The first two days of the new year have started out fantastic for birds! I woke up on new year’s day, to 7 Common Redpolls, mixed in with my regular yard birds. I consistently have both nuthatches, creepers, downy/hairy and red-bellied woodpeckers, cardinals, house/gold finches, doves and unfortunately House Sparrows. I tried taking pictures, through and open front window. I had to fight the heat waves though, which degrade image quality greatly. I’m going to need to find a way to setup a blind to sit in.
Today, January 2nd, I looked outside and saw at least 1 Common Redpoll. There were 40 or so birds, feeding on the ground and it’s tough to pick through them quickly, especially looking into the sun. Hopefully the redpolls stick around for the winter. I decided to get out of the house today and try to find some things. It was an awesome day for the “big” birds. I found 2 Long-eared Owls, 1 Barred Owl, 10 Red-tailed Hawks, including a western dark morph, 2 Northern Harriers, and 1 Rough-legged Hawk. Interestingly, I saw a Red-tailed Hawk grab a Herring Gull and get stuck in a tree with it. The hawk held onto it, upside down, until it was dead. It then let go and dropped down to the next branch. The gulls wings were spread and stuck between branches in the tree. I drove away and stopped back five minutes later and the hawk was still sitting there, so I’m not really sure what happened. I was able to get a few photos of the situation, but they were directly into the sunlight, over 500′ away. Hopefully everyone’s new year is off to a great start! Here are some of the photos from the last two days.