Here come the birds,but not just any birds,the raptors are here.
I love this time of year,snow is melting and hope of new growth is beginning to appear and the annual spring migration of hawks,eagles and falcons has begun in ernest.
Of course,seeing a mature Bald Eagle is always a thrill.
The birds coming through our valley is the reason we go there,but it is so much more.
This is an immature Bald Eagle.
Meeting friends at the valley,who may only see each other once a year is one of the highlights of this time.
The majority of birds which use the valley to migrate are Red-tailed Hawks.I love seeing these birds soar in that blue sky.
The friends I have made through this activity are very special to me.True,I may not be going for coffee with them,although that too would be enjoyable,but when we meet we share our common interests.
As cameras and binoculars are trained on the bird in the sky,we notice little details.This particular hawk dropped its feet for a moment and I was able to snap a picture at just the right time.
Most of the birds have their legs and feet neatly tucked up against their tail.
This is a Harlan's Hawk,a sub-species of the Red-tailed hawk.
The coloration and patterns on the wings are a treat to see.
It is wonderful to be there and watch the excitement that this hawk generates.
As we share these experiences,our friendships deepen and for that short period of time during migration we almost become like a family.
I am so thankful for each of my birding friends,people who share one of my interests.
Some of us also share the interest of photography and the two go hand in hand.
I have learned that to have a good friend is the purest of all God's gifts,
for it is a love that has no exchange of payment.