First Mountain Snow

Overcast. Showers increasing in frequency later in the day.

Temperatures in the 50s again, though it was down to the mid 40s overnight.

When the clouds lifted just enough, I saw snow above abou 4000 feet on the mountains. The first snow I’ve seen this fall.

Overall this October has been quite warm so far. However, yesterday’s high of 61F wasn’t particularly close to the record of 67F set in 1944. I realized I’ve noticed several days this month have daily records set in 1944. I checked the records and saw 1944 had the highest average maximum temperature of any October on record. At 57.1 degrees, it’s almost two degrees above the next highest of 57.1 (2018).

Rowan’s flight south was scheduled to take off around noon today.

We decided to go to the airport early and get breakfast. It was only after we arrived, that we learned the Alaska Airlines counter did not open for the flight until 10am, so Rowan couldn’t check her luggage until then.

After eating, we drove around for a bit. I stopped by the channel and happened to see the Heermann’s Gull out in the middle. I was able to get Rowan on it, and she added another species to her list.

I stopped briefly at the lake and took a couple pictures of the Wood Duck pair. They seem to have acclimated to people relatively fast, which makes me think it’s reasonably likely the female is the one that’s been here the past couple of winters.

I spent more time at the channel after dropping Rowan off. I didn’t see the Heermann’s Gull, but did chat with a couple of other birders. I also spoke briefly with someone who had an (expensive!) underwater ROV which he used to survey the fish plant outflow area. I was surprised to learn that a pile of fish bones has accumulated to about 17ft high.

I went by Castle Hill and did a walk around. I didn’t see any warblers or even any song birds other than one Song Sparrow.

This evening there was a little event for the Mule Deer foundation. I went there and ended up speaking with several folks.

My iNaturalist Observations for Today

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