Wind (current)

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.

Murray Spots Stormin Again

Stormin perched under the water tower.

Stretched wings and fanned tail.

A few days back our buddy Murray Shields,told me at the watch,that he had seen and photographed a Peregrine Falcon on a nearby ish watertower. Murray sent along these great shots today. They are of the same Peregrine Falcon which I had observed eating on an antena near my home on September 21.
Its Stormin! He was banded on May 28th of 2009 at the Toronto Sheraton Centre Hotel,in downtown Toronto. Thanks For the great shots Murray. We do know of a female who had been spotted in this area in the past...hopefully they will meet up. We will keep our eyes peeled.

First Golden Eagle of Season..Record 74th Peregrine Falcon ..48raptors

While today was abit slow,it didnt lack highlights,both numerical and bird. We recorded our 74th Peregrine Falcon sighting of the season,this is one higher then last seasons high of 73. At 210pm,Jean spotted an Eagle over Lake Ontario. Soon with Bill,Hugh and Jean all scoping the bird,it eventually showed us the unmistakeable field marks of a juvenile Golden Eagle,our first of the season. For Hugh this was a life bird. For Bill it was the first one he has seen in Ontario.
The "local" Northern Goshawk gave all gathered quite a thrill as it blasted past us,bluffside screaming past Berle and I very closely,while being chased by several Crows. It really woke us up! A low heavy flapping Turkey Vulture fooled me as I went for my camera and mistakenly called it a Golden Eagle. Bill corrected me and I snapped a photo quickly.
Redtailed Hawk over sparkling Lake Ontario.
Todays total of 48 raptors was:
1-Turkey Vulture
6-Northern Harrier
20-Sharpshinned Hawk
1-Coopers Hawk
15-Redtailed Hawk
1-Golden Eagle(juvenile at 210pm)
1-American Kestrel
1-Peregrine Falcon
In the morning,Walter,Bruce and I saw thousands of Red-winged Blackbirds and American Robins. There were also many Cedar Waxwings. A real surprised was over 160 Common Loons in the lake. We also saw thousands and thousands of Red-breasted Mergansers. They gathered in a massive raft,before a boat disturbed them and they took to the air. It was an amazing sight!! Mergansers filled the sky over the lake. If anyone is present Saturday,please let Walter or I know what you see. Its very likely we will both take a day off. Winds tomorrow will not be condusive to much of a flight. Good luck if you try. Until Thursday we dont expect much of a flight. Bathrooms are no longer open on weekends. It is very likely that beyond next Friday they will be closed for the season.

Bald Eagle Video

Walter shot this video yesterday of a juvenile Bald Eagle. Thanks Walter,great stuff!
If it doesnt work,copy and paste the address.

Season Sharpshinned Hawk Record Set...109 raptors

Today was a good day. Winds were right all day long,despite a few short spits of rain. Things did shut down early by 2pm birds had stopped moving. Walter and I hung in until about 4pm and called it quits. Before the day was done though another record fell. We recorded our 2692nd Sharpshinned Hawk among the 53 Sharpshinned Hawks that we saw today,bringing our season total to 2715 which breaks our previous season high of 2691.

We saw 3 Merlins today,this brings the season total to an incredible 80 sightings. This one even co-operated for a photo.
We had a small group of Redtails pass over,as the colour on my monitor is messed up I though we had something different,but Walter assures me this is 3 Redtailed Hawks.

Our total today was 109 raptors consisting of:
9-Turkey Vulture
1-Bald Eagle(2:10pm a juvenile..thanks for confirmation Jean)
9-Northern Harrier(one spotted by watcher Terry age 89)
53-Sharpshinned Hawk
1-Coopers Hawk
1-Northern Goshawk
30-Redtailed Hawk(including a kettle of 6)
1-American Kestrel
1-Peregrine Falcon
Murray spotted a Peregerine Falcon in its popular perch on the watertower at Warden and Eglinton.(not the one we counted) We are now only 77 raptors away from a new season high total! I suspect we could pass that total tomorrow. Lets hope so!

We saw this Pine Siskin today. Thanks for spotting it Bill! Thanks to everyone for their contributions today..Hugh,Bill,Terry,Berle,Jean,Carol and of course Walter! Tomorrow looks like great conditions again. If you are coming PLEASE dress very warm...morning they are predicting a windchill below 0c,with a high of only 9c. Its better to be over-dressed then to be uncomfortably cold. It is no fun I have done it before! While there may be some upflight tomorrow,please be aware that flight of Redtailed Hawks and larger birds isnt starting up until 10am or later. Sharpshined Hawks were on the move early today.In recent days we have seen a few Eastern Bluebirds and yesterday Walter and I saw a Viceroy Butterfly and a late Fiery Skipper.

