Special Post - In The Beginning...

Earlier tonight while sorting through a pile of Frank's old paperwork that had been sitting in a cupboard in the office at the park I found the following piece to be of special interest and wanted to share it with everybody.

It's Frank's report for his first season of hawk watching at Rosetta.

Frank's Rosetta McClain Memorial Gardens Report Fall 2004

Walter

September 21st - Rain, Rain, Go Away...!

Well folks, it's was definitely a 'wash-out' today.  I saw absolutely no birds...from my kitchen window!  We'll try again tomorrow.

At present, the predicted forecast from wunderground.com is "Overcast in the morning, then mostly cloudy. High of 15C. Breezy. Winds from the NNW at 15 to 25 km/h".  And from theweathernetwork.com "NW 20 km/h wind switching to N 20 km/h, with gusts up to 30 km/h".  Sounds to me like a beautiful day to be at the park hawk-watching!

Walter

September 20th - Not Today!

With expectations being extremely low for hawk migration given the weather conditions, I didn't bother to go down to the park today.  If anyone did go and saw anything of interest please let me know.  Thanks.

Walter

September 19th - 4 Birds In 4 Hours!

Not a very productive day at the park.  4 birds in 4 hours didn't quite do it for me.  This morning was extremely overcast and there was absolutely no wind.  Those gathered did however have a nice chat.

Today:
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2
American Kestrel - 2
Total - 4

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 52
Osprey - 91
Bald Eagle - 81
Northern Harrier - 48
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 890
Cooper's Hawk - 11
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 68
Red-tailed Hawk - 51
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 281
Merlin - 28
Peregrine Falcon - 9
Total - 1610

A few small flocks of Blue Jays migrated over the park early in the day.

Walter

September 18th - A Short-eared Owl!!!

Today was yet another one of those 'all-blue sky' kind of days.....and low SW wind to boot!  Things went pretty much as expected, a few Sharpies here and there.  Of course, that was until Phil showed up for his lunch break!  He was able to spot a Short-eared Owl flying along and heading toward us.  Not too high up but impossible to see in the blue sky, it took me what seemed like an hour before I finally got on it.  The 'wow' factor in seeing one of these beautiful birds flying over your local park is something else.  This is actually the 3rd time in the last four years that we've seen one.  Thankyou Phil!

Today:
Northern Harrier - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 16
Cooper's Hawk - 1
Total - 18

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 52
Osprey - 91
Bald Eagle - 81
Northern Harrier - 48
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 888
Cooper's Hawk - 11
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 68
Red-tailed Hawk - 51
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 279
Merlin - 28
Peregrine Falcon - 9
Total - 1606

Unfortunately I couldn't seem to find the lightly coloured owl in my view finder so sadly no photos!

Blue Jay migration appears to have started with about a half dozen flocks flying over this morning totalling roughly 60 birds.  Monarch butterflies were down today but still we must've seen 40+.

Norm, Peter, Phil, Ron, Alex, Hugh, Carol, and new watcher Doug were on-hand for at least some of the birds today.  Thanks everyone!

Saturday and Sunday are likely our next days with a 'north' element in the wind direction.  Stay tuned!

Walter

September 17th - Another Eagle!

After all the excitement yesterday afternoon, things were much quieter today.  Only 6 birds were counted.  The highlight was another Bald Eagle!  The three of us who were at the park were sitting chatting away about this, that, and the other thing when I got a text message from Lee saying to watch for a fast flying adult eagle along the bluffs.  We jumped up, got in to position and sure enough, 2-3 minutes later there it was!  Talking to Lee later on I found out that she was at the east end of Bluffer's Park in the parking area close to the beach when she saw and reported the eagle.  That bird was going like a bat out of Hell!

Today:
Bald Eagle - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 5
Total - 6

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 52
Osprey - 91
Bald Eagle - 81
Northern Harrier - 47
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 872
Cooper's Hawk - 10
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 68
Red-tailed Hawk - 51
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 279
Merlin - 28
Peregrine Falcon - 9
Total - 1588

Eagle Time (EDT):
10:20 AM - BE adult

Here's a photo of the eagle that Lee quickly snapped using her cell phone...

