Wind (current)

Sep 21st - Strong SW Wind, 11 Birds!

Today:
Turkey Vulture - 6
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 3
American Kestrel - 1
Peregrine Falcon - 1
Total - 11

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 32
Osprey - 48
Bald Eagle - 50
Northern Harrier - 19
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 118
Cooper's Hawk - 6
Broad-winged Hawk - 21
Red-tailed Hawk - 19
Golden Eagle - 1
American Kestrel - 84
Merlin - 15
Peregrine Falcon - 11
Unidentified Buteo - 3
Unidentified Falcon - 3
Unidentified Raptor - 2
Total - 432

Red-tailed Hawk (Theresa)

Red-tailed Hawk (Theresa)

Cooper's Hawk (Theresa)

Insects:
Monarch - 200 (estimated).  Congratulations go out to Terry and Betty for tagging their 2000th Monarch butterfly of the season today!

Hawkwatchers:
Theresa, Sophie, Walter, Allison, Jennifer, Joe, Byron plus a few others including 2 birders from 'The Peg'.

Weather Prediction:
According to The Weather Network - moderate wind blowing down from the north, slowing as the afternoon progresses.  We should have a decent flight of raptors.

See you there,
Walter

Sep 19th - 71 Raptors, 11 Species.

Today:
Turkey Vulture - 6
Osprey - 7
Bald Eagle - 4
Northern Harrier - 11
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 6
Cooper's Hawk - 3
Broad-winged Hawk - 3
Red-tailed Hawk - 5
American Kestrel - 22
Merlin - 2
Peregrine Falcon - 1
Unidentified Falcon - 1
Total - 71

Eagle Time (EDT):
10:41am - BE - 1
12:07pm - BE - 1
12:34pm - BE - 2

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 26
Osprey - 48
Bald Eagle - 50
Northern Harrier - 19
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 115
Cooper's Hawk - 6
Broad-winged Hawk - 21
Red-tailed Hawk - 17
Golden Eagle - 1
American Kestrel - 83
Merlin - 15
Peregrine Falcon - 10
Unidentified Buteo - 3
Unidentified Falcon - 3
Unidentified Raptor - 2
Total - 419

adult Bald Eagle (Joe)

juvenile Broad-winged Hawk (Joe)

adult Red-tailed Hawk (Joe)

juvenile Red-tailed Hawk (Joe)

juvenile Northern Harriers (Lee)

American Kestrel (Joe)

2 American Kestrels and a Sharp-shinned Hawk (Lee)

Other Birds:
Loon sp - 4
Blue Jay - 4000+
Common Raven - 1

Loon heading south (Lee)

Cedar Waxwings (Lee)

Blue Jay! (Lee)

a pair of Northern Flickers (Lee)

Insects:
Monarchs - 300 (estimated)
Mourning Cloak - 1 (25th butterfly species since August 1st)
Dragonflies - several!

Mexico or bust! (Lee)

Hawkwatchers:
Walter, Joe, Lee, Theresa, Julie, Hugh, Ron, Berle, Pat & Nancy, Shael, Joyce, Rosemary, Dave, Peter, Bruce F, and many others.  Thank you everyone!

Weather Prediction:
Keep an eye on Saturday and possibly Sunday.

See you again soon,
Walter

Sep 18th - 142 Raptors, 11/15 Species!

Today it took the birds a little while to show but once they did we had a steady stream flying over the park.  Any day when we've had 11 out of the possible 15 usual suspects, we've done good.  At one point this afternoon we had all 3 falcons in the air at the same time - something we don't usually see.  Thank you everyone for a wonderful day of hawk watching - not easy when the sky is blue.

Today:
Turkey Vulture - 20
Osprey - 6
Bald Eagle - 1
Northern Harrier - 5
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 53
Cooper's Hawk - 2
Broad-winged Hawk - 2
Red-tailed Hawk - 5
American Kestrel - 37
Merlin - 5
Peregrine Falcon - 3
Unidentified Buteo - 2
Unidentified Falcon - 1
Total - 142

Eagle Time (EDT):
03:36pm - BE - 1 (adult)

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 20
Osprey - 41
Bald Eagle - 46
Northern Harrier - 8
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 109
Cooper's Hawk - 3
Broad-winged Hawk - 18
Red-tailed Hawk - 12
Golden Eagle - 1
American Kestrel - 61
Merlin - 13
Peregrine Falcon - 9
Unidentified Buteo - 3
Unidentified Falcon - 2
Unidentified Raptor - 2
Total - 348

Other Birds:
Loon sp (3), Eastern Bluebird (3), Blue Jay (4000+), and a Great Blue Heron

Insects:
Monarchs - 250 (estimated)
Dragonflies - lots!!!

