Oct 10th - 10 Hawks this Morning!

Thanks to timely text reports from Phil I was able to see what happened at the Watch over the course of the morning.

Today:
Northern Harrier - 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 6
American Kestrel - 1
Total - 10

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 248
Osprey - 91
Bald Eagle - 55
Northern Harrier - 127
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2109
Cooper's Hawk - 19
Northern Goshawk - 2
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 88
Red-tailed Hawk - 23
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 1
American Kestrel - 280
Merlin - 84
Peregrine Falcon - 30
Total - 3157

Other Birds:
American Crow - 32
Common Loon - 4
Common Raven - 2
Gray-cheeked Thrush - 1
Red-tailed Hawk - 1 local

Butterflies:
Monarch - 0

Mammals:
Nothing of note

Hawkwatchers:
Phil, Peter, John, Norm, plus one other.  Thankyou all!

Weather Prediction:
Oct 11th - mainly sunny switching to sunny, SW 30km/h wind gusting to 48km/h all day.  (theweathernetwork.com)

If you have been reading my posts over the last couple of years you should remember what I've posted in the past about strong SW wind.  For those that don't know or don't remember, here you go...

The following is an extract from 'A Field Guide to the Migrating Raptors of Hawk Cliff' by Tom Bolohan - copyright 2004 Hawk Cliff Foundation...

'Not all favourable winds are from the north.  If you want to see Peregrine Falcons make sure to choose a day with very strong, even gale force southwest winds.  Such winds strike the cliff face and are pushed upward, creating great lift (updrafts) along the cliff edge.  Many falcons, eagles, and Osprey take advantage of this lift to migrate effortlessly westward along the lakeshore.'

Replace the word 'cliff' with 'bluff' for our Hawk Watch and of course, they really are one in the same thing.  The direction of the north shore of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario are pretty much exactly the same.  The folks at Hawk Cliff stand and face pretty much exactly the same slightly north-east direction as we do here at Rosetta!

Hopefully I'll see you at the park tomorrow if you're not eating turkey or whatever else early,
Walter

Oct 9th - A Long Cold Day at the Park!

Well the strong NW wind arrived pretty much to the hour as predicted but the sky was very heavy and threatening off and on all day.  Sitting around waiting for birds that weren't coming made the cold wind that much colder!  Everyone had left the park by 3:00pm.  I guess we'll just have to try again another day.

Today:
Northern Harrier - 4
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 14
Cooper's Hawk - 1
American Kestrel - 2
Peregrine Falcon - 2
Total - 23

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 248
Osprey - 91
Bald Eagle - 55
Northern Harrier - 124
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2103
Cooper's Hawk - 19
Northern Goshawk - 2
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 88
Red-tailed Hawk - 23
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 1
American Kestrel - 279
Merlin - 84
Peregrine Falcon - 30
Total - 3147

 A low-flying adult Sharp-shinned Hawk (Mike)

Other Birds:
Common Loon - 4 counted today
Rusty Blackbird
White-crowned Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Winter Wren

A cute little Winter Wren (Mike)

A passing Rusty Blackbird (Mike)

Butterflies:
Monarch - 24 observed heading west through the park
(If you noticed, we had more Monarchs than Hawks today!  Kind of strange considering the weather)

Mammals:
Nothing of note

Hawkwatchers:
Kris, Arvo, Hugh, Peter, Manny, Mike, John, Bruce, Dave, MC, Betty, Carol, Ron and Jean, Trudy, and Sheldon

Weather Prediction:
Oct 10th - mainly sunny, N 10km/h switching to S 15km/h (theweathernetwork.com)  The light N element wind in the morning will switch by 9:00am and then quickly turn to light S wind.  At this time, it's extremely likely that I won't be at the park tomorrow.  I'll spend tomorrow taking it easy and trying to get back to 100%!  If you decide to go, please let me know what you see.

Thanks,
Walter

Oct 8th - The Wind Did Not Really Happen!

The early morning NE 20km/h wind died-off earlier then predicted.  The ENE wind may have been still there though, as we saw a number of birds generally quite high up.  Eventually the wind switched to the SE and then straight from the E.  The bird numbers quickly diminished until there were none!  We all vacated the Watch at 1:30pm.