Slow Day only 6 Raptors

We had only a few raptors today. I was beat so packed it in by 130pm. If anyone was present and saw birds I will add them to the count. Pat spotted a Bald Eagle,which stirred things up at 1210pm.(mostly me I was sorta snoozing on a bench) It was very visible but very high too. Most amusing today was a Crow attacking a Coopers Hawk. It dove many times at the Coopers who while it took evasive action,didnt seem overly bothered by it. Keep an eye on Thursday,it has a chance if it doesnt rain here or east of us too much.
Today we saw:
1-Bald Eagle(juvenile)
1-Northern Harrier
3-Sharpshinned Hawk
1-Coopers Hawk
Tomorrow is another day,lets hope for better

Lee Ellis Sends Along Her Great Pictures Of The Peregrine Falcon Release

Lee Ellis has kindly allowed the use of these great photos she took of the Peregrine Falcon release on Saturday.
Frank Butson(CPF Volunteer and Hawk Watch Co-ordinator) and Canadian Peregrine Foundation Co-director/Co-founder Mark Nash bring the Peregrine Falcon to be released.
Canadian Peregrine Foundation Co-director Marion Nash opens the box to set the Peregrine free.
At first he doesnt want to leave. Marion tries to coax him out.
And there he goes.
Moment of freedom!
Landing briefly on the fence.
Launching off the fence for the sky.
Off he goes into the wild blue yonder,to patrol the skies again!
What a moment!
Thanks again Lee,Ive no doubt we will get many positive comments about your shots!

Now Back To Your Regularily Scheduled Raptor Watch

Today was highlighted by a late movement of 3 Bald Eagles. Walter spotted the first one as Lyn was about to leave. I hollered her back to see the first of 3 Bald Eagles fly by. Walter and I hung in and as we packed up to go I spotted the 2nd Bald Eagle of the day. It was at 508pm. Wondering what else might come,packing up to go again at 530pm,Walter looked up and said "Im not kidding you!" Bald Eagle number 3. Earlier in the day we had seen a few Northern Harriers and a few passing Redtailed Hawks. Ann got these excellent shots of a passing RedtailedHawk.
Our final total of 25 Raptors was:
2-Turkey Vultures
3-Bald Eagles(315pm,508pm & 530pm)
7-Northern Harriers
6-Sharpshinned Hawks
1-Coopers Hawk
5-Redtailed Hawks
1-Peregrine Falcon
We saw thousands of migrating Robins today,particularily in the morning. Down on the lake we saw several Red-breasted Mergansers too.
Keep your eye on Thursday,the winds look most favorable that day.

Todays Excitement...Redtail Eats Mouse & Merlin vs Sharpshinned Hawk Smackdown

The local,juvenile Redtailed Hawk landed first in a tree along the bluffs,then flew past Walter and I,to perch in a small Cedar tree. I got a few shots of it there,when I heard the Rosetta McClain Gardens staff fussing over a mouse they had disturbed while turning a part of the gardens. The Redtail lept into flight and I hollered to the workers"The Redtail is coming for it!" With that the young Redtail swooped down only a few feet from amazed staff and snatched the mouse from the ground. He flew into a Spruce tree and ate his meal,before flying off.
Post Meal Pose

Here is a video of the Redtailed Hawk.

Lets Get Ready To Rummmmmble
Merlin vs Sharpshinned Hawk

First a Sharpshinned Hawk came into view,then we all got to see at least a 5minute "dogfight" between a Sharpshinned Hawk and a Merlin. The Merlin was definetly the aggressor,turning and diving repeatedly at the Sharpshin,attacking it from above and behind it most of the time. When the Sharpshinned Hawk became annoyed or saw an opportunity it would turn things around on the Merlin and make an attack of its own. What a great show all gathered witnessed. Thanks to Ann Brokelman,fresh off a birdwatching trek and back home at Rosetta,for these great photos.
The pointed winged bird is the Merlin(top bird) and the Sharpie's wings are rounded.

Here the Sharpshinned Hawk is above the Merlin
And Now The Battle
The Sharpshinned Hawk flips to grab at the Merlin.

123 Raptors... First Roughlegged Hawk of Season

A large group gathered today in hopes of some great sightings.(thanks to Pat Anderson for this group photo). We had a decent day,but Turkey Vultures and Redtailed Hawks didnt move in any sizeable numbers. We did get several great views of the local Redtailed Hawk. Some saw a very light tundrius Peregrine Falcon,while,others caught a quick view of a Northern Goshawk as it sped through our field of view very closely. Mike 2 gets points for the first of season(and life bird for himself) of a light-morph juvenile Roughlegged Hawk. Can a Golden Eagle be far behind?
Todays count was 123 raptors and consisted of:
50-Turkey Vulture
8-Northern Harrier
48-Sharpshinned Hawk(39 off a new season record total)
3-Coopers Hawk
2-Northern Goshawk
2-Redshouldered Hawk
1-Roughlegged Hawk
7-Redtailed Hawk
1-Peregrine Falcon
Thanks to everyone for coming out today. I didnt get all the names but thanks to Mike2,Walter,Beryl,Carol,Pat,Nancy,Hugh,Jean and Ron,Peter and Bruce for their contributions today.

Bill Baker sent along this shot from yesterdays Peregrine Falcon release of the moment of freedom. Thanks Bill,nice capture.