Wind (current)

All Raptored Up For Another Season...The Records Fell Final Total 7267

What a year gang!!! First and foremost, I must thank Walter, not only for his summary of all of this seasons numbers, but his constant support and great work helping to run the watch. I couldnt do it so well without you Walter, fantastic job!!
   The raptor watch gang observed so many amazing things this season, it is all a blur. August started off slow, but in the end we had our 2nd best August ever. The 28th saw our highest one day count in August ever, at 120! The following day we saw 8 Bald Eagles. Bring on September.
  September saw some fantastic views of Broadwinged Hawks. While Rosetta McClain Gardens Raptor Watch doesnt see huge numbers of Broadwings, we get many amazingly close views, to make up for our lack of volume.  September saw a fantastic total of 51 Peregrine Falcons, our best ever total of Peregrines and an indication that a new record for Peregrine Falcons in a season would come. By seasons end we saw an incredible 102 Peregrines!!
  October brought Turkey Vultures...boy did it ever!! We saw an incredible 1750 Turkey Vultures on October 12th, a new one day record, part of a one day record of 2066 raptors that day!  Everyone left that day jaw dropped. October saw us rack up Golden Eagle sightings and set us up for our best season ever. Record numbers of Red-shouldered Hawks thrilled everyone too as we crushed our season record.
  November saw Golden Eagle numbers surpass any other season and finish with 20. Hurricane Sandy held things up, towards the end of October, causing a logjam of raptors, that burst in early November. By November 5th we had 4 days with over 100 raptors in November, pushing us well beyond the November record for raptors seen in the month, not to mention surpassing 7000 raptors seen in one season for the first time ever!! Our Redtail numbers were a mere 1 away from 1000 for the season when migration all but stopped, before we finally saw #1000 very late in the month.
  What a fall it was!
 Here are the final totals...

Turkey Vulture - 2223 (best year)
Osprey - 115 (3rd best year)
Bald Eagle - 65 (3rd best year)
Northern Harrier - 266 (4th best year)
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2208 (4th best year)
Cooper's Hawk - 110 (2nd best year)
Northern Goshawk - 23 (2nd best year)
Red-shouldered Hawk - 76 (best year)
Broad-winged Hawk - 347 (2nd best year)
Red-tailed Hawk - 1002 (best year)
Rough-legged Hawk - 5 (7th best year)
Golden Eagle - 20 (best year)
American Kestrel - 604 (4th best year)
Merlin - 101 (2nd best year)
Peregrine Falcon - 102 (best year)

Total - 7267 (best year)

Here are the new records (14 new, 1 tied)...

Turkey Vulture - Day record of 1750 birds on October 12th, Month record of 2051 birds in October, Year record of 2223 birds.
Red-shouldered Hawk - Day record of 19 on October 26th, Month record of 41 birds in October, Year record of 76 birds.
Red-tailed Hawk - Month record of 601 birds in November, Year record of 1002 birds.
Golden Eagle - Month record of 15 birds in November, Year record of 20 birds.
Merlin - (tied) Day record of 17 birds on October 21st.
Peregrine Falcon - Month record of 51 birds in September, Year record of 102 birds.
All Species - Day record of 2066 birds on October 12th, Year record of 7267 birds.

Walter and I thank everyone who came out to enjoy the spectacle that is fall raptor migration. We thank the staff at Rosetta McClain Gardens for their continued support, many kindnesses and friendships. Thanks to everyone who helped spot and count. Thanks to all of our watchers who are also incredible photographers for their contributions of photos to the blog. They make the mere numbers pop with excitement and come alive. Your contributions have helped the watch grow immensely. Thanks especially to our chore group of watchers and contributors for your support and friendships, Walter and I couldnt do this without all of you. We welcomed many new folks this season and we're glad to have you.  Well done to our regulars for making the new folks feel so comfortable and welcome, and for sharing all you have learned. One thing that Walter and I get so many comments about is how friendly our watchers are and how much new people enjoy becoming part of the fun.  Thanks to the various members of the press, who did stories about our watch. Increasing public awareness about the incredible birds we see can only be positive and add to our list of friends.
  Non-raptor sightings were very exciting this year too of course. This fall we added several new species to our Rosetta McClain Gardens bird list, now sitting at 197 species. Very impressive! "Northern finches" added some thrills as White-winged Crossbills, Evening Grosbeaks and Bohemian Waxwings were seen.
  We hope to see everyone over the winter and beyond. Next season is our 10th Anniversary, so I hope to have a few special events...even better than Pizza Days!  Id like those among us who have some ability to create a logo, suitable to use on the blog and maybe even a few t-shirts. Thanks again everyone!  See you at our seasons end luncheon on Dec 8th. Whoever doesnt make that I hope to see you this winter in quests for owls and other interesting winter birds. I will post from time to time over the winter.  So dont forget to check back now and then!

