Sep 29th - Too Slow!

Today was so slow that I can't think of anything to say - LOL!

Today:
Northern Harrier - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 5
American Kestrel - 1
Merlin - 1
Peregrine Falcon - 1
Total - 9

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 115
Osprey - 125
Bald Eagle - 67
Northern Harrier - 97
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2089
Cooper's Hawk - 35
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 1403
Red-tailed Hawk - 28
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 387
Merlin - 75
Peregrine Falcon - 14
Total - 4435

Today we counted 93 Monarch butterflies.

My thanks to everyone who spent time at the Watch today.

Walter

Sep 28th - Another Gorgeous Day!

Again today the weather was just too nice for a decent push of birds.  Oh well, we don't want to wish winter on too soon.  Highlight of the day was seeing the Lancaster Bomber returning from it's tour in Britain.

Today:
Northern Harrier - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 15
American Kestrel - 3
Merlin - 2
Peregrine Falcon - 1
Total - 22

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 115
Osprey - 125
Bald Eagle - 67
Northern Harrier - 96
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2084
Cooper's Hawk - 35
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 1403
Red-tailed Hawk - 28
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 386
Merlin - 74
Peregrine Falcon - 13
Total - 4426

Blue Jays were on the move again today as well as our first Pine Siskins.

Today we added another 61 Monarchs to our ever-growing migration count.

My thanks to everyone who came down to the park today.  Your help and friendship is very much appreciated.

Walter

Sep 27th - 65 Birds, 8 Species

As beautiful as today was we did manage a decent number of birds at the Watch.  The light NW wind this morning brought several early movers over the park.  Once the wind started to shift the birds flew higher up and further to the north.  At the end of the day, I was sitting on a bench near the washrooms chatting with Ann and a Peregrine Falcon flew at tree-top height along the bluffs heading west.  As Ann was driving me home she had another Peregrine flying right over Kingston Road shortly after leaving the park.  Great way to end the day!

Today:
Turkey Vulture - 1
Osprey - 3
Northern Harrier - 5
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 24
Cooper's Hawk - 5
American Kestrel - 22
Merlin - 3
Peregrine Falcon - 2
Total - 65

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 115
Osprey - 125
Bald Eagle - 67
Northern Harrier - 95
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2069
Cooper's Hawk - 35
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 1403
Red-tailed Hawk - 28
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 383
Merlin - 72
Peregrine Falcon - 12
Total - 4404

We have now counted 2003 Sharp-shinned Hawks during the month of September.  The all-time 'Month' record is 2067 counted.  We need 65 more 'Sharpies' over the next 3 days to break it.

A Merlin with a quick snack (Mike D)

A lone Turkey Vulture (Mike D)

American Kestrel (Mike D)

Osprey (Mike D)

(Sharpie) Sharp-shinned Hawk (Mike D)

An adult male American Kestrel (Mike D)
(note the differences between the Kestrel and the above Sharpie)

Another Kestrel (Mike D)

A pair of high-flying Northern Harriers (Mike D)

Early this morning we had a Cackling Goose flying directly overhead with a pair of Canada Geese.  Also observed today were our first Golden-crowned Kinglets.

It was another good day in the world of butterflies with 150 Monarchs flying through.

My thanks to everyone who visited the Watch today.  It wasn't always easy finding birds in the all blue sky.

Light W and then SW winds are predicted for tomorrow.

Walter

Sep 26th - A Little Bit Better!

Ha, I actually forgot to update the blog!

A little bit better today at the Watch with 24 birds counted.  It was a gorgeous day to be out but not-so-good for hawks on migration unfortunately.

Today:
Northern Harrier - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 19
Cooper's Hawk - 2
Broad-winged Hawk - 1
American Kestrel - 1
Total - 24

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 114
Osprey - 122
Bald Eagle - 67
Northern Harrier - 90
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2045
Cooper's Hawk - 30
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 1403
Red-tailed Hawk - 28
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 361
Merlin - 69
Peregrine Falcon - 10
Total - 4339

This Cooper's Hawk sat and waited in a tree for it's buddy before leaving.  (Kris)

On the non-raptor scene, two Great Blue Heron sightings were the highlight.  Blue Jays continued to move through today with another 2000 on the go.

