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 3,000 Turkey Vulture of the season, our 10,000th raptor of the season, and our 60,000 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

Oct 18th - Cold, Windy, and lots of Birds!

Even though it was uncomfortably cold, rainy and windy, it was another big day of hawkwatching at Rosetta.  More than three hundred raptors were observed migrating along the north shore of the lake.  A big highlight today was the sighting of our first Rough-legged Hawk of the season.  For those of you who are new to our Raptor Watch - although seen in each fall, this species is our second most rarest.  Of the nearly 59,000 raptors counted at Rosetta since inception, this sighting today is only our 92nd 'Roughie' ever!

Today:
Turkey Vulture - 19
Northern Harrier - 21
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 228
Cooper's Hawk - 7
Red-shouldered Hawk - 5
Red-tailed Hawk - 6
Rough-legged Hawk - 1
American Kestrel - 42
Merlin - 3
Peregrine Falcon - 4
Total - 336

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 2423
Osprey - 140
Bald Eagle - 87
Northern Harrier - 207
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 3262
Cooper's Hawk - 79
Northern Goshawk - 3
Red-shouldered Hawk - 13
Broad-winged Hawk - 1417
Red-tailed Hawk - 97
Rough-legged Hawk - 1
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 669
Merlin - 120
Peregrine Falcon - 73
Total - 8591

The following photos are shared by Mike D...

adult male Northern Harrier

adult Sharp-shinned Hawk

Peregrine Falcon

 local Red-tailed Hawk

Rough-legged Hawk
 
a young Red-shouldered Hawk

a young Sharp-shinned Hawk

A good number of Eastern Bluebirds were heard and seen flying overhead as well as many other small songbirds.  A total of 7 Loons were counted today.

Another nice sighting today was a Little Brown Bat early in the morning.

Only 9 Monarchs were counted today.

A huge thankyou to - Gunnar, Brian, Trudy, Ron, Betty, Mark, Mike D, Gary & Wei Li, Phil & Josh, Bruce, Allison, Arvo, Carol, Dave, Berle, Lee, Matt, Sarah B, Lyn, Hugh, Peter, and anyone else who was there today.  All your help and many kindnesses are very much appreciated.

As predicted, the NW winds will stay with us tomorrow up until about 3:00 PM!  Should be another fab day at the park.  See you there!

Walter

Oct 17th - Short Day!

Today I was only at the park for 1.5 hours.  I was cold and tired and just didn't feel it was worth staying for the few birds that might have flown.  Forward 7 hours - I feel great now and ready for a weekend of hawkwatching!

If anyone was at the park after 10:30AM today and saw any migrating hawks, please let me know and I'll add them in - got a report from Betty saying that she, Terry, Allison and Lyn were at the park in the early afternoon and had a number of sightings.  The totals for the day have been updated accordingly.  Thankyou everyone!

Today:
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 6
Red-tailed Hawk - 1
Merlin -4
Peregrine Falcon -3
Total - 14

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 2404
Osprey - 140
Bald Eagle - 87
Northern Harrier - 186
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 3034
Cooper's Hawk - 72
Northern Goshawk - 3
Red-shouldered Hawk - 8
Broad-winged Hawk - 1417
Red-tailed Hawk - 91
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 627
Merlin - 117
Peregrine Falcon - 69
Total - 8255

12 Monarch butterflies were tallied today.

Weather for the weekend includes decent NW wind on both days!  Saturday may see a few scattered showers mid-day.

Hours for the park washrooms are now 7:00AM - 5:00PM Sunday through Friday and 9:00AM - 5:00PM on Saturdays.

Walter

Oct 15th & 16th - 53 Birds Altogether!

The past two days have not been great for migration but we have managed to see a few birds flying overhead.  On Wednesday a lone Osprey was seen and today between the rain and fog we tallied 52 raptors including enough Sharpies to set a new single season record.  They're the first species to ever hit the '3000 Counted' mark.  Somewhere during the excitement of last weekend we quietly turned this into our best October ever.  Our best August, best September and best October.....WOW!  Thankyou everyone!

Yesterday & Today:
Osprey - 1
Northern Harrier - 7
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 37
Cooper's Hawk - 2
Red-tailed Hawk - 1
American Kestrel - 4
Merlin - 1
Total - 53

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 2404
Osprey - 140
Bald Eagle - 87
Northern Harrier - 186
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 3028
Cooper's Hawk - 72
Northern Goshawk - 3
Red-shouldered Hawk - 8
Broad-winged Hawk - 1417
Red-tailed Hawk - 90
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 627
Merlin - 113
Peregrine Falcon - 66
Total - 8241

Today the clouds were below us (Walter)

As the fog over the Gardens lifted, one of the local Red-tailed Hawks moved into center stage and stole the show.  It was another aerial display for the ages.  Many high-speed dives down into the park after the squirrels, many low fly-bys right in front of us as it left the park and returned out over the bluffs, and several high-speed dives right over Carol and I as we just stood still in amazement.  Again, as happened in the past, a squirrel was behind us on the ground and we just happened to be in-between the hawk and it's potential meal.  OMG, what a feeling it is to have one of these beautiful hunters flying right at you and passing only inches above your head!  Please click on photo #2 for a better look.

Local Red-tailed Hawk (Walter)

Focused on Carol and I (Walter)

Although blurry, I thought you might like to see what 'death from above' looks like (Walter)

The only non-raptor excitement was a flyover by a Pileated Woodpecker.

