It's Just a Matter of Days Now!

Hi everyone,

It's hard to believe that the time has come to start thinking about 'big birds heading south' but it is just a matter of days now before it starts to happen.  Of course, it will be painfully slow at first so please don't rush down to the park, wait at least till the last two weeks of August.  As most of you know, migration will pickup as we head in to September.  After the incredible fall count we enjoyed last season, I just don't know what to expect this year at all.  It's what makes hawkwatching so fun and interesting!  I look forward to everyone's return to the park and also look forward to meeting a few new people as well.  My own return will be delayed until August 4th as I'll be out of town for the long weekend.  Hopefully that won't throw the fall count off by too much - LOL!!!

You've always been a wonderful and considerate group but please refrain from bringing me a cup of coffee when you come.  These days I drink just one cup first thing in the morning, that's it, period!  My body is so much healthier because of it.  Thanks.

See you at Rosetta!

Walter

Jun 7th - Flying with an Eagle

Check this amazing video out and enjoy as you ride on the back of "Darshan", an Imperial Eagle that is released from atop the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, U.A.E.  During the last 30 seconds or so, the bird tucks in it's wings and descends to it's handler on the ground with a speed of 170 kph!

Turn the volume down on your computer before watching!

 

For other great video footage please click here

Fun facts:  The CN Tower in Toronto is 1,815 ft tall, The Burj Khalifa in Dubai is 2,717 ft tall!  Other projects now underway in various cities around the world will see buildings in-excess of 3,200 ft tall!!!

Walter

Apr 9th - What We've Counted So Far

Was just fudging the numbers around and thought I'd share them with you.

Based on the cumulative total of 61,228 raptors that we've counted over the years at Rosetta, the following is a breakdown in percentages for each species.

36.70% - Sharp-shinned Hawk
24.10% - Turkey Vulture
12.40% - Red-tailed Hawk
08.93% - American Kestrel
05.72% - Broad-winged Hawk
04.06% - Northern Harrier
01.96% - Osprey
01.65% - Cooper's Hawk
01.21% - Merlin
01.11% - Peregrine Falcon
00.99% - Bald Eagle
00.53% - Red-shouldered Hawk
00.29% - Northern Goshawk
00.18% - Rough-legged Hawk
00.16% - Golden Eagle
00.00% - Black Vulture
00.00% - Gyrfalcon

Walter

Mar 14th - A Star Is Born!

Lee wrote:  Remember the Bluffs Coyote with the collar that was rescued, rehabbed and released last fall?  He's the star of this week's City Wildlife Rescue,  the show about Toronto Wildlife Centre.  As well, our very own Ann Brokelman becomes a star as she releases some baby cedar waxwings at Bluffers Park!

Click here to watch the full video.

Excellent job Ann!

Walter

Mar 4th - Spring Hawkwatching Has Started!

I'm sure most of you are already aware but just in case you're not, Spring hawkwatching at Beamer Conservation Area in Grimsby has already started.  Watch the American Birding Association's Ontario Page for daily reports.  Well worth the drive!

Walter

Christmas Luncheon photos

Here are just a few of the photos from our Christmas Luncheon.  Looks like everyone had a great time.  I know I sure did.  Thankyou Patti for sharing your shots.


Walter

Beach Metro News Article

In the current issue of the Beach Metro Community News, Andrew Hudson has done a nice piece about our record breaking year at Rosetta.  Please click Record Year Raptor Count to read the article.

My thanks to Andrew, Phil and Ron.

Walter

2014 Christmas Luncheon

Thankyou to everyone who came out to this year's luncheon at East Side Mario's, it was a great time.  So nice to see everyone without their hawkwatching paraphernalia hanging around their necks!

Hope you all have a very merry Christmas and all the best in 2015,

Walter


________________________________


Once again this year Lee has been kind enough to set up a place, date and time for our annual year-ending Christmas Luncheon.

 Just some of last year's group!

PLACEEast Side Mario's
12 Lebovic Avenue (Eglinton Ave E & Warden Ave)
In the Eglinton Town Centre
DATE:  Sunday December 14th
TIME:  1:00 PM

Please let either Lee or myself know if you will be attending.

Confirmed:
Betty
Phil, Josh & Marissa
Murray & Debbie
Berle
Hugh (possibly)
Dave
Cori
Diane
Ann
Patty
Anne
Ron
Gunnar & Vivian
Angie & Rob
John
Lee
Walter

Hope to see you there!

Walter/Lee

Thankyou!

I would like to thank everyone who came to enjoy one of nature’s most amazing spectacles – ‘migration’ at one of Toronto’s most beautiful parks – Rosetta McClain Gardens.  What a wonderful time we shared together with endless great memories.   Again this year we had so many returning faces and equally so many new ones.  It was a real pleasure seeing everyone again and at the same time meeting and welcoming all the new folks.  I’d personally like to thank everyone for your friendship and all your kind offerings throughout the season.  Without all your help searching, spotting, photographing, and identifying everything that came our way, our numbers would be nowhere near as high as they ended up being.  This record season is a true reflection of all your hard work.  Also I’d like to thank Rosetta’s staff for allowing us to conduct our Watch again this year, without your help and understanding none of this would've been possible.

