Friday, October 31, 2008

Some birding today

I went over to Hammond Lake and the Ive's Run Recreation area this morning to do a little birding. I was curious as to whether or not there would be rafts of waterfowl on the lake as they make their south-bound migration. I was disapointed in that respect. The Corps of Engineers drew the lake down back in August, possibly to combat some invasive species that have found their way into the waters, and they have yet to begin raising the lake levels. Perhaps they are hoping the cold winter temperatures will play havoc upon the eurasion millfoil and what ever else the lake holds. In any case, the water levels are way, way down and the exposed shallows are now expanses of grass and mud. There were a few dozen Canada Geese who like that sort of thing, a handful of Killdeer, one lonely Common Merganser and a flock of Ring-billed Gulls.

The prize, as far as I was concerned, was the presence of eight (8) Bald Eagles. There were six immature Eagles and two adults perched on the exposed tree trunks and stumps along the edge of the channels. They were a good three to four hundred yards from the nearest approach for observation so my digiscoping equipment was stretched to the max. I used the digital zoom on the Nikon camera too which makes focusing even more difficult. Shooting over such a distance is not a means for obtaining great results.

Having made all my excuses (except for the one about the possibility of needing to clean all the lenses), I present the two best photos I came up with.

Two adult Bald Eagles.

One of the six immature Bald Eagles that were along a short stretch of one of the channels running through the flats of Hammond Lake.

And here is the complete list of birds I saw in the little more than two hours I was there:

Location: Ive's Run-Crooked Creek
Observation date: 10/31/08
Notes: Clear, cold morning with temperatures starting at 34 degrees and rising to near 50.

Six immature Bald Eagles and two adults were perched on exposed logs and tree trunks in the very low waters of Hammond Lake.
Number of species: 20

Canada Goose X
Common Merganser (North American) X
Ring-necked Pheasant X
Bald Eagle X
Red-tailed Hawk X
Killdeer X
Ring-billed Gull X
Mourning Dove X
Blue Jay X
American Crow X
Black-capped Chickadee X
American Robin X
Gray Catbird X
European Starling X
Field Sparrow X
Savannah Sparrow X
White-throated Sparrow X
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) X
Northern Cardinal X
American Goldfinch X

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(

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