Wind (current)

14 Redtails 1 Short of 1000. YTD....7253..Bohemian Waxwings Seen

Today was slow, but we did add to our already record season total, and fell just one Redtailed Hawk short of our 1000th for the season. We hung in as long as we could waiting for one. Twice the local juvenile Redtail made appearances giving us false hope near the end of the day, only to turn back before going the length of the park.(also ID'd from photos as local). It just means Walter and I have an excuse to go back tomorrow!! 
   We did get out 20th Golden Eagle of the season!! I managed a useable proof shot.

 Paul Reeves got some amazing photos today of the local Redtail. A beautiful flight shot, and a series of 5 shots taken in not much more than a second or two, of the Redtail and 2 American Crows having a run at one another. Note in one shot the Redtail is upside down trying to grab the harassing crow. Thanks to Paul for this interesting series of shots!

Click the image above for a larger version.
Through Walter: Here's the facts and figures...

Turkey Vulture- 1
Northern Harrier- 1(beautiful adult male)
Sharpshinned Hawk - 1
Redtailed Hawk- 14
Golden Eagle- 1 (Juv. 11:45)
Peregrine Falcon- 1
Total Raptors- 19

Other species seen today were: Common Raven, Belted Kingfisher, Pileated Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Cedar Waxwing  and new bird species for the park - #197 Bohemian Waxwing.
     The first visit by the Bohemian Waxwings(Frank) I was with Paul and Tom, they landed only briefly. I excitedly called Walter who was on his way to the park. Later in the day they landed and ate, allowing time for Paul to get some great shots of Bohemian and Cedar Waxwing. Note the Bohemian Waxwings red bum/vent are and grayer overall colour as compared to the white bum/vent of the Cedar Waxwing and yellow on the chest.

Bohemian Waxwing above 
Cedar Waxwing above
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker above. You can see the row of newly pecked holes, that pattern is how to tell a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker has been at the tree. 
Pileated Woodpecker. (female the black moustache(males is red) and incomplete cap (males is further forward on the head))

Harry,Tom,  Zoey, Peter, Mike 4, Phil, Ron, Paul, Terry 2, Hugh,Vince, Randy, Carol, and Cori were all in attendance over parts of the day. Thanks for the spotting help on a challanging day. The chatter was alot of fun and I think some learned a few things too.
     Tomorrow doesnt look great but I will likely venture down for a few hours in hopes of seeing at least one Redtailed Hawk. With the great smaller birds we have been seeing, that alone will be worth the trip. The next day with a good forecast for raptor migration looks like it is next Wednesday the 14th. It will certainly be worth checking out , if the NW winds hold out, especially after a good day or rain.

We Hoped For Better...5 Raptors...YTD..7234

Walter and I both read the same weather report, unfortunately the birds didnt. There wasnt much flying. The best bird of the morning was a Common Raven. We hope for a better day tomorrow.
Here's today's count...
Cooper's Hawk - 2
Red-tailed Hawk - 3
 Total - 5
Present today aside from myself briefly and Walter were Cori, Terry 2 and Bill.
Thanks to Terry's son Ryan for the paintings of the eagles for Walter and I,  in celebration of  raptor number 7000.
Walter and Frank

Winds for Thursday now look very light. It will probably mean little movement past Rosetta. All else equal I will be down from about 1030am to see whats flying. I will sometimes be sitting more near "The Rock" for comfort, at least until or if it gets busy, for those who try to spy us from the parkinglot, dont assume we arent there. Gotta try to pull the last of the migrants out of the sky, to get our 1000 Redtailed Hawks!  After today there looks to be very little good weather to see raptors at Rosetta McClain for several days. I will not be present those days at all. I will be back when there is a north element in the wind, and hope to see one last movement of Redtails. 
  Colin has observed for many seasons in his travels to and from Hawk Cliff that once there are alot of Redtails along the highways on poles and signs and roadside trees, that the fall migration is pretty much over. He has told me he has seen this and hopes for one more good day. Ive learned not to doubt Colin, so things are definetly winding down. Good wind days the Roughlegs and Golden Eagles as well as others may still move but aside from one final push of Redtailed Hawks, counts from here on will probably be very low and slow. Its time for us all to enjoy alot of the oddities that are around. Get together with your favorite Rosetta Raptor Watchers and check Ont Birds for where the good stuff is! Winter is time to see owls and ducks and this year lots of different "winter finches". I know alot of you wont be out much anymore, so I hope to see you at our end of year party in December. If you have already decided to go please let us know through the raptor watch email, my personal email or Walter's or Lee's.

Winds For Wednesday Look Good Now

Now for Wednesday, winds look pretty good, with a NE wind of 20kmh predicted. The birds will likely be high. Im hedging right now and may be down around noon, as I may have something on in the morning. I suspect Walter will be present from 10am onward or so? Will see you there.

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

YTD 7000 Plus!!! 152 Raptors...YTD...7067

We made it over 7000 raptors!! What a milestone! Id never have believed that back in 2004 when I started counting part time that we could ever see 7000 raptors in a season. We arent done yet! The sky was very tough today, especially when combined with high birds. Winds didnt seem as strong as forecast so things were slow during several periods. Flurries of streaming Redtails were a feature of today. As yet no photos...and I havent had time to process mine. Below find Walters report:
Here's today's birds...

Bald Eagle - 2 (juv. 11:30) (juv. 1:30)
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 3
Cooper's Hawk - 2
Northern Goshawk - 3
Red-shouldered Hawk - 8
Red-tailed Hawk - 133
American Kestrel - 1
Total - 152
Only 4 more Red-tails are needed to break our 'Year' record of 858.

Also seen today Common Ravens - 3
Snow Buntings
White-winged Crossbills(landed briefly)
This is my photo of a female White-winged Crossbill that landed briefly in the park today. The male was not in as obvious a spot and flew before I could get a photo of him.
A big thankyou to all for your help in spotting the birds up against the gray sky today. Thanks for the sustanance and hot chocolates. The last few days its been great to meet new folks and welcome old friends.
Eso, Ann, Mark, Mike 4, Mike 2, Effi, Bruce Falls, Murray, Gunnar, Lee, Carol, Patty, Brad & Pam, Bill 2, Denny & Kate, Pat & Nancy, Ron, Mike & Leslie, Bruce 4, Theresa, Margaret, Bonnie, Berle, Nellie & Ceana, Cori, Donna, Hugh, Phil, plus several others whos names have escaped apologies.
     Tomorrow, winds continue from the north, but may be abit light for a large movement of raptors. Right now Thursday and Friday look excellent for big days. This time of year keep in mind that "big" is relative. The only "impact" bird to day counts will be Redtailed Hawks. A smattering of Roughlegs, Redshoulders, Goshawks and eagles of either species will keep things extra exciting. Its very cold now on the best days. From personal experience..dress very very warm, being cold and trying to raptor watch is no fun!  As of Tuesday, bathrooms are closed for the season. They are closed SUNDAY.