Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Chun's Recommendation #6 or, Hawk Hike

I skipped the MGA Handicap Tournament this past Sunday in favor of Chun's Recommendation #6 (meditation), in the form of a Hawk Hike.  Mt Tom in western Massachusetts is supposed to be one of the best places to see the hawk migration.  Unfortunately, on Sunday we were also getting the fringes of Hurricane Matthew, so it was rainy and cloudy and windy and the hawks chose to stay put for the day.

I waited out most of the rain, and then hiked out to Mt Tom in the eerie fog.  It was beautiful.  

At one point, I heard music nearby and some sort of cabin loomed up out of the fog, just off the trail.  I heard voices but never encountered the people.  It felt straight out of Heart of Darkness.  

By the time I got back to the lookout tower at Goat Peak, the fog had cleared, so I had some hope of seeing hawks.  They did not seem to be migrating, but they were definitely hanging out.  I'd look north through my binoculars, wait a beat or two, and see a hawk circling above the trees.

When that hawk landed or flew too far away, I'd turn and look south.

Pause...  then, yep!  Another hawk.  Wait until they fly behind the hill and turn north...  and another!  Often a second would fly into view as I watched.

I don't know hawks well enough to identify them specifically, but I know enough to tell that they were definitely hawks of some sort and (having watched more hours of the Cornell hawk cam than I care to admit) almost definitely not red-tailed hawks.

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