Flatland hawk watch ends
- Maybe there is a Swainson's Hawk or two out there, but in the eight section
plot of land (eight square miles) that we had been watching them in, they
are gone. Probably 2,500 or more had spent a late afternoon feeding on
grasshoppers in mostly no-till fields before retiring to farm yard trees for
the night. Next morning the SWHA would return at daybreak to the fields to
feed and to wait for favourable winds.
On Wednesday the 29th I resolved to wait the morning out until all hawks in
the feeding field leave. At 11:20 I am staring at a grasshopper on the road
either dying or laying eggs. Either way the crickets that are scurrying
around will eat. But to me it is now like counting holes in acoustical
tiles. One last bird.
And that bird was sitting on the ground doing nothing about fifty feet away
from where at least fifty had swirled up in kettles and were now long gone.
So I drove slowly over there knowing full well that I would end up within
the SWHA's comfort zone. He flew across the field and landed in full view.
The "epicentre" of the kettle was a depression in the ground where equipment
came in and out of the field. It was bare black earth. Its ground
temperature was 80F. The surrounding ground temperature was 75F as was the
Scanning that last hawk for the day one last time before I decided to go
home and eat was a bad move. I now could see that he joined the company of
Oh well, they do not all fly away daily even when conditions are right.
49.39 N 103.51W