Friday, 13 September 2013

GHO, Perigrine, Yellowlegs, Avocets (20130912) Can we find some shore birds?

The plan was to be  set up before sun up. Dan came down and we headed out a little later than anticipated, but it was looking like a beautiful morning. As we pulled up to an unanticipated closed gate and got out, we spooked an unseen Great Horned Owl. It flew over to a nearby fenceline, only to be "attacked" by both a Northern Harrier and a Swainson's Hawk. Here is the owl trying to regain his perch on a fence post.
It turned out that the harrasement continued until the owl actually went to ground. As we walked in, sharp eyed Dan spotted a Peregrine Falcon land on a tall metal power pole.  It was a long way off, and after a minute it left its perch and made a pass on a bird in flight. The falcon was unsuccessful as it returned to the perch empty handed. I debated about which shot to post, as I only have poor images. As this is my very first confirmed Peregrine sighting in the wild, I thought I should post some "evidence".
As we settled into the blind, the pickings were looking pretty slim. Then we were surpized by this unexpected visitor. Of course we were not "positioned" to get shots of the birds in the reeds.
It should be no surprize that his Lady friend was not far away. This would appear to perhaps be a hang over of the Warbler migration, which is starting to wind down (I think).
Some of the shore birds that were present were American Avocets, and Marbled Godwits.
Here is a group of American Avocet's, that are likeling "staging" and getting a little rest before heading out south to spend the winter.
Just a couple of minutes later there was a flock of about 50 Long Billed Dowitchers that joined them, we found at least one Short bill in the group too.
We shiftred areas, and I was pleased to see that the Whitefaced Ibis were still around, I expect they will be gone very soon.
And now, an in-flight shot. This has been my best year for finding and photoing these birds.
I hope that you have the opportunity to get out an enjoy the wildlife in your  area this week!

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