Aug 22nd - 7 Birds!

Today:
Osprey - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 5
American Kestrel - 1
Total - 7

To Date:
Osprey - 21
Bald Eagle - 5
Northern Harrier - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 10
Cooper's Hawk - 1
Broad-winged Hawk - 8
American Kestrel - 5
Merlin - 4
Total - 55

Common Nighthawk - 3

Walter

Aug 20th & 21st - Any Birds?

Hi folks,

I just received a report from Leon via Betty's email.  This morning at the Watch site Leon counted 2 Osprey, an American Kestrel, a Sharp-shinned Hawk, the local Merlin, and 105 people walking!

I received an update to the above from Leon via Peter's email.  Leon added our first Northern Harrier of the season and his people count was up over 125.

To add to that Ann had 2 Osprey while she was at the park this afternoon after work and I had an Osprey over the No Frills parking lot late this afternoon.

Thankyou everyone!  I've been absent from the park the last two days so if anyone else has seen any birds (excluding the locals) please let me know and I'll add them to the count.  I'll be back at the park early tomorrow morning, hope to see you there.

Walter

Aug 19th - A Few This Morning

With moderate winds blowing in from across the lake this morning a couple of birds decided to fly.  Osprey, eagles and falcons are birds that don't seem to mind a 'south' element in the wind.  They'll take advantage of the lift that's provided from the updraft coming off the bluffs and fly along on it.  By mid-day the winds became quite gusty and ended any hope we had for seeing more birds.

Today:
Osprey - 2
Bald Eagle - 1
Merlin - 1
Total - 4

To Date:
Osprey - 15
Bald Eagle - 5
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 4
Copper's Hawk - 1
Broad-winged Hawk - 8
American Kestrel - 3
Merlin - 4
Total - 40

Eagle Time (EDT):
10:30 AM - BE (juvenile)

Today we saw another Giant Swallowtail butterfly fly through the park.  Also, a Walking Stick was found - that's one cool looking bug if you've never seen one before.

At the park today were: Brian, Pat & Nancy, Carol, Don, Peter, Arvo, Leon, and new friend Krista.  Thanks everyone!

Walter

Aug 17th & 18th Update

Just a quick update to let you all know that we've (meaning many hawk watchers) been at the Watch searching the skies for hawks over the last two days but sadly it's been dreadfully slow.  As much as I'm sure we don't want to wish the summer away we are getting quite anxious to see migrating birds.  Yesterday we had an Osprey out over the lake and today we watched a Sharp-shinned Hawk chase a Blue Jay out of the park.

Yesterday we saw our 5th Giant Swallowtail butterfly of the fall season and today it was extremely likely that Leon and I sighted a Spicebush Swallowtail flying through the main gardens.  Unfortunately it didn't land on any flowers.

Walter

Aug 16th - American Kestrel vs. Merlin


This morning at around 10 o'clock Ann was at the park to witness some unusual interactions between a male American Kestrel and a Merlin.

Here's the link: Ann Brokelman Photography

I believe this is the Merlin that's been in the area over the last several days.  That tail looks familiar!

As always, great photos Ann.

Walter

Aug 15th - 3 More Osprey

Sorry but this will be short...

Today:
Osprey - 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1
Total - 4

To Date:
Osprey - 12
Bald Eagle - 4
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 3
Copper's Hawk - 1
Broad-winged Hawk - 8
American Kestrel - 3
Merlin - 3
Total - 34

Walter

Aug 13th - Wow, Was It Cool Today!

With strong wind gustng from the WNW and at times the NW, the park had a totally different feel to it today...FALL!  Please not so fast!  Those gathered at the park were hoping to see a surge of raptors scrambling to the south but unfortunately that never materialized.  A few things that did occur were of interest though.  One somewhat odd sighting today was of an Osprey way up high over Kingston Road carrying a huge fish (a carp, I believe).  We have seen this a couple of times before at Rosetta but usually the birds were flying more out over the lake.  Another sighting was of a group of 3 Broad-winged Hawks moving eastward over the park, that was quickly followed by another group of 4 a few minutes later.  One eventually worked his way back westward.  Hopefully the others will sort themselves out and turn around.  Another Bald Eagle was added to the count today.  It too was way up high.  With 100% cloud cover, lighting conditions were terrible throughout the afternoon.

Today:
Osprey - 1
Bald Eagle - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1
Broad-winged Hawk - 1
Merlin - 1
Total - 5

To Date:
Osprey - 9
Bald Eagle - 4
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2
Copper's Hawk - 1
Broad-winged Hawk - 8
American Kestrel - 3
Merlin - 3
Total - 30

Eagle Time (EDT):
12:57 PM - BE (unknown age)

Here are a couple of cropped photos that I got of the high flyers today.


 Osprey

 Bald Eagle

This is one Kris took.

Broad-winged Hawk

My thanks to everyone for a great job spotting and identifying the birds under such lousy lighting conditions.  One of the local Turkey Vultures and the local Cooper's Hawk made brief appearances as well today.  Butterflies were few and far between but we did see an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and Black Swallowtail together on the same Butterfly Bush.

