Special Post - Christmas Luncheon

Wow, it's hard to believe but it's time to start thinking about our annual end-of-the-season get-together.

We have chosen a new place for this year's luncheon, a brand new restaurant called The Victorian Monkey (Facebook) conveniently located on Kingston Road just up the road from the park in the heart of Cliffside Village.  For those who attend our winter coffee meet-ups, it's just across the road from Country Style Donuts.  The restaurant, which has only been open a couple of weeks has received many great reviews for it's atmosphere, food and drinks.  Although I personally have not visited yet, it always appears to be quite busy at night.  The owner has done a very impressive job on creating this exciting new 'hotspot'.  Please join us for our upcoming get-together.


The Victorian Monkey (Facebook)
2386 Kingston Road (north side, just west of Bulk Barn)
Sunday December 4th, 2016
1:00pm
Lunch Menu
Inquiries (416) 264-0783
Parking is conveniently located just 2 doors west of the restaurant in the lot signed 'Monkey Parking'.

Please notify either Lee or myself if you'll be able to join us, we'd love to have you!

Attending...

Lee
Walter
Nancy & Adam
Patty
Debbie
Christina & Brian
Arvo
Gillian
Sophie
Helena
Cheryl & Brian
Berle
Blaine
Mark
Stephen
Betty
Diana
Carole & Brian
Lucille & Alan
Vernon
Liz

See you there!
Walter

Nov 30th - That's It, We're Done!

With rain in the forecast for today I'm thinking we're done for the season!

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

Total Raptors (5915) - Our 6th best year ever at Rosetta.  Interestingly, October was our 2nd best month ever for migrating raptors with a count of 4149 birds.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on October 9th when we observed 1481 birds.

Turkey Vulture (2457) - Our 3rd best year ever for this species.  October was our 3rd best month ever for 'TVs' with a count of 2288 birds.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on October 9th when we observed 1161 birds.

Osprey (59) - Our 12th best year ever for this species.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on September 1st when we observed 12 birds.  With all the hot humid low to no wind days that occurred during the first half of the season, it's likely that many Osprey migrated across the city further to the north and out of our viewing range.

Bald Eagle (108) - Our 2nd best year ever for this species - only 2 birds shy of a new record.  September was our 2nd best month ever for 'baldies' with a count of 76 birds.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on September 1st when we observed an unbelievable 48 birds - a new 'single day' count record for hawk watch sites in the GTA!

Northern Harrier (168) - Our 8th best year ever for this species.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on October 22nd when we observed 36 birds.  With all the hot humid low to no wind days that occurred during the first half of the season, it's likely that many Harriers migrated across the city further to the north and out of our viewing range.

Sharp-shinned Hawk (1469) - Our 11th best count ever for this species - only 2244 birds shy of a new record - yikes!!!  Interestingly, we had a higher count for 'sharpies' in the month of October than we did in September.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on September 14th when we observed 177 birds.  As with other species, the hot humid low to no wind days that occurred during the first half of the season likely caused many 'sharpies' to migrate across the city further to the north and out of our viewing range.

Cooper's Hawk (70) - Our 10th best count ever for this species.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on October 25th when we observed 11 birds.

Northern Goshawk (28) - Our best count ever for this species - breaking our old record by 4 birds!  November was our best month ever for Goshawks with a count of 16 birds.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on November 9th when we observed 5 birds - tying our record from November 2, 2012!

Red-shouldered Hawk (54) - Our 3rd best year ever for this species.  October was our 2nd best month ever for 'shoulders' with a count of 52 birds.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on October 22nd when we observed 22 birds.

Broad-winged Hawk (236) - Our 4th best year ever for this species.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on September 1st when we observed 127 birds.  Again, this species, like so many others was likely moving across the city further to the north and out of our viewing range during all the hot humid days of September.  Still not a bad count for our hawk watch site!

Red-tailed Hawk (843) - Our 4th best year ever for this species.  October was our best month ever for 'tails' with a count of 617 birds.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on October 25th when we observed 178 birds.

