Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cold winds bring good birds

Kinglets are excellent gymnasts
 After a few unseasonably warm days that left many migratory songbirds grounded along the Northeast Coast, colder temperatures have once again prevailed leading to a big migration push.  And as the small birds move south, the big guys that feast on them are right behind.  While Merlin numbers were negligible at Jones Beach this morning, Sharp-shinned numbers were not.  In the hour or so I spent watching I witnessed about 40 sharp-shinned hawks in addition to a handful of Northern Harriers (including 1 male that continues to hangout along the West End).  Near the Coast Guard station I found (surprise) Golden-Crowned Kinglets and Yellow-rumped warblers to be rather abundant, and 1 Brown Creeper.  Unfortunately for me I couldn't get a shot of the Creeper (blame it on not being fully awake and my hands being cold I suppose) which would have been a new species.

Posing oh-so-still 

A juvenile Northern Harrier comes to check me out

A Coopers Hawk gives me a quizzical look

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