Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bona Dea Update

Bona Dea was sunny and warmer. Not very much wind. I went down Swinging Bridge Trail for a short visit today. While at the spillway I tried to feed the fish but they were not hungry. Did not see any take the food. While there I heard a critter coming down the dirt path. When I turned to look, I found that is was a rather rare one at that. It was a former co-worker and still friend who had his camera and was coming to check out things. We then went along together to see what we could find. We saw several different flights of mainly Teal ducks flying in circles overhead and some of them landing in Black Water Swamp. They really fly fast with rapid wing beats. Also some larger and slower Mallard Ducks flying too. The Gulls were out flying over and some on the water in Lake Dardanelle across from the park. Also the lonely Double-crested Cormorant was stretching its wings out in the sun. His buddies have left it all alone. We sent on down the the old Swinging Bridge and walked down to Prarie Creek. For some reason they were back to pumping water and the creek was low again. We saw the Teal Ducks take off from up the creek and fly around like the others were. The Bushtits were around but not in great number today. The surprise of the trip was seeing a Red-shouldered Hawk flying East over Goose Pond and making its famous short screaming sounds. The pic shown is what this one looked like flying and another pic of one on a limb up close. Also on the way back in, we saw a Tufted Titmouse and then right on the other side of the trail a Hermit Thrush. It is a brownish bird as pic shows. I have enclosed a link to a page where you can click on the sound button that says ,captive, and just hear what the Hawk exactly sounded like as it was flying today. I thought as first it was a Red-tailed Hawk but it was the Red-shouldered Hawk. They like to hang around woods where there is a lot of water. I have seen one swoop down and grab and duck and hold it under water to drown it. This was at the pumping station a few years back. I ran down to the edge of the water and scared the hawk off. It let go of the duck under water and the duck came up swimming a few yards away. It was happy I did that. I really don't like to see that sort of stuff even though that is in the chain of life.


WWAHHMpreneur said...

Glad that I checked this out.
Love the pics of the birds...esp the hawk in flight.

I listened to that audio file and now wonder if I've been hearing that same bird in my neighborhood in Atlanta.

We have tall Georgia pines nearby, as well as many other trees that house smaller birds and squirrels. So, I wonder if this type of hawk has been hunting over here.

John said...

I could very well be. Actually the Red-shouldered Hawk and the Red-tailed Hawk are similiar. You can go to the All About Birds link at the right and put in both hawk names in the search and then listen to the sounds of each. But the red shouldered one has a higher pitch and one sound right after another. They will start coming around more here as the weather starts to warm. I am looking forward to the other critters such as the aligator and snakes coming out. I will take close up photos of both. Thanks