Wind (current)

Special Post - The Final Numbers

Rosetta McClain Gardens Raptor Watch 2011
16 new records and 1 tied record - the result of everyone's involvement. Thank you all once again. Enjoy!

Turkey Vulture:
1866 - Best Year ever!
1726 (October) - Best Month ever!
774 (October 1st) - Best Day ever!

125 - 2nd best Year ever!

Bald Eagle:
67 - 2nd best Year ever!

Northern Harrier:
212 - 4th best Year ever!

Sharp-shinned Hawk:
1781 - 5th best Year ever!

Cooper's Hawk:
96 - 2nd best Year ever!
14 (October 1st) - Best Day ever!

Northern Goshawk:
20 - 3rd best Year ever!

Red-shouldered Hawk:
29 - Tied best Year ever!

Broad-winged Hawk:
757 - Best Year ever!
731 (September) - Best Month ever!
605 (September 16th) - Best Day ever!

Red-tailed Hawk:
858 - Best Year ever!
327 (November 4th) - Best Day ever!

Rough-legged Hawk:
9 - Tied 3rd best Year ever!

Golden Eagle:
5 - Tied 3rd best Year ever!

American Kestrel:
624 - 3rd best Year ever!
233 (October 1st) - Best Day ever!

130 - Best Year ever!
72 (October) - Best Month ever!
17 (October 17th) - Best Day ever!

Peregrine Falcon:
47 - 5th best Year ever!

All Birds:
6626 - Best Year ever!
3506 (October) - Best Month ever!
1305 (October 1st) - Best Day ever!

I found these closing comments on in the November 30th report from Bob Pettit of the Holiday Beach Hawk Watch:
"Reports are that Red-tails are hanging out north of Toronto and
elsewhere just 'waiting'."
and "I estimate 2,000-3,000 more Red-tails and 30 Golden Eagles (need the adults) could pass in December."
You might want to consider heading back down to the park if you have some time over the next couple of weeks on good northwest wind days...they might still be coming!

As this will be my last post I'd just like to say thanks again Frank for allowing me to conduct this year's Watch and also to run your blog site, it's been an absolute thrill for me from start to finish. I now hand the blog back over to you.

See you all again soon,

Special Post – They Came!

The Rosetta McClain Gardens Raptor Watch has now finished for another year. What a tremendous time it has been with lots of new people met and lots of new records set!

I would like to thank everyone for all of their efforts in making this the most successful RMG Raptor Watch ever. We had many days where spotting and identifying birds were really quite difficult but we did an excellent job all working together. The countless new people that we welcomed was impressive and most of them were quick to join in and start searching for birds right away. The endless camaraderie between old friends and new was extremely entertaining. Thanks to all those who were kind enough to bring food and drink to the Watch to share with others, it was very much appreciated by all. To those who brought cameras, scopes, and other viewing aids as well as those with exceptional eyesight, I can’t thank you enough as so many birds would have gone unseen or unidentified without your help. I'd also like to say a huge thank you to the park workers for their kind assistance and consideration which allows us to conduct the hawk watch at Rosetta McClain Gardens each year.

This year’s Watch was a little different in ways to the 3 previous years that I’ve attended. For example, it’s was much warmer temperature-wise throughout the fall and the lack of north winds was unusual. On numerous days the wind seemed to be from the south or southwest. To my surprise, it didn’t stop the birds from putting on some of the best aerial acrobatics we’ve ever witnessed. The local Red-tailed Hawks kept their presence known with several fly-bys almost daily. The close fly-bys along the bluffs of some of the other species like Broad-winged and Red-shouldered Hawks was spectacular. For me the best thing that I observed this year was the kettling of so many raptors. From Turkey Vultures and Red-tailed Hawks over the park to the large columns of distant Broad-winged Hawks to the north, the views were impressive to say the least! My best moment came on October 1st when for about five minutes straight I did nothing but write down birds that everyone else were calling out. Definitely our busiest time, I barely had time to turn and look up at the passing birds. When it finally slowed down again I turned only to see a whole new set of faces looking back at me…..I think we had roughly 30 hawk watchers on hand that day.

I take away so many fantastic memories of our time together enjoying these majestic creatures. Again, thank you everyone for such a wonderful time this fall season!


November 30th - Our Final Day!

I must apologize for not being able to attend our final day at the Watch. I'll bet the mid-day snow storm probably made viewing a little difficult. After the snow our last bird of the season was observed flying over the park, it was a Sharpie everybody!

Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1
Total - 1

Final Count:
Turkey Vulture - 1866
Osprey - 125
Bald Eagle - 67
Northern Harrier - 212
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1781
Cooper's Hawk - 96
Northern Goshawk - 20
Red-shouldered Hawk - 29
Broad-winged Hawk - 757
Red-tailed Hawk - 858
Rough-legged Hawk - 9
Golden Eagle - 5
American Kestrel - 624
Merlin - 130
Peregrine Falcon - 47
Total - 6626

At the park today were: BIGFRANK, Pat, Nancy, Terry 2, Gunnar, and Cori.


November 28th - Another 5 More!

With only a couple of days left for the Watch it was great for everyone at the park to see a few more birds fly over.

Cooper's Hawk - 1
Red-tailed Hawk - 3
Rough-legged Hawk - 1
Total - 5

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 1866
Osprey - 125
Bald Eagle - 67
Northern Harrier - 212
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1780
Cooper's Hawk - 96
Northern Goshawk - 20
Red-shouldered Hawk - 29
Broad-winged Hawk - 757
Red-tailed Hawk - 858
Rough-legged Hawk - 9
Golden Eagle - 5
American Kestrel - 624
Merlin - 130
Peregrine Falcon - 47
Total - 6625

Rough-Legged Hawk

Cooper's Hawk

The best non-raptor of the day was a Great Blue Heron. On the lake were hundreds upon hundreds of Long-tailed Ducks and Red-breasted Mergansers.

Hawk watchers today included: BIGFRANK, Pat, Nancy, Berle, Theresa, Peter, Terry 2, and Phil.