Thursday, January 13, 2011

Brilliant Buteos

It glared ferociously down at me, seaming to ponder over my edibility. Finally decided that, perhaps, I was not a small rodent, and might be a bit heavy to carry off in its talons, it resumed its preening.

But I kept glaring. Glaring with immense happiness. It was a Red-

shouldered Hawk, and although not all that uncommon, I always feel happy whenever I stumble across one.

Today I was my first biped chase. Someone had reported a flock of Lapland Longspurs, Snow Buntings and Horned Larks about four miles from my house. I put on my shoes, still soaked from yesterday’s melted snow, and hit the road. On arriving at the spot, I was rewarded by more than 100 Lapland Longspurs, with the added bonus of a couple dozen Horned Larks and about 50 Snow Buntings busily eating spilled corn.

I was amazed at the number of woodpeckers I was hearing. I tallied a total of 7 Hairies, 22 Downies, 6 Red-bellies and a lone Flicker, plus 12 White-breasted Nuthatches. Definitely the most Downy Woodpeckers I have ever seen on one run. I finished my run with a flock of Rock Pigeons and a flyover light morph Rough-legged Hawk.

SWSA Totals: 37 species, 102 miles

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