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!!

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