Friday, February 19, 2016

Just Down the Road

Grabbed an hour on Sunday morning to check out the birds around the Longwood detention pond on Huffmeister Road.  I was particularly keen to see how the nesting Bald Eagles were getting on.

A Double-crested Cormorant was looking very regal on a perch out in the water. Or was it looking very lonely?

If it was lonely, it wasn't for long, as seven more Cormorants soon flew in.

The fence by the side of the trail was hopping with Field Sparrows. I think I've seen more of these sparrows this winter than in all my previous winters here together.

The only other sparrow I got a good look at as a soitary Lincoln's Sparrow skulking in the bushes.

The resident Great Blue Heron looked splendid in the morning light.

It moved to the other side of the pond when an angler got too close.

When another fisherman  turned up, it flew back to its original location.

As I approached the best viewpoint for the Eagles' nest, one of the nesting pair flew past overhead, much too high to photograph. 

A couple of minutes later, the Eagle flew by again, this time much lower. Only it had now morphed into a juvenile Crested Caracara.

The Eagles' current nest is in a much less visible site than their old one, which blew down in November. So this is the best photo I could get. 

Although the photo shows the two adult birds, I also briefly saw the head of a young bird.So it looks like this pair is once more enjoying a productive breeding season. In each previous year they have successfully raised two young. It will be interesting to see whether they have two young in the nest again this time.

Back near the parking area, a Northern Mockingbird was singing like crazy and doing his jump-up-and-flutter-down display.

A few feet away a European Starling was watching the Mockingbird's antics.

As usual at this location, my final sighting was of a Red-tailed Hawk perched on a utility pole by the road.


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