Sunday, September 20, 2009

Hawkwatching Barre Falls-Sunday

I continued my hawkwatching weekend today at Barre Falls and met up again with Donna, Bart and Dave for about 6 hours today. It's amazing how quickly time goes by while you are hawkwatching. You would think the day would drag because there are plenty of periods between birds where you are looking at cloudless skies and airplanes to keep your sanity and your bins sharp, but despite the lapse between birds, the time seems to fly faster than the birds more often than not! Anyhow, it was the "same old, same old" today with Broad-winged Hawk spottings, but in the familiar 1's, 2's, 3's or 4's and never any significant kettles that I have heard so much about. The birds did decide to cut me a break today and get a little closer which was great for picture taking, allthough still not easy as you will see by my photos.


The photo above is that if I recall, of a juvenile Broad-winged Hawk. Notice the "dark, smudgy border on the wing and the dark tail tip". According to my "Hawks from Every Angle" book, this hawk also appears to be a dark morph (see correction below) which is characterized by "solidly dark underneath with pale flight feathers and stocky, pointed wings". NOTE: Just got an email from Donna who informed me that Dark morph Broad-winged Hawks are very rare in our area and while the picture did somewhat resemble the photo I saw in my book, it was due to the positioning of the sun. Thanks Donna, another new thing I learned today, that's what makes birding so exciting as you learn something new everyday!! Will keep the original statement as well as the correction in here as I like to keep mistakes out here so others may learn from them including myself! Anyway, it was really nice to be able to get some looks at some Broad-winged Hawks in flight over the past few days as they are a hawk I don't see that often so it's nice to have a few record shots on file!

One of the first birds we did see of the morning, (besides the familiar Turkey Vulture), was this Bald Eagle above, who got close enough to us to see with the naked eye and the 15 zoom camera of mine! He was hanging low by the river and we assumed his breakfast of choice for the morning would definitely be trout of course!
Another shot that shows of it's white tail. This is a good field mark when looking at an adult Bald Eagle, especially in comparison to a Turkey Vulture which still confuses me at times as I often mistaken one for the other.
We were also treated to an American Kestrel who flew by us close enough for a photo. I absolutely love how the sun captured that gorgeous orange tail this bird had!

Barre Falls is a haven for wildlife, with it's fresh water, trees, shrubs and nest boxes so many migrating hawks decided to make some "pit stops" along their journey as they were guaranteed a good meal if they were patient enough. I was able to get an out of focus digiscope picture using Donna's scope of this juvenile Broad-winged Hawk
There were also more than a few Cooper's Hawks in the area including the one above.
And of course, what would any hawkwatch be without an Osprey or two or three or four or.......... Well you get the point!
And a photo to once again remind you all of what hawkwatching is really like. More often than not you are not getting closeups of gorgeous, soaring hawks but rather faint little images of the birds. Despite that it is still very rewarding once you are lucky enough to see one through your bins. The picture above is of a Cooper's with a Sharp-shinned Hawk directly above it, which you should be able to somewhat see if you enlarge the photo by clicking on it. Hey, I never said I was a professional photographer you know! ;-)
I decided to do a little light birding in the early AM while at Barre Falls while we waited for the raptors to take to the skies and saw my first Palm Warbler of this fall migrating season. Still as handsome as it was in the spring as you can see!
Take care all!

4 comments:

Susan W. said...

Very, very cool! The eagle tops off a perfect birding day!

Kelly said...

...pretty amazing to me. I would love to do this some day.

Hilke Breder said...

Kim, I enjoy reading your blog - the way you supplement your photos with descriptions, very visual.

Steve said...

Hi Kim. You're lucky to have so many raptors to chose from. 4 different ones on a GOOD day is great for me, although I did get 2 in an hour today.

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