Sep 27th - 5 Peregrine Falcons!

Today:
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1
Merlin - 2
Peregrine Falcon - 5
Today - 8

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 139
Osprey - 49
Bald Eagle - 77
Northern Harrier - 69
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 605
Cooper's Hawk - 16
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 233
Red-tailed Hawk - 26
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 175
Merlin - 56
Peregrine Falcon - 11
Total - 1456

our 2 'local' Red-tailed Hawks (Lee)
(look at the crop on the 2nd bird!)

one of 5 Peregrine Falcons (Lee)

a crow moving one of the Red-tails along (Lee)

Butterflies:
Fiery Skipper - 1
Monarch - 38 (13 tagged)

People:
Sophie, Terry, Betty, Allison, Arvo, Trudy, Krista, Peter, Hugh, Berle, Bill & Margaret, Carol, Dave, Lee, Vicky & Diane.  Thankyou!

Weather Prediction:
SE wind switching to E in the afternoon.  Not great for migration.

Walter

An Update on This Year's Count

With all the effects of the El Nino and possibly now the La Nina, the hawk-watching along the north shores of Lake Ontario and Lake Erie this fall has not been quite what it has been in previous years.....at least not yet anyway!

This is how the RMGRW is doing...

As of September 25th:
2014 - 4315 birds counted
2010 - 3401 birds counted
2006 - 2642 birds counted
2013 - 2589 birds counted
2015 - 2551 birds counted
2007 - 2376 birds counted
2011 - 2361 birds counted
2012 - 2359 birds counted
2016 - 1448 birds counted
2008 - 1286 birds counted
2009 - 0708 birds counted

2004 - a full year of counting was not conducted
2005 - a full year of counting was not conducted

Let's hope for better (cold and windy) days ahead!

Walter

Sep 25th - A Beautiful Fall Day...

...not many birds tho!

Today:
Turkey Vulture - 4
Osprey - 1
Bald Eagle - 1
Northern Harrier - 6
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 3
Red-tailed Hawk - 2
American Kestrel - 1
Total - 18

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 139
Osprey - 49
Bald Eagle - 77
Northern Harrier - 69
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 604
Cooper's Hawk - 16
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 233
Red-tailed Hawk - 26
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 175
Merlin - 54
Peregrine Falcon - 6
Total - 1448

Eagle Time (DST):
08:53am - BE

a nice close birthday pass for Lee!

Cooper's Hawk (Paul)

Red-tailed Hawk (Lee)

Merlin (Lee)

Coming in for a landing (Arvo)

Turkey Vulture (Paul)

Other Birds:
Blue Jay - several hundred flying overhead again today
Loon sp - 5
Songbirds - many including White-throated Sparrow and both Kinglets throughout the park

Blue Jays on the move (Lee)

Brown Creeper (Arvo)

Blue Jay (Arvo)

Winter Wren (Paul)

Bugs:
Monarch - 34 (4 tagged)

a migrating dragonfly taking a break (Paul)

People:
Phil, Peter, Rob, Norm, Mike & Leslie, Paul, Berle, Bruce & Ann Falls, Hugh, Betty, Ron, Lee, and Arvo.  Thankyou all for a great day at the park.

Weather Prediction:
Rain for Monday!

Walter

Sep 24th - 12 More Eagles!!!

Thanks to the heads-up from Tyler H last night we stood and starred up at the all-blue sky overhead today searching and searching for eagles.  We found twelve of them!  The blue sky made finding and viewing the birds extremely difficult, in fact many birds were spotted after they'd flown by us.  Yes, at times we were standing facing west and watching for birds that were flying from the east!  LOL!

Today:
Turkey Vulture - 94
Osprey - 4
Bald Eagle - 12
Northern Harrier - 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 24
Cooper's Hawk - 2
Red-tailed Hawk - 1
American Kestrel - 5
Merlin - 2
Total - 147

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 135
Osprey - 48
Bald Eagle - 76
Northern Harrier - 63
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 601
Cooper's Hawk - 16
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 233
Red-tailed Hawk - 24
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 174
Merlin - 54
Peregrine Falcon - 6
Total - 1430

