Wind (current)

Hot,Hazy,Light NW Winds,Few Raptors

Though we had hopes for a better day,the winds just werent enough at only 10kmh to push birds near Rosetta McClain Gardens. Sites east of us had decent days,as their sitelines to the north are much better then ours. We did have a Coopers Hawk,land in the top of "the bare Pine" which Ann photographed. Upon review we believe it is a young male. We did not see it arrive,but when 5 American Crows flew near it and 2 took serious dives at it,I suggested to Ann that there was probably something in the Pine. There was and this is the photo she has shared.

Perched Coopers Hawk Courtesy Ann Brokelman

Later a Broadwinged Hawk landed briefly in the same tree,but alas Ann aimed and it took flight and went out of sight to quickly for her to react and get any shots of it.
Our final total was:
7-Sharpshinned Hawks
1-Coopers Hawk
1-Broadwinged Hawk
1-American Kestrel
11-Total Raptors

With it being so hot,and very few raptors moving past,I packed things in by 12:30EDT. We also saw only 3,P-51s fly past from the airshow by that time.

Sept 4 Busy Morning 36 Raptors ...YTD 335

2 Sharpshinned Hawks Courtesy Ann Brokelman

Today there was a light NW wind early,later appearing to come from the WNW. Morning was very steady,by noon we had seen 30 birds of prey. Most of the birds were Sharpshinned Hawks,several interacted with each other. At 10:47am we had a 3rd year Bald Eagle circle for several minutes. It was enjoyed by everyone gathered,particularily Lee. Walter and I saw a Merlin speed through the middle of the park. Often one indication U saw a Merlin is that U tell everyone else "that was a Merlin" as it goes by so fast that most dont see it. Other then 5 distant Turkey Vultures and a Northern Harrier,everything else was reasonably close.By days end we had seen:

5-Turkey Vultures
1-Bald Eagle
5-Northern Harriers
15-Sharpshinned Hawks
1-Coopers Hawk
4-American Kestrels
1-Peregrine Falcon
Non-raptors included a Great Egret,Red-eyed Vireo and a Common Nighthawk. Thanks to Walter,Berle,Dave,Colin,Marguarite,Ann and Carol for an enjoyable day. Tomorrow morning winds will be okay,but I dont expect alot of raptors. The Canadian International Airshow goes tomorrow,which often disturbs a good flight of raptors. With luck we will see several of the planes.

Sept 3rd A Normal Early September Day 32 Raptors

Today most of the raptors came after 11EDT,with a final total of 32 raptors being counted. Sharpshinned Hawks are clearly on the move as we had a few flurries of them,and many came in pairs. Being all juveniles this time of year,many are likely siblings travelling together. We saw one American Kestrel have a fight with a Sharpshin briefly. Thanks to Berle,Terry,Mike,Murray and Walter for coming out to enjoy the day.
Walter and Murray went over to The Cranberry Marsh Raptor Watch today,to enjoy their Family Raptor Day. From the sounds of it,it was quite successful,as the guys reported that there were many young people there with their parents,and parking areas were full. They also returned with several handouts with raptor information and records of Cranberry Marsh's Raptor Watch,as well as info on smaller birds. For Murray and Walter,I thank the organizers and the regular watchers at Cranberry Marsh for their hospitality.

Todays Numbers:
27-Sharpshinned Hawks
1-Coopers Hawk
2-American Kestrels
32-Total Raptors

This brings our season's total to 299 raptors. Today we also saw 4 of the Blue Angels,practising for the Canadian International Airshow. We also saw a CF-18.
Walter and I saw a somewhat rare butterfly called an American Snout. We have several photos,which will appear on the Rosetta McClain Discussion Board(linked on the right of this page). The winds look good for tomorrow.

