Wind (current)

WOW WHAT A DAY! and oh ya 47 Raptors ...4 Goshawks

A local juvenile Redtail made frequent passes of the park. This shot comes to us courtesy first time contributor Mike Zondino Thanks Mike 3!

Mike also got this great shot!
Thanks to another first time contributor,Jane MacLean for this shot of a Snow Goose seen at 12:45pm. I spotted a small line of Canada Geese,with a white one in the middle. Our first Snow Goose of the season and our 2nd local rarity of the day and 2010.

This is my shot of the Snow Goose. For several present this was a life bird!
The above and below shot are courtesy Ann Brokelman. Ann really enjoyed this sighting! See why further down the page. This was the first rarity this season at Rosetta McClain Gardens Raptor Watch.

The above and below shot are from Mike Dizonne of the first Short-eared Owl seen at Rosetta McClain Gardens to our knowledge. This brings the total number of species seen at this little park to 187. Again for many this was the first sighting of a Short-eared Owl. This was at 11:25am and really woke us up. Walter spotted a bird and soon said Its an Owl! I immediately ID'd it as a Short-eared Owl.
After the owl circled lazily overhead,giving all a fantastic look at it,first one then 2 Redtailed Hawks harrassed the Short-eared Owl!!
Ann Brokelman got these shots of the interaction between the 2 foes.Note the relative size and different markings.
A real thrill!! To be talked about for years!
Terrific action shots Ann!! Were we all lucky to witness this and even luckier to have a pictoral record.
Our final oddity/rarity of the day was an American White Pelican,which came along beside us from the west heading east along the shoreline out of sight beyond Bluffers Park at 2pm. What was undoubtedly the same bird was seen by Norm Murr and Peter McFarland on the Toronto Islands at 12:20pm and later closer to Rosetta and consistant with the time we saw it,the banding crew of Brett Tryon,Bronwyn Dalziel,Maya Ricker-Wilson and Juan Zuloaga at Tommy Thompson Park(Leslie Street Spit) saw the Pelican heading our way at 1:40pm.
Truely a trio of amazing sightings in one day! Congratulations,especially to Walter,who has surely put in his time and deservedly was rewarded!
Todays total of 47 Raptors included
23-Turkey Vulture
2-Northern Harrier
2-Sharpshinned Hawk
6-Coopers Hawk
4-Northern Goshawk
7-Redtailed Hawk
3-Peregrine Falcon
The next few days look very hit and miss. Watch for some stronger NW winds or at least north element winds of 15kmh or more(without rain of course) for a big movement.

Slow Day...16 Raptors

Black-Capped Chickadee

Juvenile Redtailed Hawk soaring above us.

Sharpshinned Hawk
Today was a good day to socialize. Bruce,Walter,Don P,Tim,Hugh,Sheldon,Cori,Ann,Carol,Pat,Nancy and welcome Randy a first time visitor,all enjoyed a fun day of chatting and bopping around the park to look at other things. The kids from Cliffside were back today,enjoying a beautiful day and researching a bird each for an assignment they are doing. Some birds were seen,including a few Peregrine Falcons,low Turkey Vultures and our local Redtail. Thousands of Chickadees have been migrating past in the last 2 days,some buzzing right by our heads as we stand bluffside. The final total of just 16 raptors brought us over 4900 and was made up of:
5-Turkey Vulture
6-Sharpshinned Hawk
1-American Kestrel
3-Peregrine Falcon
Tomorrow looks like we should see some birds,with a 15kmh North wind predicted. Right now it seems a little hit and miss. Next week,watch Wednesday and Friday.

130 Raptors...More Was Expected

While todays total of 128 raptors was good,more had been expected. We just didnt get a big flight of Turkey Vultures at Rosetta,if they were flying,they were north of us.We were able to spot many low birds,including 3 more Peregrine Falcons(one pictured above and another shot below).

Below is an American Kestrel carrying its dragonfly meal. We were surprised to see so many Green Darners flying today. The hot weather must have brought them out. We also observed several species of common butterflies,including Monarch,Red Admiral,Cabbage White,Yellow Sulphur and a Mourning Cloak.

Those gathered also saw several Sharpshinned Hawks. Todays low birds offered a few new visitors beautiful views.

One of only 33 Turkey Vultures seen today. 17 kettled t0gether,giving us early hopes for more!

Few Redtailed Hawks were observed...only 2 infact.

The local Coopers Hawk sat in a nearby tree for photos.

One of the most interesting sightings of the day came after abit of a lull,when a Northern Goshawk and a Peregrine Falcon went through together. It seemed that the Peregrine took a run at the Goshawk. This pairing surprised us.
Thanks to Don P,Tim,Murray,Carol,Ann(on lunch),Pat,Nancy,Bruce,Mike 2,Uwe visiting from German,Lee and a few other visitors whose names I didnt get for their help spotting. Tomorrow we should see a few raptors,with good west winds most seen should be low. Saturday looks like the next chance for a big day.
Todays total of 130 raptors was
33-Turkey Vulture
3-Bald Eagles(juveniles @ 138pm,158pm and 215pm)
8-Northern Harrier
49-Sharpshinned Hawk
2-Coopers Hawk
2-Northern Goshawk
2-Redtailed Hawk
20-American Kestrel(season total over 700 now)
3-Peregrine Falcon
Year to Date Total 4885

Thursday Is The Day

Conditions tomorrow are still looking great for a big movement of birds of prey. With no movement today(Wed) there is unlikely to be much before 9am. It is Redtail and Turkey Vulture time,so they start alittle later. Lets hope the birds co-operate.

