Tuesday, October 14, 2008

THE EDGE OF THE CONTINENT

In SoCal they have the Santa Ana's. Hot winds blowing west from the valleys. I don't know what they would be called up here, but when they're blowing that Sacto wind pushes the marine layer back a mile or two and the only place to be is the Marin Headlands. It is raptor migration so Hawk Hill is going off. The big birds ride up and up, circling on thermals and then glide for miles to another thermal spot. Right now, (August - November) it is possible to see hundreds of birds of prey heading south. We were up there for maybe two hours and saw dozens of hawks. Red-tails, Peregrines, Rough-legged, Kestrels, Merlins, Red-shouldered. The highlight was an Osprey coming in close and slow, and later a Northern Harrier hovering over the valley, hunting. Two big carnivores. There is a platoon of locals from the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory, spotting and counting, and they are fucking funny. We sat quietly and someone would spot one, announce it, all would look, discuss, and announce to the tally man what was spotted. It was a second tier man who spotted the Osprey first, and received kudos from all. Lots of BIG MONEY scopes and binoculars. We ate our lunch, watched the birds, and then went for a long hike up the coast. There was no one on the trail on Monday and it must have been in the seventies. It was so clear we could see way past Ocean Beach, and the Farallon Islands perfectly. Notice the shot of Gabby working her way into the cool birder clique.

SF Gate

Hawk Hill People

Edge 1

Spotter

Ice Plants

Edge 2

1 comment:

lucydeecy said...

i think we call our hot winds in the fall "pineapple express" - comin' in from hawaii yo

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