Watchers today included, Leon, Ron, John, Don, Kris, Theresa, Phil, Berle, Peter, Betty, Carol, Terry, and Bruce.

We'll try again tomorrow.

Walter

Aug 11th - 3 Osprey Flying Over Together

Just after 10:00AM this morning Lee, who was at Bluffer's Park, sent me a text message asking if I had seen 3 Osprey flying over Rosetta.  Sadly, I had to reply with a big 'no' as I was in my basement at home waiting for a furnace maintenance guy to come.  It wasn't until I arrived at the park sometime around lunch that I was happily informed that John and a few others were present to see them fly directly overhead.  Thankyou everyone!  Unfortunately though that was it for raptor sightings for the day.  (The last time that three Osprey were observed flying together at Rosetta was in September of 2010 when we saw it happen 2 or 3 times in one day.....the day we counted 53 Osprey!)

To Date:
Osprey - 8
Bald Eagle - 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1
Copper's Hawk - 1
Broad-winged Hawk - 7
American Kestrel - 3
Merlin - 2
Total - 25

The mink was seen again this afternoon running along and through the fence by the big Maple tree.  We'll have to monitor the squirrel and bunny populations for a while.

Our 'butterflying' friend Leon S. was at the park today in search of the female Fiery Skipper that I photographed and reported online two days ago.  He didn't find the skipper but he told me that he had seen an Eastern Comma and a Giant Swallowtail in the search.  That was great news to me as they were both new species for our fall park survey.  We are currently sitting at 17 butterfly species in just the first 11 days of the survey.  While chatting with Leon in the main garden area I spotted a Giant Swallowtail flying and landing in a bed of Petunias and other flowers.  We quickly went over and Leon informed me that it was a different one then the one he'd seen earlier.  He said that this one was in much better shape.  A third 'Giant' was seen later in the day while Cori was searching the gardens.

Here are two photos that I took.

Giant Swallowtail (upperside)

 Giant Swallowtail (underside)

The forecast for the next day or two sees rain in the area so we'll likely have to wait it out.  Thursday is still looking good for an early movement of birds.

Walter

PS:  To my friend Robin, Thankyou for all the laughs.

Aug 9th & 10th - Weekend Update

Just a quick note to update everyone on what was seen over the weekend...one Sharp-shinned Hawk!  Hopefully things will pick-up later this week after the rain.  Thursday is looking good at present.

Red-tailed Hawk (local)

Walter

Aug 8th - A Quiet Day

No surprises today with wind switching to the east by mid-day.  The only raptor that we saw was a Merlin fairly high up and flapping the whole way across our viewing area.

Today we added Common Loon, Least Flycatcher, Great Egret and Trumpeter Swan to our Species Survey.

Walter

Aug 7th - The North Wind

Today's north wind brought a few nice surprises our way in the form of seven Broad-winged Hawks!  This is without a doubt the most BWs we've ever had in the first week of August.  Let's hope it only gets better from here.  Another Bald Eagle and Osprey were seen today.  A few of the local raptors made appearances as well including, a Turkey Vulture, two Red-tailed Hawks and the Merlin.  Two Buteos flew by way up high but sadly weren't unidentified due to poor lighting and a slightly hazy sky.

Today:
Osprey - 1
Bald Eagle - 1
Cooper's Hawk - 1
Broad-winged Hawk - 7
American Kestrel - 2
Total - 12

To Date:
Osprey - 5
Bald Eagle - 3
Copper's Hawk - 1
Broad-winged Hawk - 7
American Kestrel - 3
Merlin - 1
Total - 20

Eagle Time (EDT):
12:58 PM - BE (unknown age)

Here are a couple of shots courtesy of Ann:

 Osprey

 Broad-winged Hawk

Ann also got this quick pic of the Mink heading through the fence.



Fellow observers today included Pat & Nancy, Theresa, Hugh, Berle, Betty, Terry, Ron, Ann, and new guy Don.  Thankyou everyone.

Walter

Aug 6th - 4 Birds Today

Well, today was a little better.  First off, what a gorgeous day to be at the park, wow!  When I arrived this morning, Theresa informed me that she had already seen an Osprey fly by.  A few hours of conversation went by before the next birds were seen - 2 Bald Eagles, one after the other way up high.  Thank God for clouds or they likely would never have been spotted.  Both were 1st year birds.  Another couple of hours past before a Merlin was seen flying along the edge of the bluffs.

Today:
Osprey - 1
Bald Eagle - 2
Merlin - 1
Total - 4

To Date:
Osprey - 4
Bald Eagle - 2
American Kestrel - 1
Merlin - 1
Total - 8

Eagle Time (EDT):
12:35 PM - BE (first year)
12:39 PM - BE (first year)

Surprisingly not a lot of butterfly species today despite the sunshine.  Monarch numbers were encouraging.  An American Mink which climbed the bluffs and eventually made it's way in to the park was another highlight.

On hand today were Theresa, Peter, Betty, Hugh, Terry, Ron, Berle, Lee and Carol.

See you tomorrow,
Walter