Oct 18th - Cold, Windy, and lots of Birds!

Even though it was uncomfortably cold, rainy and windy, it was another big day of hawkwatching at Rosetta.  More than three hundred raptors were observed migrating along the north shore of the lake.  A big highlight today was the sighting of our first Rough-legged Hawk of the season.  For those of you who are new to our Raptor Watch - although seen in each fall, this species is our second most rarest.  Of the nearly 59,000 raptors counted at Rosetta since inception, this sighting today is only our 92nd 'Roughie' ever!

Today:
Turkey Vulture - 19
Northern Harrier - 21
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 228
Cooper's Hawk - 7
Red-shouldered Hawk - 5
Red-tailed Hawk - 6
Rough-legged Hawk - 1
American Kestrel - 42
Merlin - 3
Peregrine Falcon - 4
Total - 336

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 2423
Osprey - 140
Bald Eagle - 87
Northern Harrier - 207
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 3262
Cooper's Hawk - 79
Northern Goshawk - 3
Red-shouldered Hawk - 13
Broad-winged Hawk - 1417
Red-tailed Hawk - 97
Rough-legged Hawk - 1
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 669
Merlin - 120
Peregrine Falcon - 73
Total - 8591

The following photos are shared by Mike D...

adult male Northern Harrier

adult Sharp-shinned Hawk

Peregrine Falcon

 local Red-tailed Hawk

Rough-legged Hawk
a young Red-shouldered Hawk

a young Sharp-shinned Hawk

A good number of Eastern Bluebirds were heard and seen flying overhead as well as many other small songbirds.  A total of 7 Loons were counted today.

Another nice sighting today was a Little Brown Bat early in the morning.

Only 9 Monarchs were counted today.

A huge thankyou to - Gunnar, Brian, Trudy, Ron, Betty, Mark, Mike D, Gary & Wei Li, Phil & Josh, Bruce, Allison, Arvo, Carol, Dave, Berle, Lee, Matt, Sarah B, Lyn, Hugh, Peter, and anyone else who was there today.  All your help and many kindnesses are very much appreciated.

As predicted, the NW winds will stay with us tomorrow up until about 3:00 PM!  Should be another fab day at the park.  See you there!

Walter

Oct 17th - Short Day!

Today I was only at the park for 1.5 hours.  I was cold and tired and just didn't feel it was worth staying for the few birds that might have flown.  Forward 7 hours - I feel great now and ready for a weekend of hawkwatching!

If anyone was at the park after 10:30AM today and saw any migrating hawks, please let me know and I'll add them in - got a report from Betty saying that she, Terry, Allison and Lyn were at the park in the early afternoon and had a number of sightings.  The totals for the day have been updated accordingly.  Thankyou everyone!

Today:
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 6
Red-tailed Hawk - 1
Merlin -4
Peregrine Falcon -3
Total - 14

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 2404
Osprey - 140
Bald Eagle - 87
Northern Harrier - 186
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 3034
Cooper's Hawk - 72
Northern Goshawk - 3
Red-shouldered Hawk - 8
Broad-winged Hawk - 1417
Red-tailed Hawk - 91
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 627
Merlin - 117
Peregrine Falcon - 69
Total - 8255

12 Monarch butterflies were tallied today.

Weather for the weekend includes decent NW wind on both days!  Saturday may see a few scattered showers mid-day.

Hours for the park washrooms are now 7:00AM - 5:00PM Sunday through Friday and 9:00AM - 5:00PM on Saturdays.

Walter

Oct 15th & 16th - 53 Birds Altogether!

The past two days have not been great for migration but we have managed to see a few birds flying overhead.  On Wednesday a lone Osprey was seen and today between the rain and fog we tallied 52 raptors including enough Sharpies to set a new single season record.  They're the first species to ever hit the '3000 Counted' mark.  Somewhere during the excitement of last weekend we quietly turned this into our best October ever.  Our best August, best September and best October.....WOW!  Thankyou everyone!

Yesterday & Today:
Osprey - 1
Northern Harrier - 7
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 37
Cooper's Hawk - 2
Red-tailed Hawk - 1
American Kestrel - 4
Merlin - 1
Total - 53

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 2404
Osprey - 140
Bald Eagle - 87
Northern Harrier - 186
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 3028
Cooper's Hawk - 72
Northern Goshawk - 3
Red-shouldered Hawk - 8
Broad-winged Hawk - 1417
Red-tailed Hawk - 90
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 627
Merlin - 113
Peregrine Falcon - 66
Total - 8241

Today the clouds were below us (Walter)

As the fog over the Gardens lifted, one of the local Red-tailed Hawks moved into center stage and stole the show.  It was another aerial display for the ages.  Many high-speed dives down into the park after the squirrels, many low fly-bys right in front of us as it left the park and returned out over the bluffs, and several high-speed dives right over Carol and I as we just stood still in amazement.  Again, as happened in the past, a squirrel was behind us on the ground and we just happened to be in-between the hawk and it's potential meal.  OMG, what a feeling it is to have one of these beautiful hunters flying right at you and passing only inches above your head!  Please click on photo #2 for a better look.

Local Red-tailed Hawk (Walter)

Focused on Carol and I (Walter)

Although blurry, I thought you might like to see what 'death from above' looks like (Walter)

The only non-raptor excitement was a flyover by a Pileated Woodpecker.

