Wind (current)


Thanks to Walter who figured out how to get these charts into a usable form. You can enlarge the charts with the symbols above it.
High Bird Counts

Year By Year Counts

A Few Shots From Ann Dec 6th

Ann was down to the park briefly on Monday. Wow did she get a few beautiful shots(would we expect less). She got a few shots of an elusive Gray Ghost....male Northern Harrier. His gray/blue back and wingtips "dipped in ink" from underneath view are the field marks that make him unique.
The local Redtail looks great with the snow in the photo. Thanks Ann.
The last week,Ive seen some Peregrine Falcon photos posted to a local birding board. Through my volunteer work with the Canadian Peregrine Foundation,we have been able to identify them both. One was seen out at Frechman's Bay,a male hatched at King St in 2009 named Kendal. Kendal is very likely the male Peregrine being seen around the powerplant in Pickering,in the company of Quest from Rochester,who is being satellite tracked. Just after I made that ID,someone else sent me photos taken a few weeks back at The Spit(Tommy Thompson Park). It was a juvenile male Peregrine with a clear band number showing which Marion Nash of the Canadian Peregrine Foundation was able to ID for me,named Peter,from Hamilton's Sheraton Hotel this past season. We volunteers are always thrilled to know a Peregrine we watched as chicks,is alive and well. If you get any photos or band numbers,or hear of a friend who has,please report them to me at the raptor watch email address or The Canadian Peregrine Foundation at . Continued monitoring of our Canadian Peregrines is a very important part of their ongoing recovery. Everyone can contribute.

Frank And Walter's Thanks For A Great 2010

With another raptor watching season in the books,both Walter and I wanted to thank everyone for an amazing seaon. While it sort of fizzled out at the end,we sure had alot of highs this fall! High day,month and season counts and many fantastic views of all 15 species. We welcomed more visitors then ever. We welcomed more photographers who contributed more photos then ever. Thanks to all of you! Ann Brokelman continued to offer her pictures for use on the blog,which deserve more superlatives then I can include. Thanks Ann!! Your contributions have been enjoyed by many folks all over the world that follow the blog. So many people have commented on how interesting the photos make the blog. We added some great folks to the Rosetta Regular Irregulars.
Before I go further,thanks to Walter most of all for his help running the watch. There is no way I could have done it without you! Walter's constant commraderie,good humor and enthusiasm,kept me up,excited and helped me hang in on slow days. His help passing on information and teaching others is invaluable.
To all the Rosetta McClain Gardens Regular Irregulars,thanks for your friendships,interest and coming out to share the fall with us.You all made things much more fun,rewarding and successful.It's great to see peoples interest and abilities to spot and identify raptors grow.Tim Horton's runs are something unique to us at Rosetta. Thanks to everyone who sustained us with coffee,hot chocolate,Timbits,donuts and even chilli now and then! Welcome Cori,Mike 2,and Hugh,to our band of irregulars. Walter and I cant thank you enough for your contributions. I will be in touch with as many of you as possible when we plan over winter birding and non-birding outtings.
To the staff and management of Rosetta McClain Gardens...thanks to all of you,for your contiuned friendships and the immense amount of assistance which you gave. Our visitors loved the gardens and clean facilities. You are to be commended,as,as you well know,the impact of your work represents not just yourselves,but our community and city. Thanks for your many kindnesses to Walter,myself and others. Hot coffee(caffine fixes) got us going many mornings! Without your help and co-operation,we couldnt do what we do.
People call this BIGFRANK's watch...NO WAY!!,it would never be the success that it is,without everyone playing their part. People not only around Toronto,but southern Ontario,now recognize Rosetta McClain Gardens as a great place to view birds of prey during migration.

