Wind (current)

25 Raptors...5 Peregrine Falcons

Today had the threat of rain most of the time,including 2 or 3 huge claps of thunder from clouds out over Lake Ontario. Walter and I hung in from shortly after 9am until 3pm. We were rewarded early with the site of a hunting Red chased squirrels all over the gardens. Once we started to look for raptors,a Coopers Hawk went by very low and close..we debated and decided it was the local Coopers Hawk. Within minutes it returned,chasing a Redtailed Hawk(also local) and they interacted,with the Redtail turning tallons up trying to grab at the attacking Coopers Hawk. With that bit of excitement Walter and I were ready for birds. We started to see a few Sharpshinned Hawks at a time. As Gunner and Harry joined us 2 Peregrine Falcons went by about 10minutes appart. After Walter and I left,Ann spotted an Osprey.By the end of the day we had totalled:
15-Sharpshinned Hawks
1-Coopers Hawk(not the local)
1-American Kestrel
5-Peregrine Falcons

Tomorrow Monday and Wednesday will bring some raptors but no large movement is expected. Thursday looks good right now for a larger movement of raptors,if the predicated weather holds.

Slow,Cold,Wet Plus End of Sept YTD numbers

Today was cold,overcast and eventually very wet. Before the rain came Walter,Gunner,Berle and myself saw 15 raptors. By noon rains began and Walter and I took refuge under a tree. Soon Leon arrived and as we chatted,Leon spotted a passing Peregrine Falcon.
Todays total was 15 raptors,which included
8-Sharpshinned Hawks
2-Coopers Hawks
1-American Kestrel
3-Peregrine Falcons

Saturday doesnt look very promising,Sunday some birds may fly but I dont expect much of a flight. Monday looks like the best bet for a decent flight.

The year to date totals as at the end of September are ahead of 2008.We were way up on Turkey Vultures,with that flight of them on the 30th. Our Sharpshinned Hawk total is almost equal to last season,owing to the last couple of days in the month. The Year To Date totals are
416-Turkey Vultures
20-Bald Eagles
66-Northern Harriers
743-Sharpshinned Hawks
35-Coopers Hawks
6-Northern Goshawks
50-Broadwinged Hawks
84-Redtailed Hawks
258-American Kestrels
29-Peregrine Falcons

Slower Than Expected 32 Raptors

Today,there wasnt much of an upflight and the day never turned into what we had hoped for. That said we did see several great birds. A Northern Goshawk came very close to the gathered watchers. It was chased by the local Crows beyond Kew Beach someplace before the Crows returned to Rosetta. A juvenile Bald Eagle was spotted,as we watched a Broadwing abit over the lake. Always a thrill to see the Bald Eagle. We were well looked after today,Bill brought Tim's muffins for us,while Betty brought hot chocolate in a large thermos..some for each of us. Peter arrived considerably later and brought me another hot chocolate. Brad,Carol,Berle,Bill,Betty,Terry,Peter,Walter and myself enjoyed
1-Bald Eagle
1-Northern Harrier
22-Sharpshinned Hawks
1-Coopers Hawk
2-Northern Goshawks
2-Broadwinged Hawks
1-Redtailed Hawk
2-American Kestrels
Thanks to everyone for their help,sustanance and commradderie over the past few good days. Everyones contributions are greatly appreciated and make things go smoother. Things will likely be slow several days in the coming week,due to less then optimal winds and some rain days. If I see a change I will be sure to post. Keep an eye on the weather.


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-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
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!!!

Sept 29th Finally Good Winds...159 Raptors

Today we finally got northwest winds,all day long. They were quite strong,sometimes gusting around 50kmh. This meant all birds were low and almost all were very close to us. Few were much above the treetops. We had great views of many Sharpshinned Hawks and American Kestrels which sometimes really had to fight the strong winds. Several Turkey Vultures passed very low and close,something we all really enjoy. At 12:55pm we had a juvenile Bald Eagle go through below us and tight to the bluffs,giving all gathered a terrific albeight fast view. A Peregrine Falcon flew by carrying something,we are still trying to figure out what? Late in the day we saw 2 close Ospreys. We saw only one local Redtailed Hawk,otherwise there was no hint of another bueteo. Thanks to Berle,Carol,Brad,Peter,Walter,Ann,Betty and Walter for all their help today. Everyone did their best to stay warm,as the strong winds made it quite cold. In the end we saw:
21-Turkey Vultures
2-Bald Eagles(12:55pm and 2:50pm both juveniles)
13-Northern Harriers
88-Sharpshinned Hawks
2-Coopers Hawks
29-American Kestrels
2-Peregrine Falcons

This puts our total for the season over 1000 finally! We are hoping for an even better day tomorrow. If you are going to attend,dress warm!..Bring everything you think you need and then throw everything else you dont think you need into your pack or car! You wont be sorry.