Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Wet Weather

A co-worker of mine and I have been planning a hike to the top of magnificent Mount Timpanogos. Yesterday was the day. I woke at 4:30 am, drove an hour to her house which is fairly close to the trail head, only for us to decide once I got there that the weather was too stormy to go up. 40% chance of rain and thunderstorms. If the hike didn't take us to over 11,000 feet, we might have gone anyway. But at that elevation, summer storms can turn deadly.

So she and another friend opted to take a short hike in the area, but I decided to just head home. On my way home, I passed a restoration wetland area just below the dam. I debated with myself whether or not to stop by and see what was out. I was tired, and could have gone right back to bed. But I went to the wetland, and that was the right decision.

I wasn't prepared totally to be out there. The mosquitoes were pretty heavy, and I didn't have any bug spray. But as soon as I stepped out of the car I was greeted by so much bird song I knew I could handle the little pets for a while.

I'm still not so good at identifying some of the little jobs, and there were quite a few warblers out. Some I knew, many I didn't. But there were tree, cliff, and barn swallows. Robins and yellow-headed black birds. One of my favorite birds of all time, Cedar Waxwings, made an appearance over the river and stuck around long enough for me to get a quick (though not great) picture.

I meandered down the trail a bit. Stopping to watch and listen. Because it was overcast, the temperature was perfect. The air felt clean and comforting. It really was quite pleasant. But then the mosquitoes began swarming with a vengeance, so turned around to head back down the trail. I was surprised when I turned around to see a bird hunkered down on a tree branch that I had just recently passed. I'm sure the bird was there the first time I walked by, and I totally missed it.

Is it a Common Nighthawk or a Common Poorwill. I was hoping for the Poorwill, as that would be a first for me. However, after looking through my National Geographic bird guide, decided it was a Nighthawk. Which is still exciting. I don't see them often and didn't have any pics of one.

So my non-hike day ended up being quite nice after all. I'm glad I decided to make that turn into the wetland instead of just heading home to bed.


RLRP said...

I really enjoy how much you enjoy birds - they're not my hobby, as you know, but I am appreciating them more through your love of them. Hope you're having a good summer, friend.

deejbrown said...

Birding serendipity...ain't it grand?

bevson said...

Congrats. Nighthawks are always a treat. I haven't seen one in a few years. In the spring the mountain here resonates with the call of the Whippoorwill. They are gone now, for another year. I have never heard or seen a Poorwill either. sigh. someday.