First Bird 2014

If the ponds were not frozen, I had planned to start the New Year looking for uncommon waterfowl in my area.  I no sooner got a little ways out of town and saw my first bird of 2014 sitting on a telephone pole.

A great picture, don't think you think!  My first bird of 2014 - a Great Horned Owl on a telephone pole 45 minutes before sunrise.  We sat for about 10 minutes watching each other before it finally flew on.  Great looks at a good bird to start the year. Johnson County 010114
A great picture, don’t think you think! My first bird of 2014 – a Great Horned Owl on a telephone pole 45 minutes before sunrise.
We sat for about 10 minutes watching each other before it finally flew on. Great looks at a good bird to start the year.
Johnson County 01/01/14

The ponds were frozen and hunters are still hunting through January 5, so I headed to Irwin Park in Edinburgh.   The park was closed to vehicle traffic because the high water was still inside the levee but was now frozen.  So I parked outside and walked the levee loop.  What a productive walk.  I had all the woodpeckers less Hairy.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - Irwin Park - 01/01/14
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – Irwin Park – 01/01/14

Both kinglets, a 2nd or 3rd year Bald Eagle, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Brown Creeper, and a Sharp-shinned Hawk.

Sharp-shinned Hawk - Irwin Park - 01/01/14 I initially spotted it down by the river and then by my car on the way out.   No doubt about it flying by as I first thought it was a dove. The square tail seals the deal.
Sharp-shinned Hawk – Irwin Park – 01/01/14
I initially spotted it down by the river and then by my car on the way out.
No doubt about its ID flying by as I first thought it was a dove.
The square tail sealed the deal.

I was glad to see the sapsucker since I only saw two in the county last year and real glad to see the Sharp-shinned Hawk after only seeing one last year.  In fact the hawk is on my “B” list of birds – birds I should see in the county but not sure I will.

I then decided to drive home looking for Rough-legged Hawks or Snowy Owls – no luck on either one.  But I did see a couple of Red-tailed Hawks, American Kestrel, Cooper’s Hawk, and a female Northern Harrier.  Another bird I only saw a couple of times last year.

So the day started out good and continued all the way to the home.

 

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