Watch the Weather Thurs and Fri!!

Keep your eyes on Thursday as a possible very large raptor migration day. Friday also looks great right now! With todays rain,and rain off and on tomorrow,with 25kmh NW winds predicted for Thursday we may get a huge day. Lets hope there are birds in the pipeline and that they read the weather reports. If the strong predicted winds happen birds will be many and low. Dress very warm!!!
Today was pretty much a washout. I arrived with hopes of a decent day,when it began to rain. The only birds seen today were 2 Northern Harriers. One was an adult male,the first I have seen this migration season. They look very different from females and young. Males have a grey/blue back,with alot of light colour on the underwings. The wingtips look like they are dipped in ink. Watch for more now,they do fly at a different time of season and this is it.

Oct 4...Very Slow Day 14 Raptors

Walter and I had high hopes Monday,especially after we had 2 young Bald Eagles pass by low over the lake by 736am. Undoubtedly that was the birding highlight of the day. We saw only 12 more birds the remainder of the day.
Our final total of 14 was:
Bald Eagle......................3(all juveniles,733am,736am,1238pm)
Northern Harrier.........4
Sharpshinned Hawk....5
Coopers Hawk...............1
American Kestrel.........1
Walter and I hung out until 2pm,mostly to be part of one of the park employees retirement send off. It was Bill Young's final day with the city. Over the years of the Rosetta McClain Raptor Watch,Bill was always very helpful to myself and Walter. His friendly,quiet nature made him an easy guy to get along with. Both staff and park regulars will miss him. Good luck from everyone Bill! Thanks for all your help,end of day chats and for keeping Rosetta beautiful for so many years.
Tuesday looks like it could be a better day. Winds although predicted decent today,just never seemed to materialize over Rosetta McClain Gardens. Of note...Lake Erie Metropark Raptor Watch in Brownstown,Michighan,saw over 41000 Turkey Vultures today!Thursday also looks like its shaping up to be a great day. Hopes are high,lets hope the birds are low!

102 Raptors Another Goshawk

Today started off with a great upflight of Turkey Vultures. Walter and I were surprised when 45 Turkey Vultures appeared low on the horizon. It appears they must have spent the night along the bluffs somewhere. They circled over the park very low. By 10am we had seen 66 of the 101 raptors. Mike was recording the birds again today,while myself,Les,Walter,Trudy,Cori,Gunner,Lans,Betty,Hugh,Norm and Connie did our best to spot some birds. We enjoyed good views of 2 Bald Eagles,both juvenile birds.
Todays total of 102 raptors consisted of:
48-Turkey Vultures
2-Bald Eagles(both juveniles 1058am and 229pm)
6-Northern Harrier
26-Sharpshinned Hawk
2-Coopers Hawk
1-Northern Goshawk
1-Broadwinged Hawk
9-Redtailed Hawk
2-American Kestrel
3-Peregrine Falcon
Tomorrow I suspect the birds will be high again. Northeast winds are predicted...the east part sends the birds higher. Conditions look good right through the week,the stronger the winds the better and Northwest is best.We saw many Common Loons and Gunner saw an Eastern Towhee.

125 Raptors...Year To Date....4637

Walter and I scan the sky for birds.
(courtesy Trudy Panchyson)

Birds were high most of the day,so scanning was necessary. High Sharpshinned Hawks made the morning challanging. Threat of and then rain made the sky empty. All but 5 of the birds seen were before 1pm.

The sunrise was beautiful and it was clear in the morning. Ann got this view of Niagara Falls. The cloud rising from the horizon is the mist of Niagara Falls.

It is prime time for Peregrine Falcons and today we had sightings of 7. This brings our season total to 52 and counting. Early in the morning Walter and I saw one that flew straight across Lake Ontario.
This is yesterdays Northern Goshawk,by Ann. It was very easily recognizable when it came from behind the ridge of trees along the bluffs. I immediately said "We have our first Goshawk of the season.
Ann got some nice shots of small birds today,while lighting for raptors and the height of them,for photos wasnt very good.
Here is a Northern Parula a first for Ann.

There were a large number of Golden-crowned Kinglets around too.
Ann sent this shot of The Lancaster Bomber. I heard the distinctive hum of the Lanc's 4 Merlin engines coming from behind us and immediately knew which plane it was.

Trudy sent this great shot of The Lancaster Bomber. You can see the guns on the front,middle and tail of the plane.Thanks to Trudy for her first contributions to the site. I hope the first of many!
Todays numbers were not bad at all.
Bald Eagle...................1(2nd year bird 1110am)
Northern Harrier........8
Sharpshinned Hawk..96
Coopers Hawk..............3
Broadwinged Hawk......1
Redtailed Hawk...........1
American Kestrel.........8
Peregrine Falcon.........7
Total Raptors...........125
Thanks to everyone who helped spot today,Ann,Lee,Ron,Trudy,Betty,Pat and Cori. Much thanks to Cori for the Tim's run again today. It keeps Walter and I going. Special thanks also to Lans for coffee today. After a long day yesterday,Walter and I really appreciated it(as we do always,the great treatment we get from the Rosetta staff). We do pass on comments to staff and management that "our watchers" make about the beauty and cleanliness of the park. The compliments are appreciated and accepted with pride. Without the friendship and co-operation of the staff,things wouldnt go as well as they do...or maybe not at all.