Sincerely,
Walter

Statistics Updated

The 'Statistics' section down the right-hand column has been updated with all the 2014 numbers.

Walter

Nov 30th - What an Incredible Season!!!

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

Black Vulture (1) - Our first ever and without a doubt the highlight of this year's count.  Observed on October 23rd.

Turkey Vulture (3306) - Our best year ever for this species - 1083 birds more than our previous high count.  October was our best month ever for 'TVs' with a new high count of 3156 birds.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on October 11th when we observed 1234 birds.

Osprey (140) - Our second best year ever for this species.  September was our second best month ever for Osprey with a count of 90 birds.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on September 6th when we observed 15 birds.

Bald Eagle (106) - Our second best year ever for this species - missing a new high count by only 4 birds.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on September 12th when we observed 17 birds.

Northern Harrier (278) - Our fourth best year ever for this species - not bad considering the low count by the halfway point of the season.  As suggested at that time, this species might have been running a little late this year.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on September 22nd when we observed 26 birds.

Sharp-shinned Hawk (3712) - Our best count ever for this species - 915 birds more than our previous high count.  September was our second best month ever for 'sharpies' missing a new high count by only 45 birds.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on September 22nd when we observed 560 birds - only 10 birds shy of a new record!

Cooper's Hawk (116) - Our second best count ever for this species - not bad considering the low count by the halfway point of the season.  October was our best month ever for 'coops' with a new high count of 72 birds.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on October 10th when we observed 11 birds.

Northern Goshawk (19) - Our fifth best count ever for this species - missing a new high count by only 6 birds.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on October 19th when we observed 4 birds.

Red-shouldered Hawk (83) - Our best year ever for this species - 7 birds more than our previous high count.  October was our best month ever for 'shoulders' with a new high count of 58 birds.  Our highest day count for the season, and all-time, occurred on October 19th when we observed 33 birds.

Broad-winged Hawk (1418) - Our best year ever for this species - 661 birds more than our previous high count.  September was our best month ever for 'wings' with a new high count of 1322 birds.  Our highest day count for the season, and all-time, occurred on September 16th when we observed 1057 birds.

Red-tailed Hawk (1019) - Our best year ever for this species - 17 birds more than our previous high count.  October was our second best month ever for 'tails' with a count of 585 birds.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on October 22nd when we observed 223 birds.

Rough-legged Hawk (13) - Our third best year ever for this species.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on November 21st when we observed 5 birds.

Golden Eagle (12) - Tied our second best year ever for this species.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on October 1st when we observed 5 birds.

American Kestrel (697) - Our second best year ever for this species - missing a new high count by only 23 birds.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on September 22nd when we observed 149 birds. 

Merlin (128) - Our second best year ever for this species - missing a new high count by only 3 birds.  September was our second best month ever for Merlin with a count of 64 birds.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on October 9th when we observed 14 birds.

Peregrine Falcon (80) - Our second best year ever for this species.  October was our best month ever for 'grines' with a new high count of 65 birds.  Our highest day count for the season, and all-time, occurred on October 8th when we observed 21 birds.

Total Raptors (11128) - Our best year ever at Rosetta - 3861 birds more than our previous high count.  October was our best month ever for migrating raptors with a new high count of 6126 birds.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on October 11th when we observed 1577 birds.

Plus...

Species Survey - Birds (133) -  18 species more than our previous high count.  Highlights included the following new 'Park List' species - Black Vulture, Pectoral Sandpiper, Eastern Meadowlark, plus an unidentified Plover and an unidentified Jaeger.  Also, a Long-eared Owl was a thrill for those who saw it.

Species Survey - Mammals (12) - Nothing overly exciting was observed this year.  Highlight was a Red Fox that was seen on November 27th and 28th.

Species Survey - Butterflies (23) - It's was another great season for butterflies with 23 species being identified.  Although highlights which included a sighting of the now 'GTA rare' Leonard's Skipper, 17 Giant Swallowtails, and new 'Park List' species - Red-spotted Purple, nothing compared to the number of migrating Monarchs.  FYI - The sighting of the Leonard's Skipper is so rare that it is now thought that Rosetta McClain Gardens is likely the last place that this species will be observed in the GTA.

Monarch Count (6897) - An amazing turnaround from such a dreadful migration last year.  By the end of the season last year we had observed an estimated 1468 Monarchs, this year our count was a very encouraging 6897 Monarchs!  Terry, with the help of many others, managed to capture, tag, and release 160 of the orange and black beauties.

Walter