Lake Ontario Lake Plain, NY
Blue skies and green fields. Temps in the 40s and rising, but winds wafting out of West at fifteen gusting to over twenty miles per hour does sound much like Christmas Eve. There were Meadowlarks -- two -- in the fields.
The downside of the winds, I think, is that it cut down on the Northern Shrike sightings -- there should have been birds around, but none were teed up with the winds. But strong winds can benefit the hawk photographer when you position yourself to have a hawk blown back over your head. I had of couple of those opps with decent results.
[right: An immature Roughleg over Hell Street (yes that's a real address) checks out potential prey item . Light or dark, or all of the above?]
The Harrier numbers were fairly outrageous, courtesy of the Virginia-style weather. On the flip-side, the nightshift harriers, Short-eared Owls are just everywhere in complimentary numbers, according to Gerry Smith.
42 Red-tailed Hawks [33 adults]
35 Northern Harriers [5 adult males; 22 juvenile birds, mostly males]
33 Rough-legged Hawks [25 light morph]
3 American Kestrels
32 Snow Buntings, 2 Meadowlarks, and 1 Northern Flicker. And back by popular demand: " In addition, two species are sort of here and there: Wild Turkeys and Tundra Swans... although, not in mixed flocks."