I posted yesterday about the terrible weather we’ve been having in the Texas Panhandle and then today was one of those rare, still days we enjoy so much. I left the house early this morning and headed to Spring Canyon, but there was still nothing except a few Lesser Scaups, a couple dozen White-crowned Sparrows and 30-40 Red-winged Blackbirds. There’s nothing wrong with these birds and I always enjoy seeing them, but I’ve dozens, if not scores, of photos of them already and wanted something new to photograph, so I decided to make the hour-long drive to Palo Duro Reservoir in Hansford County. It was a good decision.
This is a Ferruginous Hawk (light morph), it’s not an unusual hawk for this part of the country, but it is the first one I’ve seen. Species number 157 on my life list.
These are Mountain Bluebirds, again, not unusual for the Panhandle in the winter, but my first sighting. Species 158.
Fifteen of the birds on my life list were sighted on our trip to Aransas NWR last winter (we saw a lot more but I’ve seen them here also,) the rest were in the Panhandle. Before I started birding 18 months ago, I would have bet money that there weren’t anywhere near that many species of birds around here. And that’s probably less than half the birds that can be seen in the panhandle if you include the rarities that might wonder out of their range.
This eagle pair was at Palo Duro also. I might have pee’d a little when he looked at me like this.
As I was getting the eagle pics ready to post I came across these photos of a Bald Eagle that was having trouble staying on a tree branch during the horrible winds last week. I had meant to post them in yesterdays post, but forgot.
Can you imagine scratching an itch with those talons?