August 31st - Month's End Roundup

Well our first month of the 2013 season is now officially over.  We finished up with 116 Raptors counted - not our best August but also not our worst.  The first 2 weeks of the month were unusually chilly with a few good NW wind days and the last 2 saw the return of the heat and humidity with little air movement.  Hopefully over the next couple of weeks we'll start to see the migration really pick up as Sharp-shinned Hawks and American Kestrels should be on the move in great numbers.

Today:
Osprey - 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2
Merlin - 1
Peregrine Falcon - 1
Total - 6

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 6
Osprey - 22
Bald Eagle - 6
Northern Harrier - 6
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 34
Cooper's Hawk - 1
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 7
Red-tailed Hawk - 11
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 16
Merlin - 5
Peregrine Falcon - 2
Total - 116

In other news, today we had our first of many Common Loons fly over the park.

To Date:
Bird Species - 59 (0 new to RMG)
Butterfly Species - 22 (3 new to RMG)
Mammal Species - 6 (1 new to RMG)

Two mammals not seen as yet by our group but reported by others are White-tailed Deer and Red Fox.  One of our keen spotters should find them roaming the park before too long.

My thanks to everyone for their friendship and help during the 'Always Hard To Get Thru' first month of the season.  It's been wonderful to see so many returning faces and to meet so many new ones over the past 4 weeks.  Once things really start to pick up we should have another good solid group of watchers and photographers on-hand to spot each and every hawk that tries to sneak by us!

Tomorrow (Sunday) yours truly will not be present at the Watch.  Please let John or myself know if you see any migrating hawks.  Happy Hunting!

Walter

August 30th - 9 More Birds, Plus 2 Giants!

Another hot one at Rosetta today with lots of haze.  Don't remember the last time that I saw across the lake to Niagara Falls.  At one point a few Sharpies and an Eagle were observed flying eastward out of sight.  Hopefully they'll get things sorted out and return another day to be counted.

Today:
Osprey - 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 4
American Kestrel - 3
Total - 9

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 6
Osprey - 19
Bald Eagle - 6
Northern Harrier - 6
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 32
Cooper's Hawk - 1
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 7
Red-tailed Hawk - 11
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 16
Merlin - 4
Peregrine Falcon - 1
Total - 109

Here's a great photo courtesy of Cori.

adult Osprey

As I was finishing up with the Hawk Watch I saw a Giant Swallowtail, our biggest butterfly circle the area before heading towards the west end of the park.  After a thorough search I gave up on it but still happy that I at least saw it.  As I was standing chatting with some fellow birders I noticed it fly by in the distance heading towards the main garden and the chase was on again.  I located it feeding in a bed of Petunias and surprisingly not on the Butterfly Bushes.

Giant Swallowtail

A while later when I was leaving the park I stopped by the top of the rose garden to check for any other butterflies and sure enough, there was a Giant Swallowtail.  I figured it was the same one but after a look at my photos I noticed several spots on this individual where it had been damaged.

Another Giant Swallowtail!

Betty, Ron, and Cori were by today for some of the action.

Tomorrow's winds are a little lighter but still from the NW.

Walter

August 29th - 22 Makes 100 Even!

Today went far better than expected!  With today's count of 22 birds, we've now reached the 100 Bird mark for August.  Best bird of the day was the Bald Eagle, of course.  Many birds, especially the Sharpies and Kestrels flew at a height where they could been easily seen with the naked eye but binocular views brought in the detail.  One Kestrel was carrying and eating a dragonfly as it flew overhead.

Today:
Osprey - 5
Bald Eagle - 1
Northern Harrier - 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 7
Broad-winged Hawk - 2
American Kestrel - 5
Total - 22

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 6
Osprey - 17
Bald Eagle - 6
Northern Harrier - 6
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 28
Cooper's Hawk - 1
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 7
Red-tailed Hawk - 11
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 13
Merlin - 4
Peregrine Falcon - 1
Total - 100

Eagle Time (EDT):
02:08 PM - BE immature (non-adult)

Here's a couple of quick shots I took of the eagle.


 
Yellow-rumped Warbler was the only new species added to the list today.  Also of note, today I witnessed the first sign of any kind of Monarch migration with one individual flying by fairly high up.  2 more were seen in the main garden area.
 
