Sunday, January 27, 2008

Out of the Garden IV

We had a most beautiful winter day to be out birding today. The sun was shining and the temps were in the double digits. Just wonderful. To greet us when we arrived in the area where we bird was a small group of Hooded Mergansers. Here you can see a male following behind two females. You can also see where the ice formed when the river was up. The river has obviously fallen a couple of feet.
The Mute Swans were still loafing on the ice in a small pond while American Coots toodled by in the water. The Mute Swans were mostly napping at this time. The one was preening just before tucking its head.I must say the raptors were what gave the most intersting show today. The Bald Eagles appear to be on the nest already. I know the past couple of times we were by the nest they were busy remodeling. Today it appears that the female is on eggs or at least seriously thinking about it as she was scrunched down in the nest and didn't move as we stood there for several minutes observing the nest action. The other Adult was sitting in a tree nearby. The other most interesting thing that we saw was a young Red-tailed Hawk standing in water. I wish it hadn't been so far away. It appeared to be fishing at first. It stood in the waters edge watching the water. I wish you could have seen it high stepping along the water's edge.
It did this for quite awhile. It finally jumped out of the water into the small trees above where it was fishing. It then hopped back into the water and took a quick bath before departing. I can't tell you how exciting this was to me. I had never seen a Red-tailed hawk even take a bath let alone go fishing.
I want to tell you that the sharp pictures my DB took with his new camera. The fuzzy photos I took through the scope with my point and shoot camera which needed its batteries changed. Oh the luck when something great happens.
While we are on a sad note we found one of the tagged (green tag) Ring-billed Gulls dead. No visible sign of injury. Maybe it was too young to make it through the severe cold spell we just endured.


  1. Great day that you had and how wonderful you had all these great birds! I really love your merganser photo! Also, our eagles start sitting on eggs around mid February, so doesn't surprise me they are already getting busy! I bet ours are building!

  2. So interesting to see different birds...and glad to hear that the eagles are nesting. They won't do that here for a while yet, because it's too early--most of them go to Cape Breton to nest, except for the few that do stay in this area. And the mute swans...never seen them at all, so I'm pretty excited by them.

  3. You were able to see a variety of birds today. It is exciting to see a bird that you don't know, like the red-tailed hawk. It must have looked amazing doing its fishing and bathing routine!

  4. Sounds like you had an interesting and fun day of bird watching with a nice variety. I'd love to find a good place close by for bird watching.

  5. Dear Lisa,
    Watching the Red Tail bathe and fish must have been incredible. I have never seen them do either!
    Birds are so fantastic to watch. I enjoy the rhythm of their lives.

  6. Oh this is such a great post, all those beautiful scenes and birds. What a great day you had!!!

  7. Awesome photos Lisa...thank you for posting them, make me want to get out my watercolors and paint! (and I don't do that very often anymore!)...those mute swans are just beautiful....

  8. Looks like a beautiful winter day!

  9. Mon@rch we are just enough further south that our Eagles are at it already. They have been remodling thenest for some time. It must be to their liking now.

    Jodi you don't want to see Mute Swans in your area. They are larger than our native swans and they don't share prime nesting space with them. Sad really. I wish people wouldn't introduce birds into new habitats that aren't supposed to be there.

    Oh Kate. I loved seeing that RTHA high stepping and putting his head under the water looking for something to eat.

    Robin, if I remember right you live in or near Ft Wayne. Some birding friends go to a park near there called Fox Island. They have very good luck with finding birds especially during migration. Maybe you could pop over there and have a look around. It is a nice little park. They have a nature center etc. They also have programs for children if I remember correctly. I have only been there a couple of times.

    Sherry you bet it was incredible. I couldn't hardly believe my eyes or my luck at getting to see such a thing.

    Terri, it was great.

    Cyndy, you should definitely get your watercolors out. I don't know how you would have time with all of your spinning. You could give your other creative side a go for a little while. ;)

    Hi Gudl, it was a great day!

  10. Sounds as if y'all had a great outing, and getting to watch the red-tailed was an extra special treat.


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