking lot we saw lots of American crows and Bohemian waxwings.

    After that it was a bit of a challenge. We could hear chickadees and nuthatches but didn't see them. I asked the group if they wanted to go off the trail and find the chickadees. Yes, of course.  About 50 m in someone saw bird in a dark part of the woods. It looked like some kind of hawk. It was very hard to see but someone said, "It's eating something!" Yes, it definitely was eating something. It was hard to get a look at the bird as the light conditions were very poor. Finally somebody got a good photo. Yes, it was a Sharp-shinned hawk eating a bohemian waxwing.

      Thanks to Lynette for her fine photo. You can see how close the camera had to be focused to get this one.

Image may contain: bird, tree and outdoor

    We spent about 10 minutes having a look at this little hawk and finally left .

    500 m further on we saw a pileated woodpecker sending large chips flying as he was looking for grub. The pileated paid not attention to us and we finally left.

    So what we thought would be a poor day wasn't that bad after all.

32 comments:

  1. You saw some cool things on a cold day.

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    1. It's a good thing we were in the bush and out of the wind.

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  2. It sounds like some good sightings on a cold day. I bet you are glad the group has started up again. Maybe you will have warmer weather next Saturday!

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    1. It's warmed up already . We had a high of 10 C on Monday!

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  3. Why didn't you all rush up the tree to save the bohemian waxwing from the evil hawk? That waxwing was somebody's son or daughter. Amazing that you spotted a golden eagle in your neighbourhood. In Great Britain golden eagles are incredibly rare with only about 500 breeding pairs.

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    1. Well, if I'd rushed up the tree, somebody's Dad, grandpa, husband , brother would have fallen and given the hawk a bigger breakfast.

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  4. Nature is eat and be eaten. Impressive to watch it.

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  5. Great capture of the hawk having its breakfast. Glad you got to see so many birds on a cold spring day. :-)

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    1. Just remember , this is Lynette's photo.

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  6. Yoiks! 1?! You guys are braver than me!

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  7. Wow. You folks are hard core!! Good work.

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    1. Well, you schedule these things and then you have to show up!

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  8. Yay! It really IS becoming spring when the bird-watching starts, right? (Never mind the cold -- easier said than done, I know.) And how cool to see a golden eagle!

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    1. Usually it is much warmer by April 7.

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  9. Very cool that you saw a golden eagle!

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    1. We do get to see eagles here but not usually in the urban neighborhood.

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  10. Very impressive shot. It was well worth being out in the cold.

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    1. I'll tell Lynette what you said about her photo.

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  11. What an amazing sight to see a golden eagle! And what a great shot of this hawk. Some really great sightings for such a cold day.

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    1. there are eagles here but not usually in the urban environment.

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  12. I chase the pileated a lot and they run away fast.we caught a sharp shined when banding once and all were hesitant to take it out of our mist net.

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    1. We find them to just ignore us and the come very close.

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  13. Replies
    1. We are never skunked on our outings. Chickadees nuthatches and a few others are always there.

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  14. Not a great day for the Bohemian waxwing, however . . .

    But we all gotta eat.

    It's good that your cold outing was still successful.

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    1. Right now there are huge flocks of Bohemian waxwings and they are rather easy to catch at this time.

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  15. Gorgeous bird photo there, Red. Thanks...:)

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    1. I'll tell Lynette what you said about her photo.

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