Record Year!!! Wrap(tor)-Up Summary 2010

Another season of raptor watching has come to an end.It was a record setting fall,with a final total of 6545 raptors observed. This smashed our previous record of 5844. It seemed daily at peak migration time,that record after record fell,one day,one month and species final totals. Walter and I have been asked to submit a Toronto Records Committee report for our September 9th record Osprey count of 53 in one day. This is a GTA record! Thanks to Walter for this impressive list of records set this season at Rosetta. We set 21 and tied one other record this year.
53 Opsrey were seen Sept 9th,176 were seen in the month of September,which led to our season best 211. All new records! Bald Eagles were a similar story,18 were observed on Sept 10th a new site record. September saw a new monthly record of 43 Bald Eagles and a record final tally of 73 Bald Eagles were spotted. We saw a record number of Sharpshinned Hawks in September,finishing with 2067 and a new season high of 2797. 15 Northern Goshawks in the month of October was a new record. November 1st we had a record number of Redtailed Hawks fly by with 251. Roughlegged Hawks have moved in larger numbers then normal in southern Ontario and the sightings at Rosetta McClain Gardens Raptor Watch reflect this as well. We recorded a one day record of 9 on October 31st,a high of 18 in the month of November and a season best total of 28. We set records for all 3 falcon species. On Sept 9th we saw a day record of 203,a new month record of 581 in September were counted and the final total of 719 was also a record. We tied our best one day Merlin total of 10,on Sept 8th,had a record 52 sightings in September and observed 87 in total for another record. We saw the highest number of Peregrine Falcons for any southern Ontario count site,with a new site record of 85. On October 1st we tallied our best one day total of all raptors ever with 946! September saw our highest monthly count ever too,with 3385 total birds of prey counted. Lastly we had our most ever days with over 100 raptors observed,with 20. WHAT A SEASON WOW!!!!
Final Totals
1195-Turkey Vulture
73-Bald Eagle
322-Northern Harrier
2797-Sharpshinned Hawk
82-Coopers Hawk
17-Northern Goshawk
21-Redshouldered Hawk
190-Broadwinged Hawk
707-Redtailed Hawk
28-Roughlegged Hawk
11-Golden Eagle
719-American Kestrel
85-Peregrine Falcon
6545-Final Total
Thanks to everyone for an amazing season.
We also counted:
44-Great Blue Heron
20-Common Nighthawk
410-Common Loons
Oddities Seen This Season:
Cave Swallows
Sandhill Cranes
Snow Geese
American White Pelican
White-winged Crossbills
Short-eared Owl
Rusty Blackbirds

Nov 29 The Finale 4 Raptors

On Monday,Carol,Pat,Nancy and Peter,dropped by the park. In addition to our local Redtailed Hawk being harrassed by American Crows and a co-operative Coopers Hawk,they observed a final 3 Redtailed Hawks and one migrating Coopers Hawk. Pat sent along these shots of a Redtail chased by a Crow.
Our Co-operative Coopers,fence sitting.
End of season summaries soon to come.

A Few More Raptors

Walter,Mike 2(thanks for todays Timbits!!),Ann,Murray,(2 separate people not Canada's Snowbird)Anthony,Pat and I,were present today to count a few more raptors. A couple of "local" Redtailed Hawks tried to confuse things by making several passes of the park. Many times they were "accompanied" by the local American Crows. A nice male Northern Harrier was spotted about 1230pm,just over the lake. A few countable Redtails went through and a Peregrine went through the park in a hurry.
Just before the first of the gang got too cold to hang in,Mike picked up a high Sandhill Crane,which got ridiculously high,out over the lake. Eventually it made its way back toward land. One Common Loon was observed. Walter has been keeping track of Loon sightings and powered by a day that saw 160 down on the lake in October,todays made something over 400.(final tally will appear in our season end wrap up).
Todays Count
1-Northern Harrier
3-Redtailed Hawks
1-Peregrine Falcon
It was very cold. Extremities got the worst of it today.
Earlier this season Cave Swallows were seen. Anthony Glenesk sent along these 2 shots taken at The Spit(Tommy Thompson Park).
3 Cave Swallows
Cave Swallow Close-Up
Thanks to Anthony for his first contributions to our site. I hope the first of many come next season!

