Friday, January 31, 2014

Three New Birds on the Life List

I haven't gone birding a lot lately, due to mostly lounging around the house while I look for a job.  Today, though, my dad informed me that a friend of his had been seeing Snowy Owls in an area we go birding a lot.

We didn't see any.  But I did see three new birds to put on my Life List, which is a pretty high number for a birding trip somewhere I have gone so often.  They are as follows:

I saw a Snow Bunting, but I didn't get close enough to get a really good picture of it and so you'll just have to take my word for it.

We drove on until we reached an area of the Horicon Marsh we tend to bird at quite often.  There was a hawk sitting in a tree that kept flying to the next tree as we got close, but on our way back it held its place long enough to take a lot of pictures.

I knew it was one I hadn't seen before.  I'm terrible at identifying hawks, so most of the time my thought process is more like "Does this look like a Northern Harrier or a Red-tailed Hawk?"  This one didn't look like either, but as soon as I opened my bird guide I saw that distinctive square underwing patch and a range map that indicated a bird that would be in this area in the winter.  It was a Rough-legged Hawk, which a couple people confirmed for me on Reddit:

Rough-legged Hawk

We had met another birder who was looking at sparrows along the road.  She hadn't seen any Snowy Owls either, but she did mention Snow Buntings, and Larkspurs.  I did in fact get a picture of a Lapland Larkspur that just sort of sat along the road chilling:

Lapland Larkspur