Wind (current)

74 Birds...2974 Raptors

Today was reasonable, given the wind strength. As I had said in the previous post, the winds werent very strong, so its very likely many birds were north of us. Blue skies early in the day made spotting difficult too. While some birds were high a good assortment were very low. Most of the photogenic birds were local birds. Paul Reeves has sent along a local juvenile Coopers Hawk in a tree just behind us.
This is an adult Coopers Hawk which went by also submitted by Paul.
A local Turkey Vulture went by low and close. Paul offered this great shot of it.
The local juvenile Redtailed Hawk made an appearance today too. Thanks again Paul.
Lastly a Peregrine Falcon shot from Paul which circled several times before moving on.

In the end we saw a total of 74 birds:
16-Turkey Vultures
1-Bald Eagle(2:30pm)
3-Northern Harriers
46-Sharpshinned Hawks
2-Coopers Hawks
4-American Kestrels
2-Peregrine Falcons
74-Total Raptors
 Thanks to Paul, Betty, Lee, Carol, John, Arvo, Terry 2, oh ya :-) Berle and Phil for giving Walter and I a hand today.
Winds are light Saturday, but are from a decent direction. Sundays predicted winds are from the NE 15, which will likely mean a good number of birds but most will probably be high.  Monday with predicted winds from the west at a reasonsonable clip, may be NW in the end and bring another big Oct 1. Thursday Oct 4 has the most potential if nothing changes. Keep your eyes on the weather if you want to give yourself the best chances of seeing the most birds. I offer this information, knowing full well its subject to change up to even the hours before you are leaving your homes.

48 Raptors...YTD...2900

Today the sky was high and so were many of the birds. The blue sky made things very tough. Winds were not condusive to a good flight at Rosetta McClain Gardens Raptor Watch today. We did get great views of 2 Bald Eagles. One was definetly juvenile, while the others age was 4. (thanks to Paul Reeves for this Osprey photo)


Our tally today was:
3-Turkey Vultures
2-Bald Eagles(915am 4 year old, 11am juvenile)
3-Northern Harriers
26-Sharpshinned Hawks
2-Coopers Hawks
7-American Kestrels
1-Peregrine Falcon
48-Total Raptors

We also saw a Purple Finch which landed atop a Spruce tree, a Lincoln's Sparrow along the side of the bluffs in a bush, a Red-bellied Woodpecker flyby, a Hairy Woodpecker that landed in the Maple tree behind us and a Pileated Woodpecker.(thanks Terry 2 for this photo)
Turkey Vultures are on the move, the winds just havent been such that we saw many. The coming days with a light north element hold promise,but may not be enough to move much past Rosetta.

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
1-Bald Eagle(3:54 immature)
39-Northern Harriers
234-Sharpshinned Hawks
14-Coopers Hawks
20-Broadwinged Hawks
5-Redtailed Hawks
100-American Kestrels
7-Peregrine Falcons

Raptor # 40000...11 More Peregrine Falcons...48 Raptors...YTD...2359

This shot is mine as are the Sparrow and Cardinal. All of the other Peregrine shots are by Ann Brokelman. Thanks to Ann for use of her shots of the passing Peregrine Falcons.
Today we had some great looks at Peregrine Falcons. They are flying in southwest winds and infact favour them. All gathered including Ann, Hugh, Betty, Mark, Vince, Terry 2, Larry, birthday girl Lee, Gunnar, Lorne, Meaghan and The Cliffside Kids, all enjoyed a beautiful day and at least a few birds. Ann was able to get some fantastic shots of the Peregrines which went by, which really made her day. Somewhere in todays excitement was bird number 40000 since the inception of the Rosetta McClain Gardens Raptor Watch. Sometime next season we should surpass 50000! If you had ever told me Id see that many birds of prey only a few moments from my home Id never have believed it. 9 years and many new friends later I cant imagine life without it! Thanks to everyone who has ever been part of the count.

Our sightings were made up of:
3-Northern Harriers
26-Sharpshinned Hawks
2-Coopers Hawks
2-American Kestrels
11-Peregrine Falcons
48-Total Raptors

Tomorrow and Thursday have a chance to be good days. I make no promises!!

We had a very co-operative Northern Cardinal today too as well as a few White-throated Sparrows.

