Sunday Shots – Yard Raptors Edition, 07/31/22

Well I finally added a new yard bird to my 2022 list this week. Early in the week I was hearing a Broad-winged Hawk calling somewhere in the vicinity. On Friday while I was working, I heard it again and it was loud. I went out my side door and the bird was perched in the large maple tree in the corner of our yard. I clicked a few photos before the bird flew, but my settings weren’t great and my shutter speed was very slow – 1/125th of a second. I didn’t think I had a prayer of getting anything sharp, especially because I was hand-holding my super heavy 500 mm lens. Lucky for me, I managed a couple of acceptable shots.

~Broad-winged Hawk in my yard, 07/30/22.~

Meanwhile, the Cooper’s Hawks which nested in my neighbor’s yard had at least three chicks successfully fledge. They have been making a racket all week, and this afternoon, after several blown opportunities, I was able to get a good shot of one of them in the same maple as the BWHA. It was funny because I was “watching the golf” (ie napping on the sofa), when Tricia woke me up to tell me the bird was in our yard.

~Young Cooper’s Hawk in my yard, 07/31/22.~

I didn’t get out at all on Saturday, but this morning I got out for a few hours. I checked 6 1/2 Station Road Sanctuary, following up on some shorebirds that Karen Miller told me about. Conditions are good, but the only shorebirds I was able to locate were about a dozen Killdeer and and a single Solitary Sandpiper. The sanctuary is loaded with Green Herons right now – I had at least 8 while I was there this morning. And as you would expect, there were also many Wood Ducks around; I was happy to capture this one just off the trail.

~Wood Duck in the muck at 6 1/2 Station Road Sanctuary, 07/31/22.~
~One of several Green Herons at 6 1/2 Station Road Sanctuary this morning, 07/31/22.~

I also tried Beaver Pond for shorebirds – I found several Least Sandpipers and 10 or so Killdeer. Conditions are good – I’m prediction at least one good bird there this fall.

My last stop was the Liberty Loop. I birded from the platform and was able to locate a single, distant American Bittern. I checked the west side of the loop for shorebirds but only found a couple of Killdeer. Hopefully it’s just a matter of time before we start seeing some more good shorebirds in our area.

~Cedar Waxwing at Beaver Pond, 07/31/22.~

Yard Birds 2022: (50). I FINALLY got a new bird (the Broad-winged Hawk), my first since May 17th.

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