A Travellerspoint blog

Surprise hawk & Comet Neowise!

semi-overcast 81 °F

Today, I had a relaxing, unexpected full-day break from online Chautauqua music camp so I just spent a lazy day at home. BUT, during dinner in the back yard, a Buteo hawk flew over and so I of course ran to get my camera to check which species: Red-shouldered, Red-tailed, or Broad-winged?

Turned out to be a BROAD-WINGED HAWK, I think my first of the year! Very cool!

A bunch of AMERICAN ROBINS were mobbing it and the hawk seemed fairly agitated, giving its high-pitched “see-wee” call many times! Very cool to witness.

Then, mom, Tian, Pearl and I hopped in the car and we drove 45 minutes west to the farm fields of Kane County in hopes of viewing Comet Neowise. We were treated to a beautiful post-sunset western sky as we had arrived a smidge earlier than the comet was predicted to appear:

Then, after about twenty or twenty-five minutes of searching in the northwestern sky, I spotted it with binoculars! It was indeed about 2.5 or 3 fists almost directly under the Big Dipper and was much easier to see in binoculars than with the naked eye. Indeed, we found that we could not actually directly look at it without losing it — with the naked eye, we could only see it if we looked a little bit to the right or left! Binoculars, though, gave incredible views of the tailed beauty which won’t be around for thousands of more years. Amazing! Here are the girls admiring the comet.

No photos because a telephoto lens is required for this type of challenging night sky photography, but it was a memory that will be instilled in us forever!

Bird-of-the-day to the Broad-winged Hawk with runner-up to the angry robins mobbing it. Honorable mention to Comet Neowise, of course.

Good birding,
World Life List: 1121 Species

Posted by skwclar 21:08 Archived in USA

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Two lovely events! Gorgeous photos of the hawk (I hope your friends at Chautauqua were impressed). And it's nice to see a comet. I saw Halley's in the mid-80's from Sanibel- it looked like a dirty tennis ball. All the best!

by liz cifani

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