63 Monarchs were counted today.

Thankyou to everyone who visited the park over the past two days watching for hawks.

Tomorrow there are decent SW winds predicted which might bring a few more Peregrine Falcons along the bluffs and Saturday and Sunday have good NW winds which should be perfect for more birds in good numbers...Saturday may have some rain off-and-on.

Walter

Oct 14th - Another Record Broken!

Although the day was shorten by rain, we managed to break another record before we left.  Our 52nd Peregrine Falcon of the month flew over the park.....today is only the 14th!  We've now got til the end of the month to build on that record.  Also today, we added another 22 Sharpies to our count - we need just 9 more to hit the 3000 mark!  No species has ever soared to that height before at Rosetta!

Today:
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 22
Cooper's Hawk - 2
Northern Goshawk - 1
American Kestrel - 3
Peregrine Falcon - 2
Total - 30

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 2404
Osprey - 139
Bald Eagle - 87
Northern Harrier - 179
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2991
Cooper's Hawk - 70
Northern Goshawk - 3
Red-shouldered Hawk - 8
Broad-winged Hawk - 1417
Red-tailed Hawk - 89
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 623
Merlin - 112
Peregrine Falcon - 66
Total - 8188

A slow soaring flyover by a Common Raven was the only non-raptor highlight of the day.

Common Raven (Walter)

Monarchs numbers appear to be dropping now with 28 counted today.  With wings held open and riding on the updraft of the bluffs, a few of the butterflies went along flying backwards!  I guess if you're still progressing in the right direction, what does it really matter?!!

At Rosetta today were - Terry, Pat & Nancy, Lee, John, Ed & Winnie, as well as a nice unexpected visit from our friend Daniel.  Daniel used to be a regular at the park before he and his wife moved out to the country a couple of years ago.

The weather will be unsettled over the next couple of days so it will be hit and miss down at the park.

Walter

Oct 12th - Not Much Today!

A few of us gathered mid-day at the park and most of our time was spent chatting.  The light SE wind and all-blue sky made for a gorgeous day but didn't do a thing for hawk migration.

Today:
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 4
American Kestrel - 2
Total - 6

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 2404
Osprey - 139
Bald Eagle - 87
Northern Harrier - 179
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2969
Cooper's Hawk - 68
Northern Goshawk - 2
Red-shouldered Hawk - 8
Broad-winged Hawk - 1417
Red-tailed Hawk - 89
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 620
Merlin - 112
Peregrine Falcon - 64
Total - 8158

Off-and-on rain is predicted for the next few days.  Monday's rain will keep me at home.

Walter

Oct 11th - Soaring to New Heights!

First off, my apologies for this late post but after being at the park for 11 hours I had to have a bit of a snooze!  Hope you understand.

Wow, our fourth day in a row of decent wind and the birds didn't stop.  What a wonderful day of hawkwatching.  Today we broke three records including our over-all bird count total.  Our old record for a full season of counting at Rosetta was 7267 raptors, after today our count for the 2014 season stands at an amazing 8152 raptors.....and it's only October 11th!!!  Also today, our Turkey Vulture and Sharp-shinned Hawk totals were pushed to new heights.  Because the Vultures didn't show signs of slowing, they kept me going until 5:45 PM!

Today:
Turkey Vulture - 1234
Bald Eagle - 6
Northern Harrier - 18
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 237
Cooper's Hawk - 4
Red-shouldered Hawk - 8
Broad-winged Hawk - 9
Red-tailed Hawk - 28
American Kestrel - 24
Merlin - 7
Peregrine Falcon - 2
Total - 1577

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 2404 (new 'Year' record!)
Osprey - 139
Bald Eagle - 87
Northern Harrier - 179
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2965 (new 'Year' record!)
Cooper's Hawk - 68
Northern Goshawk - 2
Red-shouldered Hawk - 8
Broad-winged Hawk - 1417
Red-tailed Hawk - 89
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 618
Merlin - 112
Peregrine Falcon - 64
Total - 8152 (new 'Year' record!)

Eagle Time (EDT):
11:29 AM - BE
12:35 PM - BE x2
12:50 PM - BE x2
03:40 PM - BE

The calm before the storm!  (Walter)

Celebrating another record! (Lee)

A high-flying adult Bald Eagle (Lee)

Kettling Turkey Vultures (Lee)

A young Broad-winged Hawk (Mike D)

American Kestrel (Mike D)

Sharp-shinned Hawk (Mike D)

A few other birds of note today included - several Brown Creepers, a few small flocks of Eastern Bluebirds flying overhead, as well as a Cackling Goose mixed in with a flock of Canada Geese.

 Cackling Goose - third bird from the bottom in the lower right corner (Lee)

Due to the large movement of hawks, Monarchs were somewhat ignored.  My best guess would be somewhere in the neighbourhood of 200 moving across the sky.

A huge thankyou to everyone who attended and helped out today - Phil, Sarah, Dave & Mary Beth, Trudy, John, Ron, Sheldon, Gary & Wei Li and Cecilia, Betty, Sonja, Patty, Pat & Nancy, Margaret, Peter, MC, Lee, Eleanor, Maurilio & Karen and Elliott and Elise.  I know I've missed someone's name, my apologies.  Without your kind support, none of this would be possible.

Sunday's predicted light SE wind might not bring a lot our way.  That's OK though, we deserve a break!

Happy Thanksgiving!
Walter