Wind (current)

New One Day Record...2066 Raptors!!!

WOW what a day!!! I dont think anyone went home disappointed! From 730am onward birds came. By 10am we had over 100 birds. Beginning in the 11am hour, Turkey Vultures moved enmass and didnt stop until after 5pm, when 10 TVs turned back and went east to roost for the night. At that point things shut down and birds stopped. Everyone still gathered was jaw-dropped! Incredible one day Turkey Vulture record of 1750 and day one day record of 2066 raptors!!
Even the Turkey Vulture seemed to have a smile. Thanks Trudi for this shot.
Paul Reeves got this shot of a tail-less Turkey Vulture(tail feathers had all molted out).

Ann Brokelman got this great shot of a Turkey Vulture.
This is a shot Ann got of a mixed kettle of Redtails and Turkey Vultures
We got our first Red-shouldered Hawks of the season, this one thrilled us all with some low close flying. Thanks to Paul Reeves, for this great shot.
Mike Poissant(aka Mike 4) got this Red-shoulderd Hawk shot.

Paul also got this shot of a Redtailed Hawk. This was our first big movement of Redtails too today,numbering  126.

I managed these shots of an adult Bald Eagle and a juvenile Bald Eagle.

And we were all thrilled to see 2 Golden Eagles too. Both flew by within moments of one another. I got these shots.

Our final total of 2066 raptors was made up of:
1750-Turkey Vultures
8-Bald Eagles(juveniles at 10:20am,12:38pm,3:08pm,3:40pm and 4:58pm..Adults at 11:35am,12:45pm,1:52pm,)
9-Northern Harriers
139-Sharpshinned Hawks
12-Coopers Hawks
1-Northern Goshawk
12-Redshouldered Hawks
126-Redtailed Hawks
2-Golden Eagles(both juvenile at 12noon)
4-American Kestrels
2-Peregrines(released bird and one other)
2066-Incredible Total Raptors

Thanks again to Rosetta staff, all watchers gathered who helped Walter and I so much, especially Bruce,Mike,Phil and Jean. Thanks to all who brought Timbits and coffees. Thanks for the drives home for Walter and I! We both appreciate it greatly at the end of a long day. Monday and Tuesday may be good days, with Tuesday looking to be the better day.

Peregrine Release Oct 13th

Any other day this would have been the lead story. Mark Nash of the Canadian Peregrine Foundation called and asked if Id be interested in hosting the release of a Peregrine Falcon. It had been trapped in downtown Toronto on a glass balcony. It was evaluated by Toronto Wildlife and deemed good to go, so the bird was transferred to CPF and Mark brought her to Rosetta to be released. When the carrier was opened the immature Peregrine sat in the box for a long period of time looking around, gathering herself, before finally flying out. She circled over Lake Ontario before heading off to the east. Awhile later a Peregrine went by flying west, very strong and somewhat out over the lake. May she travel well and have a safe journey. Ann sent the inflight shots, while mine are the ones in the box.
From Mike Poissant
From Ann Brokelman

  Ann got the inflight shots and I was able to get the bird in the carrier. Mike 4 got the shot of the Peregrine dropping before flying up.  Much thanks to Mark for giving us the honour of seeing this magnificant Peregrine returned to where she belongs. Thanks to Toronto Wildlife Centre for treating the Peregrine and allowing CPF the honour of doing the release. Thanks to those gathered for not crowding the Peregrine. All of our keen photographers respected the process and allowed the bird to have a clear path to freedom.
     Mark explained that when CPF does a release, unlike others we DONOT throw(cast) the bird skyward, we allow the bird to decide when it wishes to fly. Casting the bird, after its been in a carrier/rehabbed possibly/upset by being caught in the first place is an accident waiting to happen. This bird much as the other release CPF did at Rosetta 2 years ago, went off without a hitch. The Peregrine flew freely when it decided. It circled over the lake, finding its wings and then flying off strongly. Its a beautiful thing.

75 Raptors...3807...YTD

Today was busy pre-10am, then slowed down the rest of the day. We added one Peregrine Falcon to our total. Many Sharpshinned Hawks, a few Kestrels and Merlin as well as a beautiful male Northern Harrier were spotted.
  A group of Turkey Vultures totalling 23 went by one by one. It gives us strong hope for tomorrow!
  In the end we had 75 raptors consisting of:
24-Turkey Vultures
2-Northern Harriers
38-Sharpshinned Hawks
2-Coopers Hawks
6-American Kestrels
1-Peregrine Falcon
75-Total Raptors

Tomorrow looks like conditions will be very favorable to a large movement of raptors. Bring lots of warm clothes.
White-crowned Sparrow

Peregrine Release Friday

On Friday sometime before noon, there will be a Peregrine Falcon released at Rosetta McClain Gardens.(note time subject to change without notice). The release can be very quick, so while I encourage folks to join us, please understand there is no handling of the bird. It will leave the box of its own accord and the entire process could be over in the blink of an eye. Photo ops may be very limited.

New Peregrine Falcon Record...43 Raptors...YTD...3732

The day started very cold and blustery, followed by rain that had Walter and I huddled under a tree craving chili and coffee. We were grateful when one of the gardens staff Deb brought Walter and I both, during her lunch break. Thanks Deb for warming Walter and I from the inside out. Thanks to Phil for the afternoon coffee to keep us going!
    Today we passed our record for Peregrine Falcon sightings, adding 6 to the total, making 88 on the season so far,smashing our past record of 85. This is great news, that I personally am thrilled to hear as I do a lot of work with the Canadian Peregrine Foundation. We are very lucky to see such a large number of Peregrine Falcons pass Rosetta McClain Gardens at such close range.
     Ann Brokelman got these great shots of some of the Peregrines that passed by today.
     6 Turkey Vultures went by today, very low and close. We still look forward to a good flight of TVs. Friday is looking outstanding right now for a big day.
Thanks again to Ann for this shot.

