Dec 2nd - Pileated, Great Horned, and Red-tails

Today we returned to the park for some more hawk watching but unfortunately today was not the day for that.  Instead for excitement we heard towards the north end of the park the call of a Pileated Woodpecker, a species we did not have on our fall survey of the park and always a thrill to hear.  Also, we watched in amazement as roughly 9 or 10 crows gathered to scold the heck out of a Great Horned Owl which sat in a tree down near the bottom of the bluffs.  The owl eventually moved further along the bluffs towards Bluffer's Park out of sight.  It eventually flew back and landed in a tree directly below the hawk watch and the crows all came back as well.  We also had 2 Red-tails fly overhead at 2:30pm.  Not entirely positive as to whether they were migrants or the locals.  Oh well, great to see them all the same!  Another nice sighting today was a lone Golden-crowned Kinglet which Pat found up in the pear tree.


Weather Prediction:
Dec 3rd - a mix of sun of clouds, NW 20-25km/h and gusting to 39km/h (theweathernetwork.com)

I'll be late getting to the park in the morning, so if you go, please keep track of what you see.  Thanks!

See you there,
Walter

A Hawk Watch Extention of Sorts...

I've noticed that at least one Ontario hawk watch is going to continue into the first two weeks of December because the belief is there are still many hawks yet to migrate through.  It sounds good to me!  So if you're interested, I'll be down at the park until December 15th searching the sky!  Yes, the Rosetta McClain Gardens Raptor Watch continues - because hawk watching is so much fun!!!  This will not be part of our 'official' count but will be recorded on the blog.

See you at the park,
Walter

Dec 1st - 'Statistics' Section Updated

The 'Statistics' section down the right-hand column has now been fully updated to include the 2015 Raptor Watch numbers.  Just click 'No thanks...' at the bottom of the Dropbox pop-up window to view each.

Walter

Nov 30th - Our 3rd Best Count Ever!

The following is a review of what happened during our time at the hawk watch...

Turkey Vulture (2719) - Our 2nd best year ever for this species.  October was our second best month ever for 'TVs' with a count of 2515 birds.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on October 17th when we observed 1134 birds.

Osprey (94) - Our 7th best year ever for this species.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on September 11th when we observed 10 birds.  Our latest date for this species occurred on November 4th - breaking our previous record by 2 days.

Bald Eagle (70) - Our 4th best year ever for this species.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on September 30th when we observed 26 birds - only 2 birds shy of a new record.  Our latest date for this species occurred on November 28th - breaking our previous record by 4 days.

Northern Harrier (205) - Our 7th best year ever for this species.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on September 30th when we observed 21 birds.  Our latest date for this species occurred on November 28th - tying our previous record.

Sharp-shinned Hawk (2733) - Our 3rd best count ever for this species - only 65 birds away from being our 2nd highest count!  September was our 3rd best month ever for 'sharpies' missing a new high count by only 49 birds.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on September 14th when we observed 253 birds.

Cooper's Hawk (55) - Our 11th best count ever for this species.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on October 17th when we observed 6 birds.

Northern Goshawk (6) - Our 10th best count ever for this species.  Our highest day count for the season was 1 on 6 separate dates.

Red-shouldered Hawk (41) - Our 3rd best year ever for this species.  October was our 3rd best month ever for 'shoulders' with a count of 39 birds.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on October 25th when we observed 14 birds.

Broad-winged Hawk (90) - Our 9th best year ever for this species.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on September 11th when we observed 69 birds.  Our latest date for this species occurred on November 14th - breaking our previous record by 16 days!

Red-tailed Hawk (551) - Our 10th best year ever for this species.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on October 17th when we observed 130 birds.

Rough-legged Hawk (4) - Our 10th best year ever for this species.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on November 8th when we observed 2 birds.

Golden Eagle (6) - Our 8th best year ever for this species.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on October 25th when we observed 4 birds.

American Kestrel (302) - Our 10th best year ever for this species.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on September 6th when we observed 51 birds. 

Merlin (114) - Our 3rd best year ever for this species.  September was our 2nd best month ever for Merlin with a count of 66 birds.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on September 24th and again on October 22nd when we observed 9 birds on each day.

Peregrine Falcon (60) - Our 6th best year ever for this species.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on October 16th when we observed 9 birds.

Total Raptors (7052) - Our 3rd best year ever at Rosetta.  October was our 3rd best month ever for migrating raptors with a count of 3956 birds.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on October 17th when we observed 1445 birds.

Plus...

Species Survey - Birds (131) - Highlights included the following new species for our 'Park List' - Northern Pintail, American Golden Plover, and Tufted Titmouse.  Our list of birds seen at Rosetta now sits at 210 species!  Other great sightings included a lone Hooded Merganser, an adult and a juvenile Black-billed Cuckoo, and a Great Horned Owl was a thrill for those gathered at the park to watch the solar eclipse that occurred on September 27th.

Species Survey - Mammals (10) - Nothing overly exciting was observed this year again.

Species Survey - Butterflies (22) - It's was another great season for butterflies.   Although no new species were observed, we did have a lone Spicebush Swallowtail on September 4th - a species not regularly seen in the Gardens.  Our sightings of Giant Swallowtails (a recent 'Ontario' breeder) plummeted from an amazing 19 sightings last year to only 3 seen this year, all on the same day and all at the same time.

Monarch Butterfly Count (4386) - Not quite as high a count as last year but I suspect the near-complete lack of northwest wind had a big part to play in the overall low count this fall.  On September 20th we observed an estimated 1500+ Monarchs flying westward.  Terry and Betty, with the help of many others, managed to capture, weigh, measure, tag, and release an amazing 306 Monarchs this season.

Walter

Nov 30th - 2 More Birds To End It!

A number of us gathered at the fence this afternoon one last time to hopefully see a few more birds fly over.  It wasn't too long before a Red-tail came along and then eventually a Cooper's Hawk flew over the north end of the park.  Sadly, that was it tho, another year in the books!

Stay tuned for a complete summary and closing comments.

Walter

Nov 29th - A Few More

Today was reasonably slow at the park and with only 1 day left of hawk watching, I don't feel too bad about it.  They're all gone!

Today might've actually been our last day given the nasty weather forecast for tonight and tomorrow morning.  I'll watch the weather and then decide one way or another about giving it one last go if the clouds clear.

Today:
Cooper's Hawk - 1
Red-tailed Hawk - 3
Total - 4

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 2719  (1461)  (3306)
Osprey - 94  (110)  (211)
Bald Eagle - 70  (57)  (109)
Northern Harrier - 205  (244)  (488)
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2733  (2191)  (3712)
Cooper's Hawk - 55  (95)  (127)
Northern Goshawk - 6  (18)  (24)
Red-shouldered Hawk - 41  (25)  (83)
Broad-winged Hawk - 90  (216)  (1418)
Red-tailed Hawk - 551  (757)  (1019)
Rough-legged Hawk - 4  (10)  (28)
Golden Eagle - 6  (10)  (20)
American Kestrel - 302  (561)  (719)
Merlin - 114  (72)  (130)
Peregrine Falcon - 60  (68)  (102)
Total - 7050  (5963)  (11128)

seasonal averages - 2006 thru 2014
highest seasonal totals - 2006 thru 2014

Hawkwatchers:
Allison, Hugh, Joe, Ann, Betty, Pat & Nancy, Charlie, Diana, and a few others who stopped by.  Thanks for company today, always an enjoyable time.

Weather Prediction:
Nov 30th - freezing drizzle switching to mainly sunny in the afternoon, E 15km/h  (theweathernetwork.com)

(Maybe) I'll see you tomorrow for the big finish,
Walter