Eagle Time (DST):
09:37am - BE
10:28am - BE
11:08am - BE
11:21am - BEx2
11:48am - BE
12:23pm - BE
12:26pm - BE
12:41pm - BE
02:00pm - BE
02:04pm - BE
02:15pm - BE

a sub-adult Bald Eagle (Mike D)

American Kestrel (Lee)

local Red-tailed Hawk (Mike D)

Cooper's Hawk (Lee)

Osprey (Mike D)

Turkey Vulture (Mike D)

a young Sharp-shinned Hawk (Lee)

a juvenile Northern Harrier (Mike D)

another gorgeous Cooper's Hawk (Mike D)

a high-flying Bald Eagle (Walter)

Other Birds:
Blue Jay - several hundred heading southwest over the park
Canada Goose - several flocks of various sizes heading south over the lake
Golden-crowned Kinglet - many
Loon sp - 8
Rusty Blackbird - 2
Snow Goose - a few large flocks heading south over the lake

Butterflies:
Fiery Skipper - 1
Monarch - 44 (12 tagged)
Orange Sulphur - 3

Misc:

The Goodyear Blimp provided arial coverage of the Raptor Watch today! (Lee)
Dare to dream!!! 
(actually it was just heading downtown for the hockey game)

People:
Many people were at the Watch today including Lee

Weather Prediction:
There'll be a couple of hours of NE wind to start the day tomorrow but that will quickly change to E wind before the morning ends.

Walter

Sep 23rd - Too Much Rain Today!

Today's numbers would've been quite a bit higher if it wasn't for all the rain.  Every time we thought it was going to stop, it would just get a little stronger again.  Anyway, we spent a few cold but enjoyable hours sitting under the big ol' Maple talking and waiting for it to pass.

Today:
Osprey - 7
Bald Eagle - 1
Northern Harrier - 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 10
Cooper's Hawk - 3
American Kestrel - 15
Merlin - 6
Total - 44

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 41
Osprey - 44
Bald Eagle - 64
Northern Harrier - 60
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 577
Cooper's Hawk - 14
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 233
Red-tailed Hawk - 23
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 169
Merlin - 52
Peregrine Falcon - 6
Total - 1283

Eagle Time (DST):
11:02am - BE

Other Birds:
Blue Jay - hundreds, mostly before the rain started
Great Blue Heron - 6
Loon sp - 9
Warbler sp - seemed like a number were around but impossible to ID under such a dark sky

Butterflies:
Monarch - 6 (no tagging today)

People:
Mark, Terry, Markus, and one other hawk watcher.  Thankyou!!!

Weather Prediction:
Looks like a number of hours of NE wind tomorrow before switching around.  Remember, NE wind is great but the birds will be flying much higher up!  Bring your best binoculars!

Check out the comment left by Tyler Hoar below, very encouraging!

Walter

Sep 22nd - Much of The Same Today

Today:
Osprey - 1
Northern Harrier - 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 64
Cooper's Hawk - 1
American Kestrel - 3
Merlin - 6
Total - 77

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 41
Osprey - 37
Bald Eagle - 63
Northern Harrier - 58
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 567
Cooper's Hawk - 11
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 233
Red-tailed Hawk - 23
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 154
Merlin - 46
Peregrine Falcon - 6
Total - 1239

Other Birds:
Blue Jay - a few 1000!!!
Red-bellied Woodpecker - 1
Red-tailed Hawk - 1 local
Songbird sp - very few have been noted in the last few days

Great action shot!  The Jays were bombing this Merlin late in the afternoon  (Lee)

Butterflies:
Monarch - 150 estimated (20 tagged)

My current 'Monarch Migration Count' stats show the following...
Counted - 3510
Tagged - 797 (573 males, 222 females, 2 sex not determined)

People:
Mark, Don, Arvo, Dave, Kevin, Allison, Sophie, Carol L, Terry, Betty, Carol P, Jeff and Carol, plus several others who stopped by.  Thankyou all for your friendship and help!

Weather Prediction:
Although the wind is blowing down from the north tomorrow, there is 40%-60% change of rain during the morning hours.  We'll have to wait and see what unfolds.

