Gusty Winds on a Fall Day

Continued overcast with gusty winds. Temperatures were into the lower 50s. A very light sprinkle of rain at times. Not enough to wet the ground.

While on a call this morning, through the north facing window I noticed a non-eagle raptor fighting the wind. It did not stick around long, but I was able to get photos sufficient to identify it as a Northern Harrier. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one from my house previously.

There was a banded junco in the yard this afternoon, but the way it was perched, I could only see the aluminum band on its left leg. That leaves many options, so I’ll try to watch for it (or other banded birds) to return.

I walked on Kramer Avenue again this afternoon. A bit later than yesterday. This time I stayed on the main road/trail the whole time. I saw more people than I did yesterday, so maybe it tends to get busier later in the day.

Not far down the trail, I saw squirrel run across a ways in front of me. Immediately after a raptor came swooping down and followed it into the bushes. A few moments later I saw glimpses of it flying through the trees. I don’t think it was successful in capturing the squirrel. The hawk was on the small side and had a long obviously banded tail. I’m pretty sure it was a Sharp-shinned Hawk, though I never got a good look at it. I was surprised it went after a squirrel. I’ve previously seen a Red-tailed Hawk with a squirrel, but nothing else.

Near my turnaround point I heard then was able to get brief looks at a Townsend’s Warbler up in the trees. It’s getting to be on the late side for them. Overall I saw fewer species and numbers of birds today compared to yesterday.

The wind was intermittent at ground level while I was walking. I could hear and see big gusts coming. They did not typically last long.

The smell of red alder leaves was strong in the air as I walked. I’m not sure how to describe it, but it’s one of the smells of the season here.

I noticed a gathering of mostly gulls, but also at least one Pacific Loon and a couple of Common Murres out on the water off the Channel Club. I’m guessing there was a small school of fish near the surface (or had been).

My iNaturalist Observations for Today

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