BIGGEST DAY THIS YEAR 744 Raptors

As predicted today was a fantastic day for migrating birds of prey. We saw 12 of 15 species seen regularily in Ontario,plus a Common Raven(which is somewhat rare in Toronto). Today was primo injust about every. It was cold,but Walter and I were brought a warm breakfast by Murray..Much thanks. Later Betty brought Hot Chocolate which was appreciated by all who partook..thanks Betty. I was happy that Sue and Bruce joined us today,and enjoyed many birds. They are the parents of a buddy Rob,who was an avid watcher at Rosetta who has since moved to Calgary. It was a pleasure to meet you both and we hope to see you again soon. We were also joined by a group from University of Toronto(hope I got that right). I hope to see some of them back again sometime. A lady whose name I didnt get,stopped by to chat and praised us for the "work" we were doing in spreading our interest in all things nature. She also inquired as to my opinion of a soon to start(test phase) planned wind farm near East Point Park.
Myself,Walter,Sue,Bruce,Carol,Gunner,Brad,Pam,Betty,Ann,Bill,Murray and Peter(sorry if I missed anyone) all enjoyed amazing looks at many close raptors. A few close and low Broadwings were highlights for some who had never seen them so well. Others loved great views of a Northern Goshawk. Sharpies provided many terrific views as they often circled waiting for their siblings to join them. A Redtailed Hawk landed in a tree and was harrassed by our local American Crows. A few of the Northern Harriers offered wonderful views too. A Coopers Hawk made 2 attempts at hunting before moving on,one Blue Jay had a very close call. From 11am-3pm we saw 523 raptors,with the best hour being 2pm-3pm when we averaged better than 3 raptors per minute. Ann Brokelman dropped in before and after work and provided the following photos.
Sharpshinned Hawk With Very Full Crop
Sharpshinned Hawk In Flight
Turkey Vulture In Flight
Perched Redtailed Hawk..Post Crow Attack(Frank)
Our total was:
383-Turkey Vultures
1-Osprey
1-Bald Eagle(adult 2:33pm)
16-Northern Harriers
263-Sharpshinned Hawks
11-Coopers Hawks
4-Northern Goshawks
3-Broadwinged Hawks
23-Redtailed Hawks
35-American Kestrels
1-Merlin
3-Peregrine Falcons
Todays great total brings our year to date total to 1861 raptors. This is lower then last season,but today certainly made our total as at the end of September much more respectable.
In addition to the many birds,at the end of the night 2 raccoons ...Portly and Pudgy popped up just on the other side of the bluffside fence from us and as soon as they disappeared down the bluffs a Red Fox walked by very close. We saw a Common Raven again today,attacked again by the local American Crows. It proceeded west towards the Leslie Street Spit. In all just an amazing day filled with great sightings and lots of fun...even if it was hectic for Walter and I.
Tommorrow should bring a decent upflight and reasonable day. If large numbers of Vultures fly,totals could climb again tomorrow. DRESS WARM!!!

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