Sunday, December 23, 2012


Rain or shine I was determined to go birding.  A huge flotilla of ducks was floating peacefully on the bay.  Brant Goose, Blue winged Teal, and the largest flock of Dowitcher I had ever seen were in the vicinity of the Baywood Pier. (photo - rainy Baywood)

Next phase of birding in the rain - Turri Road.  Northern Shoveler were feeding in the ponds.  Say's Phoebe and two American Kestrel were perched on fence posts, a few White-crowned Sparrow, and a flock of Lark Sparrow were in a recently plowed field.  Overall, very quiet and peaceful - a beautiful ride.

 Wishing for a bit more excitement, my thoughts turned to the nearby Sea Pines Golf Course where I had recently seen two species of goose. On the edge of the golf course I found a swarm of American Coot investigating ponds that were forming from water draining off the grass. The dips in the road were several inches deep, allowing the Coots to swim.

 I was marveling at the opportunistic nature of birds when a Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk swooped in. With deadly talons extended, the Hawk snatched up a coot and settled down by the fence to eat his/her meal (photo).  The close presence of the Hawk caused the Coots to close ranks (defensive positioning). They nearly flooded the street with their presence, causing sensitive motorists to take a different route.  The Hawk, intent on consuming its tasty meal, allowed me the opportunity to take photos through the chain link fence. Never let a little rain dampen your birding spirit. Additional Hawk photos may be seen on

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