Hawkwatchers:
Theresa, Sheldon, Berle, Walter, Hugh, Charlie, Dave, Lynn, Terry, Betty, Bruce Falls and son Rob, plus several others.  Thankyou!

Weather Prediction:
Wednesday will start out with N wind and then transition to NE wind mid-day.  Birds should be flying up a bit higher than today so bring your chair.

See you at the fence,
Walter

Sep 16th - 18 Birds!

OMG, we've finally reached the '200 Raptor' mark!

Our raptor count as of September 16th over the years...

2006 - 1185
2007 - 1977
2008 - 867
2009 - 766
2010 - 2987
2011 - 1935
2012 - 1505
2013 - 1582
2014 - 2843
2015 - 1625
2016 - 1058
2017 - 386
2018 - 206

Let's hope for much cooler weather and strong NW winds in the weeks ahead!

Today:
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 16
American Kestrel - 1
Merlin - 1

To Date:
Osprey - 35
Bald Eagle - 45
Northern Harrier - 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 56
Cooper's Hawk - 1
Broad-winged Hawk - 16
Red-tailed Hawk - 7
Golden Eagle - 1
American Kestrel - 24
Merlin - 8
Peregrine Falcon - 6
Unidentified Buteo - 1
Unidentified Falcon - 1
Unidentified Raptor - 2
Total - 206

Other Birds:
Cooper's Hawk (local), Merlin (local), and a couple of hundred Blue Jays.

Hawkwatchers:
Theresa, Leslie, Betty, Hugh, and me.

Walter

Sep 15th - Another Eagle!

Today:
Bald Eagle - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 12

Eagle Time (EDT):
09:38am - BE - 1

Walter

Sep 14th - 3 Birds!

Today:
Bald Eagle - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2

Eagle Time (EDT):
01:00pm - BE - 1

Other Birds:
Blue Jays (500+)

Insects:
28 Monarchs tagged.  Very few butterflies in the gardens today.  Quite strange considering how lovely the weather was.

Hawkwatchers:
Hugh, Betty, Allison, Walter, and Cori.  Thankyou.

Weather Prediction:
Nothing really promising for the weekend.  Keep your eye on Wednesday - at present The Weather Network says NW wind.

Walter

Sep 12th - 3 Birds!

Today:
Bald Eagle - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1
Peregrine Falcon - 1

Insects:
51 Monarchs tagged.

Hawkwatchers:
Sheldon, Terry, Betty, and the Mood group.

Walter

Sep 11th - 26 Raptors!

This morning was a bit of a head-scratcher for those who gathered at the fence - decent NW wind, beautiful sky, no birds!  Thankfully just before mid-day things started to pick up.

Today:
Osprey - 8
Bald Eagle - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 9
Cooper's Hawk - 1
Broad-winged Hawk - 4
Merlin - 1
Peregrine Falcon - 2
Total - 26

Eagle Time (EDT):
11:43am - BE - 1

To Date:
Osprey - 35
Bald Eagle - 42
Northern Harrier - 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 25
Cooper's Hawk - 1
Broad-winged Hawk - 16
Red-tailed Hawk - 7
Golden Eagle - 1
American Kestrel - 23
Merlin - 7
Peregrine Falcon - 5
Unidentified Buteo - 1
Unidentified Falcon - 1
Unidentified Raptor - 2
Total - 169

Other Birds:
Loons (5), Common Ravens (3), a Great Blue Heron and a Belted Kingfisher.  Lots of Warblers and other songbirds about the park.

Insects:
An estimated count of 2500 Monarchs passing over the park.  Terry, Betty, and Kade managed to capture and tag 172 of them.  Fantastic work!

Hawkwatchers:
Theresa, Walter, Sheldon, Bruce F, Manfred, Allison, Brian and Carol, Sonja, Lynn, and MC.  Thankyou everyone for another fun-filled day.

See you again soon,
Walter

Sep 10th - A Correction and an Update.