Peter, Bruce, Richard, Carol, Berle, and Terry were at the Watch today.
 
Tomorrow's predicted SW 10-20 km/h winds may bring more birds along.  Osprey and Peregrine Falcons in particular don't mind that wind direction.  Saturday's predicted NW 20 wind is exactly what we're looking for.
 
Walter
 

August 28th - Fog, No Fog, Fog, No Fog!

That was just the kind of day it was today at the park - fog, no fog, fog, no fog...  Just after 1:00 PM our only bird of the day flew over, it was a juvenile Broad-winged Hawk.  Even it was in and out of the fog as you can see in the photo below.  Crazy humidity today as well.

Broad-winged Hawk (juvenile)

Can we reach 100 birds by the end of the month?  Time will tell.

In Butterfly news, I had a Great Spangled Fritillary land only 6 feet away from me in the grass over the fence and our good friend Howie Herscovitch got a Pipevine Swallowtail on the Butterfly Bush near the main garden a little later in the day.  That's 2 new butterfly species for the Park and our Fall List, of course.

Great Spangled Fritillary
 
Lee sent along this photo that she took this morning while at the park:

Leopard Slug

Hooray, the bench has been repaired!...thanks to Betty.

 
Walter 
 

August 27th - Another Eagle!

Today's visibility was lousy at best.  Not only was there heat and haze, there was also fog coming in off the lake at times.  Many visitors today kept me hanging in and that was a good thing.  I was just about to leave and go sit in the main garden area to watch for butterflies when I turned and saw Terry walking towards me.  I hung my backpack up again on the fence and tied up the clipboard.  Very shortly thereafter Terry and I watched a young Bald Eagle fly by at eye level close to the bluffs.  Thank you Terry!

Today:
Osprey - 1
Bald Eagle - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1
Total - 3

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 6
Osprey - 12
Bald Eagle - 5
Northern Harrier - 4
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 21
Cooper's Hawk - 1
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 4
Red-tailed Hawk - 11
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 8
Merlin - 4
Peregrine Falcon - 1
Total - 77

Eagle Time (EDT):
12:22 PM - BE immature (non-adult)

Very quiet again for songbirds.  A new butterfly for the list was seen, a Least Skipper, our smallest butterfly.  It was seen flying in the grasses near the edge of the bluffs.

Today's bunch included: Betty, Arvo, Peter, Berle, Terry, John & Eva, Phil, and new friends Debbie and Christopher.  It was Christopher who pointed out the Sharp-shin coming towards us through the haze.  Great job!

At present, the wind for tomorrow is SE 10 km/h switching to E 10 km/h.  Not great but we'll see what happens.  Sure wasn't expecting that eagle to fly by today!

Walter

August 25th - 8 More Birds!

Today we counted 8 more birds.  That was pretty good considering the higher heat and humidity we're experiencing right now.  Best bird of the day was an Osprey which flew by at eye level just over the bluffs.  Shortly after that a Merlin flew by.  It landed in a dead tree just outside the park in a neighbouring backyard and several folks got great photos of it.

Today:
Osprey - 1
Northern Harrier - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 5
Merlin - 1
Total - 8

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 6
Osprey - 11
Bald Eagle - 4
Northern Harrier - 4
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 20
Cooper's Hawk - 1
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 4
Red-tailed Hawk - 11
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 8
Merlin - 4
Peregrine Falcon - 1
Total - 74

Here are some photos from today courtesy of Ann Brokelman.

Osprey

Merlin

Merlin
 
Most of the gang from today
 
The park was fairly quiet today for songbirds.  Towards the end of the day, our friend Howie and his son Larry came over to show us photos and video of the Giant Swallowtail butterfly that they had just observed up by the Rose Gardens.  Wonderful find gentlemen!  Speaking of finds, I too got a fabulous surprise this morning when I walked through the main garden and noticed a Hummingbird-like insect flying from flower to flower in one of the beds.  Didn't know what it was until I identified it this evening - it was a Gallium Sphinx Moth.  Don't know if it's rare in the province or not but I do know that I've never heard or seen one before.
 
Gallium Sphinx moth
 
Good crowd today including:  Ann, Carol, Pat & Nancy, Mike, Mike 4, John, Betty, Lee, Freida, Norm, Ivor, Howie and Larry.
 
Looks like rain for tomorrow!
 
Walter