Late today I received an email from Elias Takacs who visited the park this afternoon between 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM. During his time there he saw and photographed a migrating Northern Harrier. Also seen was one of the local Red-tails searching the park for another tasty meal.
Northern Harrier (Elias)
Thank you kindly for reporting your sighting today and welcome to the RMG Hawk Watch.
Tomorrow morning will see NW wind early and then WNW before switching to W in the afternoon.
To start the day we watched in amazement as at least 20,000 song birds flew overhead in what seemed like one gigantic endless stream. There were Red-wings, Cowbirds, Grackles, Robins, Waxwings, Bluebirds, Goldfinches and likely others all mixing together as they made their way westward. Hawk flight today for the most part was very high up and at times lighting made identification difficult. Best sighting of the day was our first Northern Goshawk of the season. It came flying by low overhead with several crows in tow.
Our latest addition to the fall List is a Bonaparte's Gull which Mark spotted flying low over the lake. It was mixed in to a very large group of gulls that were hovering over a raft of feeding Mergansers. A good number of Loons were also sitting close by. No Monarchs were observed again today but a nice surprise was a late Red Admiral butterfly.
Eastern Phoebe (Lee)
Golden-crowned Kinglet (Lee)
Cedar Waxwing (Lee)
American Robin (Lee)
A big thank you to: Mike 4, Paul, Mark, Bill, Terry, Berle, Norm, John, Betty, Mike 5, Pat & Nancy, Carol, Manny, Cori, Lee, Jean & Ron, Trudy, Ann, and Peter. Not an easy day!
Some of the gang (Ann)
Tomorrow (Saturday) is going to be wet! See you Sunday.
It was another day of never ending cloud cover changes. We kept hoping for an eagle up there but sadly it didn't happen. We did however get an amazing look at a low flying Red-shouldered Hawk. It came over the centre of the park barely clearly the trees, circled once and then carried on westward. Today's flight was much lower down than yesterday.
Oh my, what a day we had! With Osprey and Broad-winged Hawks likely finished for the year, we saw and counted 12 of the 15 species that we normally see migrating over Rosetta. That would leave just the Northern Goshawk as not being seen today. Rain, sleet, and hail didn't really seem to matter today as the birds were in the mood to fly. At one point this afternoon the sky was starting to fill with TVs and before we could finish counting them we had to head for cover as the bad weather moved in. I thank Manny for doing his best to find them all as they passed just to the north. Our first two Golden Eagles of the season were counted today as well as Bald Eagles #99 and #100! As many of the birds today were very high up, I'd like to thank everyone for their help in finding and ID'ing them. Not easy when the skies continued to change all day long! Today:
Turkey Vulture - 80
Bald Eagle - 2
Northern Harrier - 11
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 80
Cooper's Hawk - 3
Red-shouldered Hawk - 2
Red-tailed Hawk - 35
Rough-legged Hawk - 6
Golden Eagle - 2
American Kestrel - 2
Merlin - 3
Peregrine Falcon - 7
Total - 233
Eagle Time (EDT):
11:14 AM - BE
11:45 AM - BE
12:02 PM - GE
03:00 PM - GE
Some of the photos from today...
Red-tailed Hawk (Ann)
Sharp-shinned Hawk (Ann)
Red-tailed Hawk (Paul)
Golden Eagle (Mike)
Turkey Vultures (Mike)
Rough-legged Hawk (Walter)
Golden Eagle (Walter)
The Fox Sparrow was our new species for the fall 'List'. Five Monarchs were counted today as well as 15 Loons flying overhead. 3000-5000 Red-breasted Mergansers were observed moving around the lake just out in front of our Watch site.
Under the cover of the big ol' Maple (Paul)
Golden-crowned Kinglet (Ann)
On-hand today were: Kris, Bill, Paul, John, Bruce, Dave, Betty, Peter, Mike 3, Ron and Jean, Arvo, Terry, Lynn, Manny, Cori, Lee, Trudy, and Ann. My apologies if I've missed anyone.
Strong wind from the west is predicted for tomorrow (Thursday).
As I arrived at the park and approached the Watch site this morning our first bird of the day flew by at eye level, it was a Northern Harrier. The wind was a little bit better today, maybe even a slight north element at times, hard to say. Birds came but again few and far between. Best sighting of the day was a light morph Rough-legged Hawk that came in over the top of the trees, in to the park, and then northward and over Variety Village. A short and sweet sighting!
Two Monarch butterflies braved the cold wind and made their way along the bluffs. Only 1 Loon was counted today. A Black-throated Green Warbler was a nice surprise find today. Eastern Bluebirds were observed again early this morning migrating westward overhead. Although we never have too many Bluebirds land in the park they're now my favourite migrating passerine. Always heard first and then seen.
Black-throated Green Warbler
And one that I took...
Watchers today included: Paul, Kris, Hugh, Carol, Ron, Lee, Berle, John, Terry, Peter, Manny, Betty, and Trudy. Thank you everyone for another fun-filled day!
Special note: Today I was given word that the city will be installing Frank's bench tomorrow sometime. Unfortunately, we're not 100% sure of just what that means. They might just be pouring the concrete foundation and then putting in the bench a few days later as we've seen in the past. Anyway, I'll keep you informed of what's happening here on the blog. Likely one day next week we'll all get together down at the park for the unveiling of the bench and a celebration of our time with the big guy.
The predicted weather forecast from wunderground.com is "Overcast with a chance of rain in the morning, then partly cloudy with a chance of rain. High of 10C. Breezy. Winds from the NW at 15 to 25 km/h. Chance of rain 50%." The Weather Network's forecast was very similar. Let's all hope for a big day and that the rain doesn't come!
Wow, great day! Not a lot of birds but various events kept things interesting throughout. Of course the large group of watchers that gathered today didn't hurt either. Thankyou to Ron and Murray for coordinating a Timbit run. The wind was blowing good from the west, cloud cover was excellent, and most birds were seen well (check photos below). Our first eagle of the day was spotted quite far away in the gap and it wasn't until it got pretty much right over the watch site that we could ID it with certainty. Another hawk flew right over top of us fairly high up but unfortunately has not been ID'ed as yet. Thankyou Paul for the photo. We also had a Sharpie fly in from the lake side and head right toward an unsuspecting Downy Woodpecker that was feeding in the Crab Apple tree in front of us. Another nice moment came when I spotted a Peregrine Falcon flying in over the gap and because of the lighting conditions at the time I could clearly see it's face even from that distance away.