Aug 23rd - Where Was The Sun?!!

I could have sworn that when I left the house this morning the forecast for today was supposed to be partly cloudy with sunny breaks.  It turned out to be about 99% heavy cloud cover with only one short sunny break mid-afternoon.  The overcast sky and the threat of rain put a chill in the air and made me feel cold much of the day.  To add to it, there was little bird movement, only one or two squirrels, a quick rabbit sighting, less then a handful of butterflies, very few park walkers, and only a couple of visitors to the Hawk Watch.  Several wedding parties late in the afternoon helped bring back some of the 'usual' Saturday busyness.

Our raptor count for the day was not great with an average of only 1 bird per hour but I'm happy with the fact that we added another 4 Osprey.  Identification today was solely done by shape as the birds were silhouetted against the sky.

Today:
Osprey - 4
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 3
American Kestrel - 1
Merlin - 1
Total - 9

To Date:
Osprey - 25
Bald Eagle - 5
Northern Harrier - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 13
Cooper's Hawk - 1
Broad-winged Hawk - 8
American Kestrel - 6
Merlin - 5
Total -64

Yet another Giant Swallowtail butterfly flew through the park heading westward during the sunny period.  We've now had 9 'Giants' since August 11th.  Not bad for a butterfly that just a couple of years ago was considered a 'migrant' and mostly only seen in southern Ontario.

My thanks to Manny, John, Carol, Betty, Peter, Cori, and Hugh for your help and friendship today.

Sunnier skies tomorrow!

Walter

Aug 22nd - 7 Birds!

Today:
Osprey - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 5
American Kestrel - 1
Total - 7

To Date:
Osprey - 21
Bald Eagle - 5
Northern Harrier - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 10
Cooper's Hawk - 1
Broad-winged Hawk - 8
American Kestrel - 5
Merlin - 4
Total - 55

Common Nighthawk - 3

Walter

Aug 20th & 21st - Any Birds?

Hi folks,

I just received a report from Leon via Betty's email.  This morning at the Watch site Leon counted 2 Osprey, an American Kestrel, a Sharp-shinned Hawk, the local Merlin, and 105 people walking!

I received an update to the above from Leon via Peter's email.  Leon added our first Northern Harrier of the season and his people count was up over 125.

To add to that Ann had 2 Osprey while she was at the park this afternoon after work and I had an Osprey over the No Frills parking lot late this afternoon.

Thankyou everyone!  I've been absent from the park the last two days so if anyone else has seen any birds (excluding the locals) please let me know and I'll add them to the count.  I'll be back at the park early tomorrow morning, hope to see you there.

Walter

Aug 19th - A Few This Morning

With moderate winds blowing in from across the lake this morning a couple of birds decided to fly.  Osprey, eagles and falcons are birds that don't seem to mind a 'south' element in the wind.  They'll take advantage of the lift that's provided from the updraft coming off the bluffs and fly along on it.  By mid-day the winds became quite gusty and ended any hope we had for seeing more birds.

Today:
Osprey - 2
Bald Eagle - 1
Merlin - 1
Total - 4

To Date:
Osprey - 15
Bald Eagle - 5
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 4
Copper's Hawk - 1
Broad-winged Hawk - 8
American Kestrel - 3
Merlin - 4
Total - 40

Eagle Time (EDT):
10:30 AM - BE (juvenile)

Today we saw another Giant Swallowtail butterfly fly through the park.  Also, a Walking Stick was found - that's one cool looking bug if you've never seen one before.

At the park today were: Brian, Pat & Nancy, Carol, Don, Peter, Arvo, Leon, and new friend Krista.  Thanks everyone!

Walter

Aug 17th & 18th Update

Just a quick update to let you all know that we've (meaning many hawk watchers) been at the Watch searching the skies for hawks over the last two days but sadly it's been dreadfully slow.  As much as I'm sure we don't want to wish the summer away we are getting quite anxious to see migrating birds.  Yesterday we had an Osprey out over the lake and today we watched a Sharp-shinned Hawk chase a Blue Jay out of the park.

Yesterday we saw our 5th Giant Swallowtail butterfly of the fall season and today it was extremely likely that Leon and I sighted a Spicebush Swallowtail flying through the main gardens.  Unfortunately it didn't land on any flowers.

Walter