This morning Laura Pintel and I spent a good deal of time at Bradford farms and the surrounding roads.
We had red-tailed hawks, Red-shouldered hawks, a female Harrier as well as several kestrels. In addition we had great looks at a Rough-legged Hawk. He hovered in the same spot for nearly 5 min giving us great views. We saw him a second time even closer up and got great views of the underwing pattern.
We also were fortunate to get to see the Loggerhead Shrike. He was hanging around the brush pile on the northwestern side of the farm. He also hung around giving us great views before flying to the south. Not a sparrow in sight around the brush pile. Imagine that.
We had no luck in locating any Lapland Longspurs. Plenty of meadowlarks, horned larks and many starlings. Sigh...
Driving north on Ben Williams Road we had quite a few white-crowned sparrows in the brush along the road. Had one Harris Sparrow hanging out with them. A woman who lives along that road was leaving her driveway while we were looking at the sparrows. She stopped when she saw us looking at birds, to tell us that she had had up to 10 Harris sparrows under her feeders on the really frigid days last week.
As we've birdied this winter, we've noticed a lot of first year white crowned sparrows compared to mature adults. Actually it's been in the reverse ratio of what we're used to seeing (10:1). We wondered if this is a trend this year, or if we're just more proficient in I.d.ing the younger birds.
We didn't have any birds of interest at the R-1 lake but at Phillips Lake we found where a great many Canada Geese are spending their time. No other water fowl, but three mute Swans were sitting on the ice.
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