Friday, March 7, 2014

Going, Going,... Not Gone!


Planning today's outing was more difficult than usual. In the recent past so much good stuff was around that was being reported, it was easy to plan. In fact I had been looking forward on many occasions to go after one thing or another. But today was different. Nothing except a Thick-billed Murre off Brooklyn, but Capt'n Bob and his boat were unavailable. Looking for it  from limited and unknown shore vantage points was less than desirable.

After much mulling, Earic's secretary Shrimpkee suggested going after the Golden Eagle again, because he had heard a positive report recently.  We met Garouse at our usual location at a later than usual [ read: very casual ] time and set off for our quarry.

We arrived at the park and once again were pleased to have practically no wind, bright sun, and a colder than desirable yet pleasant nevertheless day. Like the previous times, we had to wait a bit before we saw any birds about, but the Turkey Vultures led the guard and soon enough were joined by Black Vultures, Ravens and Crows.

We all scanned the skies and the south face hoping for a sighting. I wandered south to see if a different vantage would reveal a hidden perched bird, but had no luck. After a while though, Earic spotted a bird come around the bend being harassed by a Peregrine. He followed it to a perch on the side of the mountain.

Alerted, I ran over to join the others and got my scope on the bird. Success! After two dips, this gorgeous bird remains loyal to its favorite haunt. YB1.

The view from the parking lot. Yes, the bird is in the photo, dead center, +/- 3500' away

Close-up of the above.    Heat distortion and distance :(
We were enjoying views of the bird for some time when we were joined by Gerhard, a birder from the area who has been keeping tabs on these birds for some time. As you can see from the above, the birds are quite a distance away and getting a decent photo was a challenge.

Having made some RFI inquiries, there had been little info about the presence of these birds. If people were seeing them, no one was bothering to post. The least fellow birders can do is post reports of good sightings. This climate of not posting is sad. I sent out a report to the list, but could not include coordinates as I usually do because I could not get a GPS fix. I also predicted that I would get requests for location info because this was missing, and was correct. 

Once our desire was satisfied, we set off further north to try for the Sandhill Cranes in Ulster Park for Earic and Shimpkee. In keeping with my observation, he had that bird easily last year, and dipped today. But a great day of birding nonetheless.

No comments: