Tuesday, January 12, 2010

January non-thaw

It was warmer today, but that's not saying much. It's winter. I figured I'd see something, but didn't know what. It was obvious that there were no hawks in the 69th street area, because every bird was eating on the ground. Someone had tossed out stale bread. The sparrows and starlings were gorging in one space, the pigeons in another, no concern about attack from above.

The lake 95% frozen, so bleak and silent. There were a couple of stretches with paw prints in the thin snow topping, I think raccoon prints.

Having made a promise to practice getting flight pictures it was fun seeing the red tail on the hunt. I think this was Lola,- flying, then stopping in a tree top to scan the area and flying again.

Totally aware of the danger, the little squirrel took cover under a tree, no dummy this little one.

Along the way I saw lots of small birds and will blog them in the next couple of days. After about three hours I was cold and decided to head home. I got to the south end of the lake and there in the big tree was the sight to beat all sights, a immature red tail with lunch, squirrel. ( I haven't finished editing the pictures. There will be lots more to blog.) My maternal instincts kicked in. Oh, this sweet young bird was successful, had caught a meal. And then I stood and watched this young bird,- so pretty, so incredibly powerful, a real raptor. It ate on several branches of this tree, hell to photograph because there were lots of branches in the way. I was approaching frostbite but didn't want to miss anything. Wind blowing across the lake. Hawk balancing the meal. Hawk being alert to any danger from above. Eat, watch, eat, shift, eat, watch. The pictures are teasers. More to follow soon.

I've got to edit about 276 pictures down to maybe 20. Sorry, my fascination and admiration know no limit, especially when a gorgeous young hawk is learning survival.

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