Ya shodda been there.
Tropical Storm Hannah passed in the night leaving a chilly day with scuttling clouds against a bright blue sky. Thinking it might be too windy for migrating hawks, I nearly didn’t go to Mt. Peter today. But, boy, am I glad I did.
When I climbed onto the platform, I was greeted with cries of “You just missed it.” Veteran hawk-watchers, Judy and Ken had watched a trio of eagles lazing in the updrafts, before one turned, heading south leaving the other two to fly back north. They had put on a show for half an hour. While there had been hawks, passerines, and the odd Monarch to tally; it was the eagles that caused the most excitement.
I was only there for maybe half an hour when a pair of eagles reappeared from the north spiraling up the thermals to find their southern highway. Their heads and tails shone in the sunshine and as they circled against the sun, their tails positively glowed. We watched them awestruck, tracking them as they flew south. There is nothing like seeing eagles. An hour later, 3 more eagles popped up from behind the microwave tower. They too made a bee-line for the south.
At the end of the day, 6 eagles had passed overhead. I don’t know the finished count, but while I was there, we saw Osprey, Cooper, Sharp-shinned, Broad-winged, and Red-tailed Hawks, as well as the ubiquitous Black and Turkey Vultures.
For me, standing for hours scanning the sky is relaxing. The world slows down. I can take the time to really look at everything: study the clouds, notice small butterflies, thrill to the buzz of a hummingbird on a mission. If you get a chance, come up. There is someone there most days until mid-November.