What was the weather going to do? It rained all night, and the forecast gave a 100% probability of rain at noon – so do we hike, or do we sleep in?
Hike leader Deborah Flint made a decision at 8:00 and said “I’m coming!”. Eight of us met her though three of us were at the boat ramp, and five were at the boat house, but after a quick call and a short walk to meet up, we set off, clockwise, around Centennial Lake. There wasn’t much wildlife, though there was a good sighting of an Eastern Painted Turtle and a hawk – either a Sharp-Shinned, or a Cooper’s. (See the picture below - separating Sharp-Shinned Hawks from Cooper's Hawks is one of the classic birding challenges.) The hike was almost all on blacktop and the group maintained a surprisingly spry 3.0mph moving average with almost no stops.
As it turned out, the weather decision was a good one because the hiking conditions were perfect, yet within an hour of us finishing, the heavens opened and I drove home through one of the heaviest downpours I’ve experienced.
See below for a few pictures. (Click on each picture to see it in full size.) Also see the club's gallery page for a few more pictures.
Above I said:
...either a Sharp-Shinned, or a Cooper’s. (See the picture below - separating Sharp-Shinned Hawks from Cooper's Hawks is one of the classic birding challenges.)
I asked an expert, who said:
...Juvenile Cooper's Hawk. Rounded tail, white terminal band on tail, large head (as compared to SSHA). Adult would have rufous streaks on the chest and a dark cap on the head.