Sept 26th..Sharpies, Kestrels and Harriers Oh My...493 Raptors...YTD...2852

   
                                
 Today as expected we had a great day. Things built up slowly with the peak hour of 4-5pm, when we tallied more than 3 raptors per minute at 197.  Walter and I were present from dawn until the moon was visible at almost 7pm. Joining us today were Betty, Carol, Phil, Ron, Terry 2, Mark, Paul, Mike 4, Jean, Cori,Lee and several others whose names escape me after 12 hours of raptor watching(my appologies).
    Sharpshinned Hawks were the bird of the day, with over 200. A very territorial Sharpie had a long fight with a Crow during which it did more than hold its own. Paul Reeves sends along a few shots of the Sharpshinned Hawk while it rested in a tree during the protracted battle.

     American Kestrels flew late, adding to our count and keeping Walter and I from leaving the park. They came through in small flurries all day long, with a final tally of 100. Paul sent along this shot of a Kestrel.


     All day long we continued to see Northern Harriers. We counted a total of 39 Northern Harriers today, our 3rd best ever total in a day for Harriers. Thanks to Paul Reeves for this Northern Harrier shot.

     Two kettles of Turkey Vultures that formed over the lake slightly, became one large one closer to shore, consisting of 55 birds. It was fun watching them circle together. We look forward to many more TVs in the coming days.
     Many of the birds were very high today, but enough were low to keep everyone happy. Thanks to everyone for their contributions today. Jean's scope work was much appreciated and Phil's good eyes too! The bird we werent sure of, was confirmed by Pauls photo to be a Broadwinged Hawk. Both Terry 2 and I had photographed a different bird during the same flurry of birds, adding to the confusion.
 
     We saw a steady stream of Blue Jays all day numbering in the 10000+ range very easily again. Jean pointed out many flocks of Yellow-rumped Warblers, doing their best immitations of American Goldfinch.  At 640pm just for Phil we had a Common Nitehawk go past.  We also saw both predator and prey, with a morning visit by a Red Fox and an afternoon appearance by the parks rabitt affectionately known as Rosie.  Pat and Nancy are to visit tomorrow, we all look forward to seeing them.

 
Our Final tally was:
68-Turkey Vultures
3-Osprey
1-Bald Eagle(3:54 immature)
39-Northern Harriers
234-Sharpshinned Hawks
14-Coopers Hawks
20-Broadwinged Hawks
5-Redtailed Hawks
100-American Kestrels
2-Merlins
7-Peregrine Falcons
 

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