Sunday, October 20, 2013

Swainson's Hawk - Bonus Bird!

Di and I went to Higbee first thing on Saturday morning. Good winds brought a ton of birds to Cape May - mostly Yellow-rumped warblers.  We started at the canal and were rewarded with a Vesper Sparrow which I needed for the stupid contest - CHECK!  We spent some time in the fields just being overwhelmed by the number of birds. Then, a text message came in - Swainson's Hawk was seen at Nummy Island toll bridge sitting on a wire.  This is a western hawk that only rarely shows up in the east.

Needless to say, Di and I sped over there.  We saw another young woman who was also looking for the bird. No luck. No bird.  We looked and looked and decided to drive further up the road.  I found the bird with a fortunate turn of my head.  What a beauty. The bird was perched on a dead branch about 30 yards off of the road.  We couldn't have asked for a better view.

Swainson's Hawk
 After about 10 minutes, a Red-tailed Hawk flew in and scared the Swainson's Hawk away.  "This is my turf - beat it!"

Red-tailed Hawk
 Thankfully, I was able to get a few photos of the Swainson's Hawk in flight before it went out of sight. It is pretty unmistakable - very dark underneath.

Swainson's Hawk
Poor Patty.  She was there but didn't see the bird so she left. She came back but couldn't find it after the Red-tail chased it away. 

Deb, Jay and Brendan are at the shore with us this weekend. Brendan was signed up for a birding class with one of the premier birders and ID experts in the country - Richard Crossley.  He had a good day with his mentor. We had a good day with alot of birds and a bonus hawk!


Anonymous said...

Well, at least you're out in the fresh air. I thought the stupid contest was over? Please tell me this is not a different one! HH

Linda said...

same contest. it doesn't end til Dec 31st. Ugh