Sunday, December 28, 2008

Is it spring?????

Today it was balmy, spring-like. All the snow has melted and whole areas are muddy. The first sighting was a hawk on West 69th Street on the roof of the building next to St. Stephen's Church, bird obviously looking for a meal. I stayed for a while, but then headed into the park. The melted snow has created puddles. A group of goldfinches were peacefully drinking from the puddle until a pine siskin came along and usurped the puddle. Territorial little thing. I saw lots of the usual park birds- cardinals, titmice, sparrows, downy woodpeckers, my favorite nuthatch pecking grub out of bark. I was very surprised to spot a large flock of robins gorging in a berry tree, easily a couple hundred robins. In this same area I found blue jay feathers on the grass, so I know that a hawk dined on blue jay, alas. I brought the feathers home to add to my forensic collection. By far, my favorite for the day was the young mockingbird. The titmice, jays and cardinals snatch food and disappear, but the mockingbird appears and stares at me and listens as I whistle and talk to it, then pecks at the nut bits and doesn't fly away. I watch to make sure there's no hungry hawk overhead watching this intimacy. There's a young mockingbird in our garden. Does the same thing, comes and sits and stares at me while I sing and talk. If either of these birds ever talk back I'll probably go goofy.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

On the prowl

It is so exciting to come upon a hunt scene. The hawk saw a mole or mouse under the leaves and logs and flew down to hunt, huge intensity. Then hawk spent time lifting logs, strengthening leg muscles. I didn't see the hawk catch anything, but did see the bird lift whole tree limbs. amazing.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The cooper and the flicker

The hawk would dine on flicker. The flicker is an easy catch. It burrows in leaves, head down. An attack from above is swift and fatal. But for this one day and copper's hawk was bathing and the flicker was busy hole-ing around.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

More from the junky lens

Pretty soon I'll get back to the wonderful lenses, but for now, while I'm busy on assignments, here are more junky lens friends- the "Skywalker" Nuthatch, the Really-Redbelly woodpecker and the I-See-You squirrel.

Monday, December 1, 2008

More junky lens pictures

I really liked this junky lens. It was very comfortable. If only there was a better lens in this same category, a comfortable lens. It helps to feel equipment-cozy when watching hawks.