Correction:
Back on September 6th in the early afternoon the hawkwatchers that were gathered at the park witnessed a large dark raptor circling along over the park with a buddy, a Turkey Vulture.  Was it another vulture or was it a juvenile Bald Eagle?  With no distinct markings whatsoever on the underside and poor lighting I laid back on the bench to study what I could.  The two features that stood out for me were the head and the wings.  The head did not appear to protrude out like that of a Bald Eagle but also didn't appear to be that of a Turkey Vulture either.  As for the wings, they just appeared different than the vulture's, especially at the tips and the trailing edges.  Also there was no distinct dihedral (like TVs display) in the wings as it soared and the bird didn't rock in the wind as TVs do.  This bird really left us confused and scratching our heads.  Any later in the season and I would've called it a Golden Eagle but not without discussion, of course.  We did have one heck of a talk about what it possibly was and eventually concurred that putting it down as an 'unidentified raptor' was the best solution to our problem - although I was still slightly leaning towards a GE.

Move ahead 2 days to the 8th and doesn't the Hawk Cliff Hawkwatch in Port Stanley get a Golden Eagle!  Their report read, "The big surprise today was a Golden Eagle that was very low as it passed through right overhead.  The bird had a faded off-white band across the tail deck and dull golden feathering on the nape of the neck but was otherwise completely dark and had a smaller head than a Bald.  This is one of a very few Golden Eagles that have ever been recorded in the month of September at Hawk Cliff."  Of note, during our sighting at Rosetta on the 6th, the bird's tail was never spread open and lighting was not on our side to notice the colouring of the nape of the neck.  All birds for the day appeared as silhouettes and hard to identify.

For those who do not totally understand the relationship between our raptor watch location and the Port Stanley location, it's really quite simple.  Because of the way in which raptors and other birds navigate around the Great Lakes during fall migration, many birds flying down over eastern Ontario and western Quebec run in to a natural barrier in the Great Lakes.  They don't like to fly over large bodies of cold water as they do not provide the hot air thermals the birds need in order to migrate efficiently.  They must then follow the north shore of Lake Ontario until they reach the west end and then turn southward.  They eventually arrive at Lake Erie and must follow it's northern shoreline all the way to it's west end, just south of Windsor.  Then they're free to fly south as they please.  The length of time it takes for a large bird to pass over the Rosetta McClain Gardens Raptor Watch and then eventually over the Hawk Cliff Hawkwatch depends on a number of factors including wind and weather.  With favourable conditions it could easily be done in 2 days.  We did not have any unfavourable weather over the span of those couple of days and the wind was blowing down from the north - the direction that keeps the birds hugging the shorelines.  I personally don't see any reason why the Golden Eagle observed at Hawk Cliff was not the exact same big dark bird that we saw over Rosetta 2 days earlier therefore I'm adding it to our count.  If you're not happy with that, then take your bins elsewhere to play - lmao!!!

This is actually our 3rd Golden Eagle observed in the month of September ever.   The previous early date was on the 19th in 2006 and the other was on the 30th in 2015.

Update:
Lee had an Osprey fly over the Watch during the afternoon yesterday (Sep 9th).  She also saw the local Cooper's Hawk and a Search & Rescue Helicopter.

Osprey (Lee)

local Cooper's Hawk (Lee)

Search & Rescue (Lee)

To Date:
Osprey - 27
Bald Eagle - 41
Northern Harrier - 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 16
Broad-winged Hawk - 12
Red-tailed Hawk - 7
Golden Eagle - 1
American Kestrel - 23
Merlin - 6
Peregrine Falcon - 3
Unidentified Buteo - 1
Unidentified Falcon - 1
Unidentified Raptor - 2
Total - 143

See you again soon, maybe even tomorrow!
Walter

Sep 7th & 8th - Eagles, Osprey, and Others!

RMG Raptor Watch
7th September 2018

Today:
Osprey - 2
Northern Harrier - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2
Merlin - 2
Total - 7

Hawkwatchers:
Theresa, Julie, Sheldon, Ron, Walter, Pat & Nancy, Hugh, Norm, Bruce F, Berle, Mark, Lee, Murray, and several others.  Thankyou!

