Wind (current)

Racing The Storm 189 Raptors...YTD...1395

Today Walter and I arrived to Rosetta McClain Gardens early, hoping that the predicted rain would either hold off or never arrive. Things started off slowly and then raptors began racing the storm. They began coming rapid fire. By now Peter, Berle, and Richard had joined Walter and I. Kestrels and Sharpshinned Hawks were going by very low over the park, over the lake and over Kingston Rd. It was a real flurry. 4 Broadwinged Hawks, some Northern Harriers and more Sharpshinned Hawks and Kestrels. Finally at 11:38am 2 juvenile Bald Eagles went by together. It was very hectic, as we called bird after bird out. As Cori and Patty arrived so did the rains. With no sign the rain would let up, we called it a day. Hopefully the flurries of raptors are a sign of things to come tomorrow.
Todays count was:
6-Turkey Vulture
2-Bald Eagle (one juvenile and one adult 11:38am)
6-Northern Harrier
105-Sharpshinned Hawk
4-Broadwinged Hawk
1-Redtailed Hawk
62-American Kestrel
189-Total Raptors
Northern Harrier and Bald Eagle

27 Raptors....YTD...1206 Watch Saturdays Weather!

Today the winds were abit stronger,though still from the wrong direction for a large flight. Still, Walter,Cori, Phil and I tallied 27 raptors, predominantly Sharp-shinned Hawks.
Todays birds were:
2-Northern Harrier
24-Sharpshinned Hawks
1-American Kestrel

27-Total Raptors

Of note, Blue Jays have started to migrate. Walter and I observed a flight of several hundred. Thousands will likely fly on Saturday, if the predicted no rain and NW winds holds true. We also saw an Eastern Cottontail Rabbit, a 5 Spotted Hawk Moth(grows from Tobacco Horned Worm) and Walter saw a Red-bellied Woodpecker fly by. For those looking for Hummingbirds, if they were there, they werent co-operating with photographers. Thanks to Paul Reeves for the Sharpshinned Hawk(top) and American Kestrel photo(2nd)  The Blue Jay in flight is my own photo.

4 More Birds....YTD...1179

Walter sent this report along to me.
     Phil, Ray and I were at the park until 12:00 PM today and saw 2 Sharpies and 2 Kestrels migrating overhead. The local Sharpie and one of the Kestrels had a real good battle going on over the east side of the park which lasted about 15 minutes. Ray joined us today for the first time after reading the RMGRW Blog, hopefully he'll return on a busier day in the upcoming weeks.

     Thanks Walter. I'll be over tomorrow hoping for the best. Tomorrows strong SW might move some Sharpies.  There are a few NW winds predicted soon, so it will be interesting to watch the weather forecast.

18 Raptors ...YTD...1175

Today was predictably slow. Winds were wrong and most birds "in the pipe" came through. Great counts yesterday were had all over the GTA.
  For our efforts today, Sue,Cori,Phil,Betty,Theresa,Berle,John and Eva, we saw 2 of 3 nice close Osprey and a beautiful low Broadwinged Hawk.
  In total the group saw:
2-Northern Harriers
9-Sharpshinned Hawks
1-Coopers Hawk
1-Broadwinged Hawk
1-American Kestrel
18-Total Raptors

Above are my photos of the Broadwinged Hawk and 2 of the Osprey. Keep an eye on the winds, if you go strictly by the winds we are due for an extended slow period which may last through the weekend as the forecast stands. That said I have seen hundreds of Sharpshinned Hawks fly by on SW winds?? You play the game you take your chances!

Special Report: Peregrine Photographed at Sundays Watch ID'd

On Sunday Sept 9th, my friends and fellow fledge watchers/barn helpers at the Canadian Peregrine Foundation, Angie and Rob visited Rosetta McClain Raptor Watch. As luck had it, a young Peregrine Falcon landed in the park in a bare tree at Rosetta McClain Gardens. Rob was able to get a good enough photo for us to figure out the band number and with a check done at CPF head office, we confirmed that it is Ben from the ICICI Building, one of the new nests in Toronto at Don Mills and Eglinton. Ben was banded after he fledged. His brother Len was also. Both came to the ground,very near the highway.

