Yesterday I tried to get super close to a bigger-than-a-crow hawk that sat perched on my neighbor’s play set. Tawny,heavy brow, white lores around the very big, very curved beak, yellow legs, brown and tawny back, white chest, several black stripes in the white tipped tail.
It was not a Coopers, and not a Red-tail.
It just rested and looked around, up and down, barely paying me any mind as a skulked closer, with either camera or binoculars at my eye. The hawk let out a high pitched whistle, which I instantly recognized as that sound that had pulled me outside for the last month.
It let out another whistle as it unfolded its wings and drifted over the treetops. I raced into the house to examine my shots and ID the mystery raptor…only to notice that my card was still in the computer from last photo edit. Drat!!! Fortunately, trying to frame a good field ID photo had focused my attention enough on the hawk’s details that I could trip the empty-camera-card-slot-failure into a success.
I got really close to an immature Broad-wing Hawk!!!
And I ran out of time to weed before dinner prep. *snaps fingers* Shucks…
Just so we are clear…Gardening is merely the prompt to birding in my backyard. Binoculars, I have found, must accompany the trowel, or at least be a dash distance nearby, or I just procrastinate the dirt work. Even then, birds trump plants. Like yesterday…
Night temperatures fell past dew point, and this morning’s herb garden was bejeweled in water beads, leaving even weeds pretty. Yesterday’s chore had to be completed before the cilantro got crowded out by crabgrass and some mystery choker. Summer contact calls were music to weed by so out I went, binoculars, trowel, weed bucket. When I could distinctly see sage, oregano, cilantro seedlings, and thyme, I declared gardening done, and strolled around, glasses in hand, just in time to watch a mustached Northern Flicker and his partner send their sharp beaks between blades of dew-soaked grass. In the distance, an adult male Northern Cardinal fanned his feathers wide, and a pair of Mourning Doves fluttered in to join his hedgerow morning spa.
Gardening is a gateway chore to my passion. I relax, content.