Redtail #1000 On A Cold Blustery Day

Finally we reached Redtail number 1000. While we thought more birds would fly today, no hawk watching sites counted very much, so we can be assured we werent missing much at least. After many days without even a single countable Redtailed Hawk, after several teasers today when local Redtails went by and came back, we were relieved to finally see one pass that wasnt familiar to us, not to be seen again.

  We had a great look at a large juvenile female Goshawk today too, giving us 23 sightings of Goshawks this season, one off our highest total ever. A few more Redtails eventually flew by giving us 1002 for the fall and almost sneaking by at 10:49am was a juvenile Bald Eagle, number 65.
   Our total was:
Bald Eagle - 1 (Juv. 10:49 am)
Northern Goshawk - 1
Redtailed Hawk - 3
Total - 5

Present today besides Walter and I were, Mike 4, Paul, Gunnar, Ron, Mike 2, Harry, Cori, and Mark. Thanks to Cori for making a run to Tim Hortons for hot chocolate and Chili to warm up Walter and I. It was much appreciated and needed!!
 At this stage, unless we get good winds from the north of some sort, its unlikely anyone will be counting. The 30th seems it may be the final wrap up, we will likely show up to make it official, no matter the weather. 

Saturday And The Party

Hi gang, a quick reminder that our end of season party is coming soon Dec 8th. We have some responses but are hoping for more! It is very informal and alot of fun!

  This Saturday looks like what may be our last chance this fall for a good raptor movement. Strong NW winds should bring some migrants of all sizes. It will be very cold so if you join us, dress very warm. I wouldnt rush to the park if U are cold averse, 11am is probably as early as you need to be there. I will be present much earlier, hoping to see small migrants before the raptors get moving. Walter and I hope to see the hardiest of raptor watchers out to join us! (and anyone with hot chocolate or Tims Chilli!!) If winds change so will the plans, so keep your eyes on the weather.

Dont Forget The Season Ending Party!!

With raptor watching season winding down, if we are very lucky there may be one more day to see raptors. Its looking increasingly unlikely, but we remain hopeful. Its time we all turned to winter finches, over wintering ducks and owls. I do hope that we will all see each other over the winter months from time to time.
  Its time to try to let Lee, Walter or myself know if you are planning to join us for our year end brunch/party/ get together at The Arkadia House on Saturday, December 8th, at 11:30 a.m.
We will be having our third annual end of year brunch on the above date. Last year we had 12 people but I think we will be closer to 20 this year. Tucker’s Marketplace, last year’s venue, has since closed down but we have a new restaurant called The Arkadia House. It is a Greek restaurant with a lot of space, amazing food and reasonable prices. Here is the lunch menu:
There is quite a lot of parking available. The restaurant is located at 2007 Eglinton Avenue East. It’s just west of Birchmount on the south side.
  If you check the October 27th post there are a few photos of a meal Lee and her Mom enjoyed at The Arkadia House and some other information Lee provided.  The location is pretty central to the area so anyone who can get to the watch can probably get to the brunch. I know last year everyone had a great time as with the year before that. I look forward to this years gathering.
   Leave us a note here, email me through , contact Walter or Lee via their personal addresses or let us know face to face(well maybe not that close). Im sure it will be a good time. Who knows if there is anything interesting around maybe we will check that out as a larger group. And for those that joined us by transit and dont drive or those that just want to leave the long drives to someone else, dont forget the birding tours our buddy Murray Shields runs at  Authentic Canadian Tours. For a reasonable price, you can get to places you otherwise may not have the chance. Murray and a sold out group are at Amherst Island today! 
I know most of you are done raptor watching for the season, a wrap up of the season is a few weeks away, but I wanted to thank everyone who came out and enjoyed the company of fellow birding enthusiasts and some incredible raptors! Keep your eyes on the skies! 

