Rain, Northern Harriers and More Rain: October 26, 2021

After rainfall for most of yesterday, we had even more today and both Humber Bay walks were undertaken in soggy conditions.

I took some photos from the car beforehand:

10 am group:

1 pm group:


The afternoon group saw two Northern Harriers in the sky several times. This is a species that I have taken very few photos of.

Northern Harrier

Here is what Chris early says about them in Hawks and Owls:

Once called the Marsh Hawk, the Northern harrier is the only harrier found in North America. They have a distinctive hunting style that is well described by Thoreau (1856): “the marsh hawks flew in their irregular low tacking, wheeling, and circling flight, leisurely flapping and beating, now rising, now falling, in conformity with the contour of the ground.” This is the only North American hawk that has facial disks allowing it to locate prey by sound like owls can. So, by staying close to the ground, they are able to watch and listen effectively for prey.

95% of their diet consists of small mammals.

Some on-line photos:

Northern Harrier (photo: featheredphotography.com)
Northern harrier (photo:animalia.bio)
Northern Harrier (photo: featheredphotgraphy,com)

I also had rainy day at Humber Bay on May 5, 2017:

Great Egret

And another from February 21, 2018:

Here are some photos from Humber Bay on April 16, 2018:

Mute Swan
Canada Goose
Herring Gull with Rainbow Trout

With terrible driving conditions that day preventing other group members, I did the walk on my own:

NATURE POETRY

Bright yellow, red and orange,
The leaves come down in hosts;
The trees are Indian princes,
But soon they’ll turn to ghosts.             – William Allingham (1824–89)

Miles Hearn

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