September 11th - Our First Goshawk!

Again today we had to do some deep sky searching to find many of the Sharpies but when an unexpected Northern Goshawk came flying along the edge of the bluffs our troubles were forgotten. What a surprise, the second earliest 'Gos' since the Watch was started back in 2004! Unfortunately things came to an end early in the afternoon when the winds shifted more to the south.

Osprey - 1
Northern Harrier - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 34
Northern Goshawk - 1
Red-tailed Hawk - 1
American Kestrel - 6
Merlin - 4
Total - 48

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 14
Osprey - 44
Bald Eagle - 20
Northern Harrier - 33
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 460
Cooper's Hawk - 10
Northern Goshawk - 1
Broad-winged Hawk - 19
Red-tailed Hawk - 5
American Kestrel - 98
Merlin - 25
Peregrine Falcon - 1
Total - 730

Both Ann and Effi got amazing shots of the Goshawk today.

Northern Goshawk


Also early this morning, an empty boat was found floating near Ashbridge's Bay and a woman was reported missing so a large scale search was already underway when I arrived at the park. A C-130 Hercules plane from Trenton Air Base was part of the search effort. At one point it made a very low pass over the Gardens.

C-130 Hercules

Other birds seen today included: a Black-throated Green Warbler, a Common Tern, and a Pileated Woodpecker. Pat Anderson sent along some photos and this great story about his attempt at photographing the majestic Pileated.

"...this bird really rocked me today as I followed him from tree to tree through the whole park, darting here and there, playing hide and seek behind limbs while eyeing me constantly. The bone-chilling calls he made only a few feet away, the quiet rustling of his wings as he passed only a couple of feet from me so close that I could not focus for a shot. I actually shivered when he whizzed past and landed on a tree trunk 6 feet away then made eye contact with me in a way I will never forget...too stunning to believe." Pat

Today's group consisted of: Lorne, Ann, Pat & Nancy, Norm & Jack and their wives (sorry I forgot their names...way too much coffee today!), Leslie & Mike, Gary & Diane, Lee, Carol, Peter, Kate & Denny, Cori, and today we welcomed Effi to the Watch. Thankyou everyone for another tough day of spotting the birds. Thank goodness we had some decent cloud cover to help us.

Here's a great shot of some who were at the Watch today.

Weather-wise, we may see some rain over the course of the next 2 days but Wednesday is looking very promising at the moment. I'll be at the park tomorrow as the rain is not supposed to arrive until 5 O'Clock. Southwest winds are predicted for tomorrow afternoon so we may see a few Osprey or Peregrines fly by.


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