Saturday, December 11, 2010

Today Was for the Birds!

It all started early this morning. I was enjoying my first cup of coffee when I spotted a big hawk in that small tree, to the far left, in front of the notch. The sun had not yet risen above the ridge so the light was subdued. I got the binoculars to get a better look. What I saw was the back of large hawk with a brown head, speckled back, and a sharp white edge on its tail. The light  was growing steadily stronger and fortunately for me he decided to turn around . I got a great view of his front. Even more beautiful than the back, the chest of this bird was snowy white, with streaks of brown that looked like a necklace on an Egyptian princess. I was awestruck, and then the bird flew. In the few seconds I had as he streaked  past the window, I could see that this was a magnificent redtail hawk. Later around lunchtime I saw him again sitting in the highest tree atop the gravel bank hill. Sights like that are one of the advantages to the winter loss of leaves on the trees. The last time I saw this bird today he was flying high above the garden and flew over the house toward the pines.  All this was just was just the early show.

With today being the first sunny day in what seems like forever, birds of all kinds visited the feeders in the garden. Usually I can manage pictures of Black-capped Chickadees, and I took some of those, but today I actually caught this Red-breasted Nuthatch. 

This White-breasted Nuthatch was hungry enough to ignore me and give me a chance to get his picture. The noise of the camera startled him and so he left.

It was a sweet surprise to see this picture of the nuthatch in flight. This sort of picture usually eludes me completely.

I watched the birds some more after I came back in the house. Mourning Doves, Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers and Dark-eyed Juncos joined the others.
Two red squirrels caused a bit of commotion this afternoon. It looks like we have a pair, but that's a story for another day.

There's just 10 days left!!!

1 comment:

Patsi said...

Love seeing the red-tailed hawk but always worried he's going to go after the small birds...don't want to see that.