Another 49 migrating Monarch butterflies were tallied today.

Cicada/Harvestfly/or Heatbug if you prefer! (Kris)

On hand today were - Kris, Tim, Terry 1, Berle, Betty, and Nancy from Murray's Meetup group.  Thankyou for your help finding the birds in all that blue sky today!

Very light NW wind is predicted for tomorrow.

Walter

Sep 25th - Nine Birds!

Today, like yesterday was almost too nice to be at the park looking for migrating hawks.  Our time might've been better spent lounging by the pool with a good book and a Pina Colada!

Today:
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 8
Cooper's Hawk - 1
Total - 9

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 114
Osprey - 122
Bald Eagle - 67
Northern Harrier - 89
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2026
Cooper's Hawk - 28
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 1402
Red-tailed Hawk - 28
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 360
Merlin - 69
Peregrine Falcon - 10
Total - 4315

Blue Jay migration was in full swing again today with upwards of 2500 birds flying along the bluffs.

Blue Jay fans today included - Terry, Berle, Ron, Pat & Nancy, and Peter.

Weather-wise, expect much of the same tomorrow!

Walter

Sep 24th - The Sharpie Parade Continues!

With me taking the day off, Peter was kind enough to put in a few hours this morning at the park counting hawks.  Although the wind was not perfect for migration, he did get a number of birds.

Today:
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 12
American Kestrel - 3
Total - 15

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 114
Osprey - 122
Bald Eagle - 67
Northern Harrier - 89
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2018
Cooper's Hawk - 27
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 1402
Red-tailed Hawk - 28
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 360
Merlin - 69
Peregrine Falcon - 10
Total - 4306

Peter also mentioned that he had seen Dark-eyed Juncos today.  That's a sure sign that winter is not far off, good grief!!!

Thanks for the report Pete!

With today's count, we are now only 115 Sharpies away from tying our all-time 'Month' record of 2067.  We are also only 779 Sharpies away from tying our all-time 'Year' record of 2797.  Won't you please come down and join us at the park and cheer-on this little fan-favourite.  Everybody loves a Sharpie!

Also, with today's numbers our 'Month' count for all species just reached a new milestone - 4000 Raptors Counted!

Of course, none of the above numbers would be possible without all of your help and dedication.  Thanks again!

See you all tomorrow.

Walter

Sep 23rd - Another Good Count

Today I thought I'd go down to the park and see if there were any stragglers left from yesterday's big count.  Sure enough shortly after arriving at 8:00AM the birds started flying-by one after another.  The thing was that that trend continued all morning and in to the afternoon with few breaks in-between.  Mostly Sharpies but also a few others added in for colour.  Today we had another good showing of Harriers with 15 being counted.  In the morning Jays and Goldfinches were moving through in decent numbers.

An Osprey is added in to today's count but was not seen today.  It was reported to me by a reliable source.

Today:
Turkey Vulture - 1
Osprey - 1
Northern Harrier - 15
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 133
Cooper's Hawk - 1
Broad-winged Hawk - 2
American Kestrel - 4
Merlin - 4
Peregrine Falcon - 1
Total - 162

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 114
Osprey - 122
Bald Eagle - 67
Northern Harrier - 89
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2006
Cooper's Hawk - 27
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 1402
Red-tailed Hawk - 28
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 357
Merlin - 69
Peregrine Falcon - 10
Total - 4291

As usual, the Royal Rosetta Air Force (our local Red-tailed Hawks) put on another spectacular display this afternoon.  Today it got personal again as one the them came right down in-between our feet and went after a squirrel that was begging for peanuts.  Poor ol' Terry lost his hair over the incident!

