I actually found 5!!! I started my morning at Green Cay Wetlands with the only real target bird being European Starling. I had intended to just enjoy a quiet day not chasing and when I met up with Linda I had already photographed the Starlings.
We hadn’t walked 20 feet and I noticed a Purple Martin flying overhead. Green Cay has 4 Martin houses and this is pretty much the time of the year they come back. There were a couple of males and at least one female already going into the boxes.
So now I’m thinking … great, I’ve got twice what I was expecting today. Little did I know I’d get 2 more really good species and also a lone flyover Fish Crow.
Linda and I had made our way into the Chickhee Hut woods and while looking for Warblers and such I spied a Raptor perched way in the back of the canopee. We discussed the possible candidates for a little bit and fortunately this guy perched for plenty of shots. Our consensus was that this is a Sharp-shinned Hawk due to the skinny legs, notched tail (visible in other shots) and the fact that the color on his head continues all the way down his neck. A Coopers Hawk shows a capped look and is a little bigger with a rounded tail. We watched him fly off and his flight pattern nailed the identity it for me.
We saw the Fish Crow next which was year bird # 119 and continued walking with a flyby Harrier and Black-crown Night Heron being nice sightings.
We had just exited the Cypress Woods when I noticed a Raptor soaring quite a distance away. I knew at first sight that it was not our normal Red-shouldered or Coopers. I yelled out Broad-winged and the Swainsons. It’s not a great picture but shows the diagnostic White stripe in the tail and the dark edgings to the wings. I had hope to see one of these during Fall migration and feel so blessed to see one now!
I can’t believe how fortunate I was today and it made it even better that I got to share it with Linda. Linda has a list for Green Cay that is pushing 160 or so and the Broad-winged may have been a new one for GC.
You can view pictures of all the birds I’ve photographed this year so far here.