Seward Sharp-shinned Hawk
- Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Final day of Seward Christmas Bird Count Week
About 7" of fluffy snow fell overnight, concealing seeds on the ground and capping all the Mt Ash berry clusters. With temperatures ranging from 15 to 20º and over 18 hours of night, the birds are VERY hungry! A blizzard warning is in effect for Thursday north of Moose Pass and Seward is forecast to have high winds and warming temperatures bringing snow mixed with rain. Hard times for the birds ahead. Keep your feeders full!
The SLATY-BACKED GULL is still here; it apparently likes the Seward waterfront and is not shy about hanging out with other gulls or ravens. I counted 60 RAVENS, three adult BALD EAGLES, and one juvie, plus a smattering of GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULLS. Oddly, I did not see ONE NORTHWESTERN CROW anywhere along the Greenbelt to Lowell Point this afternoon.
I was pleased to watch four CEDAR WAXWINGS today with 26 ROBINS, 4 BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS, and 4 PINE GROSBEAKS, all feasting on Mt Ash berries, taking turns resting in the cottonwoods, then swooping down to grab a few berries. This pattern continued for some time, when suddenly all the birds erupted into frantic flight.
I immediately searched the skies for the cause. Two seconds later a beautiful SHARP-SHINNED HAWK landed exactly where the robins and waxwings had been feeding. It sat in the Mt Ash tree, peering around, slowly pumping its long tail, as if surprised that no one cared for its company. After several long, wonderful minutes, it dropped out of the tree and disappeared. I was amazed how quickly the songbirds detected this raptor and how long it took for the hawk to appear. Those robins aren't just sitting around doing nothing! Well, there went the neighborhood as all the birds were sitting tight somewhere else. Not a peep, even from the juncos.
No new species reported for today. The full CBC report will follow as soon as I get all the reports in and compiled.
Photos posted under GRISWOLD.
Happy Birding for the New Year!
Seward Sporadic Bird Report reporter