Special Report: Tagged Monarch

I got a response regarding the tagged Monarch which was photographed at Rosetta McClain Gardens on the 22nd.

Hi Frank,
Thanks so much for forwarding the photo of the Monarch. It was tagged by Jim Ellis of Oshawa on Sept 21, and flew 43 kilometers before it was photographed on Sept 22. 
J. Bruce Parker

Very cool to get the info back on the Monarch. I hope it has a safe journey to Mexico and beyond!

Bald Eagle With Transmitter...73 Raptors...YTD...2311

Lets start things off with Walters note to me, as I left abit early today.
Hey Frank,
Well, I hate to tell you but you missed a wonderful sighting this afternoon. An adult Bald Eagle flew right between the trees on the side of the bluffs and came along towards Hugh, Mark and myself. It made a slight left turn as it got closer and then it was blown up and over top of us by the strong south-west wind hitting the bluffs. As it came in to the park it was no higher than the tree tops. Absolutely incredible! And if that wasn't amazing enough, the bird had a radio transmitter pack on it's back!!! Check the photo out, you can see the antenna just to the left of the tail. After realizing that I was the only person there with a camera, it literally took me less than 10 seconds to reach in to my backpack and snap this shot! I've never taken a photo so quickly in all my life!!! WAY TO GO WALTER! I have submitted the photo and sighting information to Bird Studies Canada.

We also had great views of several Peregrine Falcons. Terry 2(Terry Whittam) sent these 2 great shots. This bird looks like a very northern bird, Im checking.  Thanks to Terry for the use of his shots.

We had some lovely close views of Northern Harriers as well. Thanks to Terry 2 for this shot too.
A local Turkey Vulture came very close too, for Terry to capture.

Today's bird totals:
1-Bald Eagle(2:45, adult w/transmitter pack)
11-Northern Harriers
43-Sharpshinned Hawks
6-American Kestrels
8-Peregrine Falcons
73-Total Raptors

Thanks to Mark, Hugh, Terry2, Betty, Carol, Gunner, Berle, Ron, Jean, Cori, and of course Walter.

Great Day..Good Views..406 Raptors...YTD...2238

Today was another great day at Rosetta McClain Gardens Raptor Watch. The day started with many low birds, saw birds go into the ozone in the afternoon and then back down low after the rain. A large gathering of raptor watchers contributed greatly to the fun and enjoyment of the day and of course to increasing the number of birds seen. Mike recorded birds the latter half of the day, freeing up Walter and I to view more birds and decided what was new and what was previously seen/counted. Todays excitement was a fight between a Coopers Hawk and a Sharpshinned Hawk, the local Coopers Hawk grabbing a Jay but losing its grip, the young Redtailed Hawk which flew along within a few feet of us,cleared the bluffside fence and made an attempt at a squirrel. That sighting really thrilled Berle and Walter! Another highlight was a local Merlin chasing a small duck(possibly a Green-winged Teal). They carried the full speed chase out so far over the lake we lost visual on them. Our watchers today were Norm, Allison, Mark, Carol, Richard, Anne, Ann, Lee, Tim, Mary, Allen, Barb, Les, Mike, Mikes 2,3 and 4, Ron, Jean, Betty, Cori, and Phil. Without all of you the watch wouldnt have been as much fun or as successful. We all wish Theresa a speedy recovery!
(these next 3 shots belong to Ann Brokelman..thanks Ann.
   Our day was filled with many Sharpshinned Hawks and American Kestrels.

Striatus Coming At Us
    9 more Osprey were added to our seasons total bringing us to 95.  Thanks again to Mike 4.
A young Redtailed Hawk landed briefly in a tree.
We also saw some nice low Turkey Vultures. Last season on Oct 1 we had over 700 TVs.
Todays Totals were:
16-Turkey Vultures
12-Northern Harriers
279-Sharpshinned Hawks
5-Coopers Hawks
9-Broadwinged Hawks
9-Redtailed Hawks
61-American Kestrels
1-Peregrine Falcon
406-Total Birds
People have asked about how this years numbers compare to other years? Well...this season we are short a few hundred Broadwinged Hawks, but up in several other species. Last season on the same day we saw 2235 total raptors.  This season the tally is 2238. So while the mix is slightly different,clearly everything is moving around at its usual pace.