I went on the Cincinnati Western Hamilton County Christmas Bird count today. Although it was the first time for me, the Western Hamilton County CBC is in its 46th year. I'm so glad I went. I had a lot of fun and met several new birding friends! I was also introduced to west-side cuisine at the Sunshine Cafe during our lunch break--yum, I loved it! Highlights for me were Rusty Blackbirds, a Northern Harrier, and right at the end, in the glowing light of the fading sun, an immature American Bald Eagle...yeah!
A flock of about 20 Rusty Blackbirds was in the woods along the Great Miami River off 128 near the soccer fields.
I dig those rusty heads and bright eyes! I've never seen Rusties on the Little Miami river close to where I live. I'm going to have to look a little harder. They are really cool birds...
I was on the team with Paul, Joe and Judy. Paul just emailed me that the final tally was 87 species, 1 short of the record of 88. I had to leave before the tally to watch Rick and Matty play in a hockey tourney. Next year I'm staying for the tally. It sounds fun!
Two American Black Ducks flying past, their blue wing patches flashing brightly. (If you think the quality of this photo is bad, wait until you see what's coming...)
...a most excellent shot of a Northern Harrier. You can SORT-OF see his owlish face...and just a hint of his white rump feathers.
Thanks Paul, Joe and Judy for taking me along with you! I had a wonderful time! Next year I'm going to learn how to digiscope for these long-distance shots...