Odds and ends.

No bird quizzes this time around, don't worry.  But if you're in the mood for one I know there's a good one here.   In case you have not heard, the answer to my bird quiz was Barn Owl, subspecies Murder.  My friend and I were not expecting to find it and so when it flew at our faces I seriously ran from it.  Oh well, still a fun time.  And we found lots of owl pellets, little bones, and a dead jay...

Now let's back up to last Friday.  I had a bunch of stuff to do after work, but the weather had turned rather pleasant.  So I decided to head out and look for the Palm Warbler near Force Lake.  I walked the dogs along the fenceline where the bird had been seen, not seeing much of anything.  When I got to the sharp turn in the road I found Rhett, doing exactly what you would imagine he would be doing:  looking at an owl.

This was my first owl of 2013- pretty neato.  Near the owl I finally got my Dwight Porter lifer, and was glad to see he was not just Rhett's imaginary friend.  They offered to help me find the warbler which had made its way into the dog park and wetlands area.  Despite their efforts we never found it, but we did find a nice Red-shouldered Hawk:

I kept looking after they left but only came up with a slate-colored junco...

The sunset was pleasant...

Yesterday morning was kind of gross- misty and rainy and dark.  But I had to tire the mutts so we headed out to Steigerwald Lake NWR to walk the dike trail.   The best birds were the Bald Eagles-  I saw four or five and all rather close.  The rain/wind/dark didn't make for the best photos though...

The other usual birds were out like Red-tailed Hawks, harriers, and kestrels..

And lastly, I am pretty sure I take this picture every time I visit Steigerwald, but here it is again...

Good times! 


  1. When I saw your IG photo I was curious to find out the state of the trails after the fire last fall. I forgot that you usually walk the dike. Any idea if the trails are open? I always think of Steigerwald as a "summer place" since I'm a fair weather birder. No Osprey this time of year! I'll look forward to a blog post on pellet dissection.

    1. Hmm good question. The FWS website says the refuge is closed but the trail that leads in from the dike trail was open, or at least appeared to be. Yes, much pellet dissection in my future.

  2. Great post, Jen! I love the owl shot! The owl pellet is a neat find. Love the eagles and the Juncos. The Kestrel is a cool bird, always great to see. Happy Birding!

  3. Great OWL shot...when I worked at the Bird of Prey center...one of our great horned owls used to pinch off the tails of the mice before he did the whole swallow...Some others pinched off the heads...yuk.
    Have fun going thru that.....:}~


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