Oct 25th - Heavy Clouds, Rain and Few Birds!

Not everyday can be fantabulous for hawkwatching, today was one of those days.  It started out nice but clouds quickly took over the sky and then the rain moved in.  Tomorrow's another day!

Today:
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1
Red-tailed Hawk - 1
Peregrine Falcon - 1
Total - 3

Non-raptor highlight was 2 Common Ravens flying over the center of the park heading westward.

Many thanks to Rosemary, Pat & Nancy, Carol, Gord, Arvo, John, Hugh, Betty, and Peter today.

Perfect day for hawkwatching on Sunday!  Good NW gusting wind all day!  See you there!

Walter

Oct 24th - Our First Golden of the Season!

Yes folks, today we finally got our much anticipated, long awaited, first of the season Golden Eagle!  Also today we had a 'dark morph' Rough-legged Hawk directly over our heads.

My apologies for not seeing what everyone else saw through their binoculars that said 'Golden' without question.  I was viewing the bird through my camera's view finder and the photo that I took suggested 'Bald' as the bird appeared to have a white head.  Upon review of my shot on my computer, it clearly showed 'Golden' wings with white crescents and a light-coloured head which was actually sunlight reflecting off of the golden feathers.  When I saw Kris' photo of the same bird, it was obviously a Golden Eagle.  Ah, the importance of photography at a hawkwatch!

Today:
Turkey Vulture - 127
Bald Eagle - 1
Northern Harrier - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 18
Cooper's Hawk - 3
Northern Goshawk - 1
Red-tailed Hawk - 37
Rough-legged Hawk - 1 (dark morph)
Golden Eagle - 1
Peregrine Falcon - 1
Total - 191

To Date:
Black Vulture - 1
Turkey Vulture - 3202
Osprey - 140
Bald Eagle - 100
Northern Harrier - 239
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 3680
Cooper's Hawk - 102
Northern Goshawk - 9
Red-shouldered Hawk - 58
Broad-winged Hawk - 1418
Red-tailed Hawk - 574
Rough-legged Hawk - 4
Golden Eagle - 1
American Kestrel - 697
Merlin - 125
Peregrine Falcon - 78
Total - 10428

Eagle Time (EDT):
12:39 PM - BE
02:11 PM - GE

a beautiful 'dark morph' Rough-legged Hawk (Kris)

 our fos juvenile Golden Eagle (Kris)

 a Northern Goshawk being escorted out of the area by a Crow (Kris)




a wonderful sequence of shots showing the interactions
between the two local Red-tailed Hawks (Matt)

Only 3 Monarch butterflies were observed today.  Terry was able to catch and tag one of them!

Another great group of people today helping out!  My thanks to - Kris, Matt, Peter, Liz, Betty, Barbara, Ron, Terry, Berle, two guys named Don, Carol, Sarah B, MC, John, Allison, Lyn, Lynn, and Bruce M.  Again, sorry if I missed anyone.

Gusting SW winds tomorrow may bring a few falcons our way.

Walter

Oct 23rd - 3000th, 10000th, 60000th, and a Black Vulture!!!

Oh what a day to be at Rosetta!  Although we had less than 400 birds (I say that like it was a slow day - LOL), today we celebrated counting our 3,000th Turkey Vulture of the season, our 10,000th raptor of the season, and our 60,000th raptor since inception!  And if that wasn't enough, we also had our very first Black Vulture ever - a Lifer for some folks!  Unfortunately, this great sighting went without photos taken.  Thankyou everyone for your participation today!!!

 10000 raptors was never considered when I created my spreadsheets!!!

Another amazing fact about today was that we tallied-up totals for 12 of the 15 regularly-seen species, that doesn't happen very often at Rosetta!  A late Osprey, a Goshawk, and our long-awaited first-of-the-season Golden Eagle would've completed the set.

Today:
Black Vulture - 1
Turkey Vulture - 153
Bald Eagle - 5
Northern Harrier - 7
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 60
Cooper's Hawk - 7
Red-shouldered Hawk - 6
Broad-winged Hawk - 1
Red-tailed Hawk - 124
Rough-legged Hawk - 2
American Kestrel - 2
Merlin - 2
Peregrine Falcon - 1
Total - 371

To Date:
Black Vulture - 1
Turkey Vulture - 3075
Osprey - 140
Bald Eagle - 99
Northern Harrier - 238
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 3662
Cooper's Hawk - 99
Northern Goshawk - 8
Red-shouldered Hawk - 58
Broad-winged Hawk - 1418
Red-tailed Hawk - 537
Rough-legged Hawk - 3
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 697
Merlin - 125
Peregrine Falcon - 77
Total - 10237

Eagle Time (EDT):
11:43 AM - BE
12:18 PM - BE
01:35 PM - BE
02:10 PM - BE x2

So many beautiful photos from today...

a Merlin taking a break

 a young Red-shouldered Hawk

a young Bald Eagle

an adult Bald Eagle

another young Bald Eagle

a young Sharp-shinned Hawk

an adult Sharp-shinned Hawk

a young Northern Harrier

a young Red-tailed Hawk



 adult Red-tailed Hawks

Non-raptor excitement today included - Purple Finches, Eastern Bluebirds and Pine Siskins which all landed briefly on nearby treetops - likely to take a break from the gusting wind.

 a high-flying Common Loon

 a couple of Cackling Geese flying with Canada Geese

a Pine Siskin

and an Eastern Bluebird

A huge thankyou to all hawk-watchers today including - Brian, Norm, Berle, Betty, Bruce, Pat & Nancy, Manny, Liz, Carol, MC, Anne, Manfred, Lee, Ann, and all the people I forgot to write down.  Not an easy sky to work with when it's all blue, all day!!!

