Wind (current)

Sept 8... 59 raptors YTD 388

As morning approached,wind forcasts changed continuously. What was to be a day of perfect conditions,gave way to a mid-day change in winds,moving raptors inland(more north then I could see). Still,Rob,Carol,Keith and I saw some good views of several species. While a number of Sharpies and Kestrels were high the clear blue skies made it seem worse then it was. Osprey were reasonably low,2 went through was a huge female. 2 Merlin passed through,one made a dive at some small unseen by us,bird. The other zipped past,Im surprised Rob got a decent shot of it as it sped by.

The Broadwinged Hawks all circled together very high up. I caught what was eventually 8 American Kestrels together..I called them out as kestrels at first,then saw a whole stack of them and said ohhh no its just Swallows..then backtracked again when I got the colour on the tail of one of them. Getting it right in the end is what matters...isnt it? The final tally of 59 raptors consisted of:

1 Turkey Vulture

5 Osprey

1 Bald Eagle(adult at 11:50am)

2 Northern Harriers

13 Sharpshinned Hawks

1 Coopers Hawk

4 Broadwinged Hawks

30 American Kestrels

2 Merlin

Tomorrow the call is for rain..depending on if/when/for how long it comes,wind conditions are excellent. Better days to come. Provided there isnt a deluge,I will be at the park.

Sept 5 Day Count 43...YTD 306

Today was another decent early September migration day despite less then optimal conditions. The sky was 100% overcast most of the day. By 1pm things had pretty much shut down. Today I shared an Osprey(pictured) with Peter and while Georgia and I chatted a Peregrine Falcon made 2 passes of the park,on its return pass it took a run at a migrating Sharp-shinned Hawk. Todays total was 42 raptors consisting of:

2 Osprey

2 Northern Harrier

30 Sharpshinned Hawk

7 American Kestrel

1 Peregrine Falcon

Above is an Osprey. There seem to be several very humid days coming and then some very promising looking days after that. Always living in hopes.

Sept 3rd:Day Count 55...YTD 264

Today was warm and abit humid,which helped? to negate the good wind conditions. Still,we saw 55 raptors. A flurry of Sharpshinned Hawks with a few Northern Harriers passed by between 10am and 11am. We are doing much as "general" birders do in very early spring,hoping..wishing..willing migration to get busy and start in ernst. It's still early in hawk migration time to get a big day,but with the prediction of favorable winds we eagerly flock to our favorite raptor watching site,anticiapting skies lousy with raptors. Tomorrow is no different,there is a chance for a good day with a north element in the wind all day and a temperature cool down. The usual suspects were in attendance today,to see some portion of the 55 raptors:

2 Osprey
5 Northern Harriers
41 Sharpshinned Hawks
4 Broadwinged Hawk
1 Redtailed Hawk
1 American Kestrel
1 Merlin
55 Day Total

Sept. 2 Sharpies Push On:Day Count 29 YTD 209

Today was abit slow,but we persevered. Rob and I saw an early Osprey only about 30ft off the bluff as it made its way down along the lakeshore. Later Bob,Fred,Carol Mike and Les all joined us in enjoying the day and a few birds. Our 29 raptors consisted of:

1 Osprey
1 Broadwing
1 Redtail
1 American Kestrel
1 Merlin
2 Coopers Hawk (neither was the local..which was also seen)
22 Sharpshinned Hawks

Better days will soon be upon us,till then we have enjoyed ourselves seeing whatever comes our way.

Sept 1..Off To A Flying Start 43 Raptors

Today was another good early migration day. Once the winds shifted,it slowed down,but not before 43 birds were added to this seasons count. Sharp-shinned Hawks were the stars of the day,with 29 flying by. At Rosetta McClain Gardens,once Sharpies start,they dont seem to care at all what the winds are,they fly anyway. Last fall between the 6th and 10th of September a large number of the nearly 1000 birds seen were Sharpies,many of which were seen on what would be considered less than perfect conditions. Additionally,Bob,Rob,Keith,Carol and I saw :

6 Osprey

1 Turkey Vulture

1 Coopers Hawk

3 American Kestrels

1 Merlin

1 Northern Harrier

1 Broadwinged Hawk

Though some of the Sharpies were abit high,everything else offered good views. Rob managed some nice shots of a Broadwing and Coopers(that Ive seen so far),while I got passable shots of Turkey Vulture and Osprey(shame the osprey is silhouetted). The next several days could be spotty for migration,but I hope for the best.