No, this photo was not taken on Roundtop—don’t I wish!
I took this photo about 10 years ago when I was backpacking the Chilkoot Trail in Alaska in late September. The view was taken on our next to last day on the trail, looking towards Lake Bennett in the distance. At this point, my hiking partner and I had the trail kicked. If you can make it up and over the Chilkoot Pass, you’ve pretty much got the trail kicked. We’d done just that the day before and were only a few miles from the night’s camp site, and we were happy campers.
My plans for today’s Roundtop photo didn’t work out.
Late yesterday I was driving back to the cabin. It was raining a bit and overcast. A flock of 20+ wild turkeys ambled across the road, ruffling their feathers, the males displaying their tails and all of them generally just doing what turkeys do. I took a couple of photos. Unfortunately, none of them are clear, even though they looked fine in the little 2 inch camera view . It was too dark. Well, that’s what happens sometimes.
So I ended up photo-less for the day, with my only options to not post today, or not run a photo today or to use an old photo. I’ve been organizing some of my Alaska photos recently, so I thought, why not?
Anyway, back to reality and Roundtop: I’ve still not heard the first eastern phoebe of the season, so the species is now officially late by my records. An average arrival date for the birds would have been two weeks ago. This isn’t a surprise. Phoebes aren’t like swallows returning to Capistrano on the same day every year. Phoebes show up when conditions are right for them and not before. The weather is getting close, I think, to what they consider "right."
Bird migration seems to be running a bit late this year, judging by the pace of reports from the spring hawkwatches. Vultures are moving in good numbers, and Red-tailed hawks are moving decently. Eagles of both species are moving north (but those birds are strong enough to fly in almost any weather). The rest of the crowd—falcons, accipiters and smaller buteos—not so much yet.
Roundtop got about .25 inch of a nice gentle rain, not nearly enough to impact the 5 inch deficit, but it was a start. Once this rain clears the region, I think spring and bird migration will take a big step forward. All at once. Stay tuned.
Have a great weekend.