Nov 24th 10 More Raptors

Today the winds ended up weaker than predicted earlier in the week. Myself,Walter,Bill,BillB,Hugh,Betty,Cori,Shirley,Pat and Nancy saw a few raptors. A Peregrine Falcon circled very high up,while a few of the Redtails spiralled to "ozone" height. Good conversation was enjoyed,with some hopeful plans for winter birding among the many topics.Our final total today was:
1-Sharpshinned Hawk
2-Coopers Hawks
6-Redtailed Hawks
1-Peregrine Falcon
There looks like a number of very wet days coming up. If there is a north element wind in the next week we will be present to count.

A Few Days Left

With a week left in count season,things are really winding down. Walter and I will still be present on days we think could hold promise. Wednesday and Saturday look alright. Things will be over officially on Nov 30 and weather pending I hope many folks will come for the final day. Then its winter birding. Try to keep in touch and if you are heading out remember to get hold of some of your raptor watch pals. Later in the winter we will do a trip to Nanticoke to see Bald Eagles,check for Short and Long-eared Owls and see many Redtails and Roughlegs. Stay tuned for details.
Have a look at this video called How Hawks See

Nov 20 A Beautiful Late Novemeber Day 16 Raptors..Fox

The chances for a big day I think have passed us by. Todays 16 raptors with almost perfect conditions indicate its pretty much over. Over the next week(till month end) we may count but there is not much chance of it being daily. Today many folks showed up hoping for a big northern bird. Alas none came but we did see some Redtailed Hawks including the local juvenile. It sat co-operatively while I took photos. Local crows enjoyed a day of chasing several Redtails and a local Coopers Hawk. A Merlin was a nice surprise. A lone Red-shouldered Hawk was seen,very high up.

This juvenile Redtail is very lightly coloured on its head.
Ann sent along this beautiful shot of a Coopers Hawk in flight. Thanks so much for all the photos you've contributed to the site Ann,its been a great interest grabber for many readers and encouraged others to join us.
This Red Fox ran through the park,it was very close to our buddy Mark. The park is part of the Foxes territory and it goes through several times a day. I was lucky enough to get a quick shot. While I was missing,recovering from a cold,Richard the head gardener from Rosetta told Walter he had seen an Oppossum walk by. I look forward to seeing it soon.
Todays count of 16 brings our current season tally to 6526.We also saw 2 White-winged Crossbills fly past quickly. American Pipets were heard. An end of season wrap up will come soon. Thanks to everyone for an enjoyable day.

Keep An Eye On Friday

Friday looks like it could be one of the last chances for a big final push of raptors. It will be frigid,so if you attend dress very warm! Feet get cold easy! Hands too! Winds are to be 25kmh Northwest,with a high of only 4c. Midday is probably early enough to arrive. Remember those that have my cell # can call me first to see if we think the conditions are good...or if there is already a good flight in progress. We will count on other days later in the month but this may be the last 100+ raptor day of the season.

Next Several Days Not Promising

Right now there doesnt appear to be a good day on the horizon for migrating raptors. Its unlikely a count will be conducted until at least mid-week of the coming week. If you attend please email any sightings. Get out and enjoy the unusually warm weather,even if you cant see birds of prey and remember each beautiful day now is one closer to spring without SNOW!!

The Legend of Pale Male

For the many raptor watchers who know of Pale Male,or love watching Redtailed Hawks. This is a 3minute trailer of a new Pale Male movie.

Very Slow...4 Raptors

Walter stuck out a very slow day. Saturday now looks very promising..stay tuned. Today Walter and a few others added 2 Redtails,a Coopers Hawk and a Northern Goshawk. The locals of each of these species was also seen,so Walter is sure none are double counts.

