16 November 2008

Ferruginous Hawk

Gulls aside, it feels like it has been a while since I spent a lot of time chasing after birds found by other people. Of course, it feels much better to find a rare bird yourself than to chase after one found by someone else, but sometimes it's nice to take a little break and just enjoy someone else's bird, without having to find new rarities on your own. Today I did a little bit of each, but mostly chased after birds found by other people.

Yesterday, Stephanie found a Snow Bunting up Logan Canyon, her first solo find of a rare species, I think, so we went up there first thing this morning. I have seen Snow Buntings before, and they are already on my county list, but all my looks at them have been very distant so I was hoping that this bird would be more photogenic. Unfortunately, it failed to show up for us.

After a break for some lunch while watching some friends play a show at Cafe Ibis, we went to Clarkston to look for the Ferruginous Hawks Craig found yesterday. We did manage to find the Ferruginous Hawks (one is shown in the photo above). This has been a hard-to-find species in the valley, so it was nice to add this one to the list. I've spent several days searching for this species, and I only know of one other individual reported in the county this year.

We then birded some waterfowl spots, but we still haven't been able to come up with any scoters, even though they're being seen all over the state it seems right now. We did find one cool bird that won't add to the list: a pure albino Northern Shoveler, shown below. From there, we raced the sunlight up the canyon to try to find a Winter Wren Craig found earlier today. We missed that bird, probably because it had already gone to roost for the night, but I might try again tomorrow morning.

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