Walter

Sep 21st - A Few Hawks and Butterflies

Today:
Osprey - 1
Northern Harrier - 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 11
Cooper's Hawk - 1
Merlin - 2
Total - 17

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 41
Osprey - 36
Bald Eagle - 63
Northern Harrier - 56
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 503
Cooper's Hawk - 10
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 233
Red-tailed Hawk - 23
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 151
Merlin - 40
Peregrine Falcon - 6
Total - 1162

Merlin (Walter)

Other Birds:
Belted Kingfisher - 1 flying low over the park and heading north
Blue Jay - hundreds passing over the park again today

Butterflies:
American Lady - 1
Black Swallowtail - 1
Clouded Sulphur - 4
Eastern Tailed Blue - 1
Fiery Skipper - 2 or 3
Monarch - 200 estimated (52 tagged)
Orange Sulphur - 1
Wild Indigo Duskywing - 1

 A fresh female Fiery Skipper (Walter)

People:
Trudy, Mark, Lee, Arvo, Norm, Terry, Betty, Leonardo, Peter, Allison, Carol, Sophie, Mikal, and a few others including a gentleman from the Cranberry Hawk Watch (sorry I didn't get your name) and Marty & Ginny (birders visiting Toronto from Madison, Wisconsin).  Today's Osprey flew low and straight over the center of the park while Marty and I were chatting.  Nice of the bird to demonstrate the terrific view we get at Rosetta of the hawks.  Also many Blue Jays were passing by low overhead as well during their time with us.

Weather Prediction:
South wind tomorrow!  Maybe a Jaeger out on the lake?!!!

Walter

Sep 20th - Quite the Day!

Not a lot of raptors today but it was an interesting day to sit and observe nature as it unfolded all around us.

The first few hours of the day started with a couple of thousand Blue Jays, a whole bunch of Cedar Waxwing flocks, and many American Goldfinches flying over the park and heading south for the winter.  There were a few other odd birds thrown-in but yours truly couldn't get on them fast enough with the camera or the binoculars.

At 10 o'clock sharp the Monarch migration through Rosetta got underway.  Up until that time we hadn't seen and single one!  They started off slowly but before long they were moving along the bluffs one after another.  One of the things that we noticed today while watching and counting the butterflies flying overhead was that a number of them seemed to be accompanied by a dragonfly.  They appeared to be flying as a team.  Not sure if there has been any scientific study done on this phenomenon or not but it sure looked like something was happening up there with the two of them.  Later in the afternoon not only did the Monarch migration really pick-up but we also had a small movement of both species of Sulphur butterflies - Clouded and Orange.  These are species that have not been seen in big numbers this season.

While we're on the subject of butterflies, in particular the Monarchs - Terry and Betty, with help from Bruce Grubbe, and Peter Attfield had their best day ever for tagging the little gems.  Working together as a team they were able to capture, tag, and release an unbelievable 106 Monarchs!  The only reason they arrived at this number was because they actually ran out of tags!  Who knows how high their bar could've been set if they hadn't depleted their sticker stock.  Congratulations on a record setting day!

As for the raptors - we had only counted a handful early in the morning but as we got in to the late afternoon and as the winds picked-up, so did the birds.  Thankfully that left us with a far more respectable count for the day.

Today:
Turkey Vulture - 2
Northern Harrier - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 31
Red-tailed Hawk - 2
American Kestrel - 5
Merlin - 6
Total - 47

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 41
Osprey - 35
Bald Eagle - 63
Northern Harrier - 54
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 492
Cooper's Hawk - 9
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 233
Red-tailed Hawk - 23
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 151
Merlin - 38
Peregrine Falcon - 6
Total - 1145

American Kestrel (Paul)

A local Red-tailed Hawk (Paul)

 A 'Sharpie' (Sharp-shinned Hawk) with a full crop (Paul)

Other Birds:
American Goldfinch - many small flocks flying overhead in the morning
Blue Jay - a few thousand flying overhead mostly in the morning and late afternoon
Cedar Waxwing - many small flocks flying overhead in the morning

Butterflies:
Clouded Sulphur - 18
Eastern Tailed Blue - 3
Fiery Skipper - 2
Monarch - an estimated 600 (106 tagged!)
Orange Sulphur - 5

People:
Trudy, Matt, Betty, Bruce, Berle, Dave, Terry, Don, Manny, Arvo, Paul, Janice, Liz, and several others who stopped and checked us out.  Thankyou everyone for another wonderful day!

Weather Prediction:
SW wind for Wednesday!  Might be okay for a few birds to fly on!

