After a short scan of Duck Lake, I noticed a large raptor heading my way and was ecstatic to discover it to be an Osprey! It flew off over to the Sawhill side and I was in hot pursuit. After a few yards, though, the calls of some American Goldfinches stopped me in my tracks and I paused to admire these beautiful birds. After a brief pause in my chase, I was back after the Osprey. I soon spotted it and another flying over one of the Sawhill ponds. About halfway to the pond I suddenly felt all the weight disappear from around my neck, and I looked down just in time to see my binocs hit the trail. Somehow the strap came undone but no damage was done. I picked them up and in no time flat came to the edge of the pond and was viewing two outstanding raptors. I was able to get some decent pictures and some good video, and at one point one of the Osprey flew over me by only 20-ish feet, one of my all time favorite moments of birding. They continued to circle about, though back on the Walden side, for about 5 minutes before heading off. I then decided to head back to Cottonwood Marsh and see if I couldn't tease out some different waterfowl. Along the trail back, a flock of American Goldfinches flew in affording great views. I paused to watch some Red-winged Blackbirds in a tree and noticed one to be crawling headfirst down a branch(not kidding), which surprised me as I never thought they would be able to pull off such a feet. A Song Sparrow soon came hopping through the reeds just a few feet in front of me, offering up the best views I've ever seen of this bird. Scanning the marsh, my heart skipped a beat as I saw a wader standing with it's bill pointed to the sky. A quick look revealed it to be a Great Blue Heron, and my hopes of it being a bittern were smashed. Back at Cottonwood Marsh, I met up with a wonderful lady who was just getting into birding. My dad stopped by about this time and the three of us had a blast discussing birding and looking at the birds on the lake. I picked up Belted Kingfisher, Horned Grebe and Blue-winged Teal for my year list, bringing me up to 71 on the year.
But...the birding didn't stop there. On break at work at about 9:15, I saw a Short-eared Owl fly by, bringing my month list up to 59 birds. Only three days left to March...can I hit 60? Stay tuned!
A pair of Wigeons.
A pair of Bufflehead.
One of numerous Red-winged Blackbirds.
American Goldfinch! One of the most beautiful birds.
A Robin checking me out while I'm checking him out.
There he is.