November 12th - Record Broken!!!

After standing at the Watch site for the last 3 months, day after day, bird after bird, and coffee after coffee, when it came time for the record breaking bird to fly passed and be counted...I missed it!!! My thanks to those who were at the park earlier in the day scanning the sky 'til #6546 flew by. Great job! My reward came a little while later!

Turkey Vulture - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1
Red-tailed Hawk - 5
Golden Eagle - 2 (juvenile 12:41 x2)
Peregrine Falcon - 1
Total - 10

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 1864
Osprey - 125
Bald Eagle - 67
Northern Harrier - 207
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1761
Cooper's Hawk - 89
Northern Goshawk - 19
Red-shouldered Hawk - 29
Broad-winged Hawk - 757
Red-tailed Hawk - 822
Rough-legged Hawk - 8
Golden Eagle - 4
American Kestrel - 624
Merlin - 130
Peregrine Falcon - 46
Total - 6552

The record breaking Red-tails

Red-tailed Hawk

At 12:41PM Mike 3 spotted a very distant bird in the gap circling. I quickly got the bins on it and thought that it might be one of the local Red-tails hunting in the park just to the east of RMG. Something about it just didn't look right though. I said "I think it might be an Eagle!" It sloooowly made it's way towards us but was also drifting out over the lake at the same time. The worst thing was that I couldn't tell the others where it was because we had nothing but blue sky, no reference points. All I could say is look in the area where I'm looking by standing beside me. That worked as everyone started to spot it. At that point I said "I think it's a Golden Eagle!" The bird then turned and started it's long journey towards us. As it got closer everyone could easily see the white patches on the wings. Amazingly it was right above us by the time it got back over land. What an absolute thrill for all those gathered and for some a 'Life' bird. This was for me the best and longest view that I've ever had of a Golden Eagle in my four years of hawk watching at Rosetta. Seconds later as we were all enjoying what we had just witnessed, I spotted another large dark bird flying over the centre of the park heading towards the west. A second Golden! Here are a couple of excellent shots of the first Eagle.

Golden Eagle

The non-raptor of the day was Great Black-backed Gull, we had 3 of them fly by. The third, a first year bird, gave us a nice up close fly by. For those who have never seen one, their wingspan is 65 inches. That's 2 inches wider than an Osprey! Also seen today was a very late Green Darner dragonfly.

Guess who?

On hand were: Phil, Josh, Ann, Carol, Mike 2, Mike 3, Pat, Nancy, Allison, Tony, and today we welcomed Joe who was visiting from Calgary. Another Calgarian and a former RMG hawk watcher and photograper Rob McKay suggested to Joe to come visit us while in Toronto. Thankyou!



BIGFRANK said...

Awesme,terrific,congratulations to everyone!!! Thanks to Walter for carrying on the watch in my absence this year!!! Thanks to everyone who has helped and visited and enjoyed the bird and the people gathered. Same time next year??!! I should be back...I think!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Frank! It's been a terrific year. Without the help of all involved including yourself, the numbers would have easily been much much lower. Walter

Lee said...

What a great day for everyone there! Not only a record breaking day but such great views of a Golden Eagle! Fantastic!

Anonymous said...

Excellent sighting and photos of the golden. nicely done.


Terry said...

Congrats on breaking the record Walter. Well done! I saw 5 red tails on the way down why 12 today and 1 Harrier. The're coming. Cheers Terry

Terry said...

I meant HWY 12!