Sunday, February 9, 2014

ornithological happy dance

Started my walk this afternoon out on the road in front of our house.  It was a grey day, but I could hear lots of birds in our neighbors' yard.  Would they come out to see their paparazzi?  A few obliged, but only at treetop level.  I took a few photos and hoped for the best; one of them turned out to be a bird I don't know, so that was a delight later on.  I think it's a warbler of some sort; I'll have to check one of our bird books later on.  

I haven't seen this bird before. A warbler? Anyone know? Fun to see something new!

Continued by meandering down to the water.  Didn't see anything too unusual, though I don't usually see robins down by the water's edge.  

out of season?  robins on the intertidal mud flats

Of course, I enjoyed the geese and ducks.  We've been having a lot of bufflehead ducks recently - maybe I'll do a post with some of my pictures later - but none today. Well, one, but very far out. Other ducks, whose name I haven't yet learned, plus Canadian geese and gulls.  Still pretty standard. I got closer than usual; they mostly seemed to be sleeping. Not a bad idea.

three active ducks and a whole lot of sleeping geese

This duck is practically crawling under the sleeping goose to get at something he wants. And is that middle goose sleeping on one leg?!

I finally decided to see if I could move quietly across the yard without disturbing them. They usually move right off the minute they see someone coming, even far off.  Not today, for some reason.  So as I'm moving slowly, trying not to crunch through the snow too loudly (or mind the snow now falling into my shoes), I look up. What is that in the tree?  Not a squirrel nest. But it's large.  Pull out the camera with the telephoto, adjust... OH.  MY.  GOODNESS.  Blink a few times. Check again. It's still an eagle.  

An eagle! In our yard! Unbelievable. He was just hanging out in a tree down by the water.

looking around, but not hunting

Actually, he must have already eaten. We had sitting ducks - literally - and sleeping geese, not to mention gulls and small birds. Nope.

Look how he flattens out his head feathers just before flying off.

Take-off! If you could have seen the span of those wings...

What a gift.  What an incredible gift. Thank you, Lord.

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