Sunday, January 23, 2011

Frozen fingers - Pt. II - 23 Jan 2011

Wanting to get better pics of the Pt. Mouillee Rough-legged Hawks I made a quick trip back down to Roberts Rd. and Rheaume Rd.  A first stop at Campau Rd. and the Pt. Moo HQ produced a few nice passerines, both at the gate, and at the boat launch. 

Yesterday's Swamp Sparrows, American Tree Sparrows, Black-capped Chickadees and Northern Cardinals were joined by White-breasted Nuthatches (two) and a Red-bellied Woodpecker.  An American Tree Sparrow provided some close views as it foraged under the spruce trees.  Pat Gamburd had just left and was able to get nice pics of a Winter Wren from the same area.

As I left the HQ I spotted a hawk across the field perching on a tree branch.  A quick look through the binoculars showed a white head and brown body, both good for Rough-legged Hawk.  I pulled over, grabbed the scope, and managed a few digiscoped images from about 70 yds. away.  The sub-zero windchill made handling the Coolpix P6000 a bit difficult, but I managed a couple keepers.  The light-colored eye and dark belly band indicate juvenile.

Heading over to Roberts Rd. I spotted a pair of Red-tailed Hawks, both perched in the trees near the curve and open field.  As I looked to my right toward the landfill I spotted a female (tan head, underwings) Rough-legged Hawk hovering near the same area as yesterday.  Unfortunately it drifted away out of view.

At the corner of Rheaume and Roberts Rds. another Rough-legged Hawk was working the field, and soared low enough to get a few flight shots.  This immature bird was circling close to the sun, so I had to be careful about trying to get pics w/o burning my eyeballs.  It soon flew off to the east toward the Lake Erie shoreline.

Rheaume Rd. was quiet except for feeding Song Sparrows (three), Swamp Sparrows (three) and American Tree Sparrows (four) that were enjoying some seed left by a previous visitor.  As I was driving out an American Kestrel was balancing on an overhead wire.  Today, however, I had the sun to my back, so it was much easier to get some nice images of the colorful male before it flew off.

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