Monday, October 05, 2009

Snow on Lucky Peak!

On Saturday (Oct 3) afternoon, we started to get some sporadic snow flurries and, with a forecast for a lot of precipitation thru the weekend, we wondered what it would look like. Fortunately, the few hawks that were around (only 17 raptors counted all day) were pretty hungry and we were able to catch 6 birds in the trapping blind - including this snazzy adult male Sharp-shinned Hawk:
Adult (after-second-year) male Sharp-shinned Hawk captured & banded on 10-3-09

Heidi holding the stud male 'Sharpie' after finishing banding & measuring the bird

Fortunately for me, the whole songbird crew (Heidi took the picture) came down to the blind to keep me company/warm - from left, clockwise - Caroline, Stephanie, Jay, & Nathan - and got to enjoy a couple of the hawks

At around 530pm, a big cloud moved in to envelope the mountain and we closed up shop for the day in favor of some warm soup (care of Caroline) and games inside the trailer. At 8pm, some big snowflakes started falling and we got an inch or so last night (I took a very enjoyable but wet walk in the snow before bed!). Then, at round 6 this morning, the snow began again and we had 3" or so by the time I headed down to Boise (since all the songbird nets were completely covered in snow and there was no way to safely run nets in this weather).

Most of the songbird & hawk crews, including Preston, John, Caroline, Nathan, Stephanie, Heidi, & Dave (with a snowflake blocking his face - sorry!), standing outside the trailer enjoying the snow

This makes two straight years that we've received significant snow in October. I'll admit that I was whining about the high 80s/low 90s weather that dominated for most of September and was wishing for fall weather but this was a little extreme ;-). Now I'm looking forward to the weather clearing up so we can start counting/catching some migrants again!

Before the snow came, here's a Mountain Chickadee gauging the situation before flying off again

Cheers,

Jay

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Mission: to contribute to the conservation of western migratory landbirds through cooperative research and public education