Saturday, February 9, 2008

Wintering Hawks, Eagles, Owls - Corbin City Roughlegs and Eagles

This morning our CMBO workshop birded the Corbin City section of Tuckahoe WMA (treated on pages 326-328 of Birds and Birding at Cape May, by Clay and Pat Sutton), intent on finding Rough-legged Hawk, and we did. Scanning towards the Beeseley's Point power plant, we picked up a dark morph Rough-legged, hunting and perched, for distant but very good views. We had seen another dark-morph earlier a bit farther south earlier, and this could have been the same bird. It should be noted that, expecially with the overcast, the new Kowa 88mm spotting scope was absolutely killer, markedly brighter than the arsenal of other scopes we had along.

The rough-leggeds were great (and we also saw a light-morph, very distant), but the best show was the adutl Bald Eagle that relentlessly pursued an adult male Northern Harrier. We couldn't figure out why, but eventually we saw the harrier release some sort of prey item, which the eagle recovered. That was a first - a Bald Eagle pirating from a harrier,

The Corbin City impoundments hosted good numbers of waterfowl, especially Green-winged Teal, Pintails, Hooded Mergansers, and Common Mergansers.

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