Aug 19th - One Red-tailed Hawk

As we've had so few days of anything that would resemble a decent day I'm still trying to figure out which birds are locals and which are passing overhead never to return.  Today we had a lone Red-tail go straight over the center of the park that looked quite different than the two birds that I would say are 'locals', so I'm going to count it.  There seems to be a Sharp-shinned Hawk still hanging around the neighbourhood so for now, he's still not being counted.  The 8 Turkey Vultures that were observed kettling over the park earlier in the month will be dealt with once we get a few more views of them.  It's likely that several of them are birds that have moved away from their nesting area in what is called 'post-nesting dispersal'.  Time will tell.

Walter

Aug 18th - One Osprey

Another short one...

Today:
Osprey - 1

Butterflies:
Giant Swallowtail - 1
Monarch - 64

Walter

Aug 17th - Osprey, Bald Eagle, & Butterflies

At the time of writing it's very early in the morning so this is going to be as short as possible.

Today:
Osprey - 1
Bald Eagle - 1
Cooper's Hawk - 1
Total - 3

To Date:
Osprey - 1
Bald Eagle - 1
Northern Harrier - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1
Cooper's Hawk - 1
Broad-winged Hawk - 1
American Kestrel - 2
Merlin - 1
Total - 9

Eagle Time (EDT):
BE - 01:19pm

A young Bald Eagle (Walter)
(Not sure why it's beak appears pointed - likely the lousy photo)

Other Birds:
Mallard
Common Raven - 3
Red-winged Blackbird
House Finch

When I first saw these Ravens they were kettling with about
15 pigeons far over the east side of the park.

Butterflies:
Black Swallowtail - 1
Giant Swallowtail - 1 (briefly landed)
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail - 1
Cabbage White - many
Monarch - 25 (18 netted, weighed, measured, tagged, and released)
White Admiral - 1
American Lady - 2
Red Admiral - 4
Mourning Cloak - 1
Silver-spotted Skipper - 9
Fiery Skipper - 3

White Admiral - not a common visitor to the gardens (Walter)

A female Black Swallowtail (Walter)

Tagged Monarch WBA 393 nectaring after being released (Walter)

Mammals:
American Red Squirrel

Hawkwatchers:
Allison, Ron, Carol, Terry, Betty, Berle, Vickie and Diana, and Leon.

A special thankyou goes out to our friend Sarah.  Sarah sent me a text message letting me know that she had just watched an eagle flying along the bluffs.  She wasn't aware that the Hawk Watch had already started and that I was at the park.....actually at the time I received the message I was in the main garden watching butterflies.  Luckily, myself and a few others got over to the fence just in time to see the bird soaring along just out from the bluffs.  What a beautiful sight!  Our first eagle!  Time between 'message' and 'bird' was less than two minutes!

Weather Prediction:
Sunny with the risk of a thunderstorm!  The Weather Network

Walter

Aug 15th - An Update Of What's Happened So Far

I should first remind everyone visiting the park with binoculars, cameras, and other expensive equipment to keep it all close at hand.  Yesterday it was brought to my attention that one of the photographers recently had his bag of camera equipment stolen while he was up near the rose gardens taking photos.  The thief ran out of the gate in that corner of the park and across the street to the apartement building on Glen Everest.   This is likely not the first time and likely not the last time that this will happen unfortunately!  It also could happen elsewhere throughtout the park so be careful.  And for anyone new to Rosetta McClain Gardens please do not be scared away from visiting as this beautiful garden park is filled with wonderfully kind-hearted people 99.9% of the time!

Well it should go without saying but as everyone knows it's been Hellish hot to start-off our hawk watching season so it should be no surprise to anyone that we've only seen 5 raptors so far.  My visits to the park have been few and far between and for the most part short as well.  Things should start to pick up over the next couple of weeks.

The following is what we've seen so far...

Raptor Species:
Northern Harrier (1), Broad-winged Hawk (1), American Kestrel (2), and Merlin (1)

Local Raptor Species:
Turkey Vulture (8), Sharp-shinned Hawk (1), Red-tailed Hawk (2-3), and Merlin (1)

Other Bird Species:
Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Caspian Tern, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Chimney Swift, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Great Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, Warbling Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Blue Jay, American Crow, Common Raven, Bank Swallow, Barn Swallow, Black-capped Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Brown Thrasher, European Starling, Cedar Waxwing, Yellow Warbler, Chipping Sparrow, Song Sparrow, and Northern Cardinal

Butterfly Species:
Black Swallowtail, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Clouded Sulphur, Orange Sulphur, Cabbage White, Eastern Tailed Blue, Summer Azure, Monarch, White Admiral, Viceroy, Great Spangled Fritillary, American Lady, Red Admiral, Eastern Comma, Silver-spotted Skipper, Wild Indigo Duskywing, Fiery Skipper, and Peck's Skipper

Monarch Tagging:
5 Monarchs have been captured, weighed, measured, tagged, and released

Mammals:
Eastern Gray Squirrel, Eastern Chipmunk, and Eastern Cottontail

My thanks to all of those who have reported in with their sightings and experiences.

See you at the park!
Walter