Super Saturday Morning, 11/06/21

What a morning! My first stop was Wickham Lake, which I thought was going to be a total bust because the lake was completely obscured by fog. But, I located a Greater Yellowlegs feeding in the puddles along the shore. The light was beautiful and the bird was very accommodating. I also had a Great Blue Heron in some interesting light, so I got some photos of that bird as well. From there, I was heading up to Mt. Peter Hawkwatch, where I was to be the official counter for the day. On my way there, I had a lovely, close encounter with a beautiful coyote. This was the first coyote I’ve ever seen that showed some curiosity towards me as I pulled my car to the side of the road. It’s been a good while since I’ve seen a coyote, and to get one this confiding was a thrill.

~Coyote on the frosty grass, Orange County NY 11/06/21.~

Once I was at Mt. Pete, I was getting the feeling it might be a slow day. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and although the wind was from the northwest, it was just the slightest breeze. I had no raptors at all for nearly 2 hours. Then, I picked up a bird to the northeast of the platform – I immediately recognized it as a young GOLDEN EAGLE! I was so happy, the bird circled up and eventually migrated directly over the platform.

~GOLDEN EAGLE! Mt. Peter Hawkwatch 11/06/21.~

After the excitement of the Golden, my prediction came true and it was an incredibly slow flight. I had a total of only (8) migrating raptors in 6.75 hours of counting. I did have one other highlight though, I found a Purple Finch, which was a new 2021 county bird for me, bringing my total to 203 species this year in Orange County.

~Greater Yellowlegs at Wickham Lake, 11/06/21. This bird had a bum foot, but seemed to be feeding very well. I feel like I see a lot of shorebirds hopping around on one foot, but it doesn’t seem to hold them back too much.~
~Beautiful beast. Coyote in OC, 11/06/21.~
~Coyote in OC, 11/06/21.~
~Coyote in the OC, 11/06/21.~
~This was actually on my way home this evening; I stopped at Beaver Pond to look for ducks. The markings on this Northern Harrier are just gorgeous to me.~
~An unexpected surprise at Wickham Lake this morning, Greater Yellowlegs 11/06/21.~
~Great Blue Heron first thing this morning at Wickham Lake, 11/06/21.~
~The Golden Eagle streams out over the platform at Mt. Peter Hawkwatch, 11/06/21.~
~Purple Finch at Mt. Peter Hawkwatch, 11/06/21.~

12 thoughts on “Super Saturday Morning, 11/06/21”

  1. Matt, How exciting to see the coyote and get great shots!! The only one I have ever seen was at Wickham Lake. I was at the lake early Friday morning, saw a heron but it flew off, nothing else. Thank you for participating in the count.

  2. Stunning photos. I especially like the Great Blue photo … interesting lighting! I saw a coyote in the Beechwoods a few days ago but it wasn’t close enough for photos.

    1. I’m glad you mentioned the Great Blue Heron shot – I like it, but I wasn’t sure how it measured up. Always good to see a coyote, even if you don’t get shots. Matt

    1. Thanks so much Dave. It’s great when things work out and you get some nice opportunities. But, as you know sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. Yesterday was awesome, but today was pretty much a bust. But still good to just be out.

  3. What phenomenal shots! The lighting was exceptional, thanks so much for sharing! The coyote… ❤️ wow!!!

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