Dark morph Rough-legged Hawk

After two quite crappy days, weather wise, today was bright but blustery. I had hoped that some of the Snowy Owls might get a bit braver by now but no, just a single bird today- tucked tight up to a pile of rocks out of the wind. Elsewhere a dark morph Rough-legged Hawk watched for Lemmings from a bush top, no Lemmings around here though. The dark morph (sounds like a Star Wars character) is less regular than the ‘typical’ white headed, white rumped version although I see a few every year. I watched the bird for a while as a couple of American Tree Sparrows buzzed it but it did not seem to notice them. Something in the ploughed field kept attractings it’s attention and it repeatedly launched from its perch and did a few hovers showing off the silvery underwing and black looking underwing coverts, I’ve yet to see an illustration that does this feature justice.

St-Lazare sand pits are once again ice free but I fear that it is only a short lived thing and that the ice will come back over the weekend, -9 is expected with a nippy wind chill to send us reaching for the thicker coats.

Below a record shot of the Rough-legged Hawk, taken through the scope at about 130m in the howling gale that always seems to be present in the open farm fields.