Sep 23rd - A Nice Surprise

This afternoon while watching butterfly and dragonfly migration over the backyard I got a nice surprise when this beautiful Bald Eagle flew through.

Also seen flying over was an American Kestrel and 2 local Turkey Vultures.

As for butterflies - between 12:30 - 4:00pm I counted 254 Monarchs flying overhead heading due west, 4 Cabbage Whites, and 5 Painted Ladies.  41 Monarchs landed in the back garden to nectar on various flowers.  Dragonflies filled the sky all afternoon.

Keep lookin' up!

Sep 22nd - Bird Species #213

Hi folks,

Sorry this is a little late but, better late than never, right?  Anyway, our good birding friend Noam Markus found and photographed a Northern Waterthrush (our 29th Warbler species) in the south-eastern corner of the park back on September 9th.  This is just another amazing sighting and new addition for our little garden park.  Bird species #213.  Way to go Noam!

All 213 bird species can be found here


Septemer 21-2017

One measly peregrine!

This continues to be a very frustrating fall migration and I expect more of the same with this heat wave.  Theresa sent along this report:

Magnolia Warbler
2 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds
and all the regulars

Again the Monarchs were migrating at at least one per minute and by the afternoon there were at least two dozen Painted Ladies in the park at the same time.

Observers: Sonja, Hugh, Beryl and Theresa

Thanks to everyone who keeps going out.  On the plus side, it's always nice to get together and it's great that we have such a beautiful park full of other types of wildlife.  It never gets boring!


September 20/2017

From Theresa:

Only two Sharp-shinned hawks migrating.  Also two groups of Blue Jays, totalling about 50 birds, about 25 Robins and 25 White-throated Sparrows.  One Black-throated Blue Warbler the only warbler nearby, but we didn't wander much

About one Monarch every minute from 10:45 to 1:45 pm

Present: Carol, Ann, Berryl, Betty, Terry and Theresa


Sep 19th - The Numbers So Far

Well folks, unfortunately the 'Global Warming' effect is not doing us any favours at Rosetta.  It's not doing any Hawk Watches along the shores of the Great Lakes any favours either!  The cool north-west winds have yet to blow and the low count totals so far are a clear result.  Hopefully things will change soon!!!!!  Enjoy the lasting heat and humidity while you can!

To Date (as of Sep 19th):
Turkey Vulture - 23
Osprey - 25
Bald Eagle - 30
Northern Harrier - 15
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 169
Cooper's Hawk - 18
Broad-winged Hawk - 13
Red-tailed Hawk - 22
American Kestrel - 45
Merlin - 12
Peregrine Falcon - 3
Total - 375

The Numbers comparison (as of Sep 19th):
2010 - 3188
2011 - 1968
2012 - 1660
2013 - 1610
2014 - 3220
2015 - 1941
2016 - 1098
2017 - 375

Thousands of raptors are heading south at this time (Sharpies, Kestrels, and Broad-wings especially) but without the north-west winds a-blowin' it's unlikely we'll be seeing many of them in the sky over Rosetta.  They'll be crossing the city further to the north unfortunately.  We have to continue to watch for them all the same as this is the ultimate reason why we hawk-watch in the first place (sure they're beautiful to look at!).  As observers of nature, we have to know what they're doing and where they're flying whether good or bad.

Keep up the excellent job everyone!


September 16-2017

Another quiet day.  Thanks to Dave for being a rock star and going out on these slow days.

Sharp-shinned hawks - 3

Notable birds include a great crested flycatcher.

September 15-2017

Thanks to Dave for the following report from the 15th:
Sharp-shinned hawks  16
Osprey                       1
American Kestrel        4
Cooper's Hawks         5
Northern Harrier         1

Other notables
Red eye vireo. (Phil).  American Redstart, Bay breasted, Wilson and Magnolia warblers 
Local TV and RT

And the highlight was a probable Hudsonian Godwit spotted by me heading out over the lake.

Observers.  Sheldon, Sue, Phil and Dave
We're still waiting for better weather!  In the meantime, Mike D took some nice photos of a Merlin in a tree last Saturday:


Raptor Watch procedures for the 2017 season

Thank you for your willingness to participate in the Rosetta McClain Gardens Raptor Watch as a Citizen Scientist.  Your observations are important.

The clipboard with the sign-in sheets for August-November and the 3 hole coiled workbook with a pen is in the Staff Office.  You will need to find a staff member to unlock the office to pick up the recording resources.  

Please start a new page for each day.  A day is from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm give or take.  You will notice on the sign-up sheet that the day is divided into a morning and afternoon time period.  10:00 AM - 12:30 and 12:30 to 3:00 PM.  Thank you for volunteering your time to help observe the raptors.

Record the species and record a tick count (IIII - groups of 5) of the number of each species of raptor that you observed during your watch in the workbook.  If you were lucky to see an eagle, please record the time of your sighting. There are 15 that are usually seen at Rosetta.  
American Kestrel (AMKE) , Bald Eagle (BAEA) , Broad-winged Hawk (BWHA), Cooper's Hawk (COHA), Golden Eagle (GOEA), Merlin (MERL), Northern Harrier (NOHA), Northern Goshawk (NOGO), Osprey (OSPR) , Peregrine Falcon (PEFA), Red Shoulder Hawk (RSHA), Red tail Hawk (RTHA) , Rough-legged Hawk (RLHA), Sharp Shinned Hawk (SSHA), & Turkey Vulture (TUVU).  

Please remember to also record the number of monarchs flying by and make note of other birds and mammals.

On a quiet day or if you have another commitment before 3:00 PM, it is ok to leave early.  If there is no one at the watch to hand over the workbook to continue recording, take a photo of the day's recording in the workbook and send it to rosettamcclaingardens at or just email the totals to rosettamcclaingardens at if you can’t take a photo. If you are able to get some photos, please send to rosettamcclaingardens at and they may be chosen for the blog.  Please return the clipboard, workbook, sign-in sheets and pen to the office.  (You may have to find a staff person again).  If there is no staff around, please take the clipboard and let us know.

The process for recording is evolving.  Your comments and/or questions are appreciated.  Please either email them to rosettamcclaingardens at or write them in the back of the workbook.

You are great!  Thank you for your contribution, Citizen Scientist.

Lee, Hugh, John, Betty, Terry

September 14-2017

Hi everyone,
Dave reported the following:
Sharp Shinned         14
Cooper's                 1
American Kestrel    1
This weather isn't helping migration at all, we need north winds and cooler temps!

Sep 13th - No Title

Today, Hugh reported the following...

Sharp-shinned Hawk - 3


Sep 12th - Mostly Sharpies...Mostly.

Hugh's report...

Sharp-shinned Hawk - 12
Merlin - 1
Total - 13

Dave, Hugh, and lots of kids.


Sep 10th - 3 More Birds

Today, Hugh had the following...

Turkey Vulture - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1
Merlin - 1