Saturday, January 22, 2011

'Twas a Four Hawk Day

Today was a four hawk day, literally.  I saw one on my way to the pruning class I was assisting with this morning.  Unfortunately, this hawk was WAY up in the tree. 

Sorry to say, the other three hawks were sighted this afternoon, I was sans camera.  It was supposed to be a quick run to the Pig before the next round of weather due in.  So, take my word for it, three more hawks. 

This winter has been a glorious field day for watching birds.  On New Year's Day I took a few pictures of the Pileated Woodpecker.  Our woods are exspansive, so these are from a distance.

Their wing coloring is a spectacular flash of black and white.

 This guy was really bashful about getting photographed. 

 We also get Flickers in the backyard woods.  CORRECTION!!
THIS IS NOT A FLICKER-- This is a Red Bellied Woodpecker, what was I thinking???

This little guy is especially elusive--- do you see him?  I was sitting at the desk in the laundry room and it looked like the bark was moving.

Ok, look closer....

This is the Brown Creeper that Randy and I have been talking about.  This little bird is really hard to see and nearly impossible to photograph.

 The feeders have had a flurry of Goldfinch activity.  

Their winter colors sometimes make it hard to know for sure it is a Goldfinch.

 It is always exciting when the turkeys are out --

We have had some diving ducks in the lake, see them down there?

 It is a group of Hooded Mergansers.
 These ducks are teasers... just when you have the camera focused, they go under!

While looking at/for the Mergansers, I saw a Great Blue Heron, fishing under the dock.

 Must be good fishing as the Belted Kingfisher hangs out on the dock as well.
 In the woods to the side of the house  are lots of little birds, this little one is so puffed up from the cold that I am not certain what kind of bird it is.

The Eastern Towhees or Rufus Sided Towhees are ground feeders.  There were a number of them looking for food when the snow was on the ground.  I threw some seed out and some orange pieces.

Against the snow the Bluebirds stand out so well!

The most exciting sighting of a bird this week was not here in South Carolina, but in Washington, DC.  This hawk was photographed in the Library of Congress.....INSIDE!! 
He was flying around inside the Main Reading Room of the LoC.  Our daughter's fiancé's mom works at the Library of Congress and sent these photos.  Not sure who took them, but if you know, please tell me so I can give them credit.  Update-- photos by Abby Brack

Look closely for him against the ceiling.  Absolutely amazing!

So, keep your eyes open -- you never know when you might see something pretty exciting!  Remember the Great Backyard Bird Count is Feb. 18- 21.

words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.


  1. Janet,

    You did well on photographing the brown Creeper. I'm a big fan of Hooded Mergansers too, ever seen them all flip and disappear at the same time?

    I think your mystery bird is a tint Ruby-crowned Kinglet.

  2. I sure hope that hawk got out of the building. How exciting it must've been for the visitors!

  3. Great pics of your bird watching. I like the hawks. I saw 2 wild turkeys coming home today. They were at the edge of the woods next to a major highway. I was surprised to see them so close to the highway. They were quite large.

  4. beautiful pictures... i love the red head...

  5. Such beautiful pictures! I love all of them! Debbie

  6. You captured some great photos of birds.
    I love the pileated colorful!
    Randy always knows his bugs and birds. Very knowledgeable.

  7. Very cool, Hooded Mergansers! You have such a wealth of bird life around your home. Randy is right, the little puffed-up bird is a Ruby-Crowned Kinglet. He's adorable, as is the Brown Creeper.

  8. Janet - what wonderful birds you've captured here. We have a hawk that lives around here - he's a red-tailed hawk and we share your goldfinches, but have none of the rest of your birds. I have a woodpecker, but he has no red on him. It's so fun to watch them, especially in winter when they are easier to see and you get a better sense of their survival techniques. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Dear Queen of Seaford,
    these photos are absolutely amazing! Thank you! When I see the little fluffy birds like the "invisible" one, I want to touch them :-) Here in town we have lots and lots of sparrows (somebody feeds them), some dun crows, 2 magpies, a few tits, astonishingly few doves - and one singer I don't know from his song. Nothing compared to your bountifulness, but at least some songs :-)

  10. Janet ~ you did amazing capturing all these different birds. Your home is in the perfect spot for lots of varied bird watching. I haven't ever seen a brown creeper. How neat. The pileated woodpecker is very impressive. We have flickers here but not them. Every once in a while I spot a towhee but not often.