Sitting on top of the 'Spooky' Tree (Walter)

We counted another 103 Monarch butterflies today.  With a few warm days coming, it will be interesting to see if there's an increase in the number moving along the bluffs.

With me today were - Trudy, Allison, Berle, Don, Theresa, Rick, Terry, Betty, Brian, Arvo, Ron, Hugh, Carol, Krista, Lee, and Pat & Nancy.  Sorry if I missed anyone.

Light E wind is predicted for tomorrow so I'm going to take a much needed break to rest my aching neck.  If you are at the park and something good comes your way, please let me know as soon as you can.  Thanks!

See you Thursday!

Walter

Sep 22nd - 885 Birds, No Kettles!

Wow, what a day, almost nine hundred birds and without large kettles of Broad-wings or Vultures!  Without a doubt our busiest day ever!  My thanks to everyone for spotting, calling out, identifying and photographing everything that came our way.  That was not easy at all!  As I type this, my neck is being treated with pills, ointment and a heating pad!  Oh well, it was worth it!

As of today, September 22nd, we have already broken our highest 'month' count ever.  The old record was 3506 birds counted (Oct 2011), our current total stands at 3832 birds with several days left to add to that.  So far this fall we've had our best August ever and our best September ever!  Still lots of time and lots of birdies yet to come!

Today:
Turkey Vulture - 11
Osprey - 6
Bald Eagle - 9
Northern Harrier - 26
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 560  (10 short of a new record!.....we tried!)
Cooper's Hawk - 8
Broad-winged Hawk - 106
Red-tailed Hawk - 5
American Kestrel - 149
Merlin - 2
Peregrine Falcon - 3
Total - 885

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 113
Osprey - 121
Bald Eagle - 67
Northern Harrier - 74
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1873
Cooper's Hawk - 26
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 1400
Red-tailed Hawk - 28
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 353
Merlin - 65
Peregrine Falcon - 9
Total - 4129

Eagle Time (EDT):
08:20 AM - BE (adult)
09:33 AM - BE (adult)
10:03 AM - BE (imm)
10:42 AM - BE (imm)
12:19 PM - BE (imm)
02:15 PM - BE (imm)x2
02:25 PM - BE (imm)
03:30 PM - BE (adult)

Some of today's crowd (Ann)

a young Northern Harrier (Ann)

Sharp-shinned Hawk (Ann)

Broad-winged Hawk (Ann)

a low-flying Bald Eagle (Ann)

One of many Sharpies that landed in the park today.  (Ann)

Broad-winged Hawk (Ann)

a female American Kestrel (Ann)

a male American Kestrel (Mike D)

an incoming Sharpie (Mike D)

Broad-winged Hawk (Mike D)

Sharp-shinned Hawk (Mike D)

another Sharp-shinned Hawk (Mike D)

a Sharpie diving down (Mike D)

another beautiful American Kestrel (Mike D)

Today's best non-raptor sighting was a lone Sandhill Crane that was flying out over the water.  Another 35 Loons were tallied overhead and as predicted in Ron Pittaway's 2014/2015 Winter Finch Report, Blue Jays are on the move out of the province.  Today we watched as a couple of thousand flew over the park.  Always a spectacular event.

a very distant Sandhill Crane (Walter)

Another 157 Monarch butterflies were counted flying westward along the bluffs.

Again, my thanks to everyone who was at the Watch today.  Your help and friendship is very much appreciated.

Moderate wind from the west is predicted for Tuesday.

Walter

Sep 20th & 21st - The Weekend

Strong winds from the south mixed with periods of rain showers and thunder storms made for slow weekend of hawkwatching.  Only 27 birds were counted over the past two days.  With good NW wind predicted for tomorrow, hopefully we'll add some big numbers to our count.

Today:
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 12
Cooper's Hawk - 1
American Kestrel - 2
Merlin - 1
Peregrine Falcon - 1
Total - 17

Yesterday:
Osprey - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 4
Cooper's Hawk - 1
Peregrine Falcon - 1
Total - 7

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 102
Osprey - 115
Bald Eagle - 58
Northern Harrier - 48
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1313
Cooper's Hawk - 18
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 1294
Red-tailed Hawk - 23
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 204
Merlin - 63
Peregrine Falcon - 6
Total - 3244

Here's a selection of photos from Saturday...

