Monday, June 22, 2009

The Holy Grail of Mountain Birds - Watery Wednesday

The last three days of birding in the Bighorn Mountains have been the best birding I have had this summer. I camped in the middle of the forest to be close to a transect that I had to do the next day and the transect turned out to be great. I heard a woodpecker drumming and it didn't sound right for any of the common woodpeckers so I tried to find it. Luckily, I was successful and was able to watch my first Three-toed Woodpecker for the next five minutes. I also found a Red-tailed Hawk nest, a Pine Grosbeak, and a few Cassin's Finch.

As always when I am out photographing I have my binoculars and am always on the lookout for birds. I didn't have many more birds to hope for in the Bighorns but you never know what you will run into when hiking in the mountains. I had set up to photograph the sunset next to a meadow creek. When I looked up from my camera I saw a hawk coming in over the trees. My first thought was Northern Goshawk but I have been trying to make every hawk I see into a Goshawk so I had to get my bins on him to believe myself. He banked over the trees and started heading the other way. The views of his grey back, pale underside, and huge size made it an easy id but a very exciting 20 seconds. He soon moved back into the trees and disappeared from view. (I consider the Gos to be the holy grail of mountain birds.)

I saw the Gos over the trees across this creek.

17 comments:

Dagrun said...

That must have been a really exciting 20 seconds, I can imagine. A beautiful place!

mick said...

Great birding moment and beautiful scenery.

Maggie May said...

Beautiful scenery and not a bird in sight! Or is it my eyes........!

ewok1993 said...

Oh that is beautiful sight. It must have been great to go on birding trips.

James said...

Simply beautiful.

J Bar said...

Great scenery.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Island Rambles Blog said...

This is my first watery post and I am excited to visit all these wonderful watery places. Your photo is really nice but would love to see the Goshawk...great place for birding.

bettyl said...

Thanks for taking us along on your adventure! Great story and photo.

BPOTW said...

What a great time you must have had!

Kelly said...

...congrats on another life bird!

Arija said...

Nice shot and a great thrill for you.

diane said...

Love the texture shown in the water. Can't see the bird. What an interesting hobby.

Regina said...

Beautiful place. Thanks for sharing.

srp said...

What a smooth quiet creek! Wonderful scenery here and with the sounds in the woods... so restful too.

Tammie Lee said...

hello Nutty Birder,

sounds as though you had a wonderful time, yea. Lovely photo.

Kerri said...

Very pretty! And I checked out your new site too!!

Eric(NL) said...

Wow, this is great, very nice reflections here, great skywatch post

Have a nice SWF