Hurricane Hanna turned Saturday into a very wet and rather windy day here on Roundtop, but arrived and disappeared so quickly it now feels as though she was never here at all. Friday was a lovely day, if warmer than I like. Saturday morning brought Hanna and with it heavy rainfall totaling about 3 inches through late afternoon. The wind picked up in the mid-afternoon but was never severe. The rain stopped suddenly around 5 p.m. and by 9 p.m. the stars were out. Sunday was a picture perfect and cool day. Hanna was already long gone.
So Sunday, I needed to get out and walk around, after being cooped up inside all day on Saturday. I’d like to report that I discovered a new species of something or saw the extremely rare something else, but that’s not the case. Sunday was simply a beautiful and cooler day with perfectly blue skies.
Now that Hanna has passed, it’s probably likely that the turn towards fall will grow ever more pronounced. It’s not likely that I will have any more 90+ degree days—not that this summer brought very many of those. I may not even have many, if any, more 85+ degree days. And it’s entirely possible that days in the 80-85 degree range could also be in short supply. And for at least the next week the weather will be in the 75-80 degree range—typical for this time of year.
With the passing of Hanna, migration should also really begin to pick up this week, and not just for my beloved raptors, either. I am already seeing some of that. Yesterday I heard and briefly saw an olive-sided flycatcher. I didn’t have my binoculars with me, so all I really saw was a tiny flycatcher sitting on the top of a dead snag, some 50 feet up. But I heard that distinctive "quick, three beers" call. Olive-sided flycatchers have a particular propensity for dead snags to perch on, preferably, I think if they are on the top of a tree. For many years a dead snag on North Lookout at Hawk Mountain was a favorite spot for them. I suspect hundreds, if not thousands, of birders got their first looks at this flycatcher, myself included, when one stopped and stayed for a bit on that particular snag.
So now is the time to dust off those binoculars and get out the field guides. Migration season is on its way!