August 3rd - More of the Same...but

Nuttin' again today but that's okay cuz a few are gettin' closer.  Today Ann reported seeing 1 Osprey and 7 Turkey Vultures over her neighbourhood roughly 6 kms away to the east.  If any of those birds got passed us at the park it wasn't for the lack of trying.  Betty and I scanned the sky for at least 20 minutes after we got the call.  The best we could do was a local Turkey Vulture and a local Red-tailed Hawk.

New additions today to the BIRDS, BUTTERFLIES and MAMMALS lists were a juvenile Brown-headed Cowbird, a Downy Woodpecker, and the local Turkey Vulture for birds.  Butterflies species included Question Mark, Red Admiral and Viceroy.  No new mammals to report.

Lots of good folks stopped by today including Lorne, Pat & Nancy, Pat's brother Mike, Betty, and Gunnar and his wife Vivian.

With tonight's single digit temperatures in the north and tomorrow's predicted NW 20-25 wind in the GTA, that might just do the trick and bring us some early migrants.  Fingers crossed!

Walter

August 2nd - A Repeat

Day two is now in the books and unfortunately again we ended up with zero raptors - not really a big surprise.  Today was another gorgeous day to be out.  My time was split between looking for birds and chatting with Tom, Berle, Phil and his daughter Marrisa, Betty, Lee and several park walkers who all stopped by to say hi.

Much of what was observed yesterday was seen again today but I did manage to get a few new additions:

TIME:
8:30AM - 12:30PM

BIRDS:
Great Egret
Barn Swallow

BUTTERFLIES:
Eastern Comma
Mourning Cloak

MAMMALS:
American Red Squirrel

Again today I had 2 Hummingbird sightings but like yesterday they appeared to be just flying through, not sure if they're stopping anywhere in the park.  This year's gardens unfortunately lack the Black and Blue Salvia flowers that kept so many Hummers and so many people happy last season.  There are likely other flowers that they'll stop and feed from but they may not stay so long at them.

Walter

August 1st - A Beautiful Opening Day!

Well, today went pretty much as expected...no countable raptors!  But what a beautiful day to be out enjoying the park, the sun and a nice cool breeze off the lake.  I think this might have actually been the best opening day to the Hawk Watch that I've ever experienced.  Even with the big puffy white clouds overhead there was still lots of sunshine and like always the little Maple tree was there as my protection from getting too burnt.

The only raptor that was seen was a 'local' Red-tailed Hawk.  It soared over the park from west to east and was searching for it's lunch.

The following is a report of what was seen today:

TIME:
10:00AM - 2:00PM

BIRDS:
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Red-tailed Hawk (local bird)
Ring-billed Gull
Caspian Tern
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Northern Flicker
Eastern Kingbird
Blue Jay
American Crow
Purple Martin
Bank Swallow
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
House Wren
American Robin
Gray Catbird
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Song Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

BUTTERFLIES:
Silver-spotted Skipper
Northern Broken-Dash
Black Swallowtail
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
Cabbage White
Monarch

MAMMALS:
Eastern Gray Squirrel
Eastern Cottontail

Over the course of the next four months I'll be keeping a running list on my computer of what is seen at the park for the above BIRDS, BUTTERFLIES and MAMMALS and I'll report anything of interest in the daily postings.  Of course, anything else that we can identify will be listed as well.

Walter

A Quick Note...

Hi everyone,  It looks as though the start of this year's Raptor Watch is going to be a soggy one.  I'll be down at Rosetta when the rain stops and I'll be patiently watching for bird #1.

As most of you know it's going to be painfully slow for the first few weeks.  The only hope I have right now for anything flying earlier than normal is due to the fact that we're experiencing much cooler temperatures lately.  We'll see what happens.

As in the past, we should see somewhere in the neighbourhood of 15-20 raptors total over the first 15 days.  After that we'll see a slow but gradual increase in volume, usually jumping up towards the final days of the month.  Over that time we'll see a number of Osprey, Bald Eagles, Sharp-shinned Hawks and American Kestrels starting on their journey south.  Several of the other raptor species will be seen as well but in much lower numbers.

For the most part I suggest waiting till later in the month when things start to pickup before coming to the park but, if you're in the neighbourhood, don't hesitate to stop in and say hello.  The park is full of beautiful flower gardens and there are plenty of benches to sit on and enjoy the day.

Officially the hawk watch season doesn't start till August 15th but we're not official so we start now!

Walter