Wind (current)

6 Raptors on a very slow day

Today was very slow again,but a beautiful clear day and good company made it bearable. Brad,Pam,Carol,Bill,Walter and I saw only 6 raptors today. We saw:
2-Sharpshinned Hawks
2-Coopers Hawks
1-American Kestrel
1-Redtailed Hawk

Right now the forecast doesnt look very good for raptor movements until next Saturday. I am not trying to be negative,but unless you are prepared to have long spells without birds,I would get some things done around the house in the next few days! There is a chance a push of Sharpshinned Hawks could happen. I believe the bulk of all Broadwinged Hawks will be gone by the next north wind day and that they will stay north of Toronto. While we didnt see a large movement of Broadwinged Hawks at Rosetta McClain Gardens,we had some great views of low ones. Hang in there gang,birdier days are coming.

Sept 18 Good winds brings good count. 125 Raptors

Today the conditions were very good. Winds were from the north or northwest almost all day and we had decent clouds to see birds against. In the early part of the day we had several treetop level Broadwinged Hawks,always a treat. Meaghan and Crystal,Betty,Berle,Lee,Carol,Bill,Dave,Ron,Walter and I enjoyed terrific views of many raptors including a few Osprey and Bald Eagles. We had 3 Bald Eagles pass the count site today,all were juvenile.
Our final totals were:
22-Turkey Vultures
3-Bald Eagles(10:47am,11:30am,12:38pm)
3-Northern Harriers
46-Sharpshinned Hawks
22-Broadwinged Hawks
2-Redtailed Hawks
19-American Kestrels
1-Peregrine Falcon

The coming several days the forecast is not very good for raptor movement. None-the-less,we will be present barring bad rains. While north element winds almost guarentee a good day,on south ones a few times,we got surprised with big Sharpshinned Hawk movements...I guess they just dont read the weather reports!

6 Raptors...YTD..772

Today was painfully slow,so we cut off by 1130am EDT. We saw only 6 raptors. A low Osprey was the highlight. Unfortunatly,Spanky,Carol,Walter,Berle,Terry,Dave and I saw very little. While it was a beautiful day,it wasnt a day to be raptor watching. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.
Todays birds were:
1-Turkey Vulture
3-Sharpshinned Hawks
1-American Kestrel

Friday holds some promise,with west then a good north wind in the afternoon. Saturday doesnt look too bad right now.

Sept.16 Very Slow..Beautiful Perched Merlin

Todays count was but 14 raptors. While early winds were favorable,there was virtually no flight of raptors. The video is of a perched Merlin.

Perched Merlin
Head Turned Right Around(note how the markings look like fake eyes)
The final count of 14 raptors was:
1-Turkey Vulture
2-Northern Harriers
8-Sharpshinned Hawks
1-American Kestrel
The Merlin was the real highlight of the day. We searched the skies relentlessly,but were unable to make Broadwings appear!

36 Raptors YTD...753 Plus A Common Raven

Today was much slower then expected. A number of Broadwinged Hawks moved through eastern raptor watches at Cranberry Marsh and Iriquois Shoreline,which indicates they were further north then we can view from our spot at Rosetta McClain Gardens. The local Coopers Hawk was chased by Crows. The best sighting of the day was a Common Raven,which is an uncommon sighting in Toronto. We saw it coming towards the park,and I thought it was a hawk,from the way it was flying,and its shape. As it approached I was trying to see some other colour then black and make it into some odd morph of hawk. Soon the Crows began chasing it and the size difference,wedge tail and different cadence and I called it a Raven. Aside from its relative rarity in the city,what made this a fun sighting was that Walter and I had just spoken 30minutes earlier about him not seeing one in the GTA as yet(he has seen many elsewhere). It is the 2nd time during the Rosetta McClain Gardens Raptor Watch that a Common Raven was seen,the first was several years ago.
Our raptor sightings were:
7-Turkey Vultures
1-Northern Harrier
16-Sharpshinned Hawks
1-Coopers Hawk(plus the local)
2-Redtailed Hawks
8-American Kestrels
36-Total Raptors

The next few days will be hit and miss for numbers. The next predictably good day is Saturdays north wind. One never knows when the birds will show up,Ive had hundreds of Sharpshinned Hawks fly on Southwest or east winds,so who knows..apparently the birds dont read the weather forecasts.

Some Nice Low Close Birds...74 Raptors

Broadwinged Hawk Silhouette

Today the winds were quite good all day,which brought 74 raptors by Rosetta McClain Gardens. Many of the Sharpshinned Hawks and Kestrels were low today,not much above the tree tops and over us. A Bald Eagle at 12:20pm circled and was in view for at least 6 minutes. It put on quite a show,even diving a "gull" . The gull circled with the Bald Eagle,almost pursuing it. The local Coopers Hawk circled very near me allowing for a decent photo. We saw a Peregrine Falcon make a serious dive and attack an American Kestrel. It went into quite a dive. The AK dove for the cover of trees and the Peregrine pulled up. Peter,Walter,Carol,Berle,Lee,Tim and Glenn,enjoyed a very interesting day.
Broadwinged Hawk
Coopers Hawk In Flight
Bald Eagle and Gull

Our Final Total Was:
1-Turkey Vulture
2-Bald Eagles(both juveniles,12:20pm and 12:35pm)
2-Northern Harriers
31-Sharpshinned Hawks
2-Coopers Hawks(plus the local)
4-Broadwinged Hawks
5-Redtailed Hawks
23-American Kestrels
2-Peregrine Falcons
Tomorrow looks like another pretty good day. I'll be leaving at 2:30pm,if things are still flying I am sure Walter will be present.

Finally Northwest Winds..Best Day of Season 145 Raptors

We were finally blessed with all day northwest winds,which brought a surge of raptors. Many were higher then we would have liked,but many gave nice views. The good winds also brought out the birders,with Berle,Carol,Lee,Bill,Tall Peter,Bruce,Murray,Mike and Les,who brought their friends Laura and Harvey for their first visit and Brad and Pam. Welcome to the new folks,Im glad the day was successful. The flow of birds was very steady 5 hours with over 20raptors each hour. The first and last hour of the day was slower.
Our Final Total Was:
6-Turkey Vultures
2 Bald Eagles(both juveniles at 12 and 12:45pm)
1-Northern Harrier
61-Sharpshinned Hawks
4-Broadwinged Hawks
4-Redtailed Hawks
60-American Kestrels
4-Peregrine Falcons
This brings our season total to 643. The next couple of days have a good chance to be good days. The humidity may slow things down. Thanks to everyone for their contributions.