Sunday, February 21, 2021

February Birding - Redpolls, Snow Buntings & Rough Legged Hawks


This February has been a pretty good month for birding in Windsor -Essex. Probably the best highlight has been a small influx of Common Redpolls that I have seen in a few different spots in the city and county!

Snow buntings and Lapland Longspurs are pretty common in the depths of winter - but are always fun to see. 

In this past month, I've had some great looks at Kestrels, Merlins and Rough legged Hawks. I have seen a Merlin near ADM / Black Oak Heritage Park (Windsor West End) almost daily for the last week. I have never been able to see one so consistently in the decade or so that I have been bird watching. 

Just this weekend, I was driving near Harrow, and a Dark Morph Rough Legged Hawk gave generous looks and it looped right over the road I was driving on.  I got tonnes of photos as the bird flew overhead. Sunshine and blue sky along gave for great photography of this bird. And amazingly, the snow-covered fields provided for some lighting from underneath giving the photos an almost HDR effect. As the Rough legged Hawk soared through the sky, I had noticed that the bird almost eclipsed the moon, which was out on Saturday afternoon--- and --- full disclosure --- I figured I might try to see if I could transpose the bird next to the moon ... how did it turn out?


The most amazing bird in this month is one I had seem a few weeks ago - a Virginia Rail that (perhaps?) attempted to overwinter in the county.  It has most definitely moved on to a warmer area south of here but ... it was pretty cool to see this bird in early February. 

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