Bird Watching on Mt. LeConte
I am not sure if you can see the hole in the side of the mountain in this picture? It is known as the "eye of the needle". I am so used to taking a break and searching for the peregrine falcons when they used to nest there. You could see them flying around and bringing food back to their chicks. We have not seen them there in a few years. We believe they have moved their nest above the Bluffs. You can usually hear their chicks if you stop and take a rest at the bluffs. Twelve years later and I still stop and watch the falcons in great fascination. I think they are such beautiful birds. Chris and I learned, while traveling in Central America, that you won't always see animals on the ground. If you keep you eyes peeled to the trees, you will discover some exquisite birds. We spent ten weeks hiking through rain forests and beach trails checking out the unique birds that we don't see on top of Mt. Leconte. We may have not seen some of the four legged creatures, but our winged friends put on a show. I often tell people when they visit the mountain, stop and check out the birds. We see some pretty special species around here. Not counting the peregrine, I have seen a bald eagle, cross billed finch, and a black-throated blue warbler. These mountains are host to some magnificent birds. Remember next time you hike up, watch the sky around you. You never know what you might see.
As for today, our skies are a little foggy. We are currently socked in and the current temperature is 47º. The high yesterday was 53º.
5/20/2014 01:30:31 am
We took a group of our scouts to Alum a couple of weeks ago and got to see the falcons flying and landing above the bluffs. My friend had just joked about them swooping down to grab one of the red squirrels begging for food when we heard one of the birds. Both of us looked at each other and were worried we might have to take some boys to therapy after witnessing nature at work lol!
5/20/2014 02:13:16 am
Allyson, if you and Chris have never visited Wakullah Springs State Park south of Tallahassee, you need to go. Take the boat tour of the springs and river area and you will see manatees, alligators, and the most exotic collection of birds in the wild you have ever seen.
I've many times delighted in watching the ravens soar on the updrafts at Cliff Tops and have also seen the falcons on occasion. You are so right with your commentary this morning regarding the birds on the mountain. I am not thoroughly knowledgeable when it comes to identifying various bird species, but I appreciate them and always enjoy their calls and flights when I am blessed to see these. When I always pause at Inspiration Point it seems that it's the squirrels who get most of my attention; I don't feed them as I have seen many people do, and they will crawl right up onto my pants legs if I sit still enough, but I don't usually see many birds until I get further up the trail and past the bluffs. But for the last few years I have taken Trillium so as to avoid more of the crowds on Alum, although there can be small crowds up to Grotto Falls.
5/20/2014 05:32:12 am
Ive seen it in person but cant find it in this picture
5/21/2014 06:55:52 am
My wife and I are bird watchers, and each time we get above 4,000 ft we see something we haven't seen before, we dearly love getting up high on the mountain and sometimes we just get back a few yards off the trail and just set there quietly drinking in the sounds and the clean air.
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