Previous sighting

November 8, 2013

The juvenile hawk I saw yesterday at the reservoir I saw a few weeks ago on the other side of the res.

I had been watching a Great Blue Heron wading in the shallow marshy area in one corner of the reservoir, and I figured I’d get a look at it from another angle after I rounded the bend.  But I couldn’t seem to locate it when I did round the bend, so I’m standing there scanning the area, and a woman comes up to me, pretty excited, and asks me if I like hawks, and then proceeds to tell me about one sitting nearby, close to the path, a short distance away on a low branch of a tree.  So I start saying how I’m looking to spot this heron again, and she says no, no, no, it’s the hawk [you should be looking at], so I go look for it.

It took me a couple of passes to find it, but she was absolutely right.  It was sitting on the low branch of a tree, just sitting there.

I observed it for a bit, but I wasn’t sure it wouldn’t take too much observation as confrontational, and I didn’t want it to feel confronted, so I didn’t stay too long.

That’s part of why I enjoyed the up-close viewing I had yesterday, which seemed much more voluntary, as the hawk came to me.  And then, maybe, when our time became disrupted, it felt less constrained about leaving.


2 Responses to “Previous sighting”

  1. Jeff in New Jersey Says:

    Diana, if you have this interest, you should consider borrowing, renting, or even buying a good camera with a telephoto lens. I know they are expensive to buy (I paid over $800 for one camera I own, and that was manyyears ago) but if you have photos in .jpg (electronic) form, you could post the good ones.

    Your womanly sensitivities are showing ! You thought it might be “confrontational” (from the hawk’s viewpoint) if you observed too long ! I doubt that. Birds have small brains because a body that could support a larger brain would be too heavy to fly. A bird would not mind if you just stood there, but instincts would prevail if you approached.

    Reminds me of a true story I came across once. There was a children’s school with playground in some part of the world where there were tigers. Outside the fence there was a large tree, and every day an older tiger took his position in the lower and heavier branches. He did not do anything but sit there and watch the children play.

    Consternation. Was the tiger watching and waiting for an opportunity ? Or was he merely curious to watch human children and try to understand what they did ? He seemed to be minding his own business, but could the risk be taken ? He could probably jump the fence if he wanted to.

    In the end, caution prevailed. A hunter was recruited to shoot the tiger. Very sad, I always thought. The children could have been cautioned to stay clear, not shout, and not throw anything. The fence at that point might have been made higher.

    But I supose that in the minds of some, it is only human life that is “sacred.” Animal life is at human disposal. There are many cases of record where intelligent porpoises have saved drowning swimmers, and at least one case where a porpoise understood that sailing ships going around the tip of South America were much in danger from submerged rocks. So this porpoise waited for the sailing ships so he could guide them, and every sailing captain knew that if he followed the porpoise, his ship would be safe.

    • Diana Moses Says:

      Willy had pretty good camera equipment, so I have that, including extra lenses, but I don’t know how to use it or them. I have a thing about trying not to get so caught up in preserving the moment that I don’t experience it, too.

      The tiger story is sad. The porpoise story makes me want to say, “A porpoise with a purpose.” But really, some animals will take a direct stare as a challenge.

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