Monday, February 9, 2009

Looking for Crossbills Again

I took my dog to the dogpark again, and I brought my camera along. It was my secret hope that I would get some pictures of the crossbills I saw a couple of weeks ago.

On the way, I looked up, and just over my head was a fast moving hawk. I tried to get a shot of it, but my lens would not cooperate. It was a beautiful and sunny day. The lens was set on automatic, and it just wouldn't focus. By the time, I switched to manual, the hawk was quite a ways over my head. It seemed to be trying to catch itself a pigeon.

The pigeons eluded the hawk beautifully. They just swooped around and around in a large circle, and I think this confused the hawk. I don't think it managed to get any of them. I found out later, when looking at my photographs that it was a Coopers Hawk.

I continued my walk over to the dogpark, and let my dog off the lead. I waited for what seemed to be a very long time. I didn't see anything. After, what semed to be half-an-hour, I heard some birds communicating with each other when a large German Shepherd came into the park.

About half a dozen juncoes materialized from the jack pines. They let me photograph them; which was wonderful. However, my pictures were all blurry. The only shots of them in focus where when they looked away, or when they were obscured in some way. Aaargh!

When I got home, I took the garbage out through the backyard. Some starlings, and some small dark birds landed in the lilac tree in my garden. I couldn't figure out what these birds were. They looked like mini starlings; they were so dark. However, the bill shapes were not right.

These little birds started to preen themselves, and their appearance started to change. It turns out, that they were House Sparrows. My husband thinks they must have been bathing in a dirty puddle, or something. Or a chimney flue, I thought, from the looks of them.

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