Soupy weather is on its way out here at Roundtop, though as you can see from this morning’s photo, not all the cloudiness is yet gone. Hurricane Bill kept the moisture around for two days longer than it was supposed to stay here, though at least I didn’t get a hurricane’s rain or wind from that bad boy.
I’ll be happy to see everything dry out for the first time in several weeks. Dealing with mud and finding that food went bad quickly became a regular occurrence that soon got old. Given that it will soon be September, I am hoping that the drier weather and high pressure also signals a solid step towards fall. The timing is favorable for that to be the case. I fully expect some more hot days before cold weather arrives, though the time for heatwaves and continued high humidity could, just could, be past. Or so I fervently hope.
Northwest winds bode well for cooler weather and the start of hawkwatching season. For me, fall hawkwatching is hunting season, fishing season, football season and NASCAR all wrapped up into one. There is spring hawkwatching, too, of course, but usually that is only good enough to keep me from going mad until the next fall. I suppose I should say that other birds will begin to migrate soon too, but it’s always the hawks that capture my attention this time of year. Bald eagles are already moving in half-decent numbers, and Ospreys and Sharp-shinned hawks have also made appearances at the first dozen of the more than 100 hawkwatches that will eventually be spotting birds.
Perhaps the most unusual sightings already this fledgling hawk season are reports of a few northern goshawk, normally one of the latest migrants, best seen on a frigid day in November. Perhaps these early appearances signal a good breeding year for these uncommon and northern birds or perhaps just a lack of food in their home ranges. It’s too soon to answer that question, but the question itself is intriguing enough for these early days of the season.
This change in weather signals that it’s time for me to dust off my binos and ready the pack for another season on a hawkwatching hill. I don’t care which one—as long as the wind is from the northwest, I’ll be happy.