Sunday, December 14, 2008

Skiing and Rough-legged Hawks

The snow finally arrived in Idaho, and in a big way. I have shoveled snow three times in the past two days! No complaints, it is long overdue.

Today Karyn and I decided to make a quick trip to McCall Idaho for the first cross country skiing of the year. Ponderosa State Park had one loop open. Since it is not yet very deep, they didn't groom it, just pulled a roller over it to flatten it out a bit. With a couple more inches on top of that, it was very, very soft. Kind of like skiing in mashed potatoes. It was skiing and that's what counts. As more people had skied over the trail, and we made more loops around, the trail conditions became more packed and a little easier. Regardless, it was a tough day that I will be feeling for the next few days. It's tough getting old!

On the way home Karyn spied a number of Rough-legged Hawks on fence posts near the road. These hawks are winter visitors to Idaho and are fairly predictably seen in this area. We turned off onto Warm Lake road where we have taken photos in the past. We counted at least five hawks in the first mile. The lighting wasn't the best for photos, but Karyn did get these shots of two different birds. I found the color differences interesting, but have been unable to find any significance in my reference books/sites. It was interesting to watch a dominant bird fly in to push the other off its perch.



We also saw 4 Bald Eagles on the way home. No photos this time.

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