Wind (current)

Sept 19 and 20 More Than A Pair A Grins...Total 32 Raptors

Sept 19:

Desptie a slow day of raptor counting,the early morning (pre9am) provided the most exciting siting of the day,possibly the season. Ann,Walter,Rob and I observed,at first 3 distant Peregrine Falcons approaching,playing and calling as they did so.Eventually the 3 Peregrines were over the park,still calling,talon touching/clasping and bumping each other.It was great fun to watch.They zoomed all around the area and dove. At first I believed all 3 were juvenile but after viewing Anns photos,clearly one is adult. Ann left for work around 930am,and at 945am I got a cellphone call from her saying she saw 3 Peregrines at Victoria Park and Eglinton(reasonably nearby as the Peregrine flys),thinking that it was the same 3. I interrupted letting her know it was not,as we had 2 juvenile females flying around the park at that very moment. They put on a real show! From Anns photos,I could see they all had the black bands(white numbers/letters we couldnt see) which indicates they were banded in Ontario.In another I could see the US Fish and Wildlife band which we put on the other leg.(WE as I volunteer with the Canadian Peregrine Foundation). Thanks to Ann her many photos. I chose a few for posting.

Sept 20

Todays count was pitifully slow,totalling only 11. We did enjoy a fun day,with our many friends who dropped by the park. Today we had to remember the saying Ive modified for our watch...A bad day at Rosetta McClain Gardens Raptor Watch is better then a good day at work!

The 2 days total raptors was 32,consisting of:

2-Turkey Vultures


2-Northern Harriers

15-Sharpshinned Hawks

1-Redtailed Hawk

3-American Kestrels


5-Peregrine Falcons

Sunday and Monday look like they could be very good days. Dress warm if you join us. Better to take a layer off then be cold all day.

Sept 18 Rosetta Photo Day......156 Raptors

Suprisingly today brought quite a decent count. Berle,Tim,Walter,Ann and myself enjoyed some fantastic views of low and close Osprey,a Turkey Vulture and a perched Merlin. All provided terrific photo opportunities. Spotting Sharpshinned Hawks in the clear blue sky was very challanging,we'd like to think not too many got past us. Todays total was:

1-Turkey Vulture


2-Northern Harriers

110-Sharpshinned Hawks

4-Coopers Hawks

1-Broadwinged Hawk

2-Redtailed Hawks

26-American Kestrels

1-Merlin(very photogenic)

1-Peregrine Falcon

Todays total put us over 1100 raptors for the season. Upon analysis,though this total is significantly lower then the same time last season(owing to a hot spell and rain after the hurricanes),only Sharpshinned Hawks and Northern Harriers(which may have had breeding sucess issues due to all of the rain in the spring),are down...groan..sharply. Several other specie counts are up very slightly and any deficits in other specie counts could easily be made up. Last year on the 19th I didnt count at all,so tomorrows total will all be catch up.(not to be confused with Ketsup).Sundays north-east winds look promising for a good count,while Saturdays south-west winds may bring alot of Sharpies. (Todays Osprey is my photo)

Sept 17..96 Raptors YTD..963

Today was a beautiful day,marked by a very slow mid-day. Sharpshinned Hawks moved through steadily all day,with a spike at the end of the day. Most of the day it was Walter and myself manning the watch,later joined by Peter and Ann. We all got to witness an Osprey attacked by the local Coopers Hawk. Though it was but a short moment in time,it seemed longer and will live in our memories. Susan joined us briefly and saw a few Sharpshins,with hopes of joining us soon for better days. Todays final total was 96


71-Sharpshinned Hawks

1-Coopers Hawk

17-American Kestrels


1-Peregrine Falcon

Thursday looks like a potentially good day,with north winds early in the day and north-east winds later. This will definetly push us over 1000 on our year count with hopes of a significant boost to that total. (Osprey photo from Sept 15)
Today was about as expected,I thought we would see between 30-50 raptors and we saw 75. A kettle of 6 Northern Harriers was nice to see,4 more Osprey and 2 Merlin,one which zoomed by me at such a speed that I heard the beat of its wings,were the highlights,until noon. At noon while Walter was amusing himself looking for butterflys,he looked up and hollered Bald Eagle. Immediately all gathered scrambled to view an adult Bald Eagle,circling over the park. We had several interested passersby,who will likely return to join us soon. I met Peter Wood,who writes a birding column in a local newspaper called,The Bluffs Monitor,about birding in the bluffs. He said he would like to do an article on me/the watch,which suits me fine. This will introduce the watch to about 25000 people(the papers circulation). It is a good opportunity to inform many folks about the incredible birds we love so much. Peter runs a birding course,and the participants,will join us soon on a weekend sometime. Im sure as a result some new folks will come to the watch,but I dont believe it will cause a problem so far as huge volumes of people joining in.
Todays final total was 75,consisting of:
2-Turkey Vultures
1-Bald Eagle (adult)
7-Northern Harriers
32-Sharpshinned Hawks
2-Coopers Hawks
5-Broadwinged Hawks
1-Redtailed Hawk
19-American Kestrels

867-Year To Date
The next few days should bring some decent movements,with colder nights and winds that while not optimal,still good enough to help many raptors along. Thanks to Walter,Carol,Murry and Tim for their help and enthusiasm. Thanks to Peter for his interest..a pleasure to meet you. Special visitors included Clive and Libby from Devon in England,who saw a few raptors and enjoyed a lively conversation. Sharing the birds with all of you adds to the watch greatly.

All Day NW Winds = All Day Hawks Day Count 407

Today,after a few days of US storm remenants,we had all day northwest winds all over southern Ontario. This meant all of the raptor watches had great days. Prime time for Broadwinged Hawks meant bigger days for some then others. Today we enjoyed great views of all 11 species that are regularily seen at this time during migration. Towards the end of the day many birds were very high. 2 good sized kettles(for Rosetta) of Broadwings,passed after 3pm. The largest containing 64. The BIG thrill of the day came at 3:45pm,when Walter and I saw 4 Bald Eagles go through together. The total of 6 seen today was a park record. Also a park record were the 15 Osprey seen today. Todays total of 407 raptors was:

6-Turkey Vultures

15-Osprey(park record)

6-Bald Eagles(park record)

7-Northern Harriers

194-Sharpshinned Hawks

6-Coopers Hawks

129-Broadwinged Hawks

3-Redtailed Hawks

36-American Kestrels


2-Peregrine Falcons

Much thanks to Walter,Ann,Carol,Peter,Mary,Berle,Vern,Rob and Vinnie for their help and interest today. It was great viewing and a great time.