Today:
Northern Harrier - 4
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 11
Cooper's Hawk - 1
Red-tailed Hawk - 2
American Kestrel - 4
Merlin - 4
Peregrine Falcon - 1
Total - 27

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 248
Osprey - 91
Bald Eagle - 55
Northern Harrier - 120
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2089
Cooper's Hawk - 18
Northern Goshawk - 2
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 88
Red-tailed Hawk - 23
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 1
American Kestrel - 277
Merlin - 84
Peregrine Falcon - 28
Total - 3124

Today we were fortunate to have 2 very distinguished guests at the Watch, Dr. Bruce Falls (University of Toronto) and Dr. Fred Cooke (Queen's University and Simon Fraser University in BC).  Both Bruce and Fred are emeritus professors of ornithology and are known world-wide for their contributions to the scientific study of birds.  They are both keen birders and listers as well.

Dr. Fred Cooke (left) and Dr. Bruce Falls (right) (Jean Iron)

It's also not too bad when you have the infinite ornithological knowledge of Jean Iron and Ron Pittaway at your Hawk Watch as well!  A big thankyou to all 4 of you for being there today.

Other Birds:
Common Loon - 7 counted migrating over the park
Northern Pintail - Jean observed this duck flying over the east side of the park (a new for the park bird, species #208)
Red-tailed Hawk - the 2 local birds (known as The Rosetta Air Force) put on another fabulous display of aerial acrobatics

Butterflies:
Monarch - 17 migrating through the park

Dr. Fred Cooke and his wife Sylvia (standing behind Fred) (on the left)
and Dr. Bruce Falls and his wife Ann (on the right) all look on as
Terry (in the middle) tags a Monarch butterfly. (Cori)

Mammals:
Nothing of note

Hawk Watchers:
Cori, Dave, Sheldon, Norm, Freida, Irving, Lyn, Arvo, Hugh, Terry, Ron & Jean, Trudy, Bruce and Ann Falls, Fred and Sylvia Cooke (visiting us from England), Berle, Carol, MC, Ed, Betty, Ann B, and several others who stopped by.  Thankyou everyone!

Weather Prediction:
Oct 9th - Chance of a shower, ending at 8:00am in the morning, W 20km/h and gusting to 42km/h switching to a mix of sun and clouds, NW 35km/h and gusting to 53km/h in the afternoon.  (theweathernetwork.com)  OMG, let's all hope the afternoon forecast holds true!  As I mentioned yesterday in this the Weather Prediction section, it's likely that the wind between 10:00 and 11:00am, possibly even as early as 9:00am will switch to WNW at some point during those hours.  That should get the birds up and moving.

Hope to see you there,
Walter

Oct 7th - Our Second Northern Goshawk

The called for gusting NW wind around 1:00pm never did happen this afternoon, what the wind did do is turn and blow from the SW.  In fact the Weather Network went as far as to say that the wind was now going to switch to NW at 4:00pm, which looking back now was more or less wishful thinking on their part.  Colin Horstead, who many of you likely didn't get the chance to meet before he passed away last year.  If I remember correctly, due to his illness, only made one brief appearance in 2013 before the passing of BIGFRANK.  Colin was kindly called 'Hawkwatcher Extraordinaire' due to his many of years of hawkwatching prior to helping Frank start the hawkwatch at Rosetta.  He always said "I taught Frank everything he knows but not everything I know".  Anyway, Colin always used to say "When you see gulls above the park hawking for insects you might aswell fold everything up and go home because there will not be any hawks the rest of the day".  That's exactly what happened this afternoon.  I gave up staying until 5:30pm and a number of us left around 2:30pm.  Some people stayed after we left but didn't report seeing anything.  What Colin said to this day definately holds true.

Today:
Turkey Vulture - 35
Osprey - 2
Northern Harrier - 4
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 32
Cooper's Hawk - 4
Northern Goshawk - 1
American Kestrel - 1
Merlin - 2
Peregrine Falcon - 4
Total - 85

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 248
Osprey - 91
Bald Eagle - 55
Northern Harrier - 116
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2078
Cooper's Hawk - 17
Northern Goshawk - 2
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 88
Red-tailed Hawk - 21
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 1
American Kestrel - 273
Merlin - 80
Peregrine Falcon - 27
Total - 3097

Other Birds:
Blue Bird - at least one flock flew over the north end of the park
Common Loon - 5 counted today
Field Sparrow - seen yesterday Oct 6th
White-crowned Sparrow - a number were observed today
White-throated Sparrow - again, a number were obsered today

Butterflies:
Monarch - 8 were counted today migrating through the park

Mammals:
Nothing of note

Hawkwatchers:
Bruce, Terry, Betty, Hugh, Bill, Peter, Gunnar, Arvo, Berle, Dave & Mary Beth, Kris, Sheldon plus several others who stopped by.

