Saturday, March 03, 2007

Beginning of Spring Migration

I can tell that it's the beginning of spring migration. Most of the American Goldfinches are gone. After two days, our feeders are still mostly full, which means we're down to our resident birds. Over the last couple of months we've been going through about 14 lbs. of birdseed a week! And most of that ended up on the ground because the finches threw out the seeds they didn't like.

Another way to tell is that we made our usual weekend birding trek and saw very few birds. In a period of 2 hours, I only took 15 pictures. With a digital camera, that's almost none!

However, I got lucky. One hawk that I saw decided to fly around instead of away. I think this may be the "hawk of the day" from yesterday, or at least a relative. Notice the white "eyebrows".

It kept flying back and forth, probably looking at us (or at our vehicle) to see what we would do. But it enabled me to get some pretty good shots. (Not perfect, but not bad, either!)

Here's a shot from the "under side". When I saw this hawk on the telephone pole, I thought it might be the Krider's that we saw last year. It's the same area, so that's a possibility.

Now here's a surprise. The hawk below is a different bird from the one above. We ended up quite a ways north of our normal route, on FM 529 -- not a good road for stopping and taking pictures! There were two hawks on a telephone pole cross-bar and not much traffic, so we turned around to look. One flew right away, but the second thought about it for a moment. Then flew! I snapped a really quick shot, being certain that it wouldn't come out at all. Well, it's the usual "hawk flying away" shot -- but it turned out pretty well. So all in all, not too bad for a slow birding day!

I should mention that one of the birds we were particularly looking for today was an Eastern Bluebird. We haven't seen any since those shots I took in January. Well, surprisingly, we did see one. Just one. And it was on one of those roads without shoulders and with traffic. So I didn't get a photo. But I'll keep trying. Just be aware that I'm easily distracted by hawks -- I'm sure you're surprised at that! ;-)


Lee said...

Do you and Marc go bird-watching every weekend, Stormy? I can understand your fascination with hawks...they are majestic birds.

Stormy said...

Hi Lee,

We usually try to go if the weather's nice, and we've had a run of nice weekends lately (unlike a month or so ago, when we had lots of rain). Birding is best around here in the winter time (opposite to you of course). It's now getting into spring and all the birds will fly north for the summer, and there won't be as many here.