September 14th - All Blue Sky

Well today was another one of those 'all blue sky' days so we really had to work to find the birds.

Today:
Turkey Vulture - 7
Osprey - 1
Bald Eagle - 2
Northern Harrier - 5
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 39
Cooper's Hawk - 1
Broad-winged Hawk - 2
Red-tailed Hawk - 7
American Kestrel - 6
Merlin - 6
Total - 76

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 27
Osprey - 76
Bald Eagle - 53
Northern Harrier - 37
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 771
Cooper's Hawk - 9
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 68
Red-tailed Hawk - 46
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 245
Merlin - 24
Peregrine Falcon - 4
Total - 1360

Eagle Time (EDT):
09:50 AM - BE immature (non-adult)
12:21 AM - BE adult

Here's a couple of shots courtesy of Murray...

Merlins
 
A high-flying adult Bald Eagle

3 new bird species were added to the List today: Swainson's Thrush, Hairy Woodpecker and Palm Warbler.  The number of Monarch butterflies increased dramatically with well over 100 seen throughout the park.

Many wonderful people at the Watch again today including (and I know I've missed a few): Manny, Lorne, Mike 4, John, Mike 3, Murray & Debbie, Allison, Ron, Carol and Berle.


Walter

September 13th - 531 Birds!

Wow, what a fabulous day of hawk watching!  The action started shortly after I arrived at 7:00 AM.  Sharpies and Kestrels came through in decent numbers and so did Osprey, Eagles, and Harriers.  It was lots of fun trying to mark down the numbers as everyone was busy calling out the birds.

Today:
Turkey Vulture - 3
Osprey - 19
Bald Eagle - 11
Northern Harrier - 20
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 307
Cooper's Hawk - 2
Broad-winged Hawk - 9
Red-Tailed Hawk - 2
American Kestrel - 154
Merlin - 4
Total - 531

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 20
Osprey - 75
Bald Eagle - 51
Northern Harrier - 32
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 732
Cooper's Hawk - 8
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 66
Red-tailed Hawk - 39
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 239
Merlin - 18
Peregrine Falcon - 4
Total - 1284

Eagle Time (EDT):
10:05 AM - BE immature (non-adult)
10:05 AM - BE adult
10:10 AM - BE immature (non-adult)
10:25 AM - BE adult
11:10 AM - BE immature (non-adult)
11:25 AM - BE immature (non-adult)
11:25 AM - BE immature (non-adult)
11:27 AM - BE immature (non-adult)
11:46 AM - BE immature (non-adult)
01:29 PM - BE adult
01:33 PM - BE immature (non-adult)

Our first record has been broken!  Our new 'Month' record for Bald Eagles now stands at 45!  Back in Sept 2010 we had counted 43.  This is only the 13th of the month!  Our 'Year' record is 73.  Can we break it?

These photos are courtesy of Paul Reeves...

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Northern Harrier

And these are courtesy of Ann Brokelman...

Bald Eagle

Red-tailed Hawk
 
Several new species of birds were added to our list today including: Black-and-white Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Red-eyed Vireo, Blue-headed Vireo and Black-throated Blue Warbler.  23 Loons were counted flying over the park and 26 Monarch butterflies were also tallied.
 
Lots of people were at the Watch today, in fact I lost track.  Thankyou everyone!
 
Walter
 

September 12th - After The Rain

The start of the day was a real foggy one and not surprising, there weren't any birds flying.  In the early afternoon the skies opened up to another monsoon-like shower.  It only lasted about twenty minutes or so and it wasn't long after that, that we started to see birds.  It was great to see a number of Kestrels in the mix as they have been fairly scarce so far.  We should see many more over the next couple of days as winds from the north are predicted.  Another nice sighting was a pair of Harriers that circled together as they slowly made their way west out over the lake.

Today:
Osprey - 1
Northern Harrier - 4
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 17
American Kestrel - 13
Merlin - 1
Total - 36

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 17
Osprey - 57
Bald Eagle - 40
Northern Harrier - 16
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 442
Cooper's Hawk - 6
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 57
Red-tailed Hawk - 37
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 98
Merlin - 15
Peregrine Falcon - 4
Total - 789

Some photos from the day courtesy of Ann...

Foggy

Merlin
 
American Kestrel 

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Northern Harrier

Two nice Warblers were added to our Bird List: American Redstart and Northern Parula.  We had 3 more Loons fly overhead going south and 19 Monarch butterflies were counted heading west.

More from the Brokelman Collection...

American Redstart

Magnolia Warbler

Northern Parula

Great Blue Heron

Northern Flicker

Thank you Ann.

On hand today were John, Betty, Kris, Peter, Arvo, Terry, Ann, Phil, and Lee.

I realize tomorrow is Friday the 13th but it looks like it's going to be EXCELLENT for us at the Watch.  The prediction from wunderground.com at the time of writing is "Overcast. High of 14C. Windy. Winds from the NNW at 20 to 30 km/h".  And from theweathernetwork.com the prediction is N 25 km/h with wind gusts to 41 km/h.  From my experience with using the Weather Network 'N' would also mean NNW.  Folks, we may have the perfect storm!  Kiss the loved ones goodbye and head to the park!

Walter

September 11th - Hot, Humid, and Hazy Again!

Twas another nice day to sit and relax in the shade of the ol' Maple and wait.  The birds were slow in coming but every now and then something would appear.  Best sighting was a low flying Osprey that barely cleared the top of the trees.  The SW wind blew it up the bluff and in to the park.

