Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Fun Morning

This morning was cold, clear, and windy. I got a later start than usual and just birded the T&C playing fields downstream of Meadowheath and Lake Creek from the playing fields to the Parmer Lane bridge. I was glad to find a Green Heron on the creek, rare here in the winter. And I got this picture of 5 Least Sandpipers just downstream of the last crossing. As I walked up the north bank of the creek to the hike and bike trail I saw a Red-tailed Hawk hovering over the undeveloped field north of the soccer fields. It went down fast and the next time I saw it it was on top of a light post eating something it had caught. On the other side of the creek a flock of about 30 Starlings caught my eye. They were flying very close together which is something they do if a hawk is nearby. Sure enough, there was a Sharp-shinned Hawk flying below them and they made a couple passes at it before it disappeared downstream. I continued down the trail and then heard the Red-tailed Hawk behind me. I turned around and saw it flying south, carrying some kind of rodent and being chased by a Crow.

I was thrilled to watch these hawks and was a little disappointed it all happened too fast and too far away to get pictures. But then a little further down the trail I got a beautiful photo opportunity. I took this picture of our state bird surrounded by brilliant red berries. The bush with the berries is a Possum Haw, a native plant that loses its leaves but is covered with berries in the winter.

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