Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Woods Come Alive

 It was the American Robins that lured me back to Long Pond for two days straight.
 It was so easy to stand for a long period of time just enjoying the feeding frenzy.
 When I first moved into the area of activity, the robins scattered. I just stood very still and quiet for about five minutes, and they began to surround me going about their business as if I weren't there.
 What a show they put on! Scanning to see if there might be anything different among them, I found this really pale robin. I don't know what might account for this. Maybe he just needs to eat a lot more red berries to brighten up his red-breast.
 About two weeks ago, I came across about 100 robins on Blackhead Road. They were flocking overhead, feeding on lawns and perching in trees. Perhaps this is the same flock that found its way to town.
 While scrutinizing each bird as best I could, I found this one. There is something strange appearing to grow out of its shoulder.
 Once I had a good look at all of the birds around me, I headed back to the parking lot. Bubbling over with sheer enjoyment of the robins and other little birds attracted to this flock, I almost forgot my main reason for going to Long Pond - to see the Northern Goshawk.
 On the return walk, I caught sight of a good-sized bird float past me on the water side of the trail. It didn't move like a crow, and it didn't make any noise. I set out to find the bird as it didn't seem to go very far. I walked out onto the edge of the pond and looked back into the trees, but found nothing. I headed back on the trail to continue my look. Then, there it was - a female Northern Goshawk sitting quietly on a branch. I got one shot before it lifted off.
 Again, it stayed by the water's edge and headed toward the small beach on the north side. I walked slowly toward the area. There sat the hawk high atop a tree across from the beach. Once again, I got one picture before it flew. This hawk made my day!
As I continued to walk toward my car, I came across this small group of Pine Siskin. It is really nice to see the finches return to St. John's. The woods have been too quiet for too long.

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