Squeezing Out The Last Few

Today we had a decent west wind and several of us including Ron, Peter, Terry 2, Walter and I were hoping for the elusive Redtail #1000. No luck!! We did see
1-Northern Harrier(a beautiful male)
5-Sharpshinned Hawks
2-Coopers Hawks
1-American Kestrel
9-Total Raptors

Sunday and Monday may have a chance for a few birds, but unless there is a drastic change in the forecast, there will be little to nothing before then.
  We did see some good small birds fly past, including White-winged Crossbills, a few Eastern Bluebirds, a few flocks of Common Redpolls, Purple Finch and hundreds(at least) of American Goldfinch. We saw one Red-headed Woodpecker.
  Of special note 2 swallows were seen of unknown species. Were they Cave Swallows who knows.  Keep your eyes open if U are at the park, there will be stuff to see.

Non-update and Gyrfalcon

There has been virtually nothing counted in the last few days. One lonely Sharpshinned Hawk was tallied as a migrant by Walter and a cast of a few the other day and 2 local Redtails kept getting them all excited about Redtail 1000.
  Weather has changed alot and there isnt a really good day in sight. Tuesdays strong west wind may bring a couple of birds our way? Keep your eyes open for a north wind that is 15km or more.
  Recently a Gyrfalcon has been seen near Golden Mile Plaza at Victoria Park and Eglinton (or Pharmacy and Eglinton), which is reasonably close to Rosetta McClain Gardens. Several of our raptor watch gang went to check it out. It is a very beautiful bird and awesome to watch hunting the pigeons, but within about 10 minutes of its arrival, Ann had photos which showed the bird had a breeders band on it. That means its an escaped bird that officially cant be counted for life lists. I will still follow what happens with this bird and go and view it again, as some may do, but I know alot of people wont bother now. Its too bad it wasnt a wild bird. Here are my photos of this beautiful bird, which has been in the area for a month or so and surviving on its own nicely.
  The first photo shows the breeders band.(birds right foot, tells us it belongs to a falconer)

And the rest.

Good luck to everyone who is out and about birding now. Continue to let me know of your interesting finds that you want shared and any photos. Myself Im hoping for more "winter finches", ducks and of course Owls, which I wont necessarily be posting locations of on the open boards.

14 Redtails 1 Short of 1000. YTD....7253..Bohemian Waxwings Seen

Today was slow, but we did add to our already record season total, and fell just one Redtailed Hawk short of our 1000th for the season. We hung in as long as we could waiting for one. Twice the local juvenile Redtail made appearances giving us false hope near the end of the day, only to turn back before going the length of the park.(also ID'd from photos as local). It just means Walter and I have an excuse to go back tomorrow!! 
   We did get out 20th Golden Eagle of the season!! I managed a useable proof shot.

 Paul Reeves got some amazing photos today of the local Redtail. A beautiful flight shot, and a series of 5 shots taken in not much more than a second or two, of the Redtail and 2 American Crows having a run at one another. Note in one shot the Redtail is upside down trying to grab the harassing crow. Thanks to Paul for this interesting series of shots!

Click the image above for a larger version.
Through Walter: Here's the facts and figures...

Turkey Vulture- 1
Northern Harrier- 1(beautiful adult male)
Sharpshinned Hawk - 1
Redtailed Hawk- 14
Golden Eagle- 1 (Juv. 11:45)
Peregrine Falcon- 1
Total Raptors- 19

Other species seen today were: Common Raven, Belted Kingfisher, Pileated Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Cedar Waxwing  and new bird species for the park - #197 Bohemian Waxwing.
     The first visit by the Bohemian Waxwings(Frank) I was with Paul and Tom, they landed only briefly. I excitedly called Walter who was on his way to the park. Later in the day they landed and ate, allowing time for Paul to get some great shots of Bohemian and Cedar Waxwing. Note the Bohemian Waxwings red bum/vent are and grayer overall colour as compared to the white bum/vent of the Cedar Waxwing and yellow on the chest.

