At Lake Erie Metropark, hawkwatch numbers by the end of the season can be quite impressive. Tens of thousands of birds (even hundreds of thousands!) have been recorded during the three month count season.
What often goes unsaid is the simple notion that "seen" vs "close" is like saying "fork" and "automobile tire". In the end, they really have nothing to do with each other. Thousands of birds could easily be mere specks on the horizon looking like dust on a binocular lens. Photographers hope for the best as most birds are beyond a camera's reach even with a 400 mm lens. It can be quite frustrating at times.
Today, while heading to the park for a bit of hawking, I spied this gem circling in the stiff wind. I was nowhere near the watch. I can't even be certain this is a migrant bird. If he was migrating, I would have expected him to be moving along. He was in view for a few minutes.....just lolly-gagging on the wind.
You might argue I was seeing red. No, not in the mad sort of way. In the color sort of way. This Red-tailed Hawk was putting on quite a show. To the best of my knowledge, I had the bird to myself.
How can I get mad about that?