Weather Prediction:
Oct 8th - Mainly sunny, NE 20km/h in the morning switching to SE 20km/h in the afternoon. (theweathernetwork.com)  It appears that the morning is the best time to be at the park. Now just after looking at the hourly forecast for tomorrow morning it's shows that the NE wind will stop at 8:00am and then switch to E for the remaining part of the morning.  For whatever reason the Weather Network does not show three digit wind directions like ENE, they only display one or two digit wind directions.  Anyway, there is going to be wind from ENE tomorrow after 8:00am and may last one to two hours, maybe even three, who knows and the birds will still fly over the park on that direction.  So if you can, I'd say your best bet is to get to the park around 8:00am(ish) or shortly there after if you really want to see any birds.

Walter

Oct 6th - Our First Northern Goshawk

As I have received no other emails for today, I will assume that the following is the complete list for the day.  If anyone was at the Watch and saw anything that hasn't been reported here, please send me an email ASAP so I can complete today's count.  Thankyou!

Today:
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 8
Cooper's Hawk - 1
Northern Goshawk - 1
Merlin - 1
Peregrine Falcon - 1
Total - 12

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 213
Osprey - 89
Bald Eagle - 55
Northern Harrier - 112
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2046
Cooper's Hawk - 13
Northern Goshawk - 1
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 88
Red-tailed Hawk - 21
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 1
American Kestrel - 272
Merlin - 78
Peregrine Falcon - 23
Total - 3012

Other Birds:
Blue Jay - approx. 600 streaming through
Common Raven - 2
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-throated Hummingbird - 4 still present in the rose garden
Song Sparrow - local
Warblers - several Black-throated Blues and Yellow-rumps of both sexes
White-throated Sparrow - many

Butterflies:
Monarch - 2

Mammals:
Nothing of note

Hawkwatchers:
Betty, Hugh, Sheldon, Mark, Terry, Berle, Carol and several others

Weather Prediction:
Oct 7th - chance of a shower in the morning changing to mainly sunny in the afternoon, W 10km/h in the morning changing to NW 20km/h and gusting to 33km/h in the afternoon around 1:00pm.  (theweathernetwork.com)  OMG, it's our first good bit of wind blowing from the NW!!!  It's a little late in the day but the potential is there for a good movement of birds starting around noon until late in the afternoon.  If I'm feeling up to it, I'll be at the park for sure.

Possibly I'll see you tomorrow,
Walter

Update

Now that I'm pretty much back to myself, you can send me the daily counts and any photos that you may have taken and I'll update the blog at the end of each day.  Thanks!

Walter

Oct 5th - Thankyou!

Hey everyone it's me Walter!

First off, I'd like to say thankyou for all the well wishes and the support while I've been down and out.  It's been a real pleasure for me knowing that you all have been behind me.  Also, I'd like to give a big thankyou to those who came to visit me in hospital even though I may not have at the time been able to visit with you.  Those visits were very special to me.  To those who phoned me in the hospital or at least tried too, I say thankyou.  If you didn't get through, it's because they moved me to another room.

I'd like to thank everyone for your efforts to be at the Watch, get the numbers and report the birds, I know it's not always that easy.  And lastly, another big thankyou goes out to those who've updated this blog.  You have no idea how you've made my return to the blog so simply and easy.  Thankyou everyone!!!

On we go with today's report...

Today:
Merlin - 1

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 213
Osprey - 89
Bald Eagle - 55
Northern Harrier - 112
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2038
Cooper's Hawk - 12
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 88
Red-tailed Hawk - 21
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 1
American Kestrel - 272
Merlin - 77
Peregrine Falcon - 22
Total - 3000

The Golden Eagle that was seen on Sep 30th is only our second during the last 2 weeks of September since BIGFRANK started the Hawk Watch in 2004.  Pretty early but pretty darn cool!

Other Birds:
Blue Jay - 1500

Butterflies:
Nothing of note

Mammals:
Nothing of note

Hawkwatchers:
Bill, Mark, Carol, Berle, Arvo, Terry, Diane and Wendy

Weather Prediction:
Oct 6th - drizzle, then becoming cloudy with sunny breaks, W 5-10km/h (theweathernetwork.com)

As I am nearly back to 100% but still in recovery mode, I ask for your continued presence and support at the Hawk Watch over the next several days.  At this time I'm not exactly sure what day I'll be returning to the park.  Thankyou everyone once again.

Your hawkwatching and birding friend,
Walter

oct 3/4 2015. Both quiet days

October 3, 2015 

Both days very slow. Strong south east winds.

1 American Kestrel


October 4, 2015

1 Turkey Vulture.  



Hopefully the winds will change and some better flight.