Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hawkwatching Barre Falls-Saturday, October 18th 2010

Donna's scope in the spot light again! HA

I decided to spend another day at Barre Falls on Saturday to take advantage of the height of Broad-winged Hawk migration and would arrive there fairly early with a feeling of anticipation based on the weather forecasts I had heard the night before that promised for sunny skies and warmer temps which would mean good thermals for the BW's. When I would get there, the usual Barre Falls gang would be there and we would all search the skies for raptors as well as any signs of the sun, but would soon come to the realization that the clouds were not going to go anywhere and I kicked myself for wearing shorts!
Anyhow, that's not to say we didn't get any raptors, it just took a while to get them that's all. Pictures would be close to impossible due to the lack of sunlight and the clouds which hid the birds from the camera. The picture above is of a Common Nighthawk we saw which was a welcome site indeed. Funny how at a hawkwatch site they look like falcons to me as that's what I want them to be!
We would not have as many people today stopping by to try their hand at hawk watching but we did have a family come including a young boy who seemed to really enjoy hawk watching as well as look for other critters including this very docile Garter Snake above.
Here it is curled up in the boys hand and didn't look at all alarmed by being held captive. The air would be so chilly, the snake probably liked the warmth of the hand. These would be the best pics I would take all day! HA
Sharp-shinned Hawk

Anyhow, back to raptors. With the skies being the way there were, we were expecting to get nothing but a couple of Broad-wings here and there, but we be rewarded more than once with pretty impressive kettles starting to form within binocular and scope view. There would be one in particular that was interesting in that there were two of them (one above and one below) and they would try and gain altitude in the spot and would do an ok job so most likely there were some thermals here and there and the Broad-winged Hawks would find them, but they would last for long so off they would go.
We would also get some Osprey as well as a record number of Northern Harriers which is always nice to see. The picture above is of another Sharpie. I do have to admit that today was the most challenging days of all for me to hawkwatch. Most of the raptors were nothing but silhouettes to me and the cloud cover would make them blink in and out so it would be hard for me to see flight style, wing shape, etc. Even TV's and Raven's would throw me off, but the Broad-wings are starting to get a little easier now that I was able to take time off this week to really see it first hand so I was very happy none the less.

Now it's back to work, but will be getting back up to Barre Falls through October here and there for more hawkwatching and sparrows of course.

With that said, blogging will be sporadic for the next 6 weeks or so as I am training for my first official trail run in Groton late October as well as a potential 1/2 marathon trail run around the same time that a friend recommend I try with him. Not sure if I am going to do that or not but am slowing increasing my millage (up to 10 mile runs on rugged trails now) and can easily get to 13.1 miles by then, but not sure if I want to put in all of those miles consistently due to work and other obligations.

Anyhow, I will be doing some birding here and there and will be spending the weekend in York in a couple of weeks too so will have some pictures. I will also be doing some birding during my trail runs as I run in sparrow habitat but I no longer bring my camera sometimes due to the weight and I am working on speed and the less weight the better of course. ;-)

Take care all


Noel said...

what a great photo of the snake in the boys hand, you are right, it doesn't seem distressed at all.

Chris Petrak said...

Hawks in the air are quite a different ID challenge from hawks when they are perching. Not easy, but fun things seldom are.

MaineBirder said...

I love snakes! On the other hand, I hate spiders.

Excellent post Kim!

Kelly said...

...good luck with your training. Sounds like a lot of hard work, but a lot of fun!!
p.s. I LOVE snakes and your photos of the sweetie are wonderful.


Related Posts with Thumbnails