Bohemian Waxwing above 
Cedar Waxwing above
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker above. You can see the row of newly pecked holes, that pattern is how to tell a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker has been at the tree. 
Pileated Woodpecker. (female the black moustache(males is red) and incomplete cap (males is further forward on the head))

Harry,Tom,  Zoey, Peter, Mike 4, Phil, Ron, Paul, Terry 2, Hugh,Vince, Randy, Carol, and Cori were all in attendance over parts of the day. Thanks for the spotting help on a challanging day. The chatter was alot of fun and I think some learned a few things too.
     Tomorrow doesnt look great but I will likely venture down for a few hours in hopes of seeing at least one Redtailed Hawk. With the great smaller birds we have been seeing, that alone will be worth the trip. The next day with a good forecast for raptor migration looks like it is next Wednesday the 14th. It will certainly be worth checking out , if the NW winds hold out, especially after a good day or rain.

We Hoped For Better...5 Raptors...YTD..7234

Walter and I both read the same weather report, unfortunately the birds didnt. There wasnt much flying. The best bird of the morning was a Common Raven. We hope for a better day tomorrow.
Here's today's count...
Cooper's Hawk - 2
Red-tailed Hawk - 3
 Total - 5
Present today aside from myself briefly and Walter were Cori, Terry 2 and Bill.
Thanks to Terry's son Ryan for the paintings of the eagles for Walter and I,  in celebration of  raptor number 7000.
Walter and Frank

Winds for Thursday now look very light. It will probably mean little movement past Rosetta. All else equal I will be down from about 1030am to see whats flying. I will sometimes be sitting more near "The Rock" for comfort, at least until or if it gets busy, for those who try to spy us from the parkinglot, dont assume we arent there. Gotta try to pull the last of the migrants out of the sky, to get our 1000 Redtailed Hawks!  After today there looks to be very little good weather to see raptors at Rosetta McClain for several days. I will not be present those days at all. I will be back when there is a north element in the wind, and hope to see one last movement of Redtails. 
  Colin has observed for many seasons in his travels to and from Hawk Cliff that once there are alot of Redtails along the highways on poles and signs and roadside trees, that the fall migration is pretty much over. He has told me he has seen this and hopes for one more good day. Ive learned not to doubt Colin, so things are definetly winding down. Good wind days the Roughlegs and Golden Eagles as well as others may still move but aside from one final push of Redtailed Hawks, counts from here on will probably be very low and slow. Its time for us all to enjoy alot of the oddities that are around. Get together with your favorite Rosetta Raptor Watchers and check Ont Birds for where the good stuff is! Winter is time to see owls and ducks and this year lots of different "winter finches". I know alot of you wont be out much anymore, so I hope to see you at our end of year party in December. If you have already decided to go please let us know through the raptor watch email, my personal email or Walter's or Lee's.

Winds For Wednesday Look Good Now

Now for Wednesday, winds look pretty good, with a NE wind of 20kmh predicted. The birds will likely be high. Im hedging right now and may be down around noon, as I may have something on in the morning. I suspect Walter will be present from 10am onward or so? Will see you there.

Another Record Falls...162 Raptors...YTD...7229

     Both Walter and I thought today would be considerably slower than it turned out. Fortunately we were both wrong. Joined by Ron, Jean(thanks so much for the scoping), Terry 2, Berle and Bonnie we began seeing streaming Redtailed Hawks almost upon my arrival at around 1030am. Until that point Walter had seen one lonely Redtail, seeming to confirm what he and I had thought about fewer birds. Ooops well were we wrong! While most birds were high to in the ozone, a great number of them at least co-operated by flying directly over the park. This made for some neck wrenching, so if there is a hawk watching masseur anyone knows....  Mixed in with Redtails that started to kettle would be a Redshouldered Hawk or Sharpshinned Hawk.  We powered through Redtail number 859 to set the site record count for a season, then set our sites on 900. Ron and Jean hung in to help us spot those birds, which was greatly appreciated, given the challanging sky and high birds we were looking at.   We blew through Redtail #900 in short order, and began our assualt on 1000 Redtails for a season, which we hope to achieve later this week. Thursday and Friday both look great still for large movements of rapots. We are 18 Redtails short of 1000, sitting at 982( part time counting in 2004 thats almost my entire seasons count in just one specie). Thanks to Phil and Pete they saw a few late birds including an adult Bald Eagle! I got a few shots showing one of the kettles of Redtails, which co-operatively formed above us.