 
And a photo that I took at Rosetta...
 
 
Carol and a few others were at the park at 3:00 PM and witnessed an adult Red-tailed Hawk kill and eat one of the squirrels.  Apparently this was the 2nd time during the afternoon that this had happened.
 
Niagara Falls this morning
 
It appears that the next few days are not going to be in our favour with light winds from the south.
 
Walter
 

September 16th - More Eagles Than Birders!

When I went down to the park this morning I was expecting to see and count hundreds of Sharpies and Kestrels and maybe a decent number of Broad-wings, none of that happened.  Even with good wind blowing down from the north not many birds were flying overhead at all.  At 1:45 PM, an eagle was spotted flying fairly low over the north end of the park, then another eagle on the same line of flight, it was followed by another and then another and another...  A few more eagles were seen flying on a line just a little lower down behind many of the trees.  At the west end of the park, several of the eagles were observed rising up on thermals and loosely kettling together.  By the time things settled back down, most of us were speechless for several minutes.  Later in the afternoon at 3:04 PM, 6 more eagles were seen straight overhead flying in a line together one after another.  By day's end we had tallied up a jaw-dropping 27 Bald Eagles!

Today:
Turkey Vulture - 25
Osprey - 10
Bald Eagle - 27
Northern Harrier - 5
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 71
Cooper's Hawk - 1
Red-tailed Hawk - 5
American Kestrel - 18
Merlin - 3
Peregrine Falcon - 5
Total - 170

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 52
Osprey - 91
Bald Eagle - 80
Northern Harrier - 47
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 867
Cooper's Hawk - 10
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 68
Red-tailed Hawk - 51
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 279
Merlin - 28
Peregrine Falcon - 9
Total - 1582

Eagle Time (EDT):
10:28 AM - BE adult
11:18 AM - BE immature (non-adult)
11:51 AM - BE immature (non-adult)
12:07 PM - BE immature (non-adult)
01:16 PM - BE adult
01:45 PM - BE x12 (mixed)
02:41 PM - BE immature (non-adult)
02:50 PM - BE adult
03:04 PM - BE x6 (mixed)
03:56 PM - BE x2 immature (non-adult)

Today's 27 Bald Eagles is a new 'Day' record for the Watch, the old record was 18.  Our 'Month' record now sits at 74, up from our old record of 43.  And our 'Year' record is now at 80, up from our old record of 73.  We have loads of time left in the season to really push these records to new heights!

Some nice photos courtesy of Ann...

Some of the eagles from today!
 
A Red-tail vs Crow smackdown!
 
Merlin
 
Another 13 Loons were counted today as well as 75+ Monarchs.
 
As a big flight of birds didn't materialize as we'd hoped for, some folks left the park just before it got exciting.  Watchers included: Ann, Byron, Kris, Peter, Betty, Effie, Manny, Robert, Norm, Berle, Terry, Bruce, Cori, and Lee.
 
Walter
 

September 15th - More Birders Than Birds!

Lots of great cloud cover today but with no wind, there were few birds compared to the number of people gathered to watch them.  It happens.  We did however add 4 more Osprey to our count.

Today:
Osprey - 4
Northern Harrier - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 8
American Kestrel - 3
Total - 16

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 27
Osprey - 80
Bald Eagle - 53
Northern Harrier - 38
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 779
Cooper's Hawk - 9
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 68
Red-tailed Hawk - 46
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 248
Merlin - 24
Peregrine Falcon - 4
Total - 1376

All shots today courtesy of Ann Brokelman...

Osprey

Sharp-shinned Hawk

3 Loons were counted and roughly 50 Monarch butterflies.

Monarch

Big crowd on-hand today including: Ann, Mike 4, Arvo, Tom, Mark, Byron, Mike & Leslie, Mike 5, Pat & Nancy, Patty, Carol, Norm, Ivor, Manny, Jinath & Chris, Peter, and Alex.  Sorry if I've missed anyone.



Tomorrow's (Monday's) forecast from wunderground.com says "Partly cloudy with a chance of rain. High of 17C. Breezy. Winds from the NNE at 15 to 30 km/h. Chance of rain 40%".  So if birds come, they'll likely be up high.  Let's see!

Walter