Wednesday, February 28, 2018

February Highlights

 The top bird for me in February was this Gyrfalcon. This morning, I staked out QV Lake for just over an hour and a half.
 Getting a little cold from just standing around, I got back in the car to wait. In due time the gulls and pigeons lifted off the ice. With that, I hopped out of my car and scanned the sky.
 With less than 5 seconds of "bird time," I was able to get these few shots in the foggy mess that hung over the lake.
 Whoosh! It was going already. Wow! While I didn't get long, pleasing looks, I knew this was not the same bird photographed a couple of days ago. It was presenting much too much brown. The earlier documented bird was quite grey. Just a few minutes ago, I checked the reporting group and learned there were, indeed, two Gyrs on the ice.
 Just like that, the falcon unsettled everything around and few off. Apparently, it returned within the half hour.
 QV Lake is a raptor hangout. It is always easy to see Bald Eagles of all ages hanging around and feeding on the ice. Northern Goshawk, Sharp-shinned Hawks and Peregrine Falcon have also been seen at the lake this winter.

 Skulking around the sides of the lake, I was able to see the Gadwall, which seemed to vanish every time I showed up. Finally, I caught it.
 This Pied-billed Grebe hung around most of the winter, but I haven't seen it over the last couple of days. Time whiled at QV Lake is always well spent.
 The only other area around town I birded in February was Cape Spear. That trip always offers up something of interest. This Snow bunting was one of three seen last week.
 White-winged Crossbills have not been a prevalent this year as last, but I did manage to see seven on one trip out to the Cape.
 On the "finchy" day I thought I would check the bus shelter pit. Unfortunately, this Northern Goshawk got there before me. Just as I arrived, it was flying off in the far distance. It looks really, really white.
 I stayed for a while hoping the birds would return. A few moved back into the area. I found this very orange Pine Grosbeak interesting.
 King Eider (top left with yellow bill) are getting more scarce as are all eider. This is thanks to the never-ending hunters in the area.
 Back at the Cape this Horned Lark remains for several weeks now. It must be very lonely.
 I was lucky to hit a day that two Snowy Owls were seen below the lighthouse. This one was the whitest one I have ever seen.
Blackhead was the site of this yawning seal. I'm not sure what kind it is. On the same day I saw a pod of dolphins and a Humpback Whale off the point at the Cape. Considering I haven't been out a lot, I am surprised I saw so many good birds and interesting species.

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