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


Ann Brokelman said...

Fantastic raptor season so far.
Good work Frank and Walter

BIGFRANK said...

Thanks Ann. As it should be Ann, once a raptor watch gets going, Walter and I just stear the ship. There is no way we could have done this without the help of so many of our regulars. Its a real thrill for us both to see so many birds and it aint over yet!