Redpoll, Eagle and Me with No Camera: October 30, 2021

It’s been a rainy week. Five of my eight walks have taken place in wet or very wet conditions. This morning’s 8 am walk at Marie Curtis Park began in very windy, dark and drizzly conditions as you can see from this group photo which I took from the inside of my car.

Not wanting to use my camera in this weather, I left it in the car.

For the first part of the walk, we were blown about by strong wind gusts. Few birds were in sight. Eventually we made our way into the forest and I was prepared to chat about all of the resident Witch Hazel. Then, there it was, a very colourful small red-headed bird walking about on the ground very close to us. I reached for my camera – oh no – no camera. We all had the pleasure of its company for about 5 minutes as it poked about unconcerned by us.

This was a Common Redpoll, a five inch long bird which breeds in the far north but becomes very nomadic in the winter months. It was still there for the 11:30 walk but quickly fled. Here are some internet photos:

Common Redpoll (
Common Redpoll (photo:

As if this wasn’t enough, the birding gods smiled on us once again as we came across a Bald Eagle sitting high in a tree enjoying a luncheon of fresh squirrel. Sigh … still no camera.

Here are some internet photos:

A bald eagle lands on a frost-flocked ponderosa pine along Lake Coeur d’Alene’s Wolf Lodge Bay. Photo by Buck Domitrovich
Bald eagle (photo: digital collegian)
Bald Eagle (

For the 11:30 walk I took my camera in a plastic bag and got a few photos but not of Redpoll or Eagle.

We did have a murmuration (a large group) of Starlings:

European Starlings and Robin
European Starlings
European Starlings
European Starlings
European Starling
European Starlings

Other birds:

American Robins
Red-tailed Hawks
American Goldfinch
Red-tailed Hawks
American Goldfinch
American Goldfinch
American Goldfinch
American Robin
American Goldfinch

Park views:

Kite surfer
Kite surfers

Group photos:

8 am group at walk’s conclusion:

11:30 group:


Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft 
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft; 
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.      – John Keats (1795–1821)

Miles Hearn

3 thoughts on “Redpoll, Eagle and Me with No Camera: October 30, 2021

  1. Lisa Volkov

    Poor Miles! Does anyone who was on the 8:00 a.m. walk get bird pictures of these birds to post here? (This is an invitation, if anyone has anything.) I know people had “devices”…but being someone who doesn’t have anything but heavy binoculars (the Canadian Tire special), I don’t have a camera tripod leg to stand on when speaking of what anyone else has!
    I will, however, forever remember what we saw, even if I only managed to see the back end of that Bald Eagle before it flew away (others were luckier). Who would have ever imagined we would see ANY birds, given the conditions of wind and rain? Being there at all was a triumph. Nothing and no one is to blame here–but I feel for your chagrin, Miles!
    Thank you, anyway– for a wonderful walk, with some unexpected and terrific surprises! (And I love seeing fall colours in the rain–however unseasonably late–better late than never!)

  2. Lisa Volkov

    Ouch! I missed out being in the second first group photo (who knew?) by walking away from the parking lot in order to get to the bus. Joking–it’s perfectly OK!

  3. Pina

    Not having your camera made for an interesting post nonetheless.
    Grey, rainy, windy days make the pictures nice and moody.


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