Saturday, January 2, 2016

Of Varied Thrushes, Black-headed Gulls and Start of a new year

You know, I think it should be legal to shoot Cooper's Hawks.

Relax, I am totally kidding. I have loved this raptor species since I became aware of it 45 years ago, and since it was listed as threatened in New Jersey about 40 years ago. It is certainly not threatened now, which is a great thing. Unless you are looking for a rare Varied Thrush, and an adult male Cooper's Hawk decides the hunt right where you are looking.

[The above were at Cox Hall Creek wildlife management area this morning. Click to enlarge all photos.]

[This white breasted nuthatch was frozen at my feeder for 25 minutes; apparently there was a Cooper's hawk here too this morning.]

I was lucky enough this early morning to find the Varied Thrush that has been haunting the center of the property at Cox Hall Creek wildlife management area. As well as a bunch of other quality birds including Common Redpoll, Pine Siskins, and Clay-colored Sparrow. And for the first time in five weeks, I think I've turned the corner on my illness (Lyme plus a viral syndrome), and I had what might even be called stamina for a couple hours. Delightful start to 2016.

[These Red Knots were foraging at Miami Avenue Beach in the Vilas this morning. Best tide at the site is between .5 feet and 3 feet.]

[The Black-headed Gull continues on the Bayshore, here it is from today at Miami Avenue beach.]

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