Crozet, VA, 1/3/16

All photos are Marshall Faintich

The unusally warm weather has moved out of the area, and we are back to near normal temperatures. It was bright and sunny today, and I wanted to see if any new birds had moved south with the cold front. I planned on going to Lickinghole Creek and Reservoir in Crozet.

On my way out of Stoney Creek, I stopped to photograph a Red-shouldered Hawk, and wondered if this hawk might be a harbinger for today's birding. It turned to be so, or well, sort of . . .


Red-shouldered Hawk


Red-shouldered Hawk

Birding was poor at Lickinghole - only 12 common, avian species, and the total number of birds I saw was fewer than 50.


Carolina Chickadee


Dark-eyed Junco

I stopped at Beaver Creek Reservoir, but saw only a few American Robins there. My next stop was at Old Trail, where I first checked on our new home lot - ground-breaking is supposed to be in two days, but there is a lot of work to be done getting the lot ready, so that date is doubtful. I headed over to the golf course pond and didn't see any birds there, but stopped on my way back to the car when a hawk landed in a nearby tree. "What the ??" It was a Harris's Hawk, a southwestern U.S. hawk that didn't belong anywhere near here. It took my brain about 10 seconds to understand what was happening.

I had met Kevin Markey a few times during the past two years, knew that he was a falconer who had a Harris's Hawk and lived in Crozet, and had heard that he often exercised his hawk at Old Trail. I didn't know that he had two of them, and a second Harris's Hawk appeared. Kevin signalled a call, and both hawks flew to his vehicle and perched on its roof.


Harris's Hawks


Harris's Hawk


Harris's Hawks


Harris's Hawks


Harris's Hawks

Being close up to these two hawks made my day. Otherwise, it would have been a poor outing.



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