Mark Nash was in Waterloo Ontario at a watch there at the Sunlife Building(me too) when the call came in that there was a new nest and 2 Peregrine chicks needed rescue. Mark contacted Kathy Smith, who arrived,rescued both chicks and contacted the Ministry of Natural Resources who met us at CPF Raptor Centre where both Ben and his brother Len were banded. Ben is banded black R over black 45(letters and numbers are white), with yellow tape over his US Fish and Wildlife band. Watchers responsible for looking after Ben were thrilled to hear he is alive and well.

Thanks to Rob Mueller for use of his wonderful photos! Thanks to the CPF head office team for the ID.

BIG DAY..Low Broadwings..672 Raptors...YTD...1157

Wow what a difference a day makes...and some of the promissed wind. While yesterday we got lighter winds than predicted, today we got stronger winds than we had hoped for. An internet buddy BigDave came down to the park today and by 10am I think was wondering why?? At 1030am that all changed. The first of 9 Bald Eagles came by. That seemed to open the floodgates. By 2pm we had 200 birds and almost doubled that with 177 in the next hour.

 Broadwinged Hawks thrilled many with a high percentage of very low birds, some even below us. Sharpshinned Hawks and American Kestrels kept flying all day. It was a very exciting and hectic day, which had me on the edge of insanity. Thousands and thousands of Monarch Butterflys passed all day long from sunrise till 6pm when Walter and I finally left. Huge numbers of dragonflys filled the air as well.

  A cast of too many to name contributed today to our incredible day. Coffee's for Walter Dave and I were appreciated. Thanks to Dave for a pizza slice. Thanks to Walter for afternoon coffee. Thanks to Terry? Cori for Timbits and the coffee run. Thanks to Hugh for the buns towards the end of the evening allowing Walter and I a last bit of energy to hang in till nothing was flying. More photos will follow. Thanks to Terry for his contributions of photos today. Those seen above are my shots,but for the 3rd photo which is Terry's.
Todays Totals were:
9-Bald Eagles(5 Juveniles @ 10:30am,10:55am, 12:08pm,12:20pm and 12:30pm) 4 adults(11:45am,1:02pm,1:34pm and 4:20pm)
10-Northern Harriers
235-Sharpshinned Hawks
6-Coopers Hawks
283-Broadwinged Hawks
15-Redtailed Hawks
103-American Kestrels
672-Total Raptors

Sept 9 Report: Big Numbers....of Birders. 59 Raptors...YTD...485

Today we had a cast of thousands to watch the painfully high raptors. A "Meet-Up" group run by our friend Murray Shields met at the watch today, there was a reasonable turnout given the switch in dates, with somewhere around 25 of the group enjoying some birds and socializing. Peter, Phil, Mike 3, Mike & Leslie, Lorne, Allison, Mike 4, Rob & Angie, Norm, Ivor, Hugh, Ron & Jean, Terry 2, Carol, Berle, Colin & Margarite, Tom, Leon, Betty, Lee, Cori, Theresa, Tony, Richard, Andreas, Murray & Deb, all joined us today(so sorry if there were names I didnt mention). It was a real battle to find some of the high birds.
  The best bird of the day was a Peregrine Falcon that landed in a tree on the west side of the park. I was "on a little break" at that time. I await photo evidence of this bird. Rob did mention it had a piece of yellow tape over its US Fish and Wildlife band, something the Canadian Peregrine Foundation(among others now) does each season so young Peregrines are easier to ID when we are doing fledge watches, so its very likely a young local Peregrine from this seasons hatch. We are hoping that the black and white Canadian band will be readable.

Mike 3 sent along a few shots. One was a male Northern Harrier, something we dont see a large number of.

A co-operative Redtailed Hawk

Having a look around.
                                                                            Todays final numbers were:
OS - 8
                    BE - 1 (11:59 AM)
NH - 8
SS - 29
BW - 1
RT - 1
AK - 7
ML - 3
PG - 1

TL - 59
Also seen today were 1000+  Monarch Butterflys at all levels of the sky, an Eastern Cottontail Rabitt, 2 Red Fox, 4 Fiery Skippers and a Common Buckeye.
Thanks to everyone for a great day. Special thanks to Walter for carrying on the count after I left for the day. It was great to see a number of faces for the first time this season.