Thursday, October 20, 2011

Gone hawkwatching!

Cabin lane
One thing about all the rain that’s fallen this fall: whenever the weather does clear, the temperature change is always noticeably different than before the storm. Usually in the fall the gradual downturn in the season’s temperature is not something that’s particularly noticeable. Up a degree, down two degrees, up two degrees—the change is subtle, more noticeable over a week or two than day to day.

This year there’s been no gradual or variable downshifting of the temperature. When the rainstorm for this week is over, the day’s high temperature is yet another 4-5 degrees cooler than it was before the latest rainstorm. That means I have to change the clothing in my closet again. I barely got a chance to wear my after-summer-but-not-quite-fall clothing this year.
At 7 a.m. the morning is still dark and has now grown too dark for morning photography, especially on a dreary morning. The time has arrived when I need to take photos in the evening. Then in no more than two weeks, it will be too dark to take photos at any time before or after work. I’ll be taking (or trying to) photos for the entire week of Roundtop Ruminations over a weekend.

Tomorrow I am heading out to go hawkwatching. The weather is clearing as I type and so should bring a nice batch of fall hawks. In this area the third week of October is my second most favorite time for hawkwatching (the first is the Broad-winged Hawk migration in mid-September). The reason I like this part of October for hawkwatching is that it’s the week that produces the highest species variety of the fall migration. A few of the early migrants might still be seen. The first of the late season migrants might show up, and the middle season migrants should be out in full force.

On a very good day during the third week of October, it is possible to see every species of raptor migrant that is normally possible in the fall. That doesn’t happen regularly, but it’s possible. More typical would be a day when I see 11-12 of the possible 14 regular species. Specifically, I will likely see a lot of Red-tailed Hawks and I’m hoping for several Golden Eagles, as well. Theoretically, some late, lost Broad-winged Hawk might show up, and if I get really luck some late-season Northern Goshawks or a Rough-legged Hawk might fly past the mountain too.

For the non-hawkwatchers amongst my readers (which is pretty much everyone), the mountains should be near the peak of color, so if I’m wrong about the hawk migration I’ll have plenty of beautiful mountains to look at. And take photos of. For that you’ll have to wait until Saturday morning or so, because tomorrow I’ll be…

Gone Hawkwatching!

1 comment:

Michael said...

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