Thursday, October 11, 2012 Frosty morning leaves and a few birds

Seward Sporadic Bird Report

A series of sunny days was so welcome after the drama of the recent flood. Without dense clouds to conceal the sun's movements, it is clear that the sun is sneaking farther and farther south, and rising later and later. The clear nights delivered twinkling stars, the Milky Way, and a sprinkling of planets. Some folks were lucky to view the Northern Lights.

In the morning, sparkling and ephemeral icy jewels decorated the grasses and tree leaves, thanks to Jack Frost. It was a wonder to watch the perfect crystals slump when touched by the feeble warmth of  the rising sun. Many leaves then fell at the slightest touch of air movement, succumbing to the inevitable march of the season, going out in glory.

A hike to the Mt Marathon Bowl reversed the morning progression of melting. The Bowl lay deep in shadows even in mid-afternoon. The alpine plants held perfectly still, as if afraid to disturb their frozen finery. It will be a long while before they see the sun again.

Bird activity was also quiet: a young DIPPER regarded us curiously from a rock in mid-stream, then flew noisily downstream. WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS, far fewer in number than this summer, still called from high in the spruce forest. I heard a PINE GROSBEAK singing its lovely lilting song. A large unidentified raptor cruised over the mountainside alders then disappeared over the ridge. How I wished I had gotten a better look!

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold
Seward Sporadic Bird Report reporter

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful photographs and writings, always! :)