07 December 2011

You Never Know ...

With bird watching, you never know what you'll see. Nature, being nature, is unpredictable. And, let's face it, she's a little cruel at times, too.

We didn't have much time to spend Sunday with Gabriel, my cousin. We decided to bird close to home, on an older residential street that's heavily wooded with large, usually birdy trees. We didn't see the migrants reported by others on the San Diego Birds List, but we had a lovely stroll. Then, as we were walking back to the car, we all heard a huge "thwoomp." But Gabe happened to be facing back the way we'd come, and alerted us to this.
This red-shouldered hawk made a giant thud when landing.
Then we saw this smallish hawk pick up his prey.
Heavy baggage!
We gasped as the drama unfolded just feet away. It seems as if the hawk had been perched nearby, just waiting for us to walk by the scene of his intended kill. When he had poked his head up from the brush, he might have been making sure we didn't mean to compete with him for the delicious rodent.

We weren't sure if the raptor could clear the ground clutching such a heavy prize in his talons.
Forgive the blurry shot, but Andy had only seconds to grab these. Will the hawk make lift-off?
We were still in awe as the hawk gained altitude.
Looks like he'll make it.
With relief, we saw it soar into a nearby tree for cover, and to enjoy a well-deserved meal.
Victory!
 I wonder how long it will last him?

May your week be full of serendipity and adventure, wherever you may find it.

4 comments:

Sue V said...

Tina, thanks for the post, great adventure! Andy, great shots! I love the last one. Is this a Coopers Hawk?

Anonymous said...

Great shots.

Tina Rathbone said...

Sue, I'm pretty sure this is a Red-shouldered hawk. The underbody is so distinctive. A nice bird.

Carol A. Babineau said...

What a fantastic opportunity! Such fun, thanks for the posting.