Aug 16th - American Kestrel vs. Merlin


This morning at around 10 o'clock Ann was at the park to witness some unusual interactions between a male American Kestrel and a Merlin.

Here's the link: Ann Brokelman Photography

I believe this is the Merlin that's been in the area over the last several days.  That tail looks familiar!

As always, great photos Ann.

Walter

Aug 15th - 3 More Osprey

Sorry but this will be short...

Today:
Osprey - 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1
Total - 4

To Date:
Osprey - 12
Bald Eagle - 4
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 3
Copper's Hawk - 1
Broad-winged Hawk - 8
American Kestrel - 3
Merlin - 3
Total - 34

Walter

Aug 13th - Wow, Was It Cool Today!

With strong wind gustng from the WNW and at times the NW, the park had a totally different feel to it today...FALL!  Please not so fast!  Those gathered at the park were hoping to see a surge of raptors scrambling to the south but unfortunately that never materialized.  A few things that did occur were of interest though.  One somewhat odd sighting today was of an Osprey way up high over Kingston Road carrying a huge fish (a carp, I believe).  We have seen this a couple of times before at Rosetta but usually the birds were flying more out over the lake.  Another sighting was of a group of 3 Broad-winged Hawks moving eastward over the park, that was quickly followed by another group of 4 a few minutes later.  One eventually worked his way back westward.  Hopefully the others will sort themselves out and turn around.  Another Bald Eagle was added to the count today.  It too was way up high.  With 100% cloud cover, lighting conditions were terrible throughout the afternoon.

Today:
Osprey - 1
Bald Eagle - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1
Broad-winged Hawk - 1
Merlin - 1
Total - 5

To Date:
Osprey - 9
Bald Eagle - 4
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2
Copper's Hawk - 1
Broad-winged Hawk - 8
American Kestrel - 3
Merlin - 3
Total - 30

Eagle Time (EDT):
12:57 PM - BE (unknown age)

Here are a couple of cropped photos that I got of the high flyers today.


 Osprey

 Bald Eagle

This is one Kris took.

Broad-winged Hawk

My thanks to everyone for a great job spotting and identifying the birds under such lousy lighting conditions.  One of the local Turkey Vultures and the local Cooper's Hawk made brief appearances as well today.  Butterflies were few and far between but we did see an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and Black Swallowtail together on the same Butterfly Bush.

Watchers today included, Leon, Ron, John, Don, Kris, Theresa, Phil, Berle, Peter, Betty, Carol, Terry, and Bruce.

We'll try again tomorrow.

Walter

Aug 11th - 3 Osprey Flying Over Together

Just after 10:00AM this morning Lee, who was at Bluffer's Park, sent me a text message asking if I had seen 3 Osprey flying over Rosetta.  Sadly, I had to reply with a big 'no' as I was in my basement at home waiting for a furnace maintenance guy to come.  It wasn't until I arrived at the park sometime around lunch that I was happily informed that John and a few others were present to see them fly directly overhead.  Thankyou everyone!  Unfortunately though that was it for raptor sightings for the day.  (The last time that three Osprey were observed flying together at Rosetta was in September of 2010 when we saw it happen 2 or 3 times in one day.....the day we counted 53 Osprey!)

To Date:
Osprey - 8
Bald Eagle - 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1
Copper's Hawk - 1
Broad-winged Hawk - 7
American Kestrel - 3
Merlin - 2
Total - 25

The mink was seen again this afternoon running along and through the fence by the big Maple tree.  We'll have to monitor the squirrel and bunny populations for a while.

Our 'butterflying' friend Leon S. was at the park today in search of the female Fiery Skipper that I photographed and reported online two days ago.  He didn't find the skipper but he told me that he had seen an Eastern Comma and a Giant Swallowtail in the search.  That was great news to me as they were both new species for our fall park survey.  We are currently sitting at 17 butterfly species in just the first 11 days of the survey.  While chatting with Leon in the main garden area I spotted a Giant Swallowtail flying and landing in a bed of Petunias and other flowers.  We quickly went over and Leon informed me that it was a different one then the one he'd seen earlier.  He said that this one was in much better shape.  A third 'Giant' was seen later in the day while Cori was searching the gardens.

Here are two photos that I took.

Giant Swallowtail (upperside)

 Giant Swallowtail (underside)

The forecast for the next day or two sees rain in the area so we'll likely have to wait it out.  Thursday is still looking good for an early movement of birds.

Walter

PS:  To my friend Robin, Thankyou for all the laughs.

Aug 9th & 10th - Weekend Update

Just a quick note to update everyone on what was seen over the weekend...one Sharp-shinned Hawk!  Hopefully things will pick-up later this week after the rain.  Thursday is looking good at present.

Red-tailed Hawk (local)

Walter