January 10 was my liberation day. My sling came off and I began the slow and often painful progress towards free flight.
As a reward for my patience, it was a great day for seeing roadside raptors. In addition to the inevitable Red-tails, I saw my first unidentifiable accipiter sp? of the year. Some people actually have it on their official checklist that way, since 9 out of 10 times that’s the best ID you can get.
On one telephone line a nervous Kestrel swayed, then took flight, while a few miles on a larger heavier more stolid Merlin was undeterred by gravel trucks roaring past her hunting fields.
The day’s big surprise was a Harrier (Marsh Hawk) cruising the Corning Preserve. I have seen them down in Papscannee Preserve, no reason why one shouldn’t fly a few miles north.
Not a raptor but a welcome sight anyway was a Northern Mockingbird dashing into the viny scrub. It’s another oddball wintering bird that just doesn’t seem to fit in a snowy landscape.