Monday, August 17, 2009

Raptor-ous Delight

Last Tuesday, I met up with my birding buddy, Tom Starcic, at Santa Fe Dam in Irwindale to look for kites. The White-tailed ones, not those that are tethered to a piece of string. First we tried for Cactus Wrens near the Nature Center, but despite playing back their raucous calls, we got zero response. The place was as a quiet as a library when there were no people around.

Near the spillway, we got the White-tailed Kites - there were two of them - rather easily.

The morning turned out to be quite raptor-filled as we also saw:

A Northern Harrier,

At least two Red-shouldered Hawks

A Sharp-shinned Hawk

And a Cooper's Hawk

Out flying in the distance were Turkey Vultures. An American Kestrel did a fly-over and a Merlin got into a spat with a Coopers. Surprisingly, the usually common Red-tailed Hawks were a no-show that morning.

Our predatory instincts satisfied, Tom and I called it a day at 11 am, absolutely enraptured..or shall I say.. enraptored?


Anonymous said...

Amazing shots! Those raptors are pretty awesome.

Christopher said...

I love the raptor shots - especially the Harrier, which has been a bird-photo nemesis bird for me for years. (Just can't seem to get one in focus!)

Vickie said...

Wow, that is quite a collection of raptor images! That harrier image in flight is spectacular.