     Just as Ron and Jean left for a previous engagement, 3 Golden Eagles had gone over the park, at least 2 of which were passing before they had pulled away. We saw 3 juvenile Golden Eagles within 5minutes of one another. Thats why we freeze in the cold! (much thanks to Terry2 for coffee today) Oh my just realized I didnt thank Meredith..through Les for her homemade Ginger Cookies yesterday..thanks Meredith, they were very tastey, everyone enjoyed them.
    Each sighting of a Redshouldered Hawk adds to our already very high count. We are approaching 100 Red-shouldered Hawk sightings, at 76, a total nearly 3 times our best previous season. Thanks to spotting scopes, more spotters and ever improving ID skills of those taking part, this has been made possible.
Todays unexpected total was 155 raptors
10-Turkey Vultures
1-Bald Eagle(adult 3:45pm)
2-Northern Harriers
4-Sharpshinned Hawks
3-Coopers Hawks
9-Redshouldered Hawks
127-Redtailed Hawks
4-Golden Eagles (Adult..12:15pm, juvenile 12:25pm, 2 juveniles 12:35pm)
1-Peregrine Falcon
162-Total Raptors
  The next 2 days dont look very promising for raptor movement. Thursday and Friday look like excellent opportunities for big days like we have experienced in the last few. There is often a final push of Redtailed Hawks in Novemeber. Last year that was Nov 4th. I believe there is at least 1 if not 2 great days of Redtailed Hawks left to come, if not a few more then that. Hurricane Sandy held back alot of birds for a week, which explains the huge volume of birds we have seen this November. I think most of the birds we have seen are birds that would have moved in the end of October.  Speaking of which we slammed through our November record of 532 raptors, and currently our count for November is 723.   Dare we dream of 1000 birds in November??  We sit just 94 raptors away from the milestone of 45000 raptors counted since the inception of the count in 2004. I do think that is realistic. So gang there are plenty of  milestones yet to reach and reasons to come down to the park. I would again advise not arriving before 10:30-11am, you wont miss alot before then. Also watch for north element winds. The larger birds that are migrating wont be seen at Rosetta without those north element winds. If your tollerance for cold is low, come around 1130am and stay a few hours. We hope to see you there.   BATHROOMS ARE NOW CLOSED FOR THE SEASON

YTD 7000 Plus!!! 152 Raptors...YTD...7067

We made it over 7000 raptors!! What a milestone! Id never have believed that back in 2004 when I started counting part time that we could ever see 7000 raptors in a season. We arent done yet! The sky was very tough today, especially when combined with high birds. Winds didnt seem as strong as forecast so things were slow during several periods. Flurries of streaming Redtails were a feature of today. As yet no photos...and I havent had time to process mine. Below find Walters report:
Here's today's birds...

Bald Eagle - 2 (juv. 11:30) (juv. 1:30)
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 3
Cooper's Hawk - 2
Northern Goshawk - 3
Red-shouldered Hawk - 8
Red-tailed Hawk - 133
American Kestrel - 1
Total - 152
Only 4 more Red-tails are needed to break our 'Year' record of 858.

Also seen today Common Ravens - 3
Snow Buntings
White-winged Crossbills(landed briefly)
This is my photo of a female White-winged Crossbill that landed briefly in the park today. The male was not in as obvious a spot and flew before I could get a photo of him.
A big thankyou to all for your help in spotting the birds up against the gray sky today. Thanks for the sustanance and hot chocolates. The last few days its been great to meet new folks and welcome old friends.
Eso, Ann, Mark, Mike 4, Mike 2, Effi, Bruce Falls, Murray, Gunnar, Lee, Carol, Patty, Brad & Pam, Bill 2, Denny & Kate, Pat & Nancy, Ron, Mike & Leslie, Bruce 4, Theresa, Margaret, Bonnie, Berle, Nellie & Ceana, Cori, Donna, Hugh, Phil, plus several others whos names have escaped apologies.
     Tomorrow, winds continue from the north, but may be abit light for a large movement of raptors. Right now Thursday and Friday look excellent for big days. This time of year keep in mind that "big" is relative. The only "impact" bird to day counts will be Redtailed Hawks. A smattering of Roughlegs, Redshoulders, Goshawks and eagles of either species will keep things extra exciting. Its very cold now on the best days. From personal experience..dress very very warm, being cold and trying to raptor watch is no fun!  As of Tuesday, bathrooms are closed for the season. They are closed SUNDAY.

