Way back on September 7 when I had just begun my new retirement protocol of birding every morning there was good weather, I decided to visit Miller Meadows which is directly across from the health club where I swim, with the idea that I could then go swimming afterwards. I had seen hawks flying on occasion from the health club parking lot, so I should not have been surprised by the number of hawks I saw that morning. It started off with an American Kestrel backlit in poor light. I don’t get to see Kestrels too often so I was happy to take some far-away pictures anyway.
Perhaps what I wasn’t prepared for was the degraded landscape. Invasive teasel has overtaken much of the meadow.
There were a few Palm Warblers trying to make something out of nothing. They were also the first I had seen this fall.
Hawks apparently found the landscape attractive for hunting. I saw several Red-tailed Hawks kiting over the open field, and was fascinated to observe this behavior. There was a Northern Harrier as well. The harrier photos are directly below, and all the rest are various Red-tailed Hawks. How I managed to capture enough detail at considerable distance still surprises me, but also encourages me to continue what otherwise sometimes seems a fruitless endeavor. These are all closely cropped, but if you click on the photos it’s kind of nice to see how the Red-tailed Hawks navigate the air.
The Northern Harrier is below.
i did see an Eastern Kingbird…closer to the ground!
A view of the paved path with phragmites, another invasive species, on the left.
I always try to appreciate at least one American Robin.
Back down on the ground in early September there were still butterflies.
And some interesting beetles… I found my Beetles book but I got even more confused trying to identify them so they will remain nameless – unless you can tell me who they are.
I will continue poring through the last two or three months’ outings for photographs as we are having some more of the rain we didn’t get in the spring. Cloudy, drizzly weather has its advantages, I guess. The disadvantage is lots of mud in the backyard…