October 12th - Another 3!

John took over the hawk-watching responsibilities today in my absence and unfortunately only had 3 birds to count.  Thanks John!

Today:
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1
Red-tailed Hawk - 1
American Kestrel - 1
Total - 3

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 1107
Osprey - 113
Bald Eagle - 93
Northern Harrier - 86
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1278
Cooper's Hawk - 28
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 3
Broad-winged Hawk - 139
Red-tailed Hawk - 81
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 459
Merlin - 47
Peregrine Falcon - 30
Total - 3464

Phil and I went down to Fort Erie to see Ontario's newest bird species, a Brown Booby.  Normally these birds are not seen any further north than Miami, FL but on occasion have been known to stray northward along the east coast.  There have been two reports from Nova Scotia over the years but never so far inland.  Very likely, this bird was brought here on strong wind from the south.

Tomorrow is not looking too promising at present with an 80% chance of rain.

Walter

October 11th - A Long Day Watching Raptors!

Sadly, there were just 3 countable raptors over the 5 hour period we were at the park.  I can confidently say that it wasn't for lack of trying as we had lots of eyes on the skies today!

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

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 1107
Osprey - 113
Bald Eagle - 93
Northern Harrier - 86
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1277
Cooper's Hawk - 28
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 3
Broad-winged Hawk - 139
Red-tailed Hawk - 80
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 458
Merlin - 47
Peregrine Falcon - 30
Total - 3461

A couple of photos courtesy of Ann...

local Red-tailed Hawk

Merlin
 
Monarch migration appears to be slowing down somewhat with only 11 counted today.

Congratulations Ann on a new 'Lifer'...

Winter Wren

On-hand today were: Mike 3, Arvo, Sheldon, Pat & Nancy, Bruce, Tony, Effie, Ron, Jean, Berle, Carol, Tim, Julie, Lynn, and Ann.

I personally had much better luck watching these Raptors...


The final score was: Raptors 100 - Knicks 91

Tomorrow (Saturday) I will not be present at the park.  Likely the East wind will not bring much our way.

Walter

October 10th - Red-shouldered Hawks!

Today we saw the first of what we hope to be many Red-shouldered Hawks.  We had 3 circling together up high across the park.  Some low passing clouds made viewing