Gusting NW wind will continue tomorrow morning and into mid-afternoon.  Can there be anymore raptors?!!!

Walter

Oct 22nd - And So It Continues...

Wow!  I had some mixed feelings this morning after being at the Watch for a couple of hours and only seeing a couple of raptors.  I think it was somewhere about 10:30AM when things started to change.  Red-tailed Hawks began to stream across the sky and the Turkey Vultures weren't far behind.  As with so many other days this fall, things started to go crazy quickly with a handful of birds here and a handful there.  Red-tails and Vultures were mixing together all over the sky.  As winds were mostly N and Ne, it meant that most birds were fairly high-up again today which at times made it very challenging to find them.  My thanks to everyone who scanned the sky, found, and counted birds flying overhead and over Kingston Road.

Today:
Turkey Vulture - 257
Bald Eagle - 4
Northern Harrier - 5
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 26
Cooper's Hawk - 3
Northern Goshawk - 1
Red-shouldered Hawk - 6
Red-tailed Hawk - 223
American Kestrel - 2
Total - 527

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 2922
Osprey - 140
Bald Eagle - 94
Northern Harrier - 231
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 3602
Cooper's Hawk - 92
Northern Goshawk - 8
Red-shouldered Hawk - 52
Broad-winged Hawk - 1417
Red-tailed Hawk - 413
Rough-legged Hawk - 1
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 695
Merlin - 123
Peregrine Falcon - 76
Total - 9866

Eagle Time (EDT):
12:25 PM - BE
02:24 PM - BE
03:00 PM - BE x2

With today's count, here are a few numbers that we can watch for tomorrow and in the coming days - 66 more birds needed to reach 60,000 birds counted since inception in 2004, 134 more birds needed to reach 10,000 birds counted for the 2014 season, 25 more American Kestrels needed to set a new single season record and 78 more Turkey Vultures needed to reach 3,000 birds counted for the 2014 season (would be only our second species after Sharpies).

A couple of Loons and a lone Common Merganser were highlights today.  Many sparrows and finches were seen today as well as several Hermit Thrushes.

Twenty-three Monarch butterflies were a bit of a surprise today.

Again, many thanks to everyone who came down and helped with the Watch today.  Such great company!

At present tomorrow's wind prediction is N 15km/h and gusting in the morning and then N 20km/h and gusting in the afternoon.  See you at the park!

Walter

Oct 21st - Two Birds!

Thanks to Peter and Phil, we have a count today...

Today:
Northern Harrier - 1
Cooper's Hawk - 1

Peter was at the park for an hour mid-day and got the Coop.  Phil was there on his lunch break shortly thereafter and got the Harrier.  Thanks guy!

Tomorrow morning's predicted wind is N 15km/h, then N 20km/h and gusting for the afternoon.  Should be good if there are still birds left.

Walter

Oct 19th - Oh My!

What a day we had!  So many birds, so many people!  Although a good number of birds were flying way up today, we had great cloud cover which helped us to find and see everything that was moving over the park.  My thanks to the wonderful group of folks that gathered to help out and enjoy the birds.  This is turning out to be one very special year.  Hopefully there'll still be a few birds left to come in November.

Today:
Turkey Vulture - 242
Bald Eagle - 3
Northern Harrier - 18
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 314
Cooper's Hawk - 9
Northern Goshawk - 4
Red-shouldered Hawk - 33
Red-tailed Hawk - 93
American Kestrel - 24
Merlin - 3
Peregrine Falcon - 3
Total -746

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 2665
Osprey - 140
Bald Eagle - 90
Northern Harrier - 225
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 3576
Cooper's Hawk - 88
Northern Goshawk - 7
Red-shouldered Hawk - 46
Broad-winged Hawk - 1417
Red-tailed Hawk - 190
Rough-legged Hawk - 1
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 693
Merlin - 123
Peregrine Falcon - 76
Total - 9337

Eagle Time (EDT):
09:30 AM - BE
01:14 PM - BE x2

There were nearly 50 photos submitted for today's post...here are some of the more spectacular.

Turkey Vulture (Mike D)

Northern Goshawk (Mike D)

a young Red-tailed Hawk (Lee)

 Red-shouldered Hawk (Ann)

Cooper's Hawk (Mike D)

Northern Goshawk (Ann)

American Kestrel (Lee)

Turkey Vulture (Ann)

Red-shouldered Hawk (Mike D)

a young Bald Eagle and a Sharpie (Lee)

an adult Sharp-shinned Hawk with a nicely squared-off tail (Ann)

Again today after the migration had died down, the local Red-tailed Hawks moved into the area and put on another lovely display.  Today they really showed us how well they can 'kite' even in gusting wind.  They are amazing birds!

Non-raptor sightings today included - 31 Loons flying overhead, some in loose groups.  Many songbirds and geese on the move early in the day.  At least one flock of Canada Geese had a couple of Cackling Geese mixed in.

Cackling Geese - numbers 3 and 7 on the right-hand side (Kris)

Blue Jays are still flying over the park but in much smaller numbers now (Lee)

Only 5 brave Monarchs on the move today.

As mentioned above, my sincere thanks to everyone who came out today to enjoy the birds.  Your help in finding and identifying all those high-flyers is truly appreciated.  We would have missed countless birds if you weren't a part of the action.

Periods of rain over the next two days but there still appears to be days with NW wind coming up.

Walter