See you along the fence,
Walter

Sep 19th - Let's Go Blue Jays!

Today:
Northern Harrier - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 28
American Kestrel - 1
Total - 30

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 39
Osprey - 35
Bald Eagle - 63
Northern Harrier - 53
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 461
Cooper's Hawk - 9
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 233
Red-tailed Hawk - 21
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 146
Merlin - 32
Peregrine Falcon - 6
Total - 1098

Other Birds:
Blue Jay - Hundreds flying over today!
Cooper's Hawk - 1 local
Merlin - 1 local
Red-tailed Hawk - 1 local
Rose-breasted Grosbeak - 1 (flyover)

Butterflies:
Fiery Skipper - 1
Monarch - 36 (0 tagged)

People:
Peter, Carol, Berle, Lee, Mark, Dave, and Matt.  Thanks everyone!

Weather Prediction:
I'm hoping that tomorrow's W wind has a little NW in it...as in WNW!  Fingers crossed!

Walter

Sep 18th - 10 Raptors and the Lanc!

Today:
Osprey - 1
Northern Harrier - 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2
American Kestrel - 2
Merlin - 2
Total - 10

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 39
Osprey - 35
Bald Eagle - 63
Northern Harrier - 52
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 433
Cooper's Hawk - 9
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 233
Red-tailed Hawk - 21
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 145
Merlin - 32
Peregrine Falcon - 6
Total - 1068

Merlin (Lee)

Northern Harrier (Arvo)

 Cooper's Hawk (Lee)

Butterflies:
Black Swallowtail - 1 (caterpillar)
Fiery Skipper - 1
Monarch - 100 (19 tagged)

The very beautiful Black Swallowtail caterpillar (Arvo)

Birds of the Metal Kind:

Lancaster Bomber (Arvo)

People:
Mark, Arvo, Peter, Mike & Leslie, Ron, Sarah and her dad Bruce, Norm, Nancy & Adam, Lee, Charles, Betty, and several others who popped in.  Thankyou everyone for a great day!

Walter

Sep 16th - Another Bald Eagle!

Thankyou to those who visited and reported from the hawk watch after I left at 2:00pm.  Sometimes life gets in the way of fun.  The day was a little slow with wrong wind and all blue sky but it was enjoyable being there nonetheless.

Today:
Bald Eagle - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 5
American Kestrel - 2
Merlin - 1
Total - 9

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 39
Osprey - 34
Bald Eagle - 63
Northern Harrier - 49
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 431
Cooper's Hawk - 9
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 233
Red-tailed Hawk - 21
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 143
Merlin - 30
Peregrine Falcon - 6
Total - 1058

Merlin (Lee)

One of possibly 3 local Red-tailed Hawks (Lee)

The attacking Jays might've got this Merlin's tail feather! (Lee)

 
 The Jays did not take to kindly to this Merlin hanging around their park (Lee)

 Merlin (Lee)

Other Birds:
Blue Jay - A good number were on the move migrating today

Butterflies:
Fiery Skipper - 2
Monarch - 30 (12 tagged)
Orange Sulphur - 1

Mammals:
Raccoon - 7

People:
Lee, Trudi, Terry, Betty, Manny, Berle, Tim, Jessica L (from Quest Nature Tours), Bruce G (visiting for Sudbury).  At the time of writing, it's Saturday afternoon, so I apologize to anyone I may have forgotten.

Weather Prediction:
All-day rain for Saturday!

Walter

Sep 15th - Wind Makes All the Difference!

Today:
Osprey - 3
Northern Harrier - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2
Broad-winged Hawk - 1
Merlin - 5
Total - 12

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 39
Osprey - 34
Bald Eagle - 62
Northern Harrier - 49
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 426
Cooper's Hawk - 9
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 233
Red-tailed Hawk - 21
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 141
Merlin - 29
Peregrine Falcon - 6
Total - 1049

Other Birds:
Brown Creeper - a few
Warbler sp - a few

Bugs:
Monarch - 38 (5 tagged)

A female Yellow Garden Spider (Walter)

People:
Hugh, Betty, Bruce Falls and family, Arvo, Norm, Irv, Linda, Kevin, Berle, Dave, Monika, Terry, plus several others.

Weather Prediction:
Mostly E and SE wind for Friday.  Not very good for migration!

Walter