I spent most of today on a hike from Herring Cove to Beaver Lake and back.
Weather: It was stormy, with strong winds, overcast skies, and occasional rain. The temperatures were probably in the upper-40s, and it was interesting to experience periodic gusts of warm air while hiking. I’m not sure quite what was happening, perhaps it was a turbulent mixing of two air layers with different temperatures. Although it was quite windy near the mouth of Indian River, the wind was much less strong while hiking. I think Bear Mountain served as a pretty capable windbreak.
Birds: There were lots of gulls at the mouth of Indian River. It was pretty amazing to see more than a hundred of them just float in the air facing into the strong wind. We didn’t find any unusual looking gulls however. There were also Northern Pintails and Mallards.
At Herring Cove there were a pair of Common Goldeneyes that apparently didn’t get the memo to head out to where the herring had been spawning. Also two Horned Grebes and two other birds further out, perhaps Red-necked Grebes.
Birds in the woods were pretty minimal. There were a few chickadees calling at one point, but not much more than that.
Other Notes: There was an Alaska Mountain Heather with a flower bud out. There was still much snow all around (it was on a small raised mound at the base of a tree that was free of snow), so it was interesting to see it so close to blooming.
We took a different route down than I have done in the past. This route passed over slopes with a southern exposure. It was interesting to see how much less snow there was.
The large snow pile not far from the big waterfall has obviously getting additional deposits recently. We heard snow falling and saw the final part of it’s tumble down the slope. Large cornices above the chute promised even larger avalanches. It would have been fun to see one of the cornices give way and come falling down, but they all stayed up today.
There was a set of bear tracks going through the woods not far from the large waterfall and snow slide area.
Beaver Lake was still frozen. There was a fair amount of water on the surface of the snow and ice, however.