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Friday, November 23, 2007

Long-tailed Duck flock

Instead of shopping today, I did what every red-blooded American birder does with a day off of work--I headed out for at least a little while to see what birds may have come in with the cold front that blew through late yesterday. On Peace Valley at dusk, I had a flock of 13 Long-tailed Ducks. I don't think I've ever seen that many together--usually they come through in ones or twos. It was great to see them actively bathing, flying around, and interacting--very lively little ducks!

At the bird blind at Peace Valley, I was disappointed that there weren't more winter finches. One Black-capped Chickadee with the Carolina Chickadees, a female Purple Finch, and one Fox Sparrow were the highlights. Then all the little birds flushed up, and half a second later the Mourning Doves flew up, just as a Cooper's Hawk flew in low and fast and nailed one of the Mourning Doves that was a hair slower than its companions. The hawk killed the bird, leaving a pile of feathers under the feeders, then flew off carrying its quarry. Another fun taste of Wild America!

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