Osprey (Lee)

local Red-tailed Hawk being closely watched by a Cooper's Hawk (Ann)

local Red-tailed Hawk (Lee)

Peregrine Falcon (Patty)

local Turkey Vultures (Lee)

Sharp-shinned Hawk (Lee)

 A good shot of some of the folks gathered on Saturday (Patty)

These 2 shots are mock-ups but they truly recapture some of the 'unexpected' events of last week's hawkwatching at Rosetta...

Don being attacked by one of the Red-tailed Hawks (Kris)

 
 Yours truly under attack by a Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Kris)

And this is one of the Common Ravens that flew over the park on Saturday...

The pair was seen flying over the park together 3 times over the weekend (Lee)

My thanks to the many people who came out over the weekend to enjoy the birds, the flowers and the park itself.  I'd especially like to thank Murray for setting up another 'Meetup' at the Hawk Watch, an annual event now.  On Saturday we hosted somewhere between 30 and 40 extra people that were mostly new to hawkwatching and the park.  Birds unfortunately were a little thin but the amazing weather and all the camaraderie sure made the day extremely fun.  So many new happy smiling faces that I hope will someday return when we're just a little bit busier hawk-wise.  I'd also like to thank Murray's wife Debbie for sharing her homemade blueberry tarts and Rice Krispy squares with everyone - oh my, they were tasty!

Another great event that happened on Saturday was the release of two small songbirds back to the wild.  Our friend Sarah, who volunteers with the FLAP program in the city was kind enough to bring a Nashville Warbler and Swainson's Thrush down to the park.  Both birds had recently suffered slight injury from window strikes but were given the 'green light' to be released.  It's always a wonderful feeling to see birds and animals being set free once again.  Click here to watch the video.  Thankyou for choosing RMG for their release Sarah!

The Monarch butterflies have been a little less frequent over the last two days.  We tallied 50+ on Saturday and 27 on Sunday.  The next few days will give us a better indication as to whether the migration is coming to an end in our area or not.  Our work counting the butterflies has not gone unnoticed of course, today the Toronto Star newspaper ran an article about the migration and mentioned one of our 1000+ day counts at Rosetta.  Without all of your help spotting them everywhere they fly the numbers would never be has good as they are.  I thank you all.  Please click here to read the full story.

The weather for tomorrow (Monday) from weatherunderground:  Intervals of clouds and sunshine. High near 15C. Winds NW at 15 to 30 km/h.

See ya there!

Walter

Sep 19th - Great Day.....If You Like Flickers!

Today we had more migrating Northern Flickers fly over than we did raptors!  With today's strong SE winds blowing from across the lake, we didn't have too many countable hawks above Rosetta.  Southeast wind is the most unfavorable wind for big birds that don't particularly like to flap their wings.  One raptor, a falcon, that we did see today was the fast flying Merlin.  We had 8 of them zoom by over the course of the day!

Today:
Turkey Vulture - 1
Osprey - 2
Northern Harrier - 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 3
Cooper's Hawk - 1
Merlin - 8
Today - 17

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 102
Osprey - 114
Bald Eagle - 58
Northern Harrier - 48
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1297
Cooper's Hawk - 16
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 1294
Red-tailed Hawk - 23
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 202
Merlin - 62
Peregrine Falcon - 4
Total - 3220

Merlin (Lee)

 Osprey (Lee)

We had roughly 40 Northern Flickers fly over Rosetta today heading westward.  Heading eastward, we had 2 Common Ravens!

Blue Jay (Lee)
 
 A migrating Common Loon (Lee)

I'd like to thank everyone who came by today and if nothing else, chatted for a while.  The coffees kept me extra alert in case anything flew by at high speed.