63 Monarchs were counted today.

Thankyou to everyone who visited the park over the past two days watching for hawks.

Tomorrow there are decent SW winds predicted which might bring a few more Peregrine Falcons along the bluffs and Saturday and Sunday have good NW winds which should be perfect for more birds in good numbers...Saturday may have some rain off-and-on.

Walter

Oct 14th - Another Record Broken!

Although the day was shorten by rain, we managed to break another record before we left.  Our 52nd Peregrine Falcon of the month flew over the park.....today is only the 14th!  We've now got til the end of the month to build on that record.  Also today, we added another 22 Sharpies to our count - we need just 9 more to hit the 3000 mark!  No species has ever soared to that height before at Rosetta!

Today:
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 22
Cooper's Hawk - 2
Northern Goshawk - 1
American Kestrel - 3
Peregrine Falcon - 2
Total - 30

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 2404
Osprey - 139
Bald Eagle - 87
Northern Harrier - 179
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2991
Cooper's Hawk - 70
Northern Goshawk - 3
Red-shouldered Hawk - 8
Broad-winged Hawk - 1417
Red-tailed Hawk - 89
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 623
Merlin - 112
Peregrine Falcon - 66
Total - 8188

A slow soaring flyover by a Common Raven was the only non-raptor highlight of the day.

Common Raven (Walter)

Monarchs numbers appear to be dropping now with 28 counted today.  With wings held open and riding on the updraft of the bluffs, a few of the butterflies went along flying backwards!  I guess if you're still progressing in the right direction, what does it really matter?!!

At Rosetta today were - Terry, Pat & Nancy, Lee, John, Ed & Winnie, as well as a nice unexpected visit from our friend Daniel.  Daniel used to be a regular at the park before he and his wife moved out to the country a couple of years ago.

The weather will be unsettled over the next couple of days so it will be hit and miss down at the park.

Walter

Oct 12th - Not Much Today!

A few of us gathered mid-day at the park and most of our time was spent chatting.  The light SE wind and all-blue sky made for a gorgeous day but didn't do a thing for hawk migration.

Today:
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 4
American Kestrel - 2
Total - 6

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 2404
Osprey - 139
Bald Eagle - 87
Northern Harrier - 179
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2969
Cooper's Hawk - 68
Northern Goshawk - 2
Red-shouldered Hawk - 8
Broad-winged Hawk - 1417
Red-tailed Hawk - 89
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 620
Merlin - 112
Peregrine Falcon - 64
Total - 8158

Off-and-on rain is predicted for the next few days.  Monday's rain will keep me at home.

Walter

Oct 11th - Soaring to New Heights!

First off, my apologies for this late post but after being at the park for 11 hours I had to have a bit of a snooze!  Hope you understand.

Wow, our fourth day in a row of decent wind and the birds didn't stop.  What a wonderful day of hawkwatching.  Today we broke three records including our over-all bird count total.  Our old record for a full season of counting at Rosetta was 7267 raptors, after today our count for the 2014 season stands at an amazing 8152 raptors.....and it's only October 11th!!!  Also today, our Turkey Vulture and Sharp-shinned Hawk totals were pushed to new heights.  Because the Vultures didn't show signs of slowing, they kept me going until 5:45 PM!

Today:
Turkey Vulture - 1234
Bald Eagle - 6
Northern Harrier - 18
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 237
Cooper's Hawk - 4
Red-shouldered Hawk - 8
Broad-winged Hawk - 9
Red-tailed Hawk - 28
American Kestrel - 24
Merlin - 7
Peregrine Falcon - 2
Total - 1577

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 2404 (new 'Year' record!)
Osprey - 139
Bald Eagle - 87
Northern Harrier - 179
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2965 (new 'Year' record!)
Cooper's Hawk - 68
Northern Goshawk - 2
Red-shouldered Hawk - 8
Broad-winged Hawk - 1417
Red-tailed Hawk - 89
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 618
Merlin - 112
Peregrine Falcon - 64
Total - 8152 (new 'Year' record!)

Eagle Time (EDT):
11:29 AM - BE
12:35 PM - BE x2
12:50 PM - BE x2
03:40 PM - BE

The calm before the storm!  (Walter)

Celebrating another record! (Lee)

A high-flying adult Bald Eagle (Lee)

Kettling Turkey Vultures (Lee)

A young Broad-winged Hawk (Mike D)

American Kestrel (Mike D)

Sharp-shinned Hawk (Mike D)

A few other birds of note today included - several Brown Creepers, a few small flocks of Eastern Bluebirds flying overhead, as well as a Cackling Goose mixed in with a flock of Canada Geese.

 Cackling Goose - third bird from the bottom in the lower right corner (Lee)

Due to the large movement of hawks, Monarchs were somewhat ignored.  My best guess would be somewhere in the neighbourhood of 200 moving across the sky.

A huge thankyou to everyone who attended and helped out today - Phil, Sarah, Dave & Mary Beth, Trudy, John, Ron, Sheldon, Gary & Wei Li and Cecilia, Betty, Sonja, Patty, Pat & Nancy, Margaret, Peter, MC, Lee, Eleanor, Maurilio & Karen and Elliott and Elise.  I know I've missed someone's name, my apologies.  Without your kind support, none of this would be possible.

Sunday's predicted light SE wind might not bring a lot our way.  That's OK though, we deserve a break!

Happy Thanksgiving!
Walter