_________________________


RMG Raptor Watch
8th September 2018

Today:
Osprey - 11
Bald Eagle - 16
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 8
Red-tailed Hawk - 1
American Kestrel - 1
Merlin - 2
Peregrine Falcon - 2
Unidentified Falcon - 1
Total - 42

Eagle Time (EDT):
07:45am - BE - 1
08:01am - BE - 1
08:56am - BE - 1
09:07am - BE - 1
09:09am - BE - 1
09:23am - BE - 2
09:28am - BE - 1
09:47am - BE - 1
10:39am - BE - 1
10:52am - BE - 2
11:25am - BE - 1
11:32am - BE - 1
12:27pm - BE - 1
04:43pm - BE - 1

To Date:
Osprey - 26
Bald Eagle - 41
Northern Harrier - 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 16
Broad-winged Hawk - 12
Red-tailed Hawk - 7
Golden Eagle - 1
American Kestrel - 23
Merlin - 6
Peregrine Falcon - 3
Unidentified Buteo - 1
Unidentified Falcon - 1
Unidentified Raptor - 2
Total - 142

Some of today's excitement...

Osprey (Mike D)

Bald Eagle and Monarch butterfly (Mike D)

Bald Eagle (Mike D)

 Bald Eagle (Mike D)

Bald Eagle (Mike D)

Bald Eagle (Mike D)

Bald Eagle (Mike D)

Bald Eagle (Mike D)

Bald Eagle (Mike D)

local Red-tailed Hawk (Mike D)

Bald Eagle (Mike D)

Bald Eagle (Mike D)

Bald Eagle (Mike D)

local Turkey Vulture (Mike D)

local Turkey Vulture (Mike D)

Other Birds:
Loons (12), Common Ravens (2)

Common Raven (Mike D)

Insects:
Monarch butterflies - Another likely under-estimated count of 3000!

Hawkwatchers:
Phil, Sheldon, Mark, Bruce Massey, Walter, Mike D, Allison, Ron, Bruce & Ann Falls and their son Rob, Norm, Ed, Cori, Bruce Ferry, Lee, Susan, Ella, Ben, plus several others who stopped by.  Thankyou everyone for a spectacular day!

Weather Prediction:
East wind (The laziest wind) for Sunday and rain tonight.

See you all again soon,
Walter

Sep 6th - 42 Raptors!

The NE wind keep the birds up high today and cloud cover made identification challanging at times.

Today:
Osprey - 4
Bald Eagle - 11
Northern Harrier - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2
Broad-winged Hawk - 9
Red-tailed Hawk - 5
Golden Eagle - 1
American Kestrel - 6
Merlin - 1
Unidentified Buteo - 1
Unidentified Raptor - 1
Total - 42

To Date:
Osprey - 13
Bald Eagle - 25
Northern Harrier - 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 6
Broad-winged Hawk - 12
Red-tailed Hawk - 6
Golden Eagle - 1
American Kestrel - 22
Merlin - 2
Peregrine Falcon - 1
Unidentified Buteo - 1
Unidentified Raptor - 2
Total - 93

Eagle Time (EDT):
10:22am - BE - 1
10:31am - BE - 1
10:39am - BE - 1
11:10am - BE - 2
11:21am - BE - 1
01:21pm - BE - 2
03:45pm - BE - 2
03:48pm - BE - 1
??:?? - GE - 1

Other Birds:
Loons - 8
Common Nighthawk - 1

Insects:
Monarchs - 12,000
Dragonflies - thousands!

Hawkwatchers:
Walter, Sheldon, Theresa, Sophie, Allison, Berle, Bruce F, Anthony, Chris, Terry, and Betty.  Thank you everyone!

Weather Prediction:
Similar NE wind will be blowing throughout the morning and switching to E by lunchtime.  Birds will likely be flying high again.

See you again,
Walter

Sep 3rd - An Update

Sorry folks for the lack of updates lately, I had a slight computer malfunction - the hard drive died.

Here's what I have for the last few days...

August 31st
Broad-winged Hawk - 1 (Theresa)
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1 (Bruce F)
Bald Eagle - 1 (02:07pm) (Cori)
Merlin - 1 (Cori, Walter)
Osprey - 1 (Cori, Walter)
Total - 5

September 3rd
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1 (Bruce F, Walter)
Bald Eagle - 1 (Betty, Hugh)
American Kestrel - 2 (Sheldon)
Total - 4

To Date:
Osprey - 9
Bald Eagle - 14
Northern Harrier - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 4
Broad-winged Hawk - 3
Red-tailed Hawk - 1
American Kestrel - 16
Merlin - 1
Peregrine Falcon - 1
Unidentified Raptor - 1
Total - 51

Please let me know asap if you've had other sightings that are not listed above of any of our 15 raptor species passing over rosetta and heading west.  The local raptors don't count.  ; )

See you again soon,
Walter