Mount Peter, 11/11/17

~I was excited to get out birding on Sunday afternoon, but really, the day ended up not being very productive.  I did get lucky with this young Red-shouldered Hawk in the black dirt, 11/12/17.~

I tried to get up early on Saturday morning to do some birding before heading up to the mountain. It took ages to get out of the house for some reason, so my time ended up being pretty limited, but I had enough time to take a quick cruise through the black dirt. And, I got really lucky, finding a relatively large flock  of Horned Larks (about 200 birds) right away. In the flock I could see several Snow Buntings while they were in flight. I had a single American Pipit on the road when several birds landed in front of my car. And, most excitingly, I had a single LAPLAND LONGSPUR that I located as I scanned through the flock with my scope.

~I could be wrong, but to me, it looks like the TWO highest birds are both Lapland Longspurs. There is also one Snow Bunting in this shot, and the rest of the birds appear to be Horned Larks. Black Dirt, 11/11/17.~

So, my last day counting up at Mt. Peter Hawkwatch was a pretty good one. And,  to my mind, it was exactly how hawkwatch in early November should be: Very cold, crisp, and sunny with a steady northwest wind blowing and a good flight of Red-tailed Hawks (20) and Red-shouldered Hawks (15). The only missing ingredients were the Golden Eagle or Northern Goshawk that I was hoping very much for, but unfortunately both species were a no-show. I had a lot of good help and company while I was there: fellow Mt. Pete counters Tom Millard and Denise Ferrel spent several hours each helping, and Bruce Christensen, Jose Garcia, Rob Stone, Karen Heifetz, Nancy Sierra and Joe Baldacci all visited and provided plenty of help and good company too. I totaled 49 migrating raptors, which is enough to stay busy for most of the day. Unfortunately, nearly every bird was super high so photo ops were very few; I actually never even got my weekly Turkey Vulture shot.  My final bird of the season, which passed over right at the end of the day, was a sky-high Great Blue Heron that was so high that I needed the scope to get a good ID on the bird. I thought that was a pretty cool way to end the season.

~Horned Lark taking a dust bath, black dirt 11/12/17.~

2 thoughts on “Mount Peter, 11/11/17”

  1. Great meeting you at the hawk watch . Went over to the black dirt region and the sod farm. Saw many horned larks but did not get the longspur. Did run into a group of Falconers from the Goshen area that were training their birds on the sod farm. Saw them training Lanner Falcons, African Crowned Cranes, and Eagle Owl. Photos are posted on my flickr page—Flickr:christensenbruce320

    1. Great to meet you and Jose too. I saw the falconers today in the distance while I was cruising around. I need to correct the spelling of your name on my post and then I’ll check out your flickr page. See you out there. Matt

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