Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Winter Wall

Hi all,

So for the past couple days, I haven't been able to get out birding much, but I have managed to get some new species. After 45 species on the first day, there are not any areas left that would hold over 5 more yearbirds for me. Now, I have the rest of January and all of February to pick up the odds and ends that I still need. After a few more trips, I will hit what I call the winter wall, which is when I will have gotten all of the standard winter birds possible, and I will just have to wait it out until migration to get new birds again. I return to school on Tuesday, so it will be even harder to get out. But without further ado, here is what I have gotten recently.

January 2:

The day started off at home where I was able to get some standard feeder birds that I missed on the 1st. I watched the feeders until about noon when we left for other birding. I got:

46. House Finch
47. Blue Jay

We first went to the Burnham Harbor/Monroe Harbor area for gulls. Doug Stotz reported a Lesser Black-Backed and a "Kumlien's" Iceland Gull at Burnham along with the previously reported Long-Tailed Duck. When we arrived at Burnham, there were no special gulls, but the Long-Tailed was an easy find. We then traveled across the street to Monroe Harbor where we chummed a bit. Nothing good came to the bread, but I managed to spot an adult Glaucous Gull out on the ice, but it was way too far for photos. Somewhat satisfied, we left.

48. Glaucous Gull

Next, we went to Jarvis Bird Sanctuary for a Carolina Wren that has been hanging around for a while. My dad almost immediately found it singing. Though it was never seen by us, it was a cool bird to hear.

49. Carolina Wren

After that, we went to Montrose. My original target for Montrose was a Glaucous Gull, but we already got that. My brother managed to spot a long-staying Double-Crested Cormorant, which was the only notable bird there.

50. Double-Crested Cormorant

Michelle Devlin reported a Red-Shouldered Hawk along the North Shore Channel earlier that day, so we wanted to check it out. We walked along the west side of the channel and got nothing for the first half, but I then spotted a Cooper's Hawk soaring above the trees. The only other good bird was a Hairy Woodpecker.

51. Cooper's Hawk

We then went to Gillson Park as my brother needed some zebra mussels for a school project. While he was getting those, I walked through the park and got no birds. When we left, we decided to check out a mockingbird that was seen right along our way back. The only good bird there was a Red-Tailed Hawk. This was a dreary way to end an overall good day.

January 3:

 Feeders all day, no yearbirds

January 4:

 Feeders all day, but did get 2 White-Breasted Nuthatches and a Red-Bellied Woodpecker.

52. White-Breasted Nuthatch
53. Red-Bellied Woodpecker

January 5:

Feeders most of the day, but my dad and I did get to go to Douglas Park, where I monitor for BCN. The instant we got in eyesight of the park, I noticed an adult Red-Tailed Hawk flying around. We wandered around for a while as usual. My dad and I soon separated. He checked an area south of Ogden Ave. while I checked the sanctuary. It was snowing fairly hard at this point, so I left my camera in the car. I noticed that the crows were messing with a hawk of some sort. I looked at the hawk, but there was too many branches in the way and it was too far away to tell much. I thought the hawk looked odd, but I passed it off. I walked around looking for passerines finding that the typical huge flock was not there, only remnants. I looked up and saw the Red-Tailed Hawk being harassed by crows. I slowly was walking around the hawk as to not flush it when another hawk came bursting out. This hawk was a beautiful adult Red-Shouldered Hawk. The Red-Tail started to chase it, and the crows followed the Red-Tail. The Red-Tail soon stopped its chase and the Red-Shouldered started to soar above my head. I then called my dad to get my camera because I didn't have keys to the car. The Red-Shouldered flew to the north part of the park. I got my camera from my dad. He decided to drive to the area where it flew to and I decided to walk. The exact place I saw it cut through the trees was where it was perched. I grabbed some quick photos and called my dad to tell him where it was. The second he picked up the phone, a crow started to harass it and it flew north again. I tried to keep on it, but lost it. That was when I last saw it. It is probably still there but it is hard to see if it is sitting still.

54. Red-Shouldered Hawk

That is it! I hope you enjoyed this post and will have another one out Monday evening probably.

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