Sunday, January 23, 2011
Frozen fingers and Raptors! - 22 Jan 2011
White-throated Sparrows. A gorgeous male Golden-crowned Kinglet was foraging at the base of one tree, and I snapped away as best I could to capture this crowned beauty. Unfortunately, exposures were 1/40 sec. at ISO 400, so images came out blurry. This was my best capture (but soft) so a watercolor filter in Photoshop helped salvage it. A few moments later a puffed-up Song Sparrow came down and fed on the fresh-thrown seed.
My friend Patricia stopped by and we talked a few moments. I thanked her for the tip on the Great Horned Owl near the Marshland Museum at Lake Erie Metropark (she found it yesterday afternoon). I found it inside the dead stump at the end of the boardwalk, but it was too far away to photograph.
I then drove over to Roberts Rd. to cruise for raptors. Just past Siegler Rd., however, an American Kestrel was perched on an overhead wire and allowed a few photos from the car window. Unfortunately I couldn't focus on the bird w/ the heat currents forming from the window being open. So I continued on.
A third Kestrel was found near the entrance to the Gibraltar Landfill off of Rheaume Rd., and as I turned the corner I spotted an immature Rough-legged Hawk hoving/soaring above the landfill to my right. The bird was 1/4-mile away and just a speck in the sky, but I watched for several minutes, hoping that it would drift my way. It didn't.
Driving south along Turnpike Rd. I spotted another hovering hawk near the Roberts Rd. entrance, and decided to make another loop and see if I could get a pic or two. As I turned the corner I spotted a pickup in the middle of the road, and assumed that they were watching the still-unidentified hovering raptor. Just then another Rough-legged Hawk flushed from the ditch to my left and took off into the field. Apparently it was feeding on a freshly-caught rabbit.
few distance photos as it hovered over the landfill. Yay! Two Roughies in the same area!
Most of Lake Erie appeared frozen, but there was still some open water 50 yds. out from shore, where hundreds of Tundra and Mute Swans, Canvasbacks, American Coot and Redhead were swimming.
high in the trees. I was able to angle the scope through breaks in the vegetation to get some clear digiscoped images of the bird as its warmed itself in the late morning sun.