Wasatch Hollow Nature Preserve and Open Space January 18, 19, 20 – Journal

Wasatch Hollow Nature Preserve and Open Space
January 18, 19, 20 – Journal

Since the winter solstice (Dec. 2019), the nature area has experienced a gain of about 30 minutes in additional sunlight (day length = approx.9 hours 41 minutes) with sunrise at 7:47 am and sunset at 5:28 pm and at noon the sun is at an approximate 29 degree angle in the southern sky – rising higher each day.

Today (Sunday) the temperature reached about 40 degrees and it felt like a cool early March day given the bright sun (no clouds) – and with these conditions, I could sense that the birds would be out in the early afternoon.

As soon as I entered the nature preserve, I observed a Red-tailed Hawk flying slowly over the open space area (to the north) and it was just about 20 feet above the tree-line. The Red-tailed Hawk landed on the top of a telephone pole and as I walked up to get better images, if flew off further into the open space area. I have some images of the Hawk launching from the top of the pole, but I would not use these for posting for Research Grade, but rather as images for observations purposes. It was good to see the Red-tailed Hawk again after the winter conditions in the past few days.

After going through the gate and into the Nature Preserve and toward the Open Space area, I observed an Accipiter (genus) Hawk on a branch in large tree near the creek - but it was also overhanging the trail underneath. I think it was a Cooper’s Hawk (COHA) – given the characteristics versus a Sharp-shinned Hawk (SSHA) and given my capacity to observe the front and back of the COHA as I walked along the trail. I was fortunate to gather several images of the Hawk perching and in flight and yet – I was still not happy with the results, but this is the downside of the 2x “telephoto” on an iPhone camera. I think the Hawk is a male (smaller size) Cooper’s (COHA) and it hangs around this area frequently (depending on the weather). It flew away – but (not) surprisingly, on the way back (the round trip on the trail in the open space – about 40 minutes later) – the COHA was back! On the same limb – the same branch on the tree!

Going further into the Open Space – (the first loop), I was able to observe the usual suspects of birds: Northern Flicker (4 different birds); Woodhouse Scrub Jay; Juncos; Chickadees; Magpies. I saw a few Fox Squirrels, but they were further away on distant trees outside of the open space boundaries.

On the way back from the second loop (farthest from the entrance and at the north end), I stopped to observe Magpies go into their “gang” mode; that is many were flocking into on tree on the other side of the creek (east). I knew something was up…because when they do this…it can also mean (based on past observations) they are challenging (as a group) a bird of prey in the area.

I heard the bird of prey before I saw it. On my left, I hear a series of high pitched screeches, and then a hawk (or falcon ?) zoomed overhead, about 10 feet above my head, just above the tree line – going from my left to right without one wingbeat – it was gliding in FAST and over to another tree on the westside of the open space (or southeast facing slope). And then the gang of Magpies (about 10 or so) follow and land in a tree right next to the Hawk/Falcon.

This hawk had to be a small Sharp-shinned Hawk (SSHA) or a Falcon given the smaller size and compact look…I have a few images of the Hawk flying overhead, but I was lucky even to get those at all…this bird moved very fast. The Hawk then flew over into the center of the Magpies and circled up and out (to me it seemed an act of aggression or defiance against the Magpies) and then the Hawk flew off – heading north. And a few Magpies followed….

In summary, a very active weekend for birds and observations. Two kinds of Hawks – possibly three (RTHA, COHA, and a SSHA) although I am not sure about the third one – falcon or SSHA?

פורסם על-ידי hawksthree hawksthree, ינואר 20, 2020 01:26 אחה"צ

תצפיות

תמונות/קולות

מה

עקב אדום-זנב (Buteo jamaicensis)

מתצפת/ת

hawksthree

תאריך

ינואר 19, 2020 01:09 PM MST

תיאור

a Red-Tailed Hawk launching from a telephone/utility pole; this Hawk is a regular in the area -usually arriving between noon and 1:30 pm - on most days with decent weather. Images are not the best - but I note it as an observation with high validity, but perhaps difficult for the iNaturalist community to corroborate with ID.

Journal notes:
https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/hawksthree/30225-wasatch-hollow-nature-preserve-and-open-space-january-18-19-20-journal

תמונות/קולות

מתצפת/ת

hawksthree

תאריך

ינואר 19, 2020 01:22 PM MST

תיאור

at the top of the utility pole

תמונות/קולות

מתצפת/ת

hawksthree

תאריך

ינואר 19, 2020 01:43 PM MST

תיאור

a series of photo images capturing an Accipiter Hawk (I am very sure a COHA, but if I were an iNatter making the call, I would stay at Genus level, given the lack of close up images on head and nape etc.). This Hawk flew off - and returned later to the same tree branch on my return hike back out...and then flew off again.
Journal notes:
https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/hawksthree/30225-wasatch-hollow-nature-preserve-and-open-space-january-18-19-20-journal

תמונות/קולות

מתצפת/ת

hawksthree

תאריך

ינואר 19, 2020 01:33 PM MST

תיאור

Fast moving - no wingbeat - small (falcon-like) - and being chased by Magpies. I wanted to go with SSHA on this one - but could even go into Falco (Genus) perhaps...it was moving too fast and landed in a tree with Magpies in pursuit. see Journal notes for details:
https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/hawksthree/30225-wasatch-hollow-nature-preserve-and-open-space-january-18-19-20-journal

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