Monday, October 31, 2005

Hike to Sierra Vista

On Saturday we headed out to Sierra Vista to take the camera out for a hike. It was a beautiful day. The weather was perfect. After a couple of weeks of cloudy and cool days it was good to have the sun back!

We had headed out there as we wanted to see if the White-tailed Kites (hawks) were still there. When we had been out there on October 10th they were massing in a couple of the trees there. There were about 20-30 on that day. I had read on the message board that someone had seen them in the past few days so we were hopefully. When we were there we could only see about 8 so don't know if they have moved on or if we just didn't find the right area. It was midmorning by the time we got there so they might have been out hunting further into the park. As you can tell the oak tree they were sitting in was a ways away so the picture isn't very good. Think you can see three or four of the 8 that were sitting there. They spent the whole time preening so was hard to get a picture with their heads up!

The highlight of the hike was a Red-Shouldered Hawk. (Thank you Steve for getting the correct ID!! I knew I liked having smart kids!!) She was sitting on a post right next to the road with people walking and riding bikes right next to her!! We couldn't believe that nothing was bothering her! Paul was able to get several great shots of her. The first picture is to show how close she was to the road. Lots of people were going by her. A couple of people were asking Paul what kind of bird it was as they were right next to her. Didn't bother her at all. She finally flew off when Paul got a little too close to her while he was taking pictures. Either that or she just figured with him there she wouldn't find anything to eat!!

Short list of birds but we didn't stay out long and we were working with the camera most of the time.

Blackheaded Phoebe (lots and lots of these)
California Towhee
Mourning Dove
House Finch
House Sparrow
White Crowned Sparrow
Western Kingbird
Scrub Jays
Becwick's Wren
Yellow-rumbed Warber (lots)
Northern Mockingbird
American Coot
Anna's Hummingbird
Cooper's Hawk
Redtail Hawks
White-tailed Kite
Nuttall's Woodpecker
I think I saw a couple Common Yellowthroats but they were backlite so couldn't be sure.

The Nuttall's Woodpecker was busy catching bugs in the tree. I was surprised how great a picture Paul got of him.

All the pictures are Paul's with our new Canon EOS20D with the 70 - 300 lens.


Steve said...

Good to see you were out using the new camera! The NUTTALL'S WOODPECKER picture is very nice. Looks like you should be able to get some great shots with that lens.

On the kite picture you might try adding circles around the kites that way it's easier for people to pick them out. A couple are obvious, but the others are hard to see.

I really like the picture showing how close the cyclist is to the hawk - nice work! BTW, it's a RED-SHOULDERED HAWK, not COOPER'S HAWK.

Steve said...

I was just looking at the RED-SHOULDERED HAWK up-close picture. Are those bands on his legs?

Master Birdfeeder Filler said...

Well Damn!! Thanks for the ID!! Yes, both legs are banded.
Good idea about the circles. Think I looked back and found about 6. How many did you find?

Master Birdfeeder Filler said...

Did you know you can click the picture a second time and it becomes bigger? Just checking.

Steve said...

I found 5 of the 6 you kites circled. I wonder why the RSH is banded... it was when I looked at the larger pic that I noticed the bands.