Rough-legged Hawk (6) - Our 7th best year ever for this species.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on October 25th when we observed 3 birds.

Golden Eagle (11) - Our 4th best year ever for this species.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on November 9th when we observed 3 birds.  On November 11th, a high-flying 'goldie' (and a Peregrine Falcon that was flying with it) started one of our best ever identification debates, eventually an expert was asked to look at the photos and positively identify the birds.  Great time!

American Kestrel (275) - Our 12th best year ever for this species.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on September 14th when we observed 57 birds.  Another species that likely migrated across the city further to the north and out of our viewing range during the hot humid days of September.

Merlin (87) - Our 5th best year ever for this species.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on October 8th when we observed 7 birds.

Peregrine Falcon (44) - Our 10th best year ever for this species.  Our highest day count for the season occurred on October 18th when we observed 7 birds.

Rarities (0)

Plus...

Species Survey - Birds (130) - Highlights included the following new species for our 'Park List' - Greater White-fronted Goose.  Our list of birds seen at Rosetta since 2001 now sits at 211 species!  Other great sightings included both White-winged and Black Scoters, Bonaparte's Gulls, an unidentified owl (Short or Long-eared) which gave us roughly 7-8 seconds of viewing time, countless views of Common Ravens, a lone Purple Martin, and likely our best ever flight of migrating Blue Jays.

Species Survey - Mammals (8) - The return of the foxes was the highlight.

Species Survey - Butterflies (26) - It's was another great season for butterflies due in part to all those hot humid low to no wind days in August and September.  Although no new species were observed, we did have a lone Spicebush Swallowtail on September 26th - a species not always seen in the Gardens.  Other sightings included White Admiral, Red-spotted Purple, Great Spangled Fritillary, and Common Buckeye.  The Fiery Skipper, a once 'rare' visitor to the park was observed on a somewhat regular basis from August 5th through to November 2nd with a high count of 9 individuals on August 9th!  The warmer than normal weather that we experienced this fall provided us with some terrific 'late date' sightings as well - two Swallowtail species, Giant and Eastern Tiger observed on October 4th, were likely the latest ever reported in the GTA and the Eastern Tiger was the 2nd latest ever reported in the province!  Other late sightings included a Monarch and a Fiery Skipper on November 2nd, a Mourning Cloak on November 5th, and a Cabbage White on November 18th - this being my own personal 'latest' butterfly sighting as well.

Monarch Butterfly Counting and Tagging (4561) - A slightly higher count than last year.  I suspect the near-complete lack of northwest wind during the month of September had a big part to play in the overall low number again this fall.  Many Monarchs likely migrated across the city further north and out of our viewing range.  On September 14th we observed an estimated 1000+ Monarchs flying westward.  Terry and Betty, with the help of many others, managed to capture, weigh, measure, tag, and release an incredible 976 Monarchs this season.  So far, this year's Rosetta tagged Monarchs have been found nectaring at flowers on the Toronto Islands (Aug 26th), at Woodbine Beach (Sep 12th), and at Ashbridge's Bay (Oct 6th).  The furthest and most interesting find without a doubt was in the St. Mark's National Wildlife Refuge in Florida (Nov 5th)!  We now wait to see how many of the Rosetta tagged Monarchs are found in Mexico at the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, the mountainous region where they normally spend their winters.

Walter

Nov 27th - A Couple More Birds!

Today's visit was a short one but I did manage to count 2 more raptors flying through...

Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1
Red-tailed Hawk - 1

That pushes our total to 5915 raptors for the season!  OMG, only 3 days left.....and 2 of them may have rain!!!

Walter

Nov 25th - Over the Weekend

It appears at present that we'll have some 'light' NW winds over the weekend so I'll be down at the park to try and squeeze out a few more birds before it's all over.

See you there,
Walter

Nov 22nd - 14 More Raptors!