Today we had about 150 Monarchs go by and Terry was able to tag about 20 of them.  A few folks got to capture and tag their own butterflies.  Ann caught a Monarch, tagged it and then let it go.  Then, she walked back over to the garden area only to catch the very same butterfly again!

Saturday will see the wind switch over to SW and pick up quite a bit.  If we're lucky, we may see Peregrines, Osprey, and Eagles.  The all enjoy the updraft off of the bluffs.

See you there!

Walter

Sep 18th - Another 16 Bald Eagles!

Today sure started off 'iffy', didn't know if we'd see anything with the heavy clouds and dampness in the air.  Thankfully as the day progressed the sky became clearer and clearer.  Though the eagles and osprey were up high again today, most flew right over top of us giving us spectacular views.  Though we didn't get as many Broad-wings as we'd hoped for, we did finish the day with a respectable count of 89 - remember twice that number is normally a good BW year at Rosetta.

Today was my day to be attacked by a bird - lol!  As I was standing along the fence-line looking north and just about to say "eagle over Kingston Road", I got this really loud buzzing noise coming from behind my head.  As I lunged forward and knocked my baseball cap off, everyone laughed and said "you had a Hummingbird behind you".  That's not what it sounded like from my angle!  Imagine the sound of some 200 wing beats per second right behind your ears, and in stereo!  The hummer must've thought that the small logo on the back of my bright red cap was the center of a flower.  Too funny!

Today:
Turkey Vulture - 52
Osprey - 14
Bald Eagle - 16
Northern Harrier - 11
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 106
Cooper's Hawk - 2
Broad-winged Hawk - 89
Red-tailed Hawk - 3
American Kestrel - 31
Merlin - 3
Peregrine Falcon - 1
Total - 328

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 101
Osprey - 112
Bald Eagle - 58
Northern Harrier - 46
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1294
Cooper's Hawk - 15
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 1294
Red-tailed Hawk - 23
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 202
Merlin - 54
Peregrine Falcon - 4
Total - 3203

Here are two beautiful eagle shots that Kris got today...



Best non-raptor sighting of the day was a Common Nighthawk flying high along the shoreline.  Also, a pocket or two of Warblers were seen early in the day.

During the afternoon the Dragonfly and Monarch numbers rose substantially.  I estimate that we had another 200+ day for Monarchs.

Hawk-watchers today included - Dave, Bruce, Charlie, Sarah, Ron, Kris, Norm, Terry, Berle, Betty, Don, Manny, Arvo, Murray, Pat & Nancy, Carol, Hugh, Byron, Lee, Bruce & Ann Falls, and a nice couple who were over visiting and birding from England.  My thanks to everyone for another great day.

Walter

Sep 17th - Back to Reality!

After such a spectacular day yesterday we were brought back to reality today.  Just a handful of Sharpies, a couple of Turkey Vultures, Osprey and Merlins.  In this game, wind has everything to do with migration.  Yesterday, conditions were perfect for flight - moderate wind blowing from the northwest and lots of sunshine providing the heat needed to form thermals over the land.  Today there was sunshine but the wind was blowing from the southwest which is not conducive to good bird migration.  Tomorrow looks much better!

Today:
Turkey Vulture - 2
Osprey - 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 25
Merlin - 2
Total - 32

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 49
Osprey - 98
Bald Eagle - 42
Northern Harrier - 35
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1188
Cooper's Hawk - 13
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 1205
Red-tailed Hawk - 20
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 171
Merlin - 51
Peregrine Falcon - 3
Total - 2875

Hawkwatchers today included Ron, Pat & Nancy, Arvo, Mark, Terry, Murray, Allison, Betty, Carol, Manny and our roving field reporter Lee, who quickly alerted us of an Osprey that was coming along the top edge of the bluffs.  Thankyou all.

Another good day for Monarchs with 100+ passing by.

From weatherunderground.com:   A few clouds early, otherwise mostly sunny. High around 15C. Winds N at 15 to 25 km/h.

Don't be late!

Walter