Day By Day

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Hawk Mountain

"She Who Must Not Be Named" spent the day in New York. As I usually do on such occasions I headed up to the top of the mountain with my camera. Here's some of what I saw.

White-breasted nuthatches at a feeder near the sanctuary headquarters.

Remember the blood-sucking red weeds in "War of the Worlds"? It seems some of them survived.

And then up to the lookouts to see what was in the sky. The answer -- nothing much. By the time I got there there was a heavy haze and low clouds obscuring the view, the air was damp and heavy and still. Not a bird to be seen. Talked to some schoolteachers who were scouting the place for future fieldtrips. They had been there a couple of hours and had only seen a couple of turkey vultures and red-tailed hawks. Heck, we see those every day. They also claimed to have seen a red-shouldered hawk, but I kinda doubt that. I told them to come back in the fall during the peak migration -- that's when things get pretty spectacular. Thousand bird days are not unusual.

Even on a bad day like today, though, there are plenty of things to interest me.

I settled in, got out my binoculars and camera, opened a good book (Niall Ferguson's "War of the World" [note the singular]) and waited. Pretty soon a cloud of gnats came and, since there was no breeze, wouldn't leave. After about ten minutes of that I gave up and went home. There will always be other, better days on the mountain. After all, spring hasn't climbed the slopes yet.

Soon..., soon.