Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Redpolls and Gray Jays at Sax Zim Bog

After I spent quite a bit of time on Admiral Rd and McDavitt Rd photographing three-toed woodpeckers and boreal chickadees I decided to head back over to highway 7 by the sod farm to check for the hawk owl again. I still did not find it so I decided to run over to Blue Spruce Rd to check out the feeding station there. I decided to take the back way so I took Arkola over to Owl Ave. While I was driving down Owl Ave I noticed several small birds flying around on a logging path that lead west from the road, so I turned around to take a look.
As I was parking I saw the reason that there was so much bird activity. Some one had dumped a bunch of seed on the ground, I think that it was black oil sunflower seed but I am not an expert since my small yard is not very advantageous for feeders, yet.
Gathered around the seed were a group of redpolls and black-capped chickadees.
The chickadees where pretty bold and kept eating until I got close, the redpolls would fly up into the safety of the trees any time that I moved and then return for another quick bite while I stood still.
I did not see any of them that looked like a hoary redpoll but they were darting around quite quickly so it was difficult to be sure. Plus I am not all that comfortable in my ability to tell a hoary from a common.
I had to go around the seed pile to get any descent shots because otherwise I would have been shooting straight into the sun. When I got to the other side of the seed I noticed what I believe is the print of a hawk plunging after its prey.It is a bit hard to see in a photograph but if you look carefully you can see the spread out wings, a somewhat fanned out tail and 2 talon prints. From the prints leading away I am guessing that this hawk was not successful on this hunting trip. I am guessing from the shape of the wings and the size that this was a hawk. Let me know if you think that I am wrong or if you can tell what type of hawk that it is.
While I was photographing the hawk markings a couple of gray jays joined the party. I did not have the right lens on the camera, I needed a wide angle to get a picture of the hawk print, so I needed to run back to the car to get my long lens.
I was able to get a couple of shots off before the jays took off for the shelter of the trees. It was getting late and I still wanted to get to Blue Spruce Road before I had to start the long drive home so I left the chickadees and redpolls to their feast and moved on.


Nora said...

love that picture of the jay with his beak open just chirping his heart out...I clicked it and it is an incredible photo Ecobirder. How did you get that I wonder.

RuthieJ said...

Great photos of those Sax-Zim birds! We saw the redpolls, but were not fortunate to see the Gray Jays. Oh well, another reason to visit again sometime.....

Mel said...

Beautiful pictures!
Thank you for sharing :)

Ecobirder said...

Thanks everyone!