The weather was borderline when I headed out this afternoon, still overcast with the occasional shower. Not bad enough to keep me indoors though and I made my way to the North 40 to check on a couple of things. I had only just started my walk,
… when this adult male Northern Harrier made an appearance hunting over the fields.
One of things I wanted to check on was a pair of Cooper’s Hawks I have been following here for years. They nest in this area each year, but wherever the nest is, it has always been tucked away well inside the tree. On checking this years nest,
… I was happy to see three fairly large juveniles inside. Once again there was no way to get a clear shot, but still fun to observe. Probably will not be long before they fledge.
Next while watching some sparrows,
… this Downy Woodpecker showed up briefly on the bramble looking for bugs.
The other thing I was wanting to check for was the Lazuli Bunting. They have showed up here in previous years, but I have yet to see one or hear any reports of them this year.
On my way back to the car,
… this juvenile American Robin stopped and posed briefly providing a nice end to the walk.
The day got better as it progressed and this afternoon’s walk was back to the North 40. No sign of the Bullock’s Oriole today, but while checking for them a familiar “pek pek” got my attention. It was coming from a tree behind me, one frequently used as a staging area by the Cooper’s Hawk pair.
The adult male Cooper’s Hawk was on a branch inside the tree with prey in its talons. I could not make out what it had before he flew off towards the nesting area.
With nest on the mind, I made my way to an area where I had previously seen some Tree Swallow activity and suspected there was a nest.
It did not take long after arriving before I could see the adults arriving and feeding the young in the nest.
While you can only see two here, I could make out at least three at one time. They look to be a good size and crowded in there, so it will probably not be long before they fledge.
One other fun shot from this afternoon,
… was this Squirrel stretched down the trunk of a tree eating leaves.