Saturday, 22 December 2012

Kind of a Rough Day

It was one of those days.  I was late getting out the door this morning, barely made it to the Amherst Island Ferry on time, nearly got my car stuck in a rut on the side of the road, got lost in Owl Woods, and would still be there if not for having marked my parking spot on my GPS.  I also ran out of gas on my way back to Toronto, after a brief side trip to see if I could find the Western Tanager that was in an Oshawa Park.  Didn't.

I did have a brief look at a Barred Owl in Owl Woods, but spent the better part of three hours driving the roads in search of one of four Rough-legged Hawks that had been seen on the island in the last week.  Finally, with half an hour before I needed to get to the ferry docks, I found a hawk in a tree out in a field.  I had time to check it out with my binoculars and establish it was one of the Rough-legged Hawks, and then went to grab one of the cameras I brought with me to record the momentous event.

The first one I grabbed, our Canon with the 35x zoom lens that would have taken a good photo at that distance,  had a dead battery.  My Sony zoom lens wasn't long enough to get any kind of photo at that distance, and the sun was almost exactly behind the bird anyway.  Plan C: I grabbed my scope, and would get a digiscope shot with my iPhone.  Alas, before I even had the tripod set up the bird flew.

So, all in all, it was a rough day.  But in a good way.  I'll trade being lost in the woods and running out of gas for a Rough-legged Hawk any day of the year.  Especially when the days of the year are running down to a precious few.  591 birds down, 9 to go for 600 with only 9 days remaining in the year.  At this point 600 would be gravy.  With family get-togethers over the next two days, I will have to run full steam afterwards, until the sun sets on New Year's Eve.

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