Today:
Osprey - 3
Northern Harrier - 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 6
Broad-winged Hawk - 1
American Kestrel - 1
Merlin - 1
Total - 14

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 17
Osprey - 56
Bald Eagle - 40
Northern Harrier - 12
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 425
Cooper's Hawk - 6
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 57
Red-tailed Hawk - 37
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 85
Merlin - 14
Peregrine Falcon - 4
Total - 753

Here are a few photos courtesy of Ann...




Two very nice species were added to our Lists today as Betty spotted a Red-headed Woodpecker flying overhead heading west and Cori saw an American Mink pop up briefly along the edge of the bluffs.  There were also another 9 Monarch butterfly sightings.

Betty, Arvo, Ann, John, Terry, Phil, and Cori were at the Watch.  Also, our intrepid field reporter Lee was watching the skies from alittle further east.  Thank you everyone once again!

Wind for the next couple of days looks quite promising with lots of N and NW in the forecast.  Might be a bit of rain to start tomorrow off though.

Walter

Special Post - Eagle Identification

I just wanted to let everyone know that I've gone back and changed the 'age' names of the young Bald Eagles for the year.  I was listing any birds that didn't have a white head and tail as 'juvenile'.  As many of you are aware, several of our eagles have appeared at eye level right beside us.  It's virtually impossible to tell their correct age without photos given the short viewing time.  Others have been seen at back-breaking heights and they too cannot be correctly aged without photos.  The 'over Kingston Road' birds are also too far away for 100% correct age identification.  So I've decided the best way to describe them is 'immature (non-adult)'.

Hope this doesn't ruffle too many feathers.

Walter

September 10th - Or was it August 1st again?

On a day that felt more like early August than early September, the birds didn't feel much like migrating.  We did however get a surprise eye level fly-by of a young Bald Eagle.  Other than that, it was nice to just sit and relax in the shade.

Today:
Bald Eagle - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2
Total - 3

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 17
Osprey - 53
Bald Eagle - 40
Northern Harrier - 10
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 419
Cooper's Hawk - 6
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 56
Red-tailed Hawk - 37
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 84
Merlin - 13
Peregrine Falcon - 4
Total - 739

Eagle Time (EDT):
01:22 PM - BE immature (non-adult)

Watchers today included Terry, Arvo, and Cori.

More hot and humid weather for tomorrow.  The predicted forecasts for Thursday and Friday are looking great at the moment.  Stay tuned!

Walter

September 9th - Slow Day, 15 Birds!

Short and sweet tonight cuz I'm tired and headin' for bed.

Today:
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 11
American Kestrel - 3
Merlin - 1
Total - 15

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 17
Osprey - 53
Bald Eagle - 39
Northern Harrier - 10
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 417
Cooper's Hawk - 6
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 56
Red-tailed Hawk - 37
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 84
Merlin - 13
Peregrine Falcon - 4
Total - 736

Goodnight!
Walter

September 8th - A Fantastic Day!!!

First off, I'd like to thank Murray for organizing and bringing his annual Nature Lovers 'Meetup' group down to visit us at the Watch this weekend.  Originally planned for Saturday, Murray had to work around some inclement weather and reschedule the outing for today.  I don't think anyone was disappointed.  The flight was a little higher than we had hoped for but the views were spectacular.  The sightings of thirteen Bald Eagles didn't hurt matters, especially when the first four eagles flew overhead together.  It was great to see so many new folks out on such a beautiful day enjoying the park, the people, and the birds, of course.  I hope you will all return again someday soon.

Also, I'd like to thank everyone for all their hard work in finding the birds way up there in the blue and against the few clouds that we did have.  It's very much appreciated.  We wouldn't have half the numbers we do already this year if it wasn't for your dedication.

Here's the end result for...

Today:
Osprey - 6
Bald Eagle - 13
Northern Harrier - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 81
Cooper's Hawk - 2
Broad-winged Hawk - 2
Red-tailed Hawk - 10
American Kestrel - 8
Merlin - 2
Peregrine Falcon - 1
Total - 126

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 17
Osprey - 53
Bald Eagle - 39
Northern Harrier - 10
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 406
Cooper's Hawk - 6
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 56
Red-tailed Hawk - 37
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 81
Merlin - 12
Peregrine Falcon - 4
Total - 721

Eagle Time (EDT):
11:15 AM - BE adult
11:15 AM - BE immature (non-adult)
11:15 AM - BE immature (non-adult)
11:15 AM - BE immature (non-adult)
11:44 AM - BE adult
12:15 PM - BE immature (non-adult)
12:15 PM - BE immature (non-adult)
12:28 PM - BE immature (non-adult)
12:32 PM - BE unknown
12:35 PM - BE immature (non-adult)
12:44 PM - BE immature (non-adult)
12:58 PM - BE adult
01:27 PM - BE adult

Here are a couple of photos courtesy of Mike Poissant...

Red-tailed Hawk

American Kestrel

Bald Eagle (immature) 

In non-raptor news, we had 5 Loon sightings today as well as a White-tailed Deer in the middle of the park early in the morning.  Also of interest, a Hummingbird was seen chasing and attacking the 2nd Sharp-shinned Hawk of the day.  This is not the first time that I've seen that behaviour.  Monarch migration appears to be ramping up with 26 sightings today.  And to top it off, our 6th Giant Swallowtail butterfly of the season was seen and photographed late in the afternoon.

Too many wonderful people to list here so I'll just say thank you once again for all your help and friendship.

Migration should be slower tomorrow with predicted SW 10 km/h wind but, who knows.

Walter