Earlier this week I got a glimpse of this bird as it flew past me at breakneck speed and took some type of varmint (probably a Chipmunk) on the forest floor. I was walking in one of the stands of White Pines that are prevalent in the Mohican Forest, when all of this happened in a flash. The bird stopped long enough to look me in the eye, then flew off with whatever it had caught.
Accipiter gentilis ORDER: ACCIPITRIFORMES FAMILY: ACCIPITRIDAE
Just a quick note–I take 90% 0f my photos with a cell phone so although if the subject is sitting still and I can get reasonably close, in most cases birds don’t cooperate. The Goshawk above was very uncooperative. I got the pix off the internet.
The Northern Goshawk is the bigger, fiercer, wilder relative of the Sharp-shinned and Cooper’s Hawks that prowl suburbs and backyards. It’s an accipiter—a type of hawk with short, broad wings and a long rudder-like tail that give it superb aerial agility. These secretive birds are mostly gray with bold white “eyebrow” stripes over piercing orange to red eyes. Northern Goshawks flash through forests chasing bird and mammal prey, pouncing silently or crashing feet first through brush to grab quarry in crushingly strong talons.
So when I left the “Liar’s Club” at McDonald’s on Wednesday instead of just taking my normal morning walk, when I got to the Mohican Campground I decided to venture up to the “North Rim Trail” to see If I could catch another look at the Goshawk.
I didn’t, but having gone this far, I was close to the trail that runs along the river between Campground A and B, so I decided to hike it.
The River was serene, and the Summer Phlox are blooming in profusion.
I checked out the Covered Bridge,
and then headed toward the dam. Along the way to the dam, I ran across a section of the “Mountain Bike Trail” that I had not been on before. I decided to explore that for awhile and as I entered I noticed a mile marker telling me that I was on “Mile #12”. This is where this fellow appeared.
The deer was as interested in me as I was in it so we had a talk and I was able to take three or four pictures before it tired of the game. (Although it was only fifty yards away, the quality of this picture was the best I could get from my cell phone.)
I walked, mostly uphill, until I got to “Mile #8”. I came across the road where I had called Ted Byerly for a ride the other day, and discovered that I had already walked over 15 miles, so I decided I had better be headed back home.
I got off the trail at the “Ranger’s Station” walked back down the road to the “Covered Bridge”, through “Campground B”, back along the river, and came home on the “Loudonville Bike Path”.
By the time I got home I had walked 22.75 miles.
Not too bad for not having a plan when I started out,