Tuesday, February 28, 2012
February 19 - Raptor Sweep - Halifax/Middleborough/South Boston
Several participants were treated to close, but brief views of a Cooper's Hawk as it winged by at eye level. The group then headed up the main road to the old manure pit area to get a more expansive view of the main field. Two or three Northern Harriers were spotted low over the fields exhibiting their typical coursing hunting behavior, relying on a combination of sight and hearing (more so than in other hawk species). We had nice looks at an adult male N. Harrier, aka "Gray Ghost" (always a crowd favorite with it's black, white, and gray plumage). This Harrier then flushed a Sharp-shinned Hawk off of a tree at fairly close range.
Next the group was able to get on a Rough-legged Hawk (light morph) perched on a distant tree. On our way out of the manure pit area there was a large flock of Blackbirds on one of the trees. The majority were Red-winged Blackbirds with several E. Starlings and about 30 Brown-headed Cowbirds.
We then headed over to the fields on Fuller St. and had a Rough-legged Hawk in the air showing it's typical hovering hunting style. The other highlight here was that all Canada Geese, Mallards, & Am. Black Ducks suddenly flushed and among them were a pair of Northern Pintails and an American Wigeon. Here is our complete list: