(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