Cabin fever finally got to me yesterday! I could no longer stand being in the house---snow or no snow. So we decided to take a wintery birding drive through one of our favorite birding locales that we call the PHOENIX MINES. There have been short-eared owls over there for the past several years so I always have to go and see them...if not for me, for my dad. This bird held a special place in his last year of life. It was the highlight of his day through the winter months. He would get to go on a drive and through the mines that was the bird he looked for and was always so thrilled to see one or ten! So out we went. I took a few pictures of the winter landscape. Even though I am not much of a cold weather person, it did look pretty!
I was not lucky enough on this day to see the short-eared owls. SO another drive will follow. I know they are there. My sister has been seeing them out there. They are a daily highlight for her also. They vary their fields from year to year. I guess following the food source.
The highlight of todays birding was a Loggerhead Shrike. We regularly see the shrikes in this mining area. We used to be able to go right to their nesting tree along the roadside. We have shown many a birder their lifer loggerhead shrike here. But someone could not stand this lone cedar tree along this fence row and had to spray and kill it! I do not understand the purpose since now all that is there is the dead skeleton of a tree! The tree is STILL there! I do not see that they accomplished much except destroy life and beauty! So since then our loggereheads come in various places in the area.
Other birds for this foray included: bald eagle, northern harrier, red-tailed hawk, american kestrel, canada geese, mallard, red-headed woodpecker, flicker, eastern meadowlark, red-winged blackbirds (which were o-kee-reeing!), rusty blackbirds, brown headed cowbirds, european starling, mourning dove, american tree sparrow, song sparrow, junco, cardinal, and blue jay.
Hearing the red-winged blackbirds was glorious to say the least! To me it sounds like spring!