Almost There!!...252 Raptors...YTD...6915...New Seaon Golden Eagle Record

(Thanks to Mike Poissant for the Redtail photo)
Today as expected there was another excellent count. While most birds were much higher up than expected, all gathered had a great day. 5 Golden Eagles brought another record for the season. The old best year we had 12 and that is now 15 and counting. 2 juvenile Golden Eagles went by almost together with a 3rd very nearby. The 2 circled with a Redtailed Hawk allowing a great size comparison.
    On the heals of that sighting, we saw 2 young Bald Eagles circle together. A 7 eagle day WOW!
     A few Red-shouldered Hawks came low and close, always beautiful to see. Northern Goshawks made a good showing again with 4 more Goshawks being seen. The one that appears to be local again made several close passes of those gathered. At one point there was a chase involving American Crows and the young Goshawk at close range. This was a real thrill to watch.
Thanks to Paul Reeves for this shot. 
Thanks to Mike Poissant for this one.
     A couple of Roughlegged Hawks were seen. I managed a photo, such as it is.
     The bird of the day was of course the Redtailed Hawk. Redtails were all over the sky, from right above us, to over the lake to far more inland. Everyone enjoyed many great views of the Redtails. Seeing many of the colour variations of the Redtails has been very interesting.

Thanks to Ann Brokelman for the above photos and to Paul Reeves for the photos below. 

We certainly enjoyed many different views. Much thanks to our friends for capturing the many looks of the Redtailed Hawks.

Todays Sightings Included
4-Turkey Vultures
2-Bald Eagles(3:15pm)
2-Northern Harriers
12-Sharpshinned Hawks
3-Coopers Hawks
4-Northern Goshawks
12-Redshouldered Hawks
205-Redtailed Hawks
2-Roughlegged Hawks
5-Golden Eagles(11:33am, 2:27pm, 3@2:45pm)
1-American Kestrel
252-Total Raptors

What an incredible day. Thanks to everyone who helped spot, brought Timbits, coffees and hot chocolate. Thanks to my Canadian Peregrine Foundation friends Zoey, Paul, Harry and Toivo for coming out, it was good to see all of you. Walter,Cori and I particularily enjoyed meeting the Coca Family, Elise(also a budding photographer), Elliot(a birding good luck charm) and parents Karen and Maurilio. We are very glad you joined us for the day and look  forward to seeing you all again. It was great to  see such enthusiasm and appreciation from such young nature fans.   Much thanks to Paul,Ann, and  Mike 4 for their photographic contributions as always.  We had quite a crowd, my appologies if I missed anyone. We were glad to host Tony, Paul, Ron, Jean, Carol. Phil(thanks for the ride down), Cori(thanks for the ride home), Mark, Matty, Gunnar, Bruce 4, Norm, Frieda, Mikes 3 and 4, Alex, Janice, Arvo, Chris and those mentioned above. Everyone contributed to spotting and a very enjoyable experience.
  Other species seen were Red-headed Woodpecker, our first Snow Buntings of the season, White-winged Crossbills, Evening Grosbeaks, several Common Loons and at least 10 Red-throated Loons( I admit to losing track as so many hawks were moving) and a Red-bellied Woodpecker. Kinglets, Hermit Thrush and Fox Sparrow were also spotted.
Ann Brokelman caught these shots of the Red-bellied Woodpecker.

Tomorrow's weather looks great for another large movement of raptors. We hope you can join us.  Monday winds appear to have lightened so fewer raptors will be seen. This coming Thursday also looks great for another big push of birds...stay tuned.

Record Breaking Day...Onward to 7000!

 Today we got what we had hoped for a post storm big day. We tallied 156 raptors, which brought us well over our previous seasons best of 6626 to 6663 and counting. Thanks to everyone(names to be added later) for your contributions to a great day. Ive been sent many great photos to chose from.
  We had 5 Golden Eagles today with great views of 4 of the 5. One of the Golden Eagles started well out over the lake. It was being attacked by 2 what we thought to be gulls, but on reflection its entirely possible they were Jaegers. I have no way to prove that, so lets just say it was a very interesting sighting.  I was able to get several good shots of the Golden Eagles today.