Slow Day...16 Raptors...YTD 6500

Today was abit slower then hoped for but,with some concentrated spotting,we were able to spot several Redtailed Hawks and a lone Redshoulded Hawk. Pat and Nancy told me of a Peregrine Falcon they had seen yesterday,so that has been added to todays total. Tomorrow will be like today at best. Id imagine the next big day will follow the current warm weather which reaches through next Monday at this point .

Redtailed Hawks
Northern Junco
Todays totals
1-Redshouldered Hawk
14-Redtailed Hawk
1-Peregrine Falcon
Watch for the next north element wind 15kmh-30kmh for a big day. Until that condition exists,high counts are unlikely. Counters are selective during weather like the coming week,so there is a strong chance noone will be present.

72 Raptors...4 Golden Eagles

Todays conditions were not as good as hoped for.Winds were lighter than predicted earlier in the week. That said,we had a great day anyway. About noon things started to happen. We finally got some cloud and the birds came...we dont believe we were missing many birds up to that point,though with the height of some of them its entirely possible. Mike 2 picked up a bird that led us to a small kettle of Turkey Vultures. Redtailed Hawks were circling high in the clouds. A few Red-shouldered Hawks passed among the Redtails. We saw a few Roughlegged Hawks,one which came very low above us,taking us by surprise as we struggled to locate a tundrius Peregrine Falcon Jean was watching.
2 juvenile Golden Eagles put on a lovely show,circling together above us. They seemed to interact at one point,before circling further on again. For all gathered this was a terrific sighting. Below is my shot of one of them.

Mike Zidino sent us this more close-up shot..thanks Mike 3. For Mary and Cori,this was a life bird! All 4 Golden Eagles we saw were juvenile.

Mike 3 also sent this shot of a passing Coopers Hawk.

As we thought of wrapping things up,we had a Bald Eagle...age undetermined pass over at 4pm. Walter caught it behind us already. All considered a great day,for them that hung in through a slow beginning. Our final totals were:
9-Turkey Vultures
1-Bald Eagle(4pm)
2-Northern Harrier
2-Coopers Hawk
3-Redshouldered Hawk
43-Redtailed Hawk
7-Roughlegged Hawk
4-Golden Eagle(2 juveniles 1220pm, juvenile 1255pm,juvenile 133pm)
1-Peregrine Falcon
72-Total Raptors
Also seen today were many Long-tailed Ducks on the lake,several Pine Siskins passing and perched,3 Northern Shrike and 4,first of season White-winged Crossbills. The Crossbills were another life bird for several of the watchers. Thanks to Mary,for snacks,Tim for making a coffee run and Betty for the hot chocolate. Everything keeps us going on frosty days! Thanks to everyone for their keen spotting of high birds. Contributions by everyone really add to the enjoyment of everybody gathered.

11 Raptors After The Rain

Winds were right,but the rains stopped migration of very many BOPS. Walter,myself,Cori and Bruce all showed up to see if anything was flying. While it was slow,Im sure raptors moved into an area that will bring them through tomorrow.

Juvenile Turkey Vulture(note the black head)
Today we picked up a few birds. All were low and close. The light-morph Roughlegged Hawk was a nice sighting,as were the Northern Harriers. As Bruce was leaving he hollered back to Walter and I...something about a Turkey Vulture. Walter got into a position to see if he could see anything flying by to the north,while I went up to the parkinglot to see what Bruce was calling about. There was a juvenile Turkey Vulture perched in a tree,on the north side of the parkinglot! Such as they are,a few shots are included that I got of it.Todays total was:
1-Turkey Vulture
2-Northern Harrier
3-Sharpshinne Hawk
2-Coopers Hawk
2-Redtailed Hawk
1-Roughlegged Hawk
Also seen today was a flock of geese. We are 100% sure there were 3 white-phase Snow Geese. The flock contained about 30 individuals,made no sound,was very disorganized and very high. The way they flew truely was very much the same as the flock of 39 Snow Geese we saw earlier this season,making us think its very possible that all of the geese in this flock were Snow Geese. From What Bird:"During migration the Snow Geese flies so high it can barely be seen. They form shifting curved lines and arcs as they fly." This description sounds right to Walter and I. Everyone should keep their eyes peeled for Snow Geese! Id imagine there will be a very early movement of small birds in huge numbers in the morning tomorrow,visible from first light until about 10am. Raptors are unlikely to begin flying much before 11am or even abit later. Tomorrow,conditions look great for a shot at a big raptor movement. Monday and Tuesday both look good too. I can tell you it was very cold today...I will be very well bundled tomorrow(for younger folks that has nothing to do with Bell or Rogers services and everything to do with staying warm!!).

