What a great image with which to close out the year. I feel like I was
On Sun, Jan 1, 2017 at 10:51 AM, Ian Worley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Yesterday, New Year's Eve, Ron Payne and I were concluding a long day of
> owling and birding the Northern Monkton Sector of the Hinesburg CBC
> circle. Twilight was near so we decided to do one more trip around the
> sector to see if any birds were moving to roosts. Along Mountain Road
> paralleling Hogback Mountain we noticed a few robins flying across the road
> in the direction of woods occupying lowlands lining the base of the
> mountain, so we stopped to count the birds as they crossed the road.
> Ron and I do a lot of bird counting together so we went into automatic
> count mode ... each of us independently counting in silence. Wave after
> wave of robins crossed the road likely to assemble in the night's roost at
> the base of the steep slopes of Hogback. For 20 minutes we counted in
> silence. Then, a few birds started flying in the opposite direction, so it
> was time to stop the count.
> Ron asked for my total number of robins .... "3500 by 10s" said I. "What
> was your count?" Ron responded "3500 by 10s". As we drove away to meet
> with the other CBC birders we came upon another few hundred robins still on
> the move.
> On Friday early afternoon a brief squall of turbulent air rolled over
> Snake Mountain spilling showers of grauple (snow pellets) across the Lemon
> Fair flats of Weybridge as I turned onto Lemon Fair Road busy with an
> errand. Looked up at the grumpy skies and saw a large bird riding in
> turbulence just above some trees. Quickly discerned it to be an adult Bald
> Eagle, now beginning to soar in the squall's thermal uplift. That's when I
> saw a smaller, more sleek bird soaring a hundred feet above the Eagle.
> With binocs I confirmed the not-so-small aviator to be a beautifully lit,
> adult Northern Goshawk, wings extended in maximum-lift configuration.
> Watched the pair of raptors as they circled with wings outstretched,
> without flapping, ever gaining altitude. In less than 3-4 minutes the
> Eagle was up to 800-900 feet and climbing still. The Goshawk? ... The
> Goshawk, obviously the more efficient soarer, was circling in and out of
> the filmy bases of the clouds and swirls of grauple over 2000 feet in
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fooled.” ~ Mark Twain
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