Oct.21 High Birds and Reverse Migration:Day Count 188 YTD 4300

Finally after several slow and rain days,another good day of migrating raptors. While many birds were quite high,a smattering of lower birds kept the enjoyment level high. From 8am-12pm,I saw 142 raptors,with things slowing down considerably after that. The last 29 birds,were a reverse migration of birds not seen that day,so were counted. Sometime between 2pm and 3pm part of The Peel Birding Class,which I sometimes bird with,joined me. I was about ready to pack things in as they arrived but stayed to be sociable. No birds came until group leader Brete looked west and asked whats this..2 Turkey Vultures,followed by 23 others. The 26th bird,Brete urged us to look at. Immediately I recognized it as a Golden Eagle. It flew past us going west to east(reverse migrating) giving the gathered throng a fine look at it. Next a male and female Northern Harrier went "backwards" and lastly flying below us and very close to the bluff before landing in a bluff-side tree was a juvenile Northern Goshawk. We suspect the raptors wanted to land for the evening and couldnt see a good spot beyond us,so went back to find a suitable spot..they also could have seen/sensed poor weather ahead of them and turned back to wait it out. Final Tally included:
Turkey Vulture..................25
Northern Harrier...............11
Sharpshinned Hawk........130
Coopers Hawk...................7
Northern Goshawk.............2
Redtailed Hawk..................3
Golden Eagle......................1
American Kestrel................5
Merlin.................................3
Peregrine Falcon.................1
Of note,thousands and I mean 20000 or more Red-winged Blackbirds and Robins were seen migrating early in the morning. Sometimes very high,clouds and clouds of them. It was awe inspiring. Many thanks to Keith who spent the morning with me and The PBC for their contributions to an enjoyable day. Keep an eye on Tuesday through Friday,as possible big days at your favorite raptor watching site. Rather strong Northwest winds are forecast,which could bring more Golden Eagles and possibly some Rough-legged Hawks in addition to your regularily scheduled migrants. DRESS WARM no matter where U attend! A reminder that bathrooms are open till Nov 7th 9am-3pm weekdays,9am-5pm weekends.

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