Wind (current)

Sept 20 53 raptors..YTD 2084 NW WIND ALERT

Morning winds were northwest,but wind shifted around noon and raptors dried up. The 19th I took a break,and wasnt present at all,and from reports elsewhere I didnt miss much. Thursday I saw 53 raptors,consisting of:
1-Turkey Vulture
4-Northern Harriers
23-Sharpshinned Hawks
1-Coopers Hawk(plus the local)
1-Redtailed Hawk
22-American Kestrels
The Merlin that had appeared to be hanging around seems to have left the area.

Northwest Wind Alert....Saturday,after so many poor wind days,a Northwest wind of 30kmh is currently predicted for Saturday. This will mean a very good migration of raptors. I hesitate to predict numbers,but if all else stays the same,I suspect 300-500 raptors or more will be seen at Rosetta McClain Gardens,of at least 11 species. While fairly warm temperatures are predicted,I suggest bringing some warm clothes just incase. The flight will start very early,if the winds predicted hold,by 9am on a similar day last Saturday,I had counted over 60raptors by10am and over 150raptors by 11am. If U are up early come on down. No bathrooms till 9am Saturdays!

SouthWind=Slow 28 Raptors YTD 2031

Today was slow again,with winds south and south east. Sharpshins made most of todays birds,with excitement coming when a migrating Merlin took a run at a Blue Jay. Thousands of Blue Jays were migrating all morning,through 1pm when I left for the day. Staff alerted me to a perched hawk up near the rose garden. A quick gator ride and I snapped off several photos,of a co-operative Coopers Hawk.
The next few days could be terribly slow with poor wind conditions and high humidity. That said I will likely be at the park from 8am-1pm and see what happens. The weekend now looks like the next best hope of some good count days. Sunday NE winds are predicted,which will move some birds.

Sept 16 Wind Shift..Slower Day 76 Raptors YTD-1977

Todays early west wind brought a small upflight,followed by a shift in winds,to the south which meant a real slow down in birds. That said the day was exactly as I had believed it would be,someplace between 50 to 80 raptors. Karen and Matt,Bruce,Fred,Les,Mike,Lorne,Keith,Rob and his "Muffin" all shared some of the birds today. At 1:20pm and adult Bald Eagle went past,abit high but,it was right overhead. One of the local family of Crows attacked a passing Sharpshinned Hawk on two different occassions,sorta waking us from our lethargy. Our final total was 76 birds,consisting of


1-Bald Eagle

7-Northern Harrier

53 Sharpshinned Hawk

3-Coopers Hawk

4-Broadwinged Hawk

2-Redtailed Hawk

5-American Kestrel
The coming week's warm up is likely to mean several slow days,with some Sharpshinned Hawks moving and not alot else. While currently Thursday has a good north wind predicted,it also has a rather warm temperature and some humidity predicted which may work against the good wind. Right now it is the most promising day though. Saturday and Sunday at this stage look reasonable. Sunday's predicted Northeast wind is promising,but you should be aware that birds tend to be higher on NE winds as opposed to N or NW. That said its a crap shoot,and if you want to enjoy a day out,then come join in!

Record Day!! 755 Raptors..YTD-1901

First,sorry for the late difficulties. Now then,near perfect weather conditions,along with the able assistance of so many who joined in the watch today,resulted in the best one day count ever at Rosetta McClain Gardens Raptor Watch. Over the course of a very busy day,many thanks to Rob,Bob,Andrew,Carol,Susan,Bruce and Lorne(sorry to those I was so busy I didnt get to pay special attention too and get names..thanks to others who did though),for helping with spotting,identification and informing passersby of what we were doing. Some photos Rob took will be added later today(Sunday). Together we all really enjoyed many close views of multitutes of Sharpshinned Hawks,which sometimes passed as rapid fire as Blue Jays. I might also mention that early in the morning Bruce Rob and I saw somewhere between 5000-10000 Blue Jays migrating in wave after wave. 2 very close juvenile Peregrine Falcons interacting gave Rob and Bruce a real thrill(Id vacated for coffee...thanks Georgia for the hot coffeeRob Bruce and I enjoyed). Id promised Rob a low Bald Eagle and we vigilantly kept our eyes low along the lakeshore. Around 940am,Rob hollered that something big was flying low along the bluffs.It was so low and close,we lost sight of it in tight to the bluffs. It emerged giving us an amazing view of a juvenile(nest year) Bald Eagle. Rob,Bruce and myself shall not forget that one for awhile. Later another juvenile Bald Eagle passed by very close again as more of us were gathered to watch,providing more thrills. Some very low Broadwinged Hawks provided excellent views and Sharpshinned Hawks were appearing everywhere.By the end of the day,last seasons record one day count of 559 was shattered,with 755 raptors being recorded. This great total consisted of

6-Turkey Vultures


5-Bald Eagles

54-Northern Harriers

569-Sharpshinned Hawks

4-Coopers Hawks

61-Broadwinged Hawks

9-Redtailed Hawks

39-American Kestrels



Todays fantastic total puts my Year To Date count 724 raptors ahead of last season at the same date. Hopefully this trend continues. Thanks again to everyone for their contributions today.(please ignore the conflict in my running year to date counts if U read previous postings,with Sept 15 totals,a review and correction of all totals was done and as at today,all totals are correct and current that are stated in this post.