Day Count 73,Plenty of Visitors

Today,more was expected,with a strong west or northwest wind predicted. Those gathered were fortunate to get nice close views of most of todays 73 passing raptors. With appologies to anyone whose names I missed,along with our regulars Carol,Ann,Betty,Berle,Pat,Nancy(thanks for the group photo) and Lee,a few members of The Peel Birding Class visited today and we had a visitor from Queensland, Austrailia. A special treat for me was that several colleagues from The Canadian Peregrine Foundation joined us today. First time fellow fledge watchers Zoe and Paul,along with returning members Bruce,Atilla,Elizabeth and Terry all came out today.Walter and I arrived pre-sunrise and hung in for a few more Osprey and a few late Peregrine Falcons.
We observed a decent number of Northern Harriers today. Ann made it tough on me today,by snapping so many great photos of them. I chose to include these 2.

Northern Harrier In Flight

We continue to see Osprey. Over the course of the season they have provided brilliant up close views and photographic opportunities. Thanks to Ann Brokelman for all of todays brilliant photos of the birds.

Today we finally saw an adult Sharpshinned Hawk migrate,to this point none of the 2000+ Sharpies seen were obviously adults. We anticipate a flight of adults next month. Like many raptor species,adults fly after and independant of the juveniles.

Sharpshinned Hawk With Full Crop

Our "local" Merlin provided many great views today. It made many passes of the park. I do believe we had 2 migrating Merlin,in addition to this bird. It perched briefly for Ann to get a few nice photos and later caught a Goldfinch.

Merlin In Tree

One Less Goldfinch

Ann Got A Nice Piece Of Tail

The local Coopers Hawk also made several passes of the park today. As we enjoy teaching people about the raptors and not just counting,the local birds provide a great chance for folks to view and study various species. Each day lately a Coopers Hawk,Merlin,Redtailed Hawk and Sharpshinned Hawk provide such opportunities.
Local Coopers Hawk

Our final tally of 73 raptors consisted of
Turkey Vulture............11
Northern Harrier.......15
Sharpshinned Hawk..17
Broadwinged Hawk.....1
Redtailed Hawk...........1
American Kestrel.......14
Peregrine Falcon.........6
Special Happy Birthday wishes to Lee. May you have many more. Your friendship and enthusiasm is greatly enjoyed by your raptor watching friends!
The next several days will be hit and miss. Wednesday and to a greater degree,Friday look like they could be decent. The end of September can sometimes be slow,despite good conditions. Redtailed Hawk migration and Turkey Vulture migration begin in ernst in October,with Turkey Vulture migration peaking around Thanksgiving.

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