Saturday, December 18, 2010
Pine Grosbeaks! - 16 Dec 2010
As I approached 9 Mile Rd. a pair of Sharp-tailed Grouse flew across the road and landed in a couple of spruce trees to my right. However, as I drove up I couldn't find them. As I scanned the trees w/ the binoculars they suddenly flushed from down low and headed off across the fields.
Continuing south I spotted a Rough-legged Hawk atop one of the telephone poles near 11 Mile Rd. I stopped the car and carefully pulled the scope from the trunk. I was about 100 yds. from the bird and scoped it from behind the car. It was another juvenile bird (heavy black belly band and light eyes). After a few moments I got ready to approach it on foot, but it decided to fly off across the field to the west.
The Dunbar Forest feeders were active, but again with only Black-capped Chickadees, European Starlings, Blue Jays, Hairy Woodpecker, and Red-breasted Nuthatches. Last night's 2" of snow were already being cleared from the roads by road crews, so its possible that any other birds in the area may have been flushed.
I continued south toward 16 Mile Rd. but saw nothing else. Returning north I spotted a Northern Shrike out in the field atop a lone snag. Though the sun was backlighting it, the bobbing tail helped ID the bird.
Robin and I then headed toward Rudyard for another pass througth the Hantz Rd. / Centerline Rd. loop before lunch. A pair of Bald Eagles were only highlight of Centerline Rd. Hantz. Rd. was again quiet.