|Female Northern Harrier on the hunt. Photo by Alan|
Like Darth Vader all in brown that was almost black she sailed low over the marshes, teetering on long, straight wings.
Slowly, slowly she slipped up on the pool of puddle ducks, then, BAM! she stooped, looking for a cheap meal.
|Teal etc. explode out of the water. I took this one.|
With a thunderous clapping of wings and a flume of flying water a hundred puddle and diving ducks hit the air....Green and Blue Winged Teal, Redheads, Wood Ducks, a Mallard or two, a single Mallard/Black Duck hybrid (probably, purple speculum, light tan bird)....she put them all to flight.
|Duck soup. Just for fun if you want to, click and embiggen this one|
and see how many species you can find.
And let us know, because we are far from experts and always looking for advice!
The Northern Shovelers and Grebes just sat, unconcerned by her attack.
All day she plied the open water, putting the small ducks up and hunting kind of casualy, but we never saw her take one.
The female Northern Harrier was not the high point of another day at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge though.
The big bird so far....we are still going through photos looking for lurkers in the cattails...was a large brown shorebird we spotted in the last big pool on the right. We looked.
And looked at it for quite a long time. Other birders pulled up behind us, trained lenses on the nearly empty space, and moved on uninterested. But we were curious.We took pictures.
At home I looked up what might be available ...birds that occur regularly at the refuge....and when I saw a photo of a Hudsonian Godwit I thought, "Yes! That's it!"
Put it up on FB Bird ID and so it was. Another exciting lifer for both of us. There are more sandpipers and shorebirds to be sure of and more duck photos to pore over.....
Ring Billed Gulls
A Blue Jay
Great Blue Heron
Green Winged Teal
Pied Billed Grebe
Blue Winged Teal
American Wigeon (another lifer)
Mallard/Black Duck hybrid...probably
It was a great day! Thanks, Alan!