     An immature Bald Eagle, graced us at 1:28pm, bringing our season total to 50. I got this first shot of the young Bald Eagle.
Ann Brokelman got this one.

     Of interest today, were at least 2 Sparrows that werent White-throated Sparrows. After much discussion at the park and confirming via Paul Reeves excellent photo(s), the birds were confirmed to be Clay-coloured Sparrows. Not a new bird for the park list, but an excellent sighting. Thanks to Paul for this photo.

Our final tally of 43 raptors was:
6-Turkey Vultures
1-Bald Eagle (1:28pm)
2-Northern Harriers(closing in on 200 for the season)

22-Sharpshinned Hawks
3-Coopers Hawks
3-Redtailed Hawks
6-Peregrine Falcons
43-Total Raptors

Tomorrows very strong SW winds may be too high to have much move, but it could be interesting to see if Peregrines continue to move. Friday still looks fantastic for a large raptor movement! Dress warm people it is bone chilling, especially once the sun is behind clouds. Washrooms are now open 7am-5pm through the week and weekends from 9-5pm.

12 Raptors...YTD...3689..6 More Peregrines..4 Away From A New Record

Today was slow, but birds seen were low and close.We added 6 more Peregrine Falcons, which brings us to a total of 82 for the season, just 4 away from a new countsite record. Gunner, Berle, Ann, Ron, Bob, Betty, Norm, Cori, Peter and Phil joined Walter and I for a few good sightings.
Our total of 12 birds was:
3-Turkey Vultures
1-Sharpshinned Hawk
1-Redtailed Hawk
6-Peregrine Falcons
12-Total Raptors

There were many photo ops for Peregrine Falcons.  Ann managed several great shots.

A few Redtailed Hawks were seen, one was very pale chested. One showed an odd "pigeon-like" pose. A passing adult had a huge crop,indicating it had just eaten.

Later the local American Crow family had a "smackdown" with a local Redtailed Hawk. It was very entertaining and enjoyed by all. That alone was worth the price of admission for some(its free). I managed several photos of the interaction.

An Osprey flew by very close too. I managed these shots.

  Many Ruby-crowned Kinglets were around, as well as White-throated Sparrows and Hermit Thrushes. A few American Robins ate in the Mountain Ash trees.  We have high hopes of seeing even a few birds tomorrow if rain is at times that allow it. Thurs and Fri look much better, with Friday looking like the best possibility for a large movement of raptors.

108 Raptors...3677...YTD

Walter Reports:
     After sitting for about 90 minutes or so under a cold damp overcast sky, the sun finally broke and started to warm things up. The birds started to show by about 9:30 AM. For the first hour the birds, mostly Sharpies, were flying by a treetop level and as the sky cleared and gave way to big puffy clouds the birds rose higher and higher. With the exceptional eyesight of Phil and Bruce 2 (first visit to our Watch) we were seeing birds extremely high up and more towards the north. The first eagle, an adult Bald, was spotted flying low and distant over Kingston Road heading for the Danforth corridor. Fifteen minutes later another eagle was located flying along the same line. There was much discussion as to the species because only a faint light-coloured head was noted by everyone gathered.  I'm very confident in saying that it was an adult Golden Eagle, our first of the season! Somewhere about 1:00-1:30 PM the birds stopped flying and very few were seen after that. In all a wonderful day to be at the park birding with great friends.

Here is today's summary:
TV - 29
BE - 1 (adult, 11:30 AM)
NH - 3
SS - 63
CH - 2
GE - 1 (adult, 11:45 AM)
AK - 5
ML - 3
PG - 1
TL - 108

On hand to help with the spotting were: Mike 2, Norm, Patty, Phil, Cori, Betty, Sheldon, Pat & Nancy, and today we welcomed Bruce 2. Thankyou everyone for all your help and to Norm and Phil for coffees and donuts, much appreciated.

49 Raptors...YTD...3569..Perched Merlin

Today the winds were weak, which caused alot of high Sharpshinned Hawks. We did see a few low ones to keep things interesting.  Walter and I were glad to host Ron, Mark, Cori, Ann, Norm, Jack, Kate and Denney today. Thanks to Norm and Ron for treats and coffees.
  7 more Peregrine Falcons went by, raising our seasons total to 75. 5 more Merlins were seen including one that landed in the park briefly. It caused a real stir. I got these shots of it before it carried on.
Our total of 49 raptors consisted of:
1-Northern Harrier
30-Sharpshinned Hawks
2-Coopers Hawks
1-Redtailed Hawk
3-American Kestrels
7-Peregrine Falcons
49-Total Raptors

We also saw several Common Loons fly over the park, a small raft of Red-breasted Mergansers, Pine Siskins, Northern Juncos, White-throated Sparrows, Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglets and a Pileated Woodpecker.(kinglet photos by Ann Brokelman)

Tomorrow is unlikely to be very busy, but Sharpshinned Hawks, a few more Peregrine Falcons and a few Osprey will probably make their way along. Keep your eyes on the weather for best chances of viewing alot of birds. There are thousands of Turkey Vultures to move, Redtailed Hawks have just begun and Red-shouldered Hawks should begin to be seen any day.