Wind (current)

Sept 12 Not What We'd Hoped For But Some Good Birds

Todays total was only 25. The winds were never what we expected. Unfortunately a group of photographers left disappointed Im sure,as anything that went by while they were present was very high. At 11:40am an adult Bald Eagle went by..there is a chance it is the same adult Bald Eagle which the gang at Cranberry Marsh saw at 11:15am. It was a very quick view. Lee,Walter,Peter Wood and friends,Bill,Ron,Bruce,Tall Peter,Bill/Sue and I are hoping for a good day tomorrow. Our total today was
1-Turkey Vulture
1-Bald Eagle
14-Sharpshinned Hawks
5-American Kestrels

Tomorrow still looks promising. With luck,birds have moved to within range and will fly past us tomorrow. Walter and I will be present very early,as will Bruce. Bring on the raptors!

Very Slow Day 8 Raptors...Better Days Ahead

Rosetta McClain Gardens Fountain(The Rock)

Today wasnt unexpectedly slow,but we have all been keeping an eye on the weather and there are definetly better days ahead. This weekend looks very promising,as does Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. We bottomed out today,spotting clouds that looked like birds. Todays images are provided courtesy Ann Brokelman. We often sit near the fountain and look skyward. As you may guess Rosetta McClain Gardens is a beautiful place to be even if too many birds arent flying!

Our total today consisted of:
3-Sharpshinned Hawks
3-American Kestrels
Saturday,a group of photographers may join us for the first time. A reminder that parking is somewhat limited at Rosetta. Earlier arrivals will have little troubles. Early groups of migrating Blue Jays were seen today,suggesting that large numbers of them will likely be seen this weekend too. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds whizzed past all day. Ann caught some beautiful shots of them too.

Better Day Then Expected 59 Raptors Merlin Airshow

Today turned out much better than we had thought it may be. Bill,Carol,Ann.Dave,Walter,Frank,Alice and I enjoyed great views of many birds. We thought the highlight of the day was a low circling Osprey,which circled low above us. There is a rock,water fountain,and I believe the Ospreys hear the running water and circle above to see if there are fish below. The never to be forgotton highlight of the day was humbling for me,I had everything mucked up,such that I hope by admitting it,not to put doubt on my identification skills. All views were quick,and being so close most were sans binocular. 2 birds were interacting. Originally I called it a Kestrel and a Sharpshinned Hawk. After reviewing photos it was a Merlin and a Coopers. The brief quick chase moved behind the trees,with just the Merlin emerging. As this was happening I saw another falcon enter the area from the north,also very low. I did say I have another falcon coming as I thought possibly it was a Merlin at first glance. Indeed it was and the 2 Merlins then began an aerial display that would rival the weekend's airshow. They began chasing each other,dipping and diving at high speed around the park,disappearing from view briefly and reappearing. At one point they dove down the bluffs,with Walter,Ann and Carol staring down at them. Soon they sped up the side of the bluffs towards the watchers,close enough that Carol and Walter both ducked out of their way. This "airshow" went on for several minutes,fascinating and amazing all gathered! It wont soon be forgotton. After viewing Ann's photos,I believe it was 2 Merlins(a male and female) and one Coopers Hawk! While my initial calls were all proven wrong by the photos,the most important thing was to get it right. Always a learning experience. I had most certainly never seen anything like it before.
Merlin and Coopers Hawk Interacting
Merlin In Flight
2 Merlins
Classic look of Osprey at a distance.
Osprey Above Us
The final tally was 59 birds of prey,consisting of:
2-Northern Harriers
35-Sharpshinned Hawks
4-Coopers Hawks
3-Redtailed Hawks
6-American Kestrels
1-Peregrine Falcon
This brings our seasons total to 465 total raptors,which includes an impressive 51 Osprey. Thanks to everyone for helping spot today,and especially Ann for her excellent photos.

Sept 8 Saw All 3 Falcons Final Total 26..YTD 406

Today was more overcast then we all expected,with some blue skies sneaking in. Ann,Walter,Berle,Murray,Lee and I saw a few flurries of birds,but it was very slow alot of the time. Our total of 26 raptors was made up of
1-Turkey Vulture
9-Sharpshinned Hawks
1-Coopers Hawk(plus the local)
12-American Kestrels
2-Peregrine Falcons

Sept 7 A Few More Raptors...16

Today was yet another slow day,but the count for the season is ahead of last season. Today,Mike and Les joined us for the first time this fall. Berle,Bill,Dave,Walter and I spotted 16 raptors. Ann got several photos of close birds today.
Turkey Vulture
Redtailed Hawk


Raptors Seen Were:
3-Turkey Vultures
7-Sharpshinned Hawks
1-Redtailed Hawks
2-American Kestrels
1-Peregrine Falcon(adult female)
I am hesitant to suggest coming good days,given weather forecasters tendancy to change their predictions hourly,but right now this coming Friday may have a chance to be a good day,but who knows?

Sept 6, 21 Raptors ...YTD 367

Another beautiful day,meant a slowish day for raptors,but we had a good day anyway. Lee,Carol,Ann,Dave and my friends from Burlington Sue and Bill spotted 21 raptors. Bill and Sue help with the Peregrine Falcon Fledgling Watch in Burlington at the liftbridge nest,conducted with the Canadian Peregrine Foundation,which as many of you may know I do alot of volunteer work with. (more on this later). Ann Brokelman sent along this photo of a ragged looking Redtailed Hawk

and also this American Kestrel(note the "moustache" and "beading on the wings").

Lee arrived as I was packing things in for the day,and got this shot of an American Crow attacking a Redtailed Hawk as it went along the bluffs.

Our final tally for the day was
5-Turkey Vultures
1-Sharpshinned Hawk
4-Redtailed Hawks
7-American Kestrels
1-Peregrine Falcon
21-Total Raptors
Under the "You never know who you will meet at Rosetta McClain Gardens category",Carol struck up a conversation with a lady on a bench,who inquired about what we were doing. It turns out she was part of a Ministry of Natural Resources team that was part of the begginning of the recovery of the Peregrine Falcon. She had worked doing hack releases in Algonquin Park and later in the city of Toronto. Irene mentioned a nest that was at the King Edward Hotel in downtown Toronto(she had lived outside of the country for the past 10 years) and was very happy to hear we still have a nest at a building right near the King Eddy. We discussed some of the things I have done with the Canadian Peregrine Foundation,and how many active nesting sites are now in Toronto. Irene told me abit about the early government efforts through the MNR which began the re-introduction of the Peregrine Falcon in the early 1980s,before the CPF exhisted. I hope to hear from Irene again. We meet all kinds of interesting people at Rosetta McClain Gardens!