Friday and Saturday

Friday and Saturday both have potential to be good days for raptor movement. This time of year,its the big birds that are moving,so they move on north winds. The stronger winds bother them less. They care less about inclimate weather. Those gathered were surprised to see Redtails,Roughlegs and Golden Eagles moving during the sleet and snow last week. This means as watchers,we have to suffer through such conditions if we want to see spectacular birds like Golden Eagles and Roughlegs. Saturday looks better than Friday right now weather wise,so them that are "weather fairies" should plan on Saturday. DRESS VERY WARM,it will be terribly cold with very strong North winds on either day. Dont forget your feet..they'll get cold. There are no bathrooms open any longer. Plan your day according to your personal cold tollerance. Golden Eagles are likely to appear after 2pm,having said that who knows...dont blame me if you miss them.So far we have had a fantastic count of Roughlegged Hawks and with a big day or 2,we may achieve our Redtailed Hawk record. Our best season of Golden Eagles is 11 and we have currently seen 7 so that isnt out of the question. Next week looks like there will be few if any good raptor days. This could mean the first day that there is another cold night and north element wind,we could get the big final push day. Watch for that around Nov 10th. From there on it will slow down considerably.

3 More Roughlegs and Great Goshawk Pics

As expected today was very slow,but not without a few good birds. Unexpectedly,we saw 3 dark-morph Roughlegged Hawks. 2 flew by together. Another flew by on its own later. Ann and Carol went down to the park in the afternoon and saw the "local" Goshawk go by quickly. Ever at the ready,Ann got these 2 great shots.In total we saw only 5 countable birds between 10am and 1pm.
2-Redtailed Hawk
3-Roughlegged Hawk
Keep an eye on Friday,conditions are looking great! If the rain comes Thursday and the predicted good north element winds come Friday,I expect more Redtails and some Roughlegs and Golden Eagles. Fingers crossed!

I was talking to a local resident who lives just a few houses outside Rosetta. 3 nights ago she saw an Oppossum eating seed spilled from her bird feeders. There was a Raccoon there too and when the Possum snarled at the Coon,the Coon didnt flinch and carried on eating. They ate together without incident. She described perfectly an Oppossum and said she had to look it up as she could hardly believe her eyes,and REALLY hoped that it wasnt a rat! Id never heard of Possums this far to the east of Toronto. Usually reports Ive heard have been from the west end of the city. Something else to keep any eye out for at Rosetta McClain Gardens!

High Birds High Count..More Records...287 Raptors

Today's brilliant blue skies made spotting a real challange...luckily we had determined spotters making Walter and my jobs easier. We were spotting Redtails,that were high to the north...high overhead and high over the lake. Our biggest kettle of the day was 24 Redtailed Hawks with on Sharpshinned Hawk. Our total of 251 Redtailed Hawks,broke our old one day record for Redtails of 204. 5 more Roughlegged Hawks passed by,one was a dark-morph. This puts us over our modest season record of 12 Roughlegged Hawks with 15 so far this season. 2 more Golden Eagles one at 11am(juvenile) and the 2nd at 143pm(juvenile). Things really shut down by 2pm.
Todays terrific start to November consisted of:
17-Turkey Vulture
4-Northern Harrier
1-Sharpshinned Hawk
1-Northern Goshawk
6-Redshouldered Hawk
251-Redtailed Hawk
5-Roughlegged Hawk
2-Golden Eagle
287-Day Count
For something different we saw Pine Siskins and a few Purple Finch. Right now keep your eye on Friday and Saturday for possible good conditions for a good raptor movement.

