Nov 18th Likely Last Push..176 Raptors

Today started off very well,for a late fall migration day. By 10:30am Walter and I had already counted over 40 raptors..almost entirely Redtailed Hawks. On Nov 16th of last year I counted 168 raptors. With today being the 3rd day in a row with great wind conditions,we had what is likely our last big day for 2008. There are several coming days with good north element winds,so we may yet be surprised/rewarded with a few more great birds,but today was exceptional for this time of year,and infact we finished with the 2nd highest number of Redtailed Hawks seen in one day at Rosetta. Last season on Oct 28th we had 185 Redtails,today we saw 171 Redtails. Todays total of 176 birds was the best we have ever done in November.The local Goshawk gave myself,Walter and Peter a thrill by coming very close to the bluff and below us..we had a terrific view. At 2:31pm a 3rd year Bald Eagle passed by during a flurry of 40 Redtails,which came together from 2 different streams to kettle together. Carol just missed this arriving within moments of the birds breaking up and disappearing. Lee was disppointed about missing the Bald Eagle. It had circled for several minutes before moving on. While the Bald Eagle kettled with the Redtailed Hawks,Walter and Peter were amazed at the obvious size difference. Walter enjoyed seeing Purple Finch and also today we had 2 Northern Shrikes fly by,perching briefly before moving on. The birds seen pre11am were much lower and I believe most were what is called upflight birds or birds that stopped overnight,nearby and have left early that morning. Birds after 11am until about 2pm were very high. As the day got later they became lower again,indicating they were looking for food or a place to set down for this evening. Walter and I also enjoyed seeing our first Purple Finch of the season in the park and 2 Northern Shrike,one which landed in the big Poplar Tree.
Going forward the north winds will be the determining factor as to whether I am present at the park. Wednesday,doesnt look very good. Thursday,Friday and Saturday have a chance to be good.Thanks to all who warmed our day,especially Peter for our hot chocolates and donuts! Thanks to Walter for keeping tally and everyones help spotting.
Todays sighting were:
1-Northern Harrier
1-Bald Eagle(2:31pm,3rd Year Bird)
2-Sharpshinned Hawks
171-Redtailed Hawks
1-Rough-legged Hawk(dark morph)

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