Bird of the Day: Rough-legged Hawk!

Since I work Tuesday through Saturday, I view Sunday and Monday as my birding days.  Naturally I try to pack a weeks worth of birding into these two days.  Today was no different.

Today we headed out hoping to see birds of prey.  Almost immediately we spotted a Cooper's Hawk along the highway.  Woo Hoo!  Off to a great start!  Although we didn't count the number of Red-Tailed Hawks, it seemed like there were hundreds (one of which stayed still long enough to gake a pretty decent picture).  Both of us were spotting RT Hawks left and right.  One of the times I spotted a hawk soaring up high to the left of the highway.  It only took a second to realize it had a dark tail band, dark "knuckles," and windows on the wings.  I'm glad there wasn't much traffic because I'm sure I drifted into the other lane while gazing out the window.  :) A quick check with the guide confirmed a Rough-legged Hawk.  Excellent! A Lifer!



I feel like they just peeked out to see me.  :)


That bird

I've always been fascinated by the Loggerhead Shrike. I remember reading about them while riding in the back of my parents car on our way to visit family.  I can honestly say I've been wanting to see one for over a decade.  They'd become one of those birds to me...you know, the bird you never think you'll ever actually see.

So when I read that a local birder had seen one on his morning runs recently, I couldn't resist trying to see the bird.  My hopes were not high, but I wouldn't see anything if I didn't look.  Enroute I saw 10+ American Kestrals, even more Red-Tailed Hawks, and a Bald Eagle. 

When we finally arrived at the park where the Shrike had been spotted, I got pulled over by a police officer patrolling the park.  Arghhh!! :) I explained we were driving slowly and pausing often because were were looking at/for birds. He was friendly and allowed us to go about our business with a smile. Not too long after that we were watching a Red Tailed Hawk fly to a new perch and I happened to notice he displaced a small grey/white/black bird.  My hand trembled just a bit as I reached for my binoculars.  THE LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE!!!! We got a few minutes of acceptable viewing before a car pulled in front of us and wanted to know if we needed help.....just as the Shrike was flying to a new perch!  I missed where it landed as I was explaining we were watching a bird to the inquisitive driver.  Unfortunately I couldn't find the bird again. 

However...I saw it!  WOO HOO!!