Eastern Phoebe, Common Redpoll, but no Rough-legged Hawks at Great Swamp N.W.R, Jan. 1, 2013

Despite searching for most of the morning hours, Rough-legged Hawks were not found at the Great Swamp N.W.R. this morning. Two light-phase and one dark-phase Rough-legged Hawks were seen yesterday along Pleasant Plains Road.

The morning was noteworthy in other ways. An Eastern Phoebe was located in front of the overlook by Mike Almendinger. Three other observers were on it immediately. Later the Phoebe flew easterly in front of the birders. This individual, assuming it is the same one, has been in the area since mid-December.

Another remarkable sighting occurred at approximately 9:30 a.m. when Simon Lane observed two Short-eared Owls lift off of the marsh and fly into the distance. Simon also located three Common Redpolls in a field by the north gate. An adult Bald Eagle, Red-shouldered and Red-tailed Hawks, American Kestrel, Merlin and Northern Harrier round out the list of raptors viewed from the overlook today.

Winter Wren and a typical assortment of waterfowl was at the Friends Blind at the Wildlife Observation Center on Long Hill Road.

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