Well it was a little gloomy and wet today, but at least it was just a light rain for the most part. I started off my afternoon at Reifel by checking for the White-throated Sparrow as it had not been seen by the morning walk. I managed to locate it across from where it had been the last several weeks scurrying around under the bramble. While waiting to see if it would pop out for a photo, everything suddenly scattered deeper into the bushes as a Sharp-shinned hawk buzzed by behind me. Initially landing briefly in a tree a ways off,
… it did make its way back roosting in the Cork Oak for a short time. While the sparrows had disappeared, it was a good start to the day to have a few minutes this close with a Sharp-shinned Hawk.
While walking several of the other trails was not producing much activity or photo opportunities, along one of the inside trails
… the Pied-billed Grebe was still providing some good looks.
The last highlight of the day was just off the east dyke trail.
A chance arose to get out for a walk this afternoon. As there were still some showers off and on, I headed to Reifel where the trails would afford some cover if required. After arriving something entertaining caught my eye before I even left the parking lot.
While my focus is usually birds,
… this squirrel was fun to watch as it dangled amongst the branches eating berries.
As for birds, I was not finding much along the east or north dyke trails. About half way along the centre dyke while scanning back over my shoulder I spotted a Sharp-shinned Hawk off in the trees I had just walked by. It did not take off after I stopped, so I slowly worked my way back to where I would have a clear shot through the branches. It remained on its perch once I stopped again.
As you can see from this shot it was watching me,
… but soon went back to scanning the tree line. A pleasant surprise to have it stay put, but at this point it was just me and the bird.
After I managed a few shots, a young family was approaching along the trail. I motioned for them to be quiet and pointed out the hawk to them. They caught a brief glimpse of it in the tree, but this was too many people and it flew off to the north. None the less, they were as happy as I was to have seen it.
This afternoon’s walk was to Reifel. While admiring the Black-crowned Night-Heron in the usual trees just beyond the entrance, something a lot smaller caught my attention.
A Sharp-shinned Hawk was roosting in the tree just above the herons. It was carefully watching the song birds around the feeder at the entrance.
A few times it suddenly launched and swooped in on them, returning unsuccessful. On returning to the same place a little later there were now two in the same area.
The Sharp-shinned Hawk is the smallest accipiter, not much bigger than a Robin.
I have seen them here recently, but usually as they go streaking by through the trees. A pleasant change to have them sit still for a short while. Especially since it has been almost three years since I last managed a shot of one.
At the end of the afternoon and as the sun was starting to go down,
… the young Red-tailed Hawk showed up again in the trees around the ponds.