Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Beckham Bird Club Field Trip

Last Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012 The Beckham Bird Club took its annual trip to the road behind Bernheim Forest along Wilson Creek, to look for Bald and Golden Eagles. It is an area to where the Eagles migrate in the winter. Our leader of the trip, Eddie Huber, mentioned that they did not see any Golden Eagles on the Christmas Bird count this year, so we weren’t sure if we would get to see them. Maybe all the extra warm weather across the country delayed their trip just a bit, but fortunately, they had arrived in Kentucky!

Our first view was 2 Golden Eagles sitting in a tree way up on the ridge. Thanks to Mary for her own “eagle eye” in spotting them! As soon as we stopped, one of them flew away. Luckily, the other one stayed long enough for some of the members to get their spotting scopes set up. With the scopes, we got a really nice look at him.

Golden Eagle

This one took off after a few minutes, but reappeared about ten minutes later. He perched again in a tree, a little closer, then took to the sky soaring for several minutes allowing us to enjoy his splendor!

Golden Eagle
Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle
Golden Eagle

Later, after we moved on from the area where we had been observing the Eagles, a Juvenile Golden Eagle (notice the white patches under his wings, indicating a juvenile) flew over us, allowing us one last glimpse!

Juvenile Golden Eagle
Juvenile Golden Eagle

We had many other highlights from the trip!

These Common Snipes were spotted by Mary & Ben. There were quite a few of them hunkered down in the frosty grass! This was my first sighting of a Common Snipe! They are really cool looking birds. You have to look really close but there are about 4 or 5 of them here!

Common Snipe

It was a very cold morning, so frost was covering everything. I liked the way the light was hitting this little patch of frozen water and grass!

Frosty morning grass and ice

We came upon several flocks of Robins as well as other song birds eating berries!

American Robin eating berries
American Robin

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler

Hay bale covered with frost
Hay bale covered with morning frost

This beautiful Red-tailed Hawk flew up pretty close to where we had just pulled off to look for song birds.
Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk

This little Killdeer was in the frosty grass near the Distillery Lake!

Killdeer seen near the Distillery Lake in Boston, KY
It was an awesome field trip! Although, I was lucky enough to see 2 Golden Eagles on my trip out west last summer, I had never gotten to see them in Kentucky. They are usually western and northern birds, so we would only get to see them here in the winter during migration!

I didn't want to post too many pictures, so if you are interested in seeing more, you can check out the gallery I posted on smugmug by clicking here.
Also, you might want to check out the Beckham Bird club website. They have field trips almost every weekend year round, led by some of the best birders in the Louisville area! You can really learn a lot from these guys and gals!


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