End of October Year To Date

With the end of October,things begin to wind down. There are still many Redtailed Hawks to be seen,as today was the first big flight at large sites further southwest than Rosetta. We need winds like Oct 31 to bring us birds...a strong north element in them. Roughlegged Hawk and Golden Eagles will be seen in the coming month,though not in large numbers.
We have now topped our Osprey,Bald Eagle,Sharpshinned Hawk,American Kestrel,Merlin and Peregrine Falcon season total numbers. I suspect we will easily beat our best total for Roughlegged Hawks. Our year to date totals are as follows:
Species.................Year to Date
Turkey Vulture.........1168
Bald Eagle....................72
Northern Harrier.......311
Sharpshinned Hawk.2790
Coopers Hawk.............71
Northern Goshawk.....15
Redshouldered Hawk.10
Broadwinged Hawk...190
Redtailed Hawk........370
Roughlegged Hawk.....10
Golden Eagle................5
American Kestrel......719
Peregrine Falcon........81
YTD Total...............6109
We are having an unbelievable season. When part-time counting started in 2004 I never dreamed that we would exceed 6000 birds counted,see so many species of birds and gain such acclaim among local raptor enthusiats. Lets hope for a great November to finish off a record year.

WOW...185 Raptors...4 Golden Eagles..But wait there's more!

Neither rain,nor snow,ok so dark of night shall stop the raptor watchers from looking around. The day started in sleet..progressed to snow(we actually saw a Snowbow(rainbow from snow)) before Walter,Mike 2 and I packed things in as darkness fell. Wow is all I can say!!
First,we made our milestone sighting number 6000 of the 2010 season! Onward and upward gang! Next we set our one day record for Rough-legged Hawks by spotting and IDing 9 Roughlegs. All were light phase. Ann Brokelman provided these great photos she took today out near Ajax.Whitby. While these may or not be the same birds,this is what ours looked like.

Beautiful Roughlegged Hawk

Soaring Roughleg

Northern visitors,some Roughlegs may come from as high as the Arctic.

For comparison,and future identification,here are a few shots of a dark-phase Roughlegged Hawk also seen by Ann today,while she was east of us. So far we havent seen a dark Roughie this fall at Rosetta McClain Gardens Raptor Watch.

Beautiful Bird

Soaring Roughie
All afternoon I was sure the Golden Eagles must be flying,I suggested the strong and dedicated would be rewarded and at 430pm we were. 2 juvenile Golden Eagles were spotted. They were close enough that they could be ID`d naked eye,but were seen very very well with binoculars. Just as we began to congratulate each other,at 435pm,first an adult Golden Eagle and then another juvenile Golden Eagle were spotted. Waaaay cool,4 Golden Eagles in 5minutes! Additionally we had fantastic views today of 2 of the 3 Northern Goshawks,which went by us tight to the bluffs and right at about eye level..brilliant.
Todays total of 185raptors was:
7-Northern Harrier
24-Sharpshinned Hawk
2-Coopers Hawk
3-Northern Goshawk
132-Redtailed Hawk
9-Roughlegged Hawk(new one day record)
4-Golden Eagle
4-Peregrine Falcon
6109-Year to date total
But wait there`s more! At 239pm we saw another Cave Swallow. For several this was a life bird. But wait there`s more! At 255pm there was a Sandhill Crane fly past us. But wait there`s more!! A flock of high distant geese were seen coming from the north. Eventually it came into view completely. There were 5 white-morph Snow Geese with 34 Blue morph Snow Geese. Lastly a life bird for myself and first sighting from Rosetta McClain Gardens was a Black Scoter that was on the lake. Bruce saw it fly in and I saw it while scanning below. It had no white at all on it,as would be seen on the head of a Surf Scoter and no white wing nore eye mark as a White-winged Scoter would have...species #190 for the park list. Amazing! Thousands of Redwinged Blackbirds and Robins continue to be on the move. Keep your eyes on the end of the coming week. If rain moves or the weather forcast changes there could be more terrific days! Bathrooms are now closed at Rosetta. PLEASE DRESS WARM...gloves are a must!!...wear everything you think you need and throw a few things you dont think you will need into the car. Pocket warmers are cheap and really work!!


