Yesterday was a fabulous day to be retired! There was plenty of sunshine and the temperature got close to 50, so I got out and about.
I got down to the Fill at 10:00am -- quite late for me, but just fine in terms of good birds. At the parking lot I had the usual crows, robins, and starlings. At the alder grove I had an Anna's Hummingbird, a Song Sparrow, a flyover by a few Glaucous-winged Gulls, and this lovely Yellow-rumped Warbler:
While I was admiring the usual Northern Flickers and Black-capped Chickadees, I noticed a bird flit up to a tree trunk which reminded me of the Downy Woodpecker I saw there a few days ago. But when I got it in my bins, what a pleasant surprise I got -- a Red-breasted Sapsucker!
I've seen only a few of these birds ever, and I've never seen one at the Fill before, nor have I managed to get a photo until now. It was hard, as the bird kept flitting from trunk to trunk and quickly circling round and round out of sight. But in the end, I got my photo. Very gratifying!
I walked around the Loop Trail and saw far off in a stand of trees two dark shapes that did not look crow-like. As I got closer, one of them flew off and landed close by -- a juvenile Cooper's Hawk:
The other bird stayed put. When I got closer, I could see it was fanning out its feathers, something I'd not seen Cooper's Hawks do before. It turned out to be an adult female:
I'm not sure what it was up to, but some of the feathers looked wet, so perhaps she was recovering from some sort of watery encounter? I worried at first she might be injured, but eventually watched her make short flights to nearby branches, so I hope she was just drying off. In any case, the views I got of that fabulous plumage were amazing:
What a treat!
I saw a total of 27 species. The usual waterfowl were out on the lake -- Double-crested Cormorants, American Coots, Buffleheads, Mallards, Gadwalls, Wood Ducks, Canada Geese, American Wigeons, Ring-necked Ducks, plus a beautiful male Common Merganser, and another highlight -- about a dozen Ruddy Ducks (too far for photos). Also saw the Great Blue Heron over on Southwest Pond, and heard (but did not see) a Bald Eagle.
Foraging on the path was this Golden-crowned Sparrow:
And foraging in the brush was a Golden-crowned Kinglet, a bird I've never gotten a good photo of because kinglets never sit still -- this pic isn't great, but it's a whole lot better than any of my earlier efforts:
A banner birding morning!
Sadly, Truman was unable to go with me, as I was going straight from the Fill to a lunch with friends. So in the early afternoon I made it up to him by taking him to Golden Gardens beach. Stay tuned for those pics tomorrow!