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That’s Not a Red-tail!

So there we were Saturday morning, happily cruising along a Haskell County road when perched atop a double utility pole was a hawk-like shape:

PRFA

“Stop the car!” “That’s not a Red-tail!” Screech! Everyone grabs their bins and sees:

PRFA

“Oh, Wow!” We gotta get the scope on this one!”

PRFA

A Prairie Falcon! A life bird for Dan and only the third sighting for me! Looks sorta like a Peregrine, doesn’t it? But the sandy-brown color and that area of dark on its flanks (sides) along with the white behind the eye is diagnostic. We take a few minutes to admire this little (16″) falcon of open grasslands and quickly get our cameras on it. Heidi’s digiscoped image wins hands down against my itty-bitty 400mm zoom lens. Before our admiration expires, however, it takes off and flies farther away from us, leaving us too soon.

“What a great find!” “This will be the birding highlight of our trip!” But what we saw next redefined highlight:

Geese

We watched with our mouths open as thousands and thousands of geese settled on top of a local lake. Every geese that came in for a landing had to announce that he was about to land so make room! By the time they all landed, Dan shot some great video and there was a little empty patch of blue water left.

Yes! We are planning another field trip to this area to give all a chance to see this marvel of nature. Watch for upcoming announcements. To view what other species of birds we saw, please see our November 1, 2008 list.

One Response to “That’s Not a Red-tail!”

  1. Big Country Audubon Society » January 17, 2009 - Haskell County Field Trip Says:

    [...] to Haskell County was attended by Carolyn Wiggins, Charline Wheeler, Linda Beyer and Dan Symonds.  Winchester Lake, where we had captured the awesome video for the membership meeting in November, was dry. However, [...]