250 Raptors...YTD..6454...One Day Record For Redshouldered Hawks

Well the weathermen got it wrong again. Today started off with everyone taking off layers of extra clothing and few birds. Enough was coming to keep most of us interested. By noon the weather changed, winds shifted, the sky took on an October look and the temperatures took on a very fall like feel. Birds started to come, often in fast and furious flurries.
  We set a one day record for the site of 19 Red-shouldered Hawks. This brings our season total to 35 which is our highest ever and of course we are still counting. (consequently its also our highest total of Red-shouldered Hawks in a month too). We had fantastic views of both juvenile and adult Red-shouldered Hawks. Almost all were low and close.
Ann Brokelman sent along several fantastic shots of the various Red-shouldered Hawks we saw. Note the "cresents" near the ends of the wings on the underside of the hawks. Ann also captured some great shots of the red on the shoulders that give this beautiful hawk its name.

We had a good number of Redtailed Hawks, several were darker northern birds.
 We had at least 2 male Northern Harriers among the 9 Harriers we counted. One adult male made 3 passes of the park. At 12:20pm I spotted a juvenile Golden Eagle out over the lake. Keeping on it allowed some of us to clearly see the field markings making this sighting an easy call.  We also had our first Roughlegged Hawk of the season, mis-ID'd by yours truely at first, before I was happily corrected. It was a dark-morph. I did manage a poor photo which was back-up of this ID. 2 more Goshawks were added to the count, a bird we always enjoy.

Todays excellent count of 250 raptors consisted of:
67-Turkey Vultures
9-Northern Harriers
46-Sharpshinned Hawks
7-Coopers Hawks
2-Northern Goshawks
19-Redshouldered Hawks(a new 'day' record)
94-Redtailed Hawks
1-Roughlegged Hawk(dark morph)
1-Golden Eagle(juv. 12:20 PM)
2-American Kestrels
250-Total Raptors

Our current year to date total(YTD ) is now 6454, which leaves us only 173 birds from a countsite record of 6627. And only 546 from the benchmark of 7000 total raptors this fall.
Thanks to Ron, Ann, Bill, Mark, Carol, Betty, Patty, Harry, Mike 3, Terry 2, Allison, Alan(visiting from Cranberry Marsh Raptor Watch), Lee, Bruce, Cori and Peter for the spotting and ID assistance.

Other birds seen today included many Pine Siskins, many Eastern Bluebirds and of special note a Northern Shrike and 2 Red-headed Woodpeckers. One juvenile which I was able to capture a photo of.

Continue to watch the weather. The next several days may be rain outs. Dress for very cold north winds. Note that on the weekends bathrooms are only open from 9am-5pm(possibly only 3pm).  


Rob McKay said...

woohoo! Great stuff, wish I was there for this action.

Anonymous said...

Wow, great photos! Sorry I missed the action yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Wow, great photos! Sorry I missed the action yesterday.