Wind (current)

Good Upflight Day Total 80...YTD...2898

Today the light northwest winds in the morning brought a good upflight(birds migrated past which had spent the nite close by). The by 11am we'd seen 67 of the 80 birds to be seen today. The winds shifted or maybe just stopped blowing altogether so little else was seen. By 1pm I had shut things down. Ron,Rob,Berle,Ann,Matt and David all enjoyed some good birds though. A few interactions between Gulls and Harriers and Sharpies and Harriers was fun to watch. The final total of 80raptors was made up of:
3-Turkey Vultures
25-Northern Harriers
35-Sharpshinned Hawks
2-Broadwinged Hawks
11-American Kestrels
2-Peregrine Falcons
With a few first time visitors,Id hoped for better,but luckily they understood the nature of raptor watching,and enjoyed their day. I saw that out at Cranberry Marsh in Whitby,at around 1:30pm they sighted an American White Pelican. I hope it stopped off someplace between them and Rosetta McClain Gardens,though I suspect it has probably past by. I will keep my eyes peeled tomorrow.

Sept28 Great Winds Great Birds..317...YTD 2818

Today as expected was a terrific day. Only once did it rain,all other threatening clouds blew over. Winds were favorable all day long. Jean,Ron,Mary,Carol,Berle and I as well as several passersby,enjoyed 317 birds of prey.From 8-9am I had seen 30 raptors already,predominantly Kestrels,which continued all day. The number of Northern Harriers was also impressive,as we saw 65..very many very close views. Turkey Vultures have begun their migration,we saw 21. In all we saw 11 species. Our total was made up of:
21-Turkey Vultures
2-Bald Eagles(1pm and 1:20pm)
65-Northern Harriers
74-Sharpshinned Hawks
1-Coopers Hawk(plus the local)
21-Broadwinged Hawks
18-Redtailed Hawks
105-American Kestrels
4-Peregrine Falcons

A great day enjoyed by all. Very few of the birds were seen at long distance,most were very close up. Tomorrow looks good for a decent flight of birds.

Intermitant Light Rains..Day Count 67 YTD..2501

Braving some cool temps and very light intermitant rains,I tallied a respectable 67 raptors. 3 Bald Eagles passed Rosetta today,all juveniles,at 10:20am,1:20pm and 1:45pm. The first of the 3 was very close in,then went well out over the lake. All Osprey passed very close,2 circled above the park,begging to be looked at. A real surprise came when I was following a Sharpshinned Hawk with my binoculars. Suddenly I saw some distant birds behind it out a good distance over the lake. Suprisingly it was 10 Northern Harriers circling with 2 Broadwinged Hawks. All 4 Peregrine Falcons were very close. Ron thought one for sure was a tundrius adult. Final totals were:
3-Bald Eagles
29-Northern Harriers
11-Sharpshinned Hawks
12-American Kestrels
3-Peregrine Falcons

After a decent rainfall overnite,this was the first morning there was a significant fallout. Several warblers including Yellow-rumped,Black-throated Green,Nashville and Magnolia. Brown Creepers,many Nuthatches and over 100 Northern Flickers. A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker,American Pipets and thousands of Blue Jays migrated through. Today 7 Common Loons flew over..yessterday there were 24.

Sept26 Day Count 58 YTD 2434

Today,despite rainy periods that never amounted to much,confused winds which sometimes blew north,sometimes west and sometimes northwest brought,given the conditions a respectable 58 raptors. The local Coopers Hawk was busy,she attacked a Northern Harrier and also a Sharpshinned Hawk. 4 of todays birds were hold overs from Gunner which he saw when I was not present. He saw a Bald Eagle,2 Peregrines and a Sharpie,they are added into todays total.
1-Bald Eagle
17-Northern Harriers
31-Sharpshinned Hawks
3-American Kestrels
3-Peregrine Falcons
Unfortunately all of todays photos were silhouettes. Friday is looking good for a big migration day,provided it doesnt rain too much.

Some Great Shots From Rob

The last few days have been very hot and humid,with south winds,all very incondusive to raptor migration,so I have not been present at the watch. Today(Sept.26th) I will be there,to see what moves on todays west wind after abit of rain. I missed little as I saw Cranberry Marsh Raptor Watch saw only 14 birds over the last 2 days.Friday is looking like the next best possibility for a huge day.

Sept 23 A Handfull of Falcons 36 Raptors..YTD 2376

Today,winds were very light,which meant not alot being blown right to the lakeshore. A local Redtailed Hawk flew into a tree in the park with an unknown meal. At 10am,a 2nd year Bald Eagle flew by,circling a few times before continuing its journey. The thrill of the day came when I spotted first one Peregrine we watched that one,a 2nd appeared above it. Rob looked towards the lake as the rest of us were looking north,and 3 more Peregrines were over the lake. All 5 flew and played together in the area for at least 5 minutes together. All were juvenile birds,which is a very interesting sighting. A good group of observers,unfortunately picked a slow day. Thanks to Leslie,Mike,Linda,Carol,Colin,Rob,Lorne and Leon for their help and passing the slow day with many interesting conversations. Todays total of 36 raptors were:
1-Bald Eagle
6-Northern Harriers
17-Sharpshinned Hawks
1-Coopers Hawk
1-Redtailed Hawk
5-American Kestrels
5-Peregrine Falcons

With high humidity and less then optimal winds over the next few days I suspect migration will slow to a trickle. Wednesdays west wind has a chance,with Fridays current forecast of a strong NW wind holding the most potenial this week. Lets hope that prediction holds true and a mega-day occurs. An outbreak of North-west Wind Virus may take place Friday if the 25kmh NW wind happens(dont worry thats just people calling in sick so they can go raptor watching).

Sept 22 Sharpies And Kestrels And Harriers Oh My

Today with the help of Rob,Lorne,Colin,Lynty,Eleanor and Christi,a total of 256 raptors were counted. A local Coopers Hawk made several appearances and I managed a few decent shots of it. Rob got some great shots today(to be added later) as well. Our most amusing sighting of the day was seeing a Ruby-throated Hummingbird attack the backside of a Sharpshinned Hawk. Later a Sharpshinned Hawk made a dive very close to us into a tree after a Chickadee. Included in my photos is one with 2 Sharpshinned Hawks,not because it is of National Geographic quality,but so Id remember to mention that right now we almost always see Sharpshinned Hawks migrating in 2's. These "pairs" are currently all juveniles and are siblings from the same nests. Later adult pairs will migrate together. Todays count was:

1-Turkey Vulture


21-Northern Harriers

165 Sharpshinned Hawks

5 Coopers Hawks

1-Broadwinged Hawk

7-Redtailed Hawks

54-American Kestrels

While the mix is different,this falls total of 2340 raptors is within 3 of last years.