Thursday, February 26, 2015

Another Harlan's Red-tailed Hawk near my town

I spotted this very shy Harlan's Red-tailed Hawk as I was driving early this week. It was in the back of a large tree and partially obscured by the branches and the location was difficult to find a place to pull off the road safely so these were the only photos I got. Though I stayed in my car and was about 150 feet away this bird flushed and flew into a tree deep into private property where I could just barely see it. SeEtta

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Finally got pics of Harris's Sparrow

I have seen this Harris's Sparrow a number of times in the past few months but always briefly and almost always it is behind some vegetation so getting a good pic has bee futile. Finally yesterday I spotted it and got these pics.

It has been on private property so I have only seen it when it has come near the public road. Last year an adult Harris's Sparrow spent the winter very near where this one has been-makes me wonder if this is the same bird that returned. SeEtta

Tundra Swans still here

I have traveled to Holcim Wetland the past 3 days to monitor the Tundra Swans. I got this better flight photo on Thursday but not the way I would prefer. When I drove into the parking lot above the wetlands I could see the swans were still there and in the northwest section of the pond--they had their heads under the water feeding on "Aquatic plants, seeds, tubers, grains, some mollusks and arthropods." (from Birds of North America online). I had walked down the south trail to the west end as the swans were on the northwest part of the pond. As I walked west they began swimming east so I ended up at the west side with them on the east side of the pond--and clearly a move made to avoid me. So I waited about 10 minutes to see if they would see I was not going to bother them and return, but they did not. So I walked back on the trail with only minimal views of them as they stayed closer to the thick cattails which hid much of their bodies. When I got closer (almost directly across the pond from them, about 350 feet)several mergansers that had moved into the pond closer to the trail flushed and flew off--the swans responded by flying off too (which is when I got the photo above) and they flew out of view to the east. Argghh. I did not want to disturb them--they need the opportunity to have a place they feel safe to feed and rest as they have done at Holcim Wetlands and there are other birders too who would still like the opportunity to see them.
So when I returned to monitor the swans yesterday (Friday) on my way to and coming back from Pueblo as well as today I stayed in the parking lot which is about 300 feet from the south edge of the pond and at least 600 feet from the swans. The pic just above was taken from my car in the parking lot showing the swans resting (albeit at least one appears to have an eye open). SeEtta