Saturday, December 13, 2008

Alice And The Amazing Hawk

Here it is! This is the last thing Alice and I saw on our magical hiking adventure. I don't usually take so long getting through only one day of an everyday adventure, but as many of you already know, this was a special and wondrous day. We saw some remarkable things, and this might be the best.

It happened just after I stopped Alice from her attempt to roll down the hill, and resume her chase of the rabbit she saw last summer. I was tired and ready to leave for home. We were very close to the front of this huge nature park, and I didn't expect to see anything more. Boy, was I wrong!

As we walked around to the front of the nature center building, the parking lot was almost in view. Alice suddenly pointed up to a very high spot in one of the tall trees we were moving towards. She said, "Look, there's something moving up there!" I looked around everywhere, but I had to tell her that I didn't see what she was talking about.

She said there was something white, high up in one of the trees. I still couldn't find it, so she had to give me a few specific directions, and I finally saw it. It was a hawk! This was an amazing sight! This is the very first time I have ever seen one of these big birds.

Alice really found something special this time. How does she do it? It took me so long to see this bird, but she saw it right away. It was almost as if the hawk appeared there so she wouldn't have to leave yet. I'm not sure if I can describe how excited I was to see this beautiful creature.

It was very far up in the tree. It was so far up that it was very difficult to see for both of us. Luckily the view screen of the camera could zoom in like a telescope. I saw it there, and told Alice what I was seeing. She knew I was excited about it, but I don't think she understands yet what a great thing she found.

I told her what a great thing she did. That's when she insisted that I let everyone know that she was there, and that she was the one that found the hawk. She was now very pleased with herself, and rightly so. Not only did she prolong our stay at the park, but she also spotted this majestic bird.

I did some research later on about this hawk, so I now believe that it specifically is called a Red-Tailed Hawk (Buteo Jamaicensis). I may be wrong about this information, but I couldn't find another bird that looked quite like this one. The descriptions I've read seem to fit the description of this bird very well. I know that there is at least one of you readers that might be able to figure this out very easily.

Seeing the gaze of this bird firsthand was simply amazing. The look in it's eyes could scare even the bravest creature. These birds look like the great predators that they are. This one was perched up there in the tree scanning the area around it, possibly looking for new prey. I'm sure it saw us easier than we saw it.

I told Alice several times that it was time to leave, but I kept taking more photos. I couldn't stop myself. This was a great opportunity, and I was completely fascinated. All I could seem to do was take more pictures, and tell Alice what a wonderful thing we were seeing. We must have stood there like that for ten minutes watching that bird.

Finally, after my inability to stop taking pictures and walk away, the hawk decided for us. It suddenly leapt into the air and flew away. I got one photo just as it spread it's wings and began it's flight. After that, I was too slow, as usual. This last photo isn't a very good one, but it captures the beginning of the flight, which is the important thing.

The departure of this wonderful hawk also marks the departure of our wonderful little Alice. I'll sadly have to continue my adventures alone for awhile. Alice has gone back home, and what we have left are these stories of our little adventure in Wonderland.

There are more adventures to come for me, and I'm sure Alice will return from time to time. It will now be time to catch up on some of my everyday adventures since that day, and the journeys yet to come. I hope all of you enjoyed this chronicle of that day with my little friend Alice. I'll be back tomorrow with an all new adventure.

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  1. Hey..Great birds that you found. Well done Alice and you too Ratty for captured nice photos of this birds of prey.

    I still remember during our birds survey last year and this year. We spot quite a few different species of hawks and eagle but it is really difficult for me to identify them. But the most exciting one is when we saw a pair of Bat Hawks (Macheiramphus alcinus) and as it's name it is specialized in hunting bats.

    Keep on continuing your adventure and looking forward for your new adventure, even though your little magical friend, Alice is not around.

  2. Interesting blog - I enjoy your photos

  3. Hawks are very cool! We use to have them all over here. Now with all the developement I don't get to see them often. Thanks so much for the journey back in my mind! Keep up the adventure Ratty!

  4. Thanks Rose. I wish I could see those birds as fast as Alice does. She kept trying to show it to me, but I only really saw it well through the camera.

    Wow, I've never heard of Bat Hawks before. I don't ever think of anything attacking bats, but it makes sense, now that you say it. I guess they would be like a smaller bird to a hawk. I'll be looking for photos of a Bat Hawk on the internet. Cool!

    I hope Alice comes back a little bit sooner next time, but there are some other things I can do, that I couldn't with Alice there. Hopefully it will be as fun without her along.

    Thanks Nandu. There's plenty of photos here.:)

    I never thought I would ever see a hawk, Scott. I think I got lucky to move so close to these places with so many animals. They're like oasis in the middle of civilization.

  5. Nice pic. In Malaysia there's an island called Langkawi which have a place where they feed hawks or is it eagles (what's the difference?) and I still have to go see it

  6. I did see a woodpecker up on a tree on my mountain trail. Actually I did not aware until I heard the noise it worked on the trunk.

    From that time onwards, I always bring along my digital camera to almost all the places I travel.

    This may be quite insane!

  7. Sounds like a great place, Kruel74. When I was trying to find out what this bird was, I didn't know if it was a hawk or an eagle. I wondered what the difference is too. I'll have to find out.:)

    I just heard some woodpeckers today, Rainfield61. I never get to see them though. I have wanted a photo of a woodpecker for a while.

    I take my camera with me everywhere too now, except when I go to work.

    It might be insane, but it sure is fun!

  8. Ratty- what lens do you have? These are great. I can't get anything good like that.

  9. Actually, Sharkbytes, my camera is a Canon Powershot A590 IS. I don't have any addons or anything. I just point and shoot. This is the first camera I've ever really used very much. I use the zoom when I need to get something like that hawk, but that's mostly it. I'm really not very good at using many advanced features on my camera yet, I've been too busy using it to learn anything.:)

  10. Hi again, the shots here of the hawk are awesome! These types of birds are just so amazing to look at out in the wild aren't they? I am obsessed with birds when I go to France with my boyfriend. (we both are proper twitchers actually!) We have a little place deep in the middle of a massive forest and there are so many different types of birds and other creatures there. The only problem is that where the French hunt so much in that area we rarely get to see creatures like deer or the boars etc... or even squirrells, as I think they're afraid they'll get shot :(

    I have to say again though, the hawk pictures are fantastic.

  11. Bemused - I got lucky with the hawk because it wasn't moving. The hawks I've seen lately have all been flying over the treetops. When I try to get a picture, they go behind the trees. It would be nice to have a piece of land where birds like to go, but all I really have are these nature preserves. I'm lucky though that all the animals there are protected.