Aug 27th - Rosetta Goes Global!

Please click on the link just below the header of this blog to read Ron Pittaway's great article on our little hawk watch.  Ron shares his favourite hawk watch with the readers of BirdWatching magazine.  We have now been 'put on the map' as they say!  BirdWatching magazine has been published for 25 years and a few of their contributing editors include; Peter Dunne, Kenn Kaufman, and David Sibley.  What an absolute thrill this would have been for BIGFRANK to see his little backyard project shared with the world!  Thank you Ron.

Unfortunately, today with the continuing high heat and humidity there were no raptors on the move and only 8 Monarch butterflies were counted (3 tagged by Betty).  We now move on to tomorrow with hopes of better things to come.....or more heat and humidity!

With a few additions, here is where we currently stand...

Raptors:
Turkey Vulture - 4
Osprey - 2
Bald Eagle - 1
Northern Harrier - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2
Cooper's Hawk - 1
Broad-winged Hawk - 2
Red-tailed Hawk - 1
American Kestrel - 3
Merlin - 3
Peregrine Falcon - 3
Total - 23

Butterflies:
Giant Swallowtail - 4
Monarch - 467 (289 tagged)

I found and photographed this nice moth, a new one for me...

Darling Underwing (Walter)

The family of Underwing moths are actually quite striking when their wings are open.  They display bright colours of yellow, orange, or even pink on their hingwings once in flight.

See you at the park!

Walter

Aug 26th - It's One Of Ours!

This afternoon Terry read a posting on the facebook page 'Monarchs Migrating Through Ontario' asking about a tagged Monarch butterfly that had been observed and photographed on the Toronto Islands.  When he clicked on the photo and read the tag number he saw that it was one of ours from Rosetta 'WBA 550'.  This was a Monarch that Betty had tagged and released early yesterday morning.  They're on the move!

I'd like to thank Jackie R. for allowing me to use her photo on the blog.

'WBA 550' visiting the butterfly garden on the Toronto Islands (Jackie R)

Early this morning Bruce observed a Purple Martin flying with a group of swallows.  This is always a great bird for our Fall Species List.  Sadly, it's not the 'common' bird it once was in this area of the Bluffs.  Even I can remember seeing these beautiful birds in numbers when I was much younger in the park at the foot of Midland Avenue.

Back to butterflies for a moment.  Today in the main gardens around the fountain we observed 2 great species that I will add to our Fall Species List, numbers 23 and 24 since the beginning of the month.  They were the very beautiful Common Buckeye and the very elegant Spicebush Swallowtail butterflies.  Also of note today was a Hummingbird Clearwing Moth that one of the photographers got pictures of.

Common Buckeye (Walter)


Hummingbird Clearwing Moth (Ed)

As far as raptors go, we saw nothing today!!!  Yesterday I had an American Kestrel fly over the center of the park heading west.  A local Red-tail and a local Vulture both made a number of fly-overs today.

Enjoy your weekend,
Walter

Aug 24th - Nothing but Orange and Black!

Another Hellish hot day at the park.  Of course, no raptors!

Today:
Monarch - 24 (20 tagged)

To Date:
Monarch - 288 (175 tagged)

Walter

Aug 22nd - 5 Birds!

As predicted the wind was blowin' for the NW early this morning but it lost a bit of  it's steam overnight.  There were no birds on the move until mid-day.  This was by far the most pleasant day to be out at the park, it was gorgeous!

Today:
Broad-winged Hawk - 1
Merlin - 1
Peregrine Falcon - 3

Total - 5

To Date:
Osprey - 2
Bald Eagle - 1
Northern Harrier - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1
Cooper's Hawk - 1
Broad-winged Hawk - 2
Red-tailed Hawk - 1
American Kestrel - 2
Merlin - 2
Peregrine Falcon - 3
Total - 16

Just beautiful! (Ann)

Other Birds:
Fairly quiet!

Butterflies:
Monarch - 59 (37 bagged and tagged)

Of note - Dragonflies suddenly filled the sky around 3pm!

Mammals:
All the usual suspects!

Mr. Curious (Walter)

People:
Allison, Terry, Peter, Carol, Betty, Hugh, Leon, Attila, and Ann

 Pirates?! (Walter)

Weather Prediction:
Warm weather returns tomorrow, enjoy it while you can!  The SW wind may bring a few birds our way.

See you at the park!
Walter

Aug 21st - Swirling Winds and Monarchs

Tomorrow we may see a few birds very early in the day with the NW element in the wind but it changes quite rapidly.  With the remnants of the tropical storm that devastated parts of Louisiana now upon us, the winds are swirling all around.  Remember, it's still a little early yet for any kind of big migration days.

Since August 15th we've been counting Monarch butterflies as they pass through the park on their migration south.  As it stands so far we've counted 162 of them.

Walter