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Flint Hills of Kansas.
Spring migration has only just begun here in the Flint Hills. There are yet very few trees that even have ideas about sprouting leaves. But that’s all good as it makes the raptors more visible. I am very excited that there are still Harriers here. I’m hoping they decide to nest in this area. This year is the first I’ve seen them here this late into spring. Here are a few of my latest Harrier shots. They all hold up to a certain amount of ZOOM pretty well.
Once the leaves pop I’ll have a much more difficult time seeing into the Red Tail nests I am monitoring.
At the time of this writing the burn season is still underway, but nearing it’s end. Yesterday I saw 18 hawks, nearly all Swainsons, floating over a single burning field. They will soon be moving on to areas farther north.
While migrating species have been few to this point, I have seen a couple of friends from last year returning to my area. That warms my heart.
But in what might turn out to be my biggest thrill of this year was the appearance this past weekend right here on the ranch of an OSPREY! I had never seen an Osprey since I’ve been in Kansas, so I am elated to a high level over it.
I was getting ready to open the gate to go out on my birding run Sunday when I saw an unusual bird sitting on the power pole up at the upper barn. Instead of opening the gate I dove back into the little truck to grab my camera!!!! Sure glad I did, because the Osprey lifted off and flew right at me! That would be a terrible time for a fight with your camera, huh? By the time I finally got everything ready it was right over my head.
I went on about my business and made my circle route from Wagon Trail West. I ran into some Swainsons hawks again.
I was within a mile from home when I notice a duck I thought looked a little different swimming with a pair of Canadians in my neighbor’s small farm pond beside the road.
When I got home over three hours after leaving, there was the Osprey perched on an old power pole just south of my upper gate. That is the perched photo that began this series above. After I came back through the gate I stopped to get whatever pics I could before he took off again. I didn’t have long to wait. Don’t neglect to examine the SERIOUS daggers on the end of this guy’s toes, and the amazing leggings he sports.
The next photo I took is what you see as the lead photo for this diary, and here is the last glimpse I got of this magnificent bird on that day.
I’m hoping this isn’t the last I see of this beautiful bird, but I haven’t seen it again yet. So it is at least the end of today’s story! Now, back out into the fields to find another story for another day. After all, Spring Migration is just getting started.
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