Wooops in my sleepy haze I forgot to add these terrific inflight shots of a Northern Shrike. It landed every so briefly on a Spruce tree that as soon as Walter and I mis-ID'd it quickly as a Mockingbird,it flew off. As soon as I saw Ann's photo,I could see very clearly it indeed was a Northern Shrike! A buddy has always told me that what was important was getting it right in the end!
Another view of the Northern Shrike

These are some of Anns Northern Harrier Photos from today.

Being as we hit that 300 benchmark,I thought it important to include a few good shots!

Here one is from above..A unique angle seen at Rosetta.

Classic shape.

Over The Top With 83 Raptors...5 Redshouldered Hawks

Today we set a new season high total for total number of raptors. In 2007,5844 raptors were observed going by Rosetta McClain Gardens Raptor Watch. Today we surpassed that total and got a good run at achieving 6000 this season. Our new high season total raptor count is 5924. With another month to count,we should surpass 6000 quite easily,a nice milestone to achieve.
We had 5 Red-shouldered Hawks today,a few passed very close to us,allowing for some good photos. Thanks Ann. One juvenile circled co-operatively along the bluff,giving those watching closely views of his "windows" from on top and below. A very co-operative adult circled above us for some time. Its great to see some of these threatened birds so well,especially with several newish raptor watchers present.
Another number we hit today was over 300 Northern Harriers for the season. While Harrier sightings have increased over the last 2 seasons from a low of 84 in 2008 to 122 in 2009,todays mark of 304 while significant,pales to the 2006 count of 488. Walter started the day by seeing 13 Turkey Vultures fly past. They must have spent the night close by,as Lee had messaged Walter late yesterday that 13 Vultures were near Brimley and Kingston Rd. Also of interest was 1 Broadwinged Hawk,which came at us over the lake. Some question my call,but I am very sure of this ID. The bird was dark..appreared Crow-like when in flight,all agreed looked nothing like the Red-shouldered Hawks seen today under identical wind conditions,that it was smaller than a Redtailed Hawk and had no white chest.
Redshouldered Hawk
Redshoulder In Flight

Sharpshinned Hawk

Coopers Hawk

Interestingly marked Redtailed Hawk..some checking is being done. Note there is no white chest on this bird,the streaking goes all the way to its chin.

Will report if it is something other than an Eastern Redtailed Hawk...I suspect it is.
Today saw 83 raptors in total consisting of:
14-Turkey Vultures
13-Northern Harriers
24-Sharpshinned Hawks
2-Coopers Hawks
5-Redshouldered Hawks
1-Broadwinged Hawk
21-Redtailed Hawks
Also seen today were thousands of Redwinged Blackbirds/Brown Cowbirds in huge flocks,many House Finches,Eastern Bluebirds,a small group of Yellow rumped Warblers and on the lake a few thousand Red-breasted Mergansers. No swallows were seen today at all.
The entire week to come looks quite promising. Remember that NE winds means higher birds...Northwest is best. Bathrooms are now closed for the season! Dress warm any day you come now.

Oct 28th Cave Swallows..Bluebirds and a few Raptors

Many House Finch were seen migrating today.

