Monday, January 3, 2011


Michelle and I went on our annual New Year's Day birding trip. This time (as usual) we went to Ridgefield NWR. It was a bone chilling day but skies were mostly clear and there was some great birding going on. We have never seen so many Red-Tailed Hawks, Northern Harriers, Blue Herons, or Bald Eagles all at the same time. They were everywhere.

We also added a bird to our Life List! A Black Phoebe! It's a rare bird for Ridgefield and we felt very lucky to have seen it! Here are some other photos from the trip. We hope you enjoy!

We identified 39 species. Species list is at the end of the post. Great start to the New Year!

One of the many Red-Tailed Hawks we saw during the trip.

Tundra Swans resting on the icy ponds.

The Blue Herons were as thick as fog. We found several of the just standing in the road not seeming to have a care in the world!

They all seemed quite willing to pose for some photos.

We came upon this Heron just as it nailed the ground with fury. He then pulled out a Vole (we think anyway).

He made quick work of the rodent.

A couple of seconds later and down it went!

Here is the Black Phoebe! At first, we thought it was a Slate-Colored Junco, but after watching it for a few minutes through the bins and hearing it's very distinctive call, we determined that it was in fact a Black Phoebe.

5 juvenile Bald Eagles surveying the land for their next meal.

A smattering of Tundra Swans with hundreds and hundreds of Northern Pintail.

Here are 2 photos of an unidentified Hawk. It was slightly larger than a Kestrel. It's wings seemed to be rounded in flight. We only got this one back shot before it took off. We didn't recognize the pattern on the back.

Here is a blown up version. The tip of it's beak seems to be light colored (yellow?). Any ideas?
Canada Goose
Cackling Goose
Tundra Swan
Wood Duck
Ring-Necked Duck
Greater Scaup
Ruddy Duck
Pied-Billed Grebe
Blue Heron
Bald Eagle
Northern Harrier
Red-Tailed Hawk
Red-Breasted Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Black Phoebe
Steller's Jay
Scrub Jay
Black-Capped Chickadee
White-Breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Marsh Wren
Ruby-Crowned Kinglet
Spotted Towhee
Song Sparrow
Golden-Crowned Sparrow
House Finch
Lesser Goldfinch
House Sparrow

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Dan's Birding said...


Your photo above looks like in immature Cooper's Hawk. The white scapulars are constant with immatures. The head look big a flat and the tail looks fairly round.


Beverly said...

I came here to suggest your bird is a young Coop, too. I see a lot of them in my yard...and sometimes have a difficult time discerning them from Sharpies. I'm getting better, but you can see the trouble I've had...on my numerous posts re: Cooper's Hawks:

Have I told you lately, I (still) really love your blog? I do, yanno.