Sept 2nd Another Nice Day=A Poor Raptor Count

Today was very slow so we packed it in by 1pmEDT(2pm on your watch). Walter,Bill,Murray and myself managed 8 raptors. All were low today which was nice. A local Coopers Hawk and 2 Sharpshinned Hawks made a few passes of the park. Our final count consisted of:
1-Northern Harrier
4-Sharpshinned Hawks
1-American Kestrel
This brings our total this season to 267. Keep an eye on the weather,the predictions for the winds keep changing. A warning,often the Canadian International Airshow holds up migration through Toronto. The birds dont like all those noisy fast moving planes and avoid the city. The show starts at 12:30pm or 1pm. We expect to see a number of the planes from Rosetta McClain Gardends in the coming days. We saw one bi-plane fly by today,which is likely a stunt plane from the show. If the raptors dont fly,we can watch the airshow planes instead.

Slow September Start 9 Raptors

Today the winds were too light to bring much past Rosetta McClain Gardens. Fortunately,the company was good and we did get a few birds. A Kestrel landed in 2 trees and an Osprey passed by very close while Ann was there. Unfortunatly,until Sunday,unless the weather report changes there doesnt appear to be a day where we will get any great number of birds. We will still be present,but will likely be leaving by 2pm at the latest.

Aug 31 The End To A Successful August...18raptors

Today the gang enjoyed a beautiful day. The sun was very hot on us,but the skies were perfect. We ended the watch at 1pmEDT. We had one bird that sparked debate,we had it as a bueteo,but it didnt look right. Fortunately Ann got a few photos(not up to her standards) that were good enough for a positive ID. Colin and I looked at the photos and independantly came up with 100% Northern Goshawk,a juvenile.We finished the last day of the month of August with 18 raptors. We saw:
1-Turkey Vulture
13-Sharpshinned Hawks
1-Northern Goshawk
1-American Kestrel

Ann Brokelman sent along these 2 shots of a Sharpshinned Hawk and an Osprey.

The Final August Total is a record 250 raptors.
32-Osprey(new Aug record)
14-Turkey Vultures
8-Bald Eagles(new Aug record)
14-Northern Harriers
80-Sharpshinned Hawks
5-Coopers Hawks
1-Northern Goshawk(first in Aug for us)
16-Broadwinged Hawks
36-Redtailed Hawks
27-American Kestrels
7-Merlins(new Aug record)
10 Peregrine Falcons(new Aug record)
The 71 raptors spotted on Aug 26 was an August record.

Thanks to everyone for their contributions to a brilliant start to the 2009 raptor watch season. We have already seen some great birds and I look forward to many more. Its been great to see new folks out for the first times and Ive enjoyed seeing all of the regulars from previous seasons. Keep watching for north element winds and remember we should see some of the Canadian International Airshow planes in the coming week,and during the airshow this coming weekend.

Aug 30 47 Raptors and Some Special Visitors

The morning started very slow,before the birds finally came. It was very windy and cool today. We had a real gang of visitors today,including Kathy and her husband,Lee,Anne,Carol and her son(first visit) Riel,Dave,Colin and Marguarite,Charlie,Peter and Bruce(sorry if I have missed anyone). By the end of the day we had a very respectable 47 birds of prey go past the park,including:
38-Sharpshinned Hawks
2-Redtailed Hawks

Our seasons total is now 232,which is almost 100 more then our best previous August total! Thanks to everyone for their contributions. We also saw a Northern Parula Warbler,Nashville Warbler,2 Great Egrets,a few Great Blue Herons,a few each of Great Crested Flycatchers and Baltimore Orioles.Below is a shot Lee took.

Our special visitors today were Mary West-Mortimer and Geoffry West-Mortimer,who were the last residents of the homes where Rosetta McClain Gardens is now. Their family donated the parcel of land to the city,to be a garden spot for relaxation and rest and a place of beauty. They were very pleased to hear of our watch and said they were glad the park was being used for such an activity. We informed them we have seen 185 species of birds from the park,and Mary said it was a great place to see spring Warblers. I let her know it still was and she was very pleased to know that,and that so many people were enjoying them. It was our honour to meet she and Geoffry. Before they left,I let them know one of the staff members kept some historical photos of the property and I asked permission to take a photo . They provided a way for us to contact Geoffry about filling in any blanks in the family and properties history. Thanks to the West family for their part in our having such a wonderful place to enjoy. We will do our best to bring more visitors to enjoy this marvelous treasure.