Today:
Bald Eagle - 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 3
Northern Goshawk - 1
Red-tailed Hawk - 8
Total - 14

Eagle Time (EST):
01:21pm - BEx2

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 2457
Osprey - 59
Bald Eagle - 108
Northern Harrier - 168
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1467
Cooper's Hawk - 70
Northern Goshawk - 28
Red-shouldered Hawk - 54
Broad-winged Hawk - 236
Red-tailed Hawk - 842
Rough-legged Hawk - 6
Golden Eagle - 11
American Kestrel - 275
Merlin - 87
Peregrine Falcon - 44
Total - 5912

Four excellent photos of our 28th Northern Goshawk of the season.  This bird sets our new record 'year' count at 28 and our new record 'month' count at 16!

(Arvo)
(Matt)
(Arvo)
 
 (Kris)

 
the first of 2 Bald Eagles (Matt)

 another beautifully marked Red-tailed Hawk (Matt)

People:
Ron, Matt, Betty, Trudy, Bruce, MC, Kris, Dave, Arvo, Mark, Hugh, Lynn, Allison, Diana, and a few others who stopped by.  Thankyou everyone for another fun day of hawk-watching!

Weather Prediction:
Light N and NE until 3pm or so and not quite as cold.  Maybe, just maybe a couple of birds will fly our way.

Walter

Nov 21st - The Past Two Days

Thanks to everyone who has braved the elements the past two days and reported their sightings to me.  I was present on both days (for as long as I could stand the cold) but only saw a lone 'countable' Sharp-shinned Hawk.  Other birders were rewarded with a little more excitement.  This current blast of cold air sure makes up for those days back in August and September when it was 40+ degrees out...and no wind at all!  We certainly do experience the extremes while enjoying the migration of raptors.

Sunday:
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1

Today:
Bald Eagle - 1
Northern Goshawk - 2
Red-tailed Hawk - 1
Golden Eagle - 1

Eagle Time (EST):
12:00pm - BE
03:25pm - GE

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 2457
Osprey - 59
Bald Eagle - 106
Northern Harrier - 168
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1464
Cooper's Hawk - 70
Northern Goshawk - 27
Red-shouldered Hawk - 54
Broad-winged Hawk - 236
Red-tailed Hawk - 834
Rough-legged Hawk - 6
Golden Eagle - 11
American Kestrel - 275
Merlin - 87
Peregrine Falcon - 44
Total - 5898

a nice low-flying Bald Eagle (Arvo)

Weather Prediction:
The wind continues to blow from the NW on Tuesday but not near as strong as it has been these past two days.  We should see more of the sun as well.  Hopefully this will result in a bunch more raptors flying over the park.....well, a few more anyway, it is getting late!

See you there!
Walter

Nov 19th - Sunday/Monday Prediction

Although the wind over the course of the next two days will be from the NW, it's likely that it'll be blowing and gusting just a little too strong for any kind of raptor migration.  As hawkwatching is mostly a citizen science, I'll just have to go down to the park to find out if that's true!

From what I've seen from the weather forecasts on television, they don't seem to have the approaching weather system quite figured out as yet.  If the conditions in your area are bad or are going to be bad, please don't bother heading out, it's just not worth it.  Tuesday is still looking good!

Walter

Nov 18th - 2 More Birds!

Today:
Cooper's Hawk - 1
Peregrine Falcon - 1
Total - 2

Weather Prediction:
Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday all contain strong NW winds in their forecasts.  Sunday and Monday will have snow off and on during the daytime.  We'll see what happens, stay tuned!

Walter

Nov 16th - 14 People, 3 Birds!

Note:  To anyone that has tried to contact me through the email address walterfisher'at'outlook.com found on this blog, I must apologize for not realizing that the address had been detached from my primary email account some time ago.  As this address is mostly used just for this blog it was never a concern to always check it's functionality on a regular basis.  The problem has now been rectified.

Today:
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1
Red-tailed Hawk - 1
Merlin - 1
Total - 3

a fairly high-flying 'Sharpie' (Matt)

Red-tailed Hawk (Matt)

our local Merlin with his eye on something (Matt)

People:
Bruce, Dave, Arvo, Rosemary, Matt, Hugh, Pat & Nancy, Ron, Terry, Cori, Trudy, Diana, Ely, and possibly one or two others...lol...I can't remember!

