2/8/2020 - 2/9/2020
And that's about all I can say. It, in this case, happens to be a Ferruginous Hawk that is spending part of its winter here in Indiana. It's a pretty rare species for the state; although we had one show up for a few years in a row starting back in 2015. I wasn't really planning on chasing, but then I saw that people were getting some decent flight shots. I spent the week watching reports and keeping an eye on the weather.
Saturday looked like my best bet. The day was supposed to be cloudy but dry with mild winds. (You see where this is going?) I arrived at Bear Run mines around 9 AM and was greeted with brisk winds, very overcast skies, and intermittent drizzle. I ran into plenty of birders there, and they helped me get on the bird. It was really far out in a field; just sitting on the ground. We stood and watched the bird for a while. It finally launched into the air and flew directly away from us over a large hill. Everyone piled into cars and gave chase. In the end, I got a few fleeting shots of it as it soared higher and back off over the hill we'd just come down. The rest of the day did not go much better for me; although, others had a much more successful day. I spent a while trying to photograph skittish raptors. I made a pass through Goose Pond looking for cranes. And then I headed back to Bear Run for one last pass at the hawk - no luck. I'd had enough of the mud and the drizzle and called it a day around noon.
Sunday was forecast for snow changing to rain. And, they actually got that one right. I was a little impatient though and missed out on the snow. The morning was overcast but decently bright. Around 1 PM, the sun was even somewhat visible through the cloud cover. Thinking they'd blown the forecast, I packed up and headed back home. About 3 miles from home, the snow hit. I grabbed a quick bite to eat, grabbed my camera, and walked back out the door for some snow shots - right into the rain/snow mix. You could see the rain punching holes in the freshly fallen snow. Resigned to missing out, I headed back inside for the day. It was a nice morning at the park, though. The cold and the clouds limited the number of people there, and it's always nice to have some time alone. I spent some time shooting at the seed piles and just enjoying the time outside.
It'd be nice to get about 6 inches of snow that last for a couple weeks, but I just don't see that happening this year. I'll have to plan better for next year and spend some time somewhere with a bit more snow.
Thanks for reading,