Monday, January 31, 2011
Friday, January 21, 2011
Moving along slowly I spotted a movement off in the distance. Can you see it in the photo above?
A magnificent Great Gray Owl. His head moved back and forth, scanning for a meal. Art stopped the truck (and took out a book) while I grinned, watching the owl in the distance. He lifted off and glided to a tree closer to us. It was a perfect view.
The photo above is far from perfect but I was so thrilled to catch the owl take flight. It flew across the road in front of us and landed in a field on the other side.
We never approached the owl, but when it flew closer to the truck , I felt we were disturbing its hunt so we slowly drove away.
Moving along down the snowy roads I spotted a familiar silhouette T'd up high in a black spruce. It was this Northern Hawk Owl. Again, this bird was quite a way off and my photos are not very sharp, but they they're good enough for me!
Saturday, January 08, 2011
This photo shows the shorter, "stubby" beak, giving the face a pushed in appearance. It also shows the finer, fainter steaking on the flanks.
Another field mark is the clear, white rump.
Wednesday, January 05, 2011
On January 15, Scott Mehus, the Education Director for the National Eagle Center will be coordinating the Seventh Annual Wintering Golden Eagle Survey. Last year 140+ observers counted nearly 100 Golden Eagles in the survey area!
Ruthie and I took notes during the seminar, quickly memorizing the field marks differentiating Golden Eagles form Bald Eagles. We were fortunate to snag a ride with Scott for the field trip so we could get extra information and a narrative during our ride through the bluffs.
A few miles across the river into Wisconsin Scott pulled over to point out an area where he knew a pair of Goldens had an established territory. He had explained that unlike Bald Eagles, which like to choose perches near the tops of trees or out on the edges of clear areas, Goldens more often were found within the tree canopy. We scanned the bluffs for dark shapes and spotted a pair, far off in the distance.
A lone Golden Eagle
Anyone within driving distance to the National Eagle Center should consider attending one of Scott's seminars. There is another coming up this Saturday, January 8 at 1pm. They are always looking for volunteers for the Wintering Golden Eagle Survey, always on the third Saturday of January. If you can't visit this year, think about next year. I would like to go to the seminar again next year. It's terrific information and I would like to try to see an immature Golden Eagle.
Monday, January 03, 2011
Upstairs at the feeders on the balcony, it looked like all the regulars were there. Chickadees, White and Red-breasted Nuthatches and a sprinkling of Goldfinches. I shoveled off the deck and set to work filling feeders. Even with a hat on I could hear birds coming through the woods. I looked up in time to see a good sized flock flying in from across the creek: REDPOLLS!
I love these tiny winter finches. I had heard that this isn't being a good winter for northern finches but sure was wishing hard to see a few at Hasty. I kept my movements slow and deliberate and eventually one Redpoll flew up from the hazelnut brush. Seconds later I was surrounded! If I stood very still they would land on my head and shoulders. What a thrill!
I cleared most of the snow and ice from the railing, spread some thistle and soon they were lined up eating.