Anyhow, I decided to head out early to do some local birding but had to stop at the dump first. I would make my way there and the first thing I'd see was this beautiful Red-tailed Hawk in the picture above. Now I'm always excited to see a Red-tailed, but even more so with my camera and as luck would have it, the ligthing would be perfect and the bird nearby so out came the camera in the midst of cars coming and going doing what most people do at the dump which is take out trash, but who says you can't bird as well if something interesting shows up.
Sigh, have you ever seen a face as sweet as that? Such deep thought in those eyes I'd say. Funny because at this point everyone at the dump was now looking at the Red-tailed Hawk because they were all wondering what I found so interesting. I could hear a guy behind me explain to another guy that it was a Red-tailed Hawk so I turned around and smiled and nodded as a gesture of respect because I usually hear non-birders refer to these hawks as eagles so I was rather impressed. He continued to impress me even more when he told me I may be interested in the Turkey Vultures around the bike path....Hmmmm....Perhpas a birder in disguise?
Okay, last one I promise, but had to share as I took it at another angle which is the compost section of the dump so I just couldn't resist.
Okay, so I lied. Here it is gazing into my eyes, swoon......I am sure the hawk was wondering who the hell I was as it;s usually able to perch and hunt from this location, never being noticed until I came along and screwed things up.
After stalking the hawk, I decided to head to Martha Deering which is only a quarter of a mile or so from the transfer station. I would get a few birds going in, including a Hairy Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker and Northern Flicker all within the same general location as well as numerous Blue Jays squacking up a storm. I would come to an area where I could hear a lot of bird activity so decided to do some pishing to see what I could find. The activity would be so heavy that I'd be in a state of confusion as my brain not only tried to focus on the calls, but all of the flying around as well because birds were coming and going from every location. I could hear the faint call of a Northern Parula near a Black-capped Chickadee so decided to focus my time around that area because that's where the other warblers would be. There would once again be birds everywhere including a quick glimpse of a Black-throated Blue as well as a good look at another but as you can see by the picture above, it was gone by the time my camera got into focus on the darn bird. Grrrr....So frustrating but goes with the territory of birding for warblers I suppose.
I should note that at one point, I could hear the calls of the Northern Parula, some Black-capped Chickadees, an Eastern Towhee, pissed off Blue Jays, a White-breasted Nuthatch, Downy Woodpecker, Gray Catbird, American Robin, a red squirrel as well as a few chipmunks all at the same time, which was causing some major confusion, but what had me stumped the most was this almost mechanical sound that was coming from above- but wouldn't realize what it was until I got out of the bushy area I was in and that would be this hot air balloon above. I think the guy was just attempting to mess with my head seriously!
While heading back to the car, I could see a buteo in a tree and the first thing that comes to mind is a Broad-winged Hawk until I get my bins on it and realize it's a Red-tailed. Hmmmmmm......Perhaps that one I saw earlier I think as it's relatively close. The hawk does'nt look too pleased to see me I think as I'm turning on my camera again and smiling at it.......Perhpaps the hawk is stalking me now I think.
Here it is showing me its ass or maybe mooning me.........
Bon voyage my handsome friend, until we meet again!
After that it would be a quick stop to the Cross Street Powerlines to see what I could find. There would be a few Eastern Bluebirds mixed in with some Mourning Doves which was funny to see because of their size comparison.
I'd make my way to my favorite part and would hear the call of what sounded like a bird in disress. It would take me a bit to think Osprey, but I'd doubt myself as I've never had one here before. Soon enough I'd see if fly from the post it was on before I could get my camera ready. It seemed as if I'd ticked off another raptor today and it's not even 10:00 I'd think.
But there would be one raptor that didn't mind my presence and that would be the sharpie above. Now this is the type of picture I could stare at forever, because it has all of the classic characteristics of a sharpie in flight. Note the squared, long tail obviously, but also the rounded wings at the tip and the s shaped curve along the leading edge of the wing and the small head compared to a Cooper's Hawk too.
Another one I thought was interesting. From what I can tell, this hawk appears to be a juvenile? It also behaved like one too while trying to score some breakfast as it wasn't very successful. A lot of flapping, a little gliding and every passerine in sight hidden from view which frustrated the sharpie. After a while though, it did land high up in a pine tree so not sure if it was successful or not, but I appreciated the air show just the same.
I'd do a little more birding and see a Field Sparrow in the same location I have seen it for the past two years which I found funny. No Common Ravens though, which is a first for me but there's always next time.
Take care all