    I wonder how on earth that hawk got in the Library of Congress??? That's crazy! I hope he was able to find his way out.

  11. A veritable cornucopia of wonderful birds! I love the Brown Creeper, almost perfect camouflage. Goldfinches are one of my favourite garden birds, and one of the few that you get in your garden that I get in mine. Such busy little critters.

  12. What a great variety of birds you have in your yard, Janet! I have missed seeing the woodpeckers here this winter; I'm not sure why they haven't visited this year. I did see a hawk in our back yard the other day, but by the time I got my camera and got it focused, he flew off. It was funny but also a good thing that all the birds that had been flying around just a few minutes before suddenly had disappeared. Great photos--I've found that taking photos of birds is much more challenging than taking them of flowers:)

  13. So nice to see your birds - quite a nice group and great photos! Thanks for stopping by at Garden Sense and for your nice words! Chris

  14. I saw the Coopers Hawk in the Library of Congress on our local news. Experts theorize that he found his way in through some small crack in the building, chasing after some little varmint or pigeon. I haven't heard if he was captured yet and taken out.

  15. You're really lucky to have the woods around your house and all the pretty birds that live there. I wish we saw half those birds. We've had Pileated Woodpeckers a few times and I was surprised at how big they are.

  16. How amazing that a hawk found its way into the Library of Congress! I do hope he was able to be captured and returned to the wild without being injured. I enjoyed seeing all the birds in your area. We have cousins of many of them here. For instance, our woodpecker is also black and white with a flash of red, but the markings are a bit different. They are very shy aren't they?

  17. Randy- Yes Hooded Mergansers are a hoot to watch, everyone dive! ok Everyone surface! Thanks for the ID of the Ruby crowned Kinglet, and thanks for not correcting me on the Flicker/Red-bellied Woodpecker. My face is sure red.

    tina- As of last night the hawk is still in the LoC, saw it on the evening NBC news.

    Lola- thanks I appreciate your comment. I love seeing the turkeys, they are a lot bigger than you think... Toms are really something to see.

    Bangchik- thanks, these birds are fascinating to see.

    Debbie- Haven't heard from you for a while, thanks for stopping by.

    Rosey- I think the Pileated is the coveted bird to photograph. He is so large, really an amazing bird. Yes, Randy is an execellent resource for us.

    Sweetbay- thanks to you as well, you and Randy are good folks to have around. I saw another Brown Creeper yesterday, but again he was elusive.

    Diana- thanks! You have one that I miss seeing --Scissortailed Flycatcher. We had a few hanging on the telephone wires in our backyard in Killeen.

    Britta- thanks so much! I know what you mean about wanting to touch the little birds, they are so sweet. We don't have the European Sparrows here like we did in other places. I am learning some of the songs as a way to make my ID...what fun.

    Kathleen- we certainly do have a window to nature here, will be sad when others come and build in years to come. The Towhee is easier to see when there is snow on the ground. Hawk still in the Library.

    Janet- it is a cornucopia of birds, many more too...some are so hard to see let alone photograph.

    Rose-not sure where your woodpeckers might be..?? Birds send out a warning for hawks and humans. When I am on my walk with the dogs I hear a lot of warnings-- different than the songs when I am on the screened porch.

    Chris- thanks for coming by here as well. glad you like the birds.

    Swimray- did you see the hawk on the national news last night? Hope they rescue him soon.

    Catherine- I love the birds and other nature around here, we have a show every day.

    Jennifer- The hawk story is incredible. I wonder what woodpecker yours might be? They are very shy!


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