Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Vacation

Hubby and I took a road trip to Chicago, IL to spend Christmas with my son and his wife. My daughter and her husband were also able to come in from North Carolina. It was a very nice, albeit too short, trip.

We hit snow in Missouri, but otherwise, the road were good and the weather was nice. Chicago was typically cold, but it could have been much worse. My son and I took a walk to a local Hyde Park park soon after I arrived in Chicago and almost immediately saw a flock of monk parakeets. I was certainly surprised to see a flock of tropical birds in such a cold environment.

My daughter-in-law and I went the next day to a park on the shores of Lake Michigan. It was interesting to see such a large lake area covered with masses of floating ice. There was plenty of open water, but many of the gulls present were riding on the chunks of ice. However, the ducks and mergansers were submerging and feeding in the cold water.

On the trip to and from, I didn't see many birds--there is just little to see at 70+ mph along the highway. However, there were many red-tailed hawks. In Illinois, my husband and I saw one swoop down to the edge of the highway as we passed and pull up with a small fuzzy animal in its talons. I did see other hawks, but am not proficient at speed. Red-tails are relatively easy to ID, so that is the primary bird I noted. However, I did see one red-shouldered hawk and several kestrels as well.

Although the purpose of my trip wasn't to watch birds, part of the fun of birdwatching is that it can be done anywhere and anytime.

Good birding!

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