Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Starting Fresh with a Majestic Moment

Well, It's been about two years since I last posted.  I unfortunately had completely forgotten this account even existed until I was reading up on Ken's birding adventures and realized "Hey!  I have an account to this thing!"  So, I have decided to start writing again with little adventures I have here and there, cool birds I see, or just any ramblings that I might have!  Sometimes naturalist nerds just need an outlet right?

I have a short contract with CWS until the end of March now, and I am so excited to be based out of the St. Clair Unit.  There are SO many awesome birds in this area that I really had never known existed here.  I'll be there during peak spring migration, which at the moment..is more exciting than Christmas to me.

Northern Harrier.  Photo by: Tianna Burke
Today started off by seeing this BEAUTIFUL Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus ).  I first noticed the white rump patch and took me a good few minutes to realize what it was.  I'm slowly starting to be able to piece together behaviour, flying patterns and visual features together to ID...which is a big step!   As we kept driving past fields I noticed more and more of them, and ended up counting about 4!  One field there were even two sharing a little feast they (or one of them) had caught.

Tundra Swans (Photo by: Tianna Burke) 
The most majestic part of the day though...were the Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus) Wow.  I can't say that I have EVER seen anything like that before. According to my co-worker, it wasn't even anything compared to when full migration hits.  The sound, the sight of the pure white against the cloudy dark sky.  The image I think will forever be ingrained.  I took a few photos, some of which I am sharing on here, but like many photographs it doesn't even grasp the entire view.  Now that I know the general area of where they like to fly, I am definitely going to be heading back to experience this once again, and hopefully in even greater numbers!
Tundras up close (Photo By: Tianna Burke)

The last little exciting bit is a little guy who's been hiding out in the trees at my house.  It has taken me a few days to FINALLY be able to identify him.  When I originally saw it perched in my tree, I believe my excitement startled it to fly away, the second time was a fast dive bomb by...and the third was the charm.  It was a beautiful Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) (Although feel free to correct me if I am wrong!).  I unfortunately hadn't been able to get a good shot of it due to all the branches that were in the way, but it's eyes, were SO mesmerizing yet almost creepy!  I just couldn't look away. And it's rusty barred breast was just stunning.  I really hope that it becomes a frequent visitor to our backyard!

That's all for now!

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