Monday, September 19, 2005

Where are the broadwings? (Don't ask)

At the beginning of the year I looked at the new calendar to see when September 17-18 fell. I was thrilled to see that in 2005 they fell over a weekend. These two days are most commonly the peak days for broad-winged hawk migration in southern Pa. But by the end of last week, it was pretty obvious that Saturday wasn’t going to be “the day,” and by Friday evening, I could pretty much tell that Sunday wasn’t likely either, though at that point I still had hope for late Sunday afternoon.

Between the weather forecast and the reports from hawkwatches north of me, I could tell it wasn’t worth the gas money to travel to look for broadwings this weekend. So on Saturday and Sunday, Dog and I went up the hill to the top of Roundtop Mtn. to look at our own private hawkwatch. We didn’t see much either, but it’s always nice to sit on top of a mountain in nice weather and see what there is to see. It’s a shame Sunday wasn’t the day, because the sky was perfect for broadwings—enough cloud cover to see them and perhaps enough to keep them low enough so I could see them half decently as well. We saw a few hawks—broadwings, redtails, sharpies, black vultures—that was pretty much it.

So when are the broadwings coming? Monday or even Tuesday, naturally, when I’m at work and can’t look for them. But if it’s any consolation—consolation to me, that is, not to those on the ridge tops—it’s that the sky is all blue again, and watching broadwings in all blue sky is dreadful. It’s like looking for little pinpricks of black in a vast sea of blue. So at least, I tell myself, I’m not missing a good flight, even if I’m missing the large one.

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