Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Last night I didn't sleep out on my deck. It wasn't the rain (see photo) that kept me inside, but the thunder and lightning with it.

I have camped outside in thunderstorms many times, and my feelings during those storms have ranged from being uncomfortable to downright terrified. Dog is also particularly afraid during thunder, and Baby Dog barks at it--not a particularly good combination for camping out. So, since I had a nice, cozy cabin to head into, I did.

The heavy rain and morning darkness now nearly forced me to resort to posting an archived photo. It's a heavy near-downpour that has brought aout 2" of much needed rain to the mountain. And it's still raining. Even with a rain jacket and rain hat, I got wet pretty quickly as I took the dogs for a shortened walk this morning.

As my outdoor activity and even the activity I could see in the outdoors was limited by the weather last night and tonight, I'll take this time to report on my latest bird sightings. This weekend I was sitting out on the front deck when a hummingbird paid a visit, plopping into a twig on the fig tree while I was sitting under. That's one of the few hummers I 've seen this season. We shared a few moments of togetherness, just 4-5 feet apart, before the hummer resumed its errands.

I can also report on two sandpipers I saw on the mountain. Anytime I see sandpipers on the mountain, it's a rarity. First and foremost is that mountains and sandpipers are not usually two words that are uttered in the same breath. Secondly, the snowmaking ponds that Roundtop has (and that occasionally attract sandpipers) are interconnected with pipes, and they are not usually allowed to get low enough for mud flats.

However, this weekend the new pond was down about a foot or so, creating some minor mudflats and the occasional puddle. That was enough to attract two tired sandpipers on their southbound journey. I had one stilt sandpiper and one solitary sandpiper. Neither is a new species for my ongoing Roundtop list, which is now at 132 species, but the solitary sandpiper was only my second sighting in 15 years and the stilt sandpiper my third.


ChicagoLady said...

I think Chicago has been stealing everyone's rain (except for Texas.) This is the wettest August in 17 years, with over 7 inches of rain so far. Today I saw the sun for the first time in about a week.

pablo said...

I got soaked walking to my car yesterday evening. In fact, it was only about the last 40 feet to my car that were the wettest. A very sudden and not forecasted storm brough some much-needed rain to suburban Kansas City.

PA-Birder said...

You have been doing better than me in the Sandpiper department. For some reason, Stoughstown Pond which usually a Shorebird migration hotbed has had only a few Least Sandpipers, a Solitary and a couple of Spotted. Stay dry,

Carolyn H said...

Chicagolady: this has been a wet August here in PA, too, though I don't know if it's the wettest or not. That it's wet at all is odd enough. Usually August is bone dry here.

Pablo: I hope all your rain didn't run off. Often those quick storms aren't as useful as the ones with more gentle rain.

Pa-birder: My shorebirding here on the mountain has been decent the year, but if history is any guide, it may well not be decent again for another 10 years.

Carolyn H.