Wind (current)


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!