Wind (current)

A Few Birds But...Some Excitement 7 Raptors

Very, very slow today, the winds were all wrong but it was a gorgeous day to be outside all the same. A couple of bits of excitement were the Red-tail that came and landed in the pine tree right beside us and sat for 10 minutes scoping the ground for lunch, a Red-tail that came soaring over us with a Cooper's screaming and attacking the heck out of it, and the final bit of excitement was when Peter and myself saw an extremely light coloured (and probably partially albino) Red-tail which came slowly soaring over the tree tops and then over the fountain area flying at less than 100 feet above giving us an excellent view of this rarer coloured bird.

Today's count was:

NG - 2
CH - 1
RT - 4

Total - 7

My thanks to Lee, Berle, Peter, Betty, Ann, Carol, Leon, and Gunner for coming out and keeping me company while not much was flying. Always a great time, birds or not. I won't be at the park tomorrow (Friday) so if you go, let Frank or myself know what you've seen.

BIGFRANKS NOTE:I will be back in commission on Saturday,which right now looks like there is a chance to see some good birds. Very high counts are unlikely from here on,but some great birds are left to be seen. If north east winds that are predicted hold true for Saturday,birds will likely be high. Hope to see folks out,remember to dress warm. Keep your eyes peeled for Pine Siskins,White-winged Crossbills and Boreal Chickadees

Oct 29 Simply Red...75 Raptors

Walter Reports:

Today was filled with a good flow of Red-tailed Hawks. One adult RT came directly at Peter and I from over the lake and soared barely over the top of the small Poplar tree in front of us and turned and landed in the Maple tree along the fence line, just West of our watch site. Other highlights of the day would include another Golden Eagle. This juvenile eagle appeared at 10:51AM to the West of us and soared out over the lake and quickly climbed towards the ozone layer not allowing any opportunity for photos. Another highlight was the Northern Goshawk that never left. From 8:30AM when I arrived at the park to 5:00PM just before I packed it up this bird kept flying away to the West only to return again sometime later. It was the first bird and also the last bird I saw today. When Gunnar arrived around lunchtime, we informed him that we had seen an NG a few times in the morning but figured it had disappeared for good, then 5 minutes later, it returned from the West and flew low at us and then right up and over us allowing Gunnar and the rest of the gang an excellent view of this rarer species. Ann was able to get some fantastic shots of it on extremely short notice. Once again, another fun and interesting day despite the cold winds. Here's the final count for the day:

TV - 1
NH - 3
SS - 14
CH - 2
NG - 1
RT - 53
GE - 1

Total - 75

During Frank's absence from the Hawk Watch the last couple of days, it has become very clear that all of his teachings about raptors to myself and the other novice watchers has paid off greatly...a BIG thankyou!!! Although we are IDing everything with confidence that flies passed us, we do miss you and hope for a speedy return to the park. My thanks to Lee, Peter, Betty, Gunnar, Andrew, and Ann for all their help today and a big thumbs up to Lee for the hot chocolate and donut. Also, Ann for the ride home.
BIGFRANK's Note: My thanks to Walter for his kind words. At year end I will have more to say,but its been a pleasure to pass on the knowledge and love of raptor watching. The leg is feeling great today,just in time for a weather shift. Watch Saturdays weather.

A Golden Day..6 Golden Eagles of 69 Raptors

Today Was a Golden Day - 69 Raptors

Today was not a day for quantity but a day for quality. All the birds were down low along the Bluffs, straight out over the lake, or just above our heads. 6 Golden Eagles were the highlight of the day. Betty had never seen one before and Peter and I had never seen one up close. Today we had fantastic views of them, one even passed by us a total of 5 times as it searched out the Bluffs. Another highlight was a Turkey Vulture that landed in a tree very close to us. After about a 5 minute break from the 50 km/h wind, he took to the air and swooped down along the fence line just 20 feet above Charlene and Peter's heads. The Rough-legged Hawks, Red-shouldered Hawk, and Northern Goshawks were also very nice to see up close making identification fairly easy for us.

Here is today's final count:

TV - 4
NH - 7
SS - 13
CH - 2
NG - 3
RS - 1
RT - 28
RL - 2
GE - 6
AK - 3

The times of the Golden Eagles were as follows:
GE001 - 11:35am (juvenile)
GE002 - 11:35am (juvenile)
GE003 - 11:42am (juvenile)
GE004 - 11:42am (juvenile)
GE005 - 01:34pm-02:22 (juvenile)
GE006 - 03:20pm (juvenile)

My thanks to Lee, Peter, and Betty for all their help today and also Betty for the hot chocolate, it kept me warm for a few minutes, was it cold out today!!! If any of you are thinking of coming out tomorrow for more raptor action...dress warm for sure and we'll see you there.


BIGFRANK'S NOTE: My thanks to Walter and the gang for being at the park and tallying things up. Walter managed to get shots of all 6 Golden Eagles. He also got a shot of the first ever Turkey Vulture to land in the park. Congratulations gang on a fantastic day!