Record August Day!! 120 Raptors...YTD-165

And so begins another day at the Rosetta McClain Gardens Raptor Watch. I arrived pre-sunrise expecting a reasonably good count. I was not to be disappointed.
Walter, Phil, Ann,Betty, Gunnar, Berle, Carol, Paul, Allison, Colin, Peter, Margaurite, Terry and I gathered with great expectations. I dont think anyone went home disappointed. Throw in Pizza Day and a good time was almost guarenteed.  Things started abit slowly, but small flurries of birds started to add up.           
There were some very exciting moments. We saw a Northern Harrier and a Peregrine Falcon both at the same time. The Peregrine made a failed pass at something on the water, but on its second attempt, plucked some unknown prey from the water. I suspect it had knocked down an unseen bird and went back to claim its prize.  We saw a Sharp-shinned Hawk and an American Kestrel flying together.(these photos will be used in a separate post to compare and contrast the Sharp-shinned Hawk and American Kestrel)  They had a brief run at one another, adding to the day's thrills. A handful of close Broadwinged Hawks is always wonderful to see. Several Osprey went by,although while I was present most were somewhat to very high. Walter saw another dozen Osprey between 3pm and 6pm!
Thanks to Ann Brokelman for this wonderful shot of a Broadwinged Hawk. We often get nice low Broadwings at Rosetta, which makes up for lower volumes of them, than are seen at other sites.
Ann also sends along this shot of a Merlin. They always move through very quickly, so I say well captured Ann!

Paul Reeves joined us for the first time today and sent along this fantastic shot of an American Kestrel carrying leftover dragonfly parts. Thanks Paul!! Im sure Paul will be back again soon.
  We saw many thousands of dragonflys today. Undoubtedly it contributed to the number of Kestrels we saw, many hunting and eating on the wing.
Lastly a photo of an Osprey. We saw a remarkable 17 Osprey today. Already bringing our season total to 23. The Osprey photo is mine, I hope to get some nice photos to contribute myself again this year as I have a new camera.                     
Todays Final totals are as follows: 
Northern Harrier-10
Bald Eagle-1 (juvenile 2:18pm)
Sharpshinned Hawk-8
Broadwinged Hawk-9
Redtailed Hawk-7
American Kestrel-64
Peregrine Falcon-1
Total Raptors-120
(please be patient blogger has changed, I will figure out how to line things up properly soon!)
Also seen today were 3 Common Loons, a conservative count of 11 Common Nighthawks(some went back and forth, so I did my best not to double count), thousands of Cedar Waxwings, many Red-breasted Nuthatch and a Least Flycatcher.   Thanks to Betty and Terry for their contributions to Pizza Day. We'll do that a few more times this season.                                                                                    
Tomorrow we will likely get some upflight,but I dont expect a large count beyond about 10am. Friday and Saturday have a chance to be decent days for raptor watching. Keep your eyes on them. Depending on what Hurricane Issac does,our weather patterns may change alot over the next several days.                                                                                                                                                        

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