Weather Prediction:
The next few days do not look very promising for migration so it'll hit and miss for me at the park.  Friday being fairly warm will likely get me out to watch for butterflies if nothing else.  Keep your eyes on Sunday and Monday as they look good at present for the big birds.

Walter

Nov 15th - 0 Raptors, 2 Cabbage Whites

During my 90 minute visit to the park mid-day today I saw 2 Cabbage White butterflies, 1 Locust, a whole bunch o' bees and 0 raptors.  Not much else tho.

Weather Prediction:
Light to moderate NW wind for tomorrow with gusts.  Hopefully we'll get a few birds.

See you there,
Walter

Nov 11th - 10 Species Now is a Great Day! (Updated)

Well, after reviewing a number of photos sent to me (and a few to an expert) I think I'm finally ready to post the results for the day.  Not always the easy task!  My thanks to everyone who not only take the 'great' photos that I share here daily but who also take some not-so-great photos (but extremely helpful) of very high-flying or distant birds that we can use to help identify the birds to species.  Some days I don't know where we'd be without all your help.

Any day in November when you've had 10 raptor species, you've had a great day!

Today:
Bald Eagle - 2
Northern Harrier - 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 4
Cooper's Hawk - 2
Northern Goshawk - 3
Red-shouldered Hawk - 2
Red-tailed Hawk - 42
Golden Eagle - 2
Merlin - 1
Peregrine Falcon - 1
Total - 61

Eagle Time (EST):
01:20pm - GE
01:25pm - GE
01:55pm - BE
02:06pm - BE

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 2457
Osprey - 59
Bald Eagle - 105
Northern Harrier - 168
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1462
Cooper's Hawk - 69
Northern Goshawk - 25 (new record count for Rosetta!)
Red-shouldered Hawk - 54
Broad-winged Hawk - 236
Red-tailed Hawk - 832
Rough-legged Hawk - 6
Golden Eagle - 10
American Kestrel - 275
Merlin - 86
Peregrine Falcon - 43
Total - 5887

Bald Eagle #1 (Walter)

Bald Eagle #2 (Walter)

Cooper's Hawk (Mike D)

Northern Goshawk (Mike D)

our first Golden Eagle of the day (Kris)

a second Golden Eagle being harrassed by a Peregrine Falcon (Kris)
(Birds correctly identified by Jerry Liguori - the author
of Hawks From Every Angle and Hawks At A Distance,
and co-author of The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors)
(a huge thanks to Jerry for the IDs and to Ron P for emailing Jerry with the photos)

Red-shouldered Hawk (Mike D)

Red-tailed Hawk (Mike D)

Red-tailed Hawk (Mike D)

 Red-tailed Hawk (Mike D)

Red-tailed Hawk (Mike D)

Red-tailed Hawk (Arvo)

Sharp-shinned Hawk (Arvo)

Sharp-shinned Hawk (Mike D)

Other Birds:

Common Raven (Arvo)

Butterflies:
Clouded Sulphur - 1

People:
Matt, Lee, Mike D, Dave, Rosemary, Ron & Jean, Alfred, Hugh, Kris, Bob, Arvo, Peter, Cori, Berle, Sophie, Joyce, Lynn, Bruce & Ann Falls, Trudy, Mikal and several other good folks.  Thankyou everyone for the laughs, the food and drink, and of course, the hawk spotting, photographing, and identifying!

Weather Prediction:
Mostly W wind for tomorrow.  I will likely be elsewhere tomorrow.  If you decide to go to Rosetta on Saturday and see any migrating raptors please let me know asap.  My email is: walterfisher 'at' outlook.com

Walter

Nov 10th - A Sharpie and the prediction for Friday

Today:
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1

Other Birds:
Common Raven - 1
Great Black-backed Gull - 1

People:
Pat & Nancy, Ron, Arvo, Krista, Carol, Hugh and a few other folks.

Weather Prediction:
Strong wind from the north should bring us birds.  How many?  Who knows!

Walter