Many Eastern Bluebirds passed us.

Walter,Joe,Ann,Carol,Berle,Pat,Nancy,Hugh,Terry and I saw a large movement of small birds today,while raptors were slow. With less than ideal viewing conditions,Walter and I were frustrated a few times on birds. Eventually between a few periods of decent lighting and some confirming photos taken by Ann Brokelman we ID'd Eastern Bluebirds. Throught the day we had been seeing Swallows fly by. We saw a small "flock" of 7,as well as a few more small groups of 5. The ones that finally convinced us we were very likely seeing Cave Swallows were 2 together. We got good long looks and were convinced as we could be. Luckily Ann had arrived and was at the ready with her camera. She got 2 decent shots as they went by. Independantly Walter and I did our best to confirm our sighting. All of the swallows we saw seemed to be the same as the one in Ann's photos. This is bird #189 for Rosetta and for myself,Walter and Ann a life bird! I dont doubt there could be others tomorrow. Not coincidentally Paul Prior reported what he thought could be Cave Swallows at the Leslie Spit,which is just along the lakeshore to us. Additionally at Long Point,at least 100 were reported in the area. A real thrill to see...great luck that Ann got a couple of shots too.
I have sent the photos to a few experts and thus far their opinions confirm Cave Swallow. I have not used their names here as yet as confirming the sightings,as they like to guard their reputations and be 100% confident. I do respect this and expect by tomorrow,I will formally be able to thank them for their help.
Other than the "local" Goshawk going by at Mach2 being chased by American Crows,there was nothing miraculous raptor wise.
Raptors seen were:
3-Northern Harriers
3-Sharpshinned Hawks
1-Coopers Hawk
4-Redtailed Hawks
1-Peregrine Falcon
Tomorrows conditions look great for a large movement of raptors. Lets hope the birds read the same weather reports. We will be on the look out for more Cave Swallows,Bluebirds and maybe a Boreal Chickadee. Dress warm. Bathrooms are available until 2pm reliably during the week right now. We fully expect to go well over our season high final count of 5844 tomorrow as we have now seen a total of 5841 raptors so far this fall. We are hopeful of topping 6000 by seasons end come November 30th.

6 More Raptors...A few locals put on a show.

This migrating Peregrine Falcon was photographed by Trudy,the gang also saw another that for now we are calling local. He put on a real show,flying back and forth around our viewing area over the course of about 90 minutes.

The local Redtailed Hawk did a few flybys and some kiting,putting on his usual show.

Thousands of gulls and Red-breasted Mergansers!
Thanks to Trudy for todays great shots.
Today Walter,Pat,Nancy,Carol,Lorne,Trudy and Hugh saw a few raptors,6 to be exact. The final tally was:
1-Northern Harrier
1-Sharpshinned Hawk
2-Redtailed Hawk
1-Peregrine Falcon
Friday could be a big day. Winds are predicted to be good,and with several days of south winds and rain birds could be backed up. Lets hope the birds read the memo!

Oct 23...Ann's Hour At The Park...6 Raptors..Co-operative Local Redtail

Local juvenile Redtailed Hawk photos shared by Ann Brokelman.

While Walter and I enjoyed a day off,Ann dropped down to the park for an hour from 11am-12 While there she saw the local Redtailed Hawk and it put on a real show from the looks of her photos! These are as good as any I have ever seen. Ive cropped them only to save myself memory on the blog,they are sharp and very close up!! Brilliant!

In the hour Ann was at the park she saw:
3-Sharpshinned Hawk
2-Redtailed Hawk
1-Peregrine Falcon
Ann also sent along this nice shot of some Cedar Waxwings.
The next few days do not look like there will be much of anything flying. If I want to get out of the house for awhile,I may pop over to the park in the coming days. Realistically if you are coming from any distance,think twice! Hoping for a northwest wind Friday with little rain.