  There were a few what appeared to us to be oddly coloured Redtailed Hawks, maybe it was just the lighting? Paul Reeves got this shot of one of the Redtailed Hawks like this.
  Lee got a nice shot of a Merlin as it left its perch. My shot shows it perched. I recorded that as our local.

 We had 5 Northern Goshawks with one that seems to be staying as it made at least 4 or 5 passes of the park at very close range. A real surprise came at 455pm when an Osprey flew past along their typical close route. A smattering of Red-shouldered Hawks as well as Turkey Vultures and Sharpshinned Hawks kept things interesting.
Our total included:
4-Turkey Vultures
5-Northern Harriers
8-Sharpshinned Hawks
6-Coopers Hawks
5-Northern Goshawks
6-Red-shouldered Hawks
116-Redtailed Hawks
5-Golden Eagles (11:30am, 11:36am, 11:44am, 1:44pm, 4:35pm)
156-Total Raptors

A good set of comparison photos were submitted today. Paul got a nice shot of  a Sharpshinned Hawk. Lee provided the Northern Goshawk photo. Note the shape of the tails, where the eyes are in the head of the Sharpie and markings on the Goshawk(completely covering the body and right to its chin, and strong and dark). And just how thick the Goshawk is!
Sharpie above
Northern Goshawk above

   Paul sent along this shot of a passing flock of Evening Grosbeaks. I took the liberty of cropping it abit to show them closer up in the 2nd photo.

Also today we had a great day for passerines. Early in the morning, many thousands of Robins, mixed flocks of Red-winged Blackbirds, Cowbirds and Grackles, some Eastern Bluebirds, Pine Siskins and White-winged Crossbills filled the sky over Rosetta. Our best birds of the day were at least 100 Evening Grosbeaks. Towards the end of the night a small group of about 5-10 landed in a Maple Tree along the main path briefly. Pine Siskins and White-winged Crossbills also landed in the park. Flying over the park were several Common Loons and 20+ Red-throated Loons, a Northern Shrike, a Red-headed Woodpecker and a Pileated Woodpecker. In all an incredible day!!
  Thanks to Terry 2,Ron, Bruce 4, Mike 3, Paul, Nellie, Patty,Norm, Murray, Arvo,Phil, Hugh, Lee, Bill2 , Mark and Carol our pizza delivery girl ;-) thanks Carol, you warmed our hands and bellies.

Tomorrow looks like another great day for migration. Dress very warm!! Bathrooms MAY be open. I expect we will see large movements of small birds in the morning and also an upflight of raptors which overnighted near by. Things will probably take awhile to get going otherwise so if you cant hack the cold, I suggest 10am or even 1030 am as a start time for you. Hope to see you there!

******Peregrine #100******

While today was wet and not terribly productive, Berle and I did see Peregrine Falcon number 100. That is quite a milestone!! As most of you know I am very involved with the activities of the Canadian Peregrine Foundation. For me its an amazing achievement to see 100 Peregrine Falcons in migration. 40 years ago some people could only dream of seeing a Peregrine Falcon in their lifetime. While a number of these birds are northern migrants, just from band numbers we have recovered at the watch over the years, we know we are seeing not only local juveniles but birds from other parts of North America(several US states). While this shows a strong recovery by the species as does the yearly increasing number of nests that The Canadian Peregrine Foundation monitors, its not time to consider the job finished. On going monitoring of the health of the Peregrine population and education about what has happened in the past as well as informing people of new threats is still a very important job. I invite everyone to check out CPFs website to see whats going on currently and whats to come. On facebook there is a site devouted to CPFs educational birds.(search Canadian Peregrine Foundation on facebook). I hope more of the Rosetta McClain Raptor Watchers will take part in the Fledge Watches in 2013. The Peregrines need your help!

Fantastic Season So Far...Year To Date Total...6506

While the storm at the end of the month slowed down migration, we are still having our best season ever so far. We have set multiple site records including new season high totals of Turkey Vultures at 2204, Red-shouldered Hawks at 41 and Peregrine Falcons at 99. Our tally thus far is 6506, which sets us up to set a record for how many total raptors we count, needing just 121 more. We are well within reach of 7000 raptors and its not out of the question for us to count another 826 to hit 45000 raptors counted since the counts inception. I never dreamed that myself and friends would ever see such numbers when the count began back in 2004.
     Our current numbers as of October 31st are:
Turkery Vulture - 2204
Osprey - 114
Bald Eagle - 59
Northern Harrier - 255
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2175
Cooper's Hawk - 92
Northern Goshawk - 10
Red-shouldered Hawk - 41
Broad-winged Hawk - 347
Red-tailed Hawk - 401
Rough-legged Hawk - 3
Golden Eagle - 5
American Kestrel - 601
Merlin - 100
Peregrine Falcon - 99
Total  Raptors- 6506

With much thanks to Walter without whom I couldnt do this all day so many days!! Thanks to all of the rest of the Rosetta McClain Gardens Raptor Watch gang for your help, friendships and many kindnesses. We got a month to should start off with a bang as the weather for the next several days looks excellent for migration. I wont be shocked if by early next week all of the above mentioned milestones are achieved. Lets start the march towards 50000.
  I was shocked to get an email today from Betty that she has had a bad fall and injured herself quite badly. I know many of us got the same email and have already joined me in wishing her a speedy recovery and offering any help we can be at all. Everyone be careful!!!

9 Raptors..YTD..6506...Some Storm Damage

The morning after the night before, brought a nice sunrise and to the relief of many the "Frankenstorm" really wasnt much of anything locally. Sadly it did damage some trees the parks Screech Owls often used. (FYI none have been seen so far this fall)

We all knew more rain was on the way, but couldnt resist seeing what hawks may come by or small birds or birds over/on the lake. Ron, Colin, Carol, Peter, Walter and I had varying degrees of success.
By the end of the day(around 2pm for Walter and I) we had seen 9 raptors:
1-Turkey Vulture
2-Northern Harriers
1-Sharpshinned Hawk
2-Redshouldered Hawks(now 41 on the season)
3-Redtailed Hawks
9-Total Raptors

White-winged Crossbills again landed briefly in the park.
Im determined to get a decent picture of one...this wasnt it.
Thursday through Saturday are good days to watch the weather, as it looks like it will be right for migration. This time of year the more inclimate the weather the more likely to see the big northern birds. DRESS VERY WARM!!  Tomorrow there shouldnt be much in the way of rain, but the winds seem wrong. I will be present to see what goes by...there could be some surprises.

29 Raptors...YTD...6497...Bald and Golden Eagles

Sandy shamndy...todays cold strong winds didnt bring rain until after 1pm. By then we had seen 29 raptors. Myself, Cori, Hugh, Peter and Terry2 were teeth chatteringly present to enjoy some good birds.
  Among 9 Northern Harriers was one beautiful adult male. 2 Northern Goshawks were seen today too. Several Redtailed Hawks, of which at least 4 different birds landed in a bluffside Poplar tree.

At 9:55am, endurance had its reward, a juvenile Golden Eagle. It circled briefly before continuing on its way. At 11:42am, Cori and I were treated to an immature Bald Eagle.

Todays final total was a cool 29
1-Bald Eagle(11:42am juv)
9-Northern Harriers
3-Sharpshinned Hawks
2-Northern Goshawks
12-Redtailed Hawks
1-Golden Eagle
1-Merlin(#100 on the season)
29- Total Raptors

House Finches(above) and Purple Finch(below) 
Pine Siskin(below)
We saw many small birds migrating too, including Pine Siskins, House Finch, Purple Finch and a few more White-winged Crossbills.
A very special treat was 4 White-tailed Deer that went through the park. They couldnt figure out at first how to exit the park, but some quick thinking lady who saw the deer heading for the Kingston Rd exit sort of steered them towards the southeast corner of the park instead, where they were able to easily jump the fence and continue along the top of the bluffs without the danger of traffic.
3 Deer and a bum. 
Beautiful White-tailed Deer 
Young Deer
Everyone tie on to something heavy...Im available at a price!! Batten down the hatches and keep flashlights handy, its gonna be a bumpy ride for a day at least. Remember to check on friends who could need a hand and most of all my friends stay safe and dry!!  See you when the rain stops. Continue to watch Friday!!