Soggy Hawk

"I am smiling."

I digiscoped this photo of a young red-tailed hawk while driving around today. The morning was overcast but then rained for the rest of the afternoon. This bird was sitting in a tree on the side of the road. It's gotta be tough to hunt on the wing in the rain.

There was not much activity at the Carpenter banding station today. I was hoping for a warbler, but had to settle for shots of a red-winged blackbird instead.

Lots of people running around preparing for Saturday's Raptor Release that's happening at Carpenter Nature Center. If you aren't busy, this is a fun event. Word at the Raptor Center is that they are going to release four birds that have recovered from their injuries--one every hour. All the ed birds will be out and it's a great photo opportunity to photograph some raptors.

Check out the toes on the red-winged blackbird--look how long the claws are! Guess it's easy to see how they are able to latch on to reeds and sing their guts out.

I was driving around confirming driving directions for the Mississippi River Birding Guide and drove by a marsh on 140th street in Dakota County. It was mostly mud and a quick scan of the area revealed lots of shorebirds--tons of semi-palmated sandpipers. I digiscoped and digivideoed like crazy. Shorebird id is one of my weaker skills, so tonight I'm going to sit down with a dry martini and The Shorebird Guide and see if I can figure out all the shorebirds I saw.