After 12 years, I can finally say I've seen a Golden Eagle. 2 in fact. This marks my 306th species for my life list, which seems to be growing fast this year (most likely due to graduating and actually having time to go birding again!). Today at High Park, north winds and a clear sky brought 75 birds total through the area. The highlights included 2 Golden Eagles, 1 immature Bald Eagle, a few Red-shouldered Hawks, a couple of Sharpies and Cooper's Hawks, and a huge number of Red-tails.
The Golden Eagle, my target bird for this fall, is a stunning species. Its large size is palpable, even at a distance. The second bird was initially called out as a Turkey Vulture due to a noticeable dihedral but once it got closer, the group realized it was an eagle. On the first bird, the bulging primaries was quite obvious.
Other highlights at the count included a number of American Tree Sparrows, both species of nuthatches, Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers, and a drab Eastern Bluebird that was catching grasshoppers from the same perch for most of the day. Near the entrance to the park, I had a Blue-headed Vireo and I was told by other birders at the count that I'll probably have to fill out a report for the bird because it might be record late. All in all a great day of birding.