Revised 2011 bird total:
437 species

Saturday, October 29, 2011

They come to me before I go to them!

I often count migrating birds in my yard.  Today I went outside from 1:15 pm-2:45 pm and had a superb time.

By 2:15 pm I had already tallied a Northern Harrier nearly at eye level, a Bald Eagle, 2 Red-shouldered Hawks, several Red-tailed Hawks among other non-raptors.  At 2:13 pm I spotted a large raptor just to my north.  It proceeded to fly nearly directly overhead low giving amazing looks.  I first thought it was a Red-tailed or Red-shouldered Hawk but I put my scope on the bird only to discover that it was an accipiter.  I started noticing the field marks.  Black by the eye, small head, OMG those tail bands are uneven, and the underside is white with gray streaking!  It was a Northern Goshawk adult, my nemesis bird up until this point in the year, a year bird for me # 369.

The odd thing about this is that tomorrow I was planning to head north to Waggoner's Gap, PA to try for a goshawk.  And last year right before I went to Duluth MN (2 days before) where one of my main targets was Northern Goshawks (where I saw several), I saw a large accipiter that I believe to have been a Northern Goshawk from my yard.  I'm just not sure on that one though, it was fairly distant and didn't give good looks as today's goshawk did.  It's like the goshawks know I'm coming for them and come to me beforehand!

Because I got a NOGO today I likely won't be going to Waggoner's Gap but I may because it's a great hawk watch and there's lots of other great raptors (although not year birds).  I will update this evening or tomorrow with my plan.

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