Saturday, February 23, 2013

Random Observations

Work is ramping up more and more so all I can do is sit, get books made and watch out of the window every now and then to see what is flying by. Vultures were taking to skies early and I tallied them up on my ever-present notepad along the way. At one point, I glanced out and spied a few Turkey Vultures rising and then noticed that one shape looked a tad different. I almost ignored it but decided to raise my binoculars anyway. Glad I did. My first Swallow-tailed Kite of the season was in the mix!

I fumbled for my camera, nearly tripping over my chair, and ran out the back door of the office. Unfortunately, the bird had found a thermal and began gliding off to the South. I could only grab one distant shot. Very early for this species, which breeds in the area. Glad to have them returning.

Swallow-tailed Kite

I settled back into my chair but soon, a Yellow-rumped Warbler landed in the small oak outside in the parking lot. I would have ignored it but it is a good example that illustrates its name. Shot through the window.

Myrtle Warbler

On the drive home, I noticed a Bald Eagle sitting on the edge of Lake Lancaster. I tried to sneak up on it for a nice shot but it saw me first and bolted. Sigh.

Bald Eagle

Warning: graphic Vulture eating! I did my usual rounds the rest of the way home in search of some interesting ducks. Instead, I found Black and Turkey Vultures working over a dead Soft-shelled Turtle carcass on the lake shore.

Black and Turkey Vultures

More and more vultures were streaming in and this poor turtle would be surely gone by morning.

Black and Turkey Vultures

A great score with the Kite and few interesting finds by days end. Time to start searching for shorebirds in migration.

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