Wind (current)

Nov.22 Slow But Interesting 11Raptors

Today we didnt expect much,so werent disappointed. Add to that,that 3 of our regulars(who are highly irregular)saw a nest year Bald Eagle before they even came to the park. Ann spotted something dark and large in a tree in the distance. Walter confirmed it was a Bald Eagle..or at least an Eagle of some sort at that point. Surprisingly this was at Kingston Rd and Main area,in a residential backyard. As Ann and Walter explained what it was,soon many of the neighbors were out with kids in tow,some still in pajamas(adults too if U can imagine) in the morning cold! It was attacked by an alarm calling Redtail before it left the area over an hour after Ann and Walter arrived. Bald Eagle nut errrr enthusiast,Lee was called via cell and she arrived to see the bird too. (see post below for video and pics).Back at the park we have now what appears to be 2 fairly local(seen dependably each day) juvenile Northern Goshawks. One did a quick hunt run through. We also had an adult Northern Goshawk land in a tree at the east end of the park. Before either Tu,Walter or I could get there for a photo,the 4 local American Crows started to harass it into flight. It flew right past Walter and I. While taking evasive actions,it came very low,barely clearing a short hedge just infront of where Walter and I stood. What a sight!! A Redtailed Hawk and a Sharpshinned Hawk circled together,with the Sharpie taking a run at the Redtail. A migrating Coopers Hawk took a rest in a tree near the bottom of the bluffs. It sat for a goodly amount of time,leaving as soon as noone was looking his way. Never a dull moment...well a few but the good times and company make up for them.

1-Sharpshinned Hawk
1-Coopers Hawk
1-Northern Goshawk(2 "locals")
8-Redtailed Hawks

Sunday through Tuesday(rain and snow that day) dont look very good,though if Tuesday forecast changes it could be. Wednesday-Saturday looks promising. Check previous report for reminders!

Eagle at Kingston Road/Main Street

Hi everyone, this is Lee. Frank wanted me to post the link to some pictures and video clips I took of a juvenile bald eagle that Ann found this morning. She and Walter were making a dash to the Spit before going to Rosetta and somehow she spotted the eagle in a tree in someone's back yard just south of Kingston/Main!

I've posted my side of the story on our discussion board. You have to be a member so here is the URL to the site:

Once you're in, the thread is here:

And if you don't want to join but just want to see the pictures, here you go:

I don't have a good camera but you can see how big he is. In one of the video clips you can hear the red-tailed hawk screeching and see him dive past. It was such an incredible experience for the three of us, it's one thing to see them fly by but to see them just sitting in a tree, fluffing their feathers, scratching their heads or stretching their wings is just amazing. And then to see the red-tailed hawk show up, both of them "talking" to each other was just surreal.

The neighbours were all coming out, some still in pyjamas, wondering what we were looking at! One guy called The Toronto Star and they were going to send out a photographer but the eagle had already taken off. We gave Ann's phone number to the person who called so we're hoping they'll contact her and she can send one of her photos in.

Edited to add Ann's photos (click on them to make them big):

Still Some Birds Out There...15 Raptors

I heard the temperature from The Weather Network,and questioned whether I really wanted to suffer the cold. Fortunately,the weatherman was wrong,and it wasnt near as cold as he made out. Colin joined Walter and I until 1pm,Peter arrived around 2pm,Lee did a watch and run visit. We had great views of many of the Redtails today as they came in low just over the lake,before really working hard to gain altitude before carrying onward. A very large female juvenile Goshawk flew past giving us a great view. A Turkey Vulture flew through the middle of the park. The local Goshawk and 2 different local Sharpshinned Hawks passed by too,one landed briefly in the park. Each year,something odd or rare is usually observed at The Rosetta McClain Gardens Raptor Watch. Until today we hadnt had anything strange. Today at 1:17pm,2 Sandhill Cranes came through the park.just above tree level,over the fountain/rock. They were Walter's first ever and first time he'd seen them from Rosetta. I had seen them once before in the spring,but this was the first sighting for the raptor watch. After a few hot chocolates,Ive thawed out and am ready to go tomorrow. Currently tomorrows winds dont look great,but I will give it a go for a few hours. Next week from Tuesday forward looks like the remaining raptors will have several optimal days to decide if they will leave intime for our count or spend the winter in Ontario.
If U join us,a few reminders...BATHROOMS ARE CLOSED! .....DRESS WARM..hands and feet especially...WATCH YOUR STEP(its slippery in places)....DONT COME TILL AT LEAST 10AM.

Todays 15

Nov 20 Beautiful Day...41 Raptors

Walter and I arrived at the same time around 10:15am. At 10:45am we saw one interesting bird in the distance. I told Walter to stay on it. It was a dark morph Roughlegged Hawk. It passed reasonably close and as we watched it suddenly 3 more birds appeared circling together,it was 2 light morph Roughleggeds and another dark morph Roughie. What a start! Worth braving the snow. Redtails passed near and far,and at 12:38pm,2 Turkey Vultures were seen..abit odd this late. Another dark morph Roughleg went by with a Northern Harrier sort of buzzing it. At 1:50pm Walter and I saw an adult Bald Eagle..we give credit to Lee finding this one,as she called by cell to tell us a big dark bird was on its way towards us...from Markham Rd. We saw it awhile after she called. Our final total was 41 consisting of:
30-Redtailed Hawks
5-Roughlegged Hawks
1-Bald Eagle(adult,1:50pm)
2-Turkey Vultures
2-Northern Harriers
1-Sharpshinned Hawk

Friday we are going to give it a try,with early winds NW and later in the day West. Saturday looks good right now too,but weather is always subject to change. If U join us,dress very warm. Things have been starting up after 10am,Id almost say to wait till after 11am. Please step carefully,the path is slippery in many areas.

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)

Nov 16 and 17 CCCCold Winds...11 and 34 Raptors

Walter and I have been braving the cold. We start off fine but once the sun gets behind us and starts to get lower in the sky around 2pm ..we start to freeze.Each day we saw the "local" Goshawk and Coopers Hawk. The 16th,the Goshawk came low and close being chased by 4 Crows. Today there were tons of ducks moving around the lake,a huge number being Red-breasted Mergansers and Long-tailed Ducks. There were a few Bufflehead and a number of Common Goldeneye. Many American Goldfinch passed by,a few Eastern Bluebirds and House Finch as well. Nov18..Tuesday looks promising,so Walter and I will be out again,tempting the frostbite gods.