Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Spring Fever

It is way too nice for the 12th of January. I spent my lunch in a short sleeved button down shirt, and was warm, standing still in the shade on a snowy trail. Snow will fall again soon enough, but today was so worth it.

There is a very mild bit of rodent steak visible at the end of this post - so little I hesitate to add a warning - but some are grossed out by the realities of nature - you have been over warned!

I headed to the South Boulder Creek Trail today and didn't ever make it far from the Bobolink trailhead. A male Belted Kingfisher posed for me above the bit of open water emerging from the overpass. Most of the creek is solid, but won't be for long if these temps remain mild.

After a few hundred yards of mostly quiet going I found the birds. It was springlike. I was in the midst of a group of finches, both House and Goldfinches, with a number of Juncos and the lone Downy Woodpecker (above) joining in for good measure.

All of the species were singing, and with the mild temps it was nice to just stop and watch them all busy moving about the underbrush. It truly was one of those days when playing hooky would have been all to welcome, but responsibility does tend to win out, and I left group to its own devices.

As I neared the parking lot on my return I was looking up to id a poorly lit flicker, when movement caught my eye from the next tree along. I found something enjoying a big old lunch!

This American Kestrel was more distant and naturally posed than the one that was so cooperative on Saturday. Fortunately, the feeding shots more than made up for the lack of clarity and harsh light. Kestrels are fairly common, and seeing them hunt and consume critters like grasshoppers and crickets is something I have been able to do in the past. I know that they also add small rodents such as mice and voles to their diet, but seeing this little guy consume a prey item that appears to be half its size was impressive.

Beware, in nature the colorful face that you note for its beauty one day may be the hunter, noted for its ferocity, the next.


  1. Nice shots! The Kestrel did very well for himself, didn't he!

  2. Howdee..
    Catching up on your blog as I have wifi tonight...
    looks like you are seeing allot of birds..Nice photos..
    see you in cyberspace!