October 8th - Finally!

We had a few hours today of decent wind and the birds didn't disappoint us.  Shortly after I arrived at 8:00 AM the sky started to fill with migrating Red-wings, Grackles, Cowbirds, Waxwings, Starlings, Robins, and Goldfinches.  The trees were filled with the calls of both Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglets and Yellow-rumped Warblers.  One amazing highlight came early today as I watched a group of roughly 15 young Starlings circle across the center of the park with their new buddy, a Sharpie!  Nothing happened, they seemed very happy together.  Eventually they would break and go their separate ways.  Hawk migration started at 11:00 AM and went until about 1:30 PM before someone turned off the tap!  Only eight more birds would be seen between 1:30 PM and 5:00 PM.  Overall I was quite happy with the result today, especially after so many long days of almost nothing.

Today:
Turkey Vulture - 438
Northern Harrier - 5
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 31
Cooper's Hawk - 1
Red-tailed Hawk - 10
American Kestrel - 1
Merlin - 6
Peregrine Falcon - 1
Total - 493

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 1106
Osprey - 112
Bald Eagle - 93
Northern Harrier - 85
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1270
Cooper's Hawk - 27
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 139
Red-tailed Hawk - 77
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 457
Merlin - 45
Peregrine Falcon - 28
Total - 3439

Shots today are courtesy of me...

Our first kettle of Turkey Vultures

Still more!
 
local Red-tailed Hawk

 
 
Peregrine Falcon

Two new bird species were added to our fall season park list today.  They were Orange-crowned Warbler and Hermit Thrush.  Two more Fox sightings today, one on the opposite-side of the fence right beside us and then later on it returned straight through the center of the park.  Monarch migration was spectacular today with at least 175 'Butterhawks' counted.  The main garden around the fountain was absolutely dripping with Monarchs by the time the Hawk Watch was over.  Shortly after leaving the park, I met Cori on Kingston Road and after telling her about what I had just witnessed we drove back down to the park so she could have a look and take photos.

Lots of Monarchs

Red Fox
 
Our group today consisted of: Ron, Terry, Kris, Berle, Betty, Hugh, Carol, Manny, Cori, and out in the field, Lee.  My thanks to all for a great job spotting the birds as many were quite high up and not easy to see or identify.  Also, a big shout out to Terry's wife Marion for a tasty thermos of coffee today.  Without it I wouldn't have been able to count all of those Vultures!

Walter

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