Saturday, November 18, 2006
Several weeks ago, my husband and I took our son to Hawk Mountain. After working late hours all week, we woke up that day tired and uninspired to leave the house. But our little man had been begging for weeks to see the raptor migration in Kempton, PA, one of the best sites in America to view the flight of many types of birds.
By noon I'd gotten my second wind, but the husband was still a little cranky when he saw the dozens upon dozens of cars parked at Hawk Mountain. I didn't blame him--neither of us are fond of crowds--but we were there for our son's benefit and I was prepared to suck it up and hit the trail. :-)
After renting some binoculars and paying our trail fee, we hiked the short mile to the North Lookout, stopping along the way at all the scenic overlooks and working up a little sweat. We hung out at the best viewing spot on the mountain, as the picture here shows, eating crackers and drinking bottled water, waiting for some stalwart wingeds to fly by.
Hawk Mountain's observers take daily counts of birds, and it took some interpreting by an intern from the Middle East to explain what the different points of reference were about. While we were there we saw mainly sharp-shinned hawks, who are rarely seen from backyards, osprey, black vultures, who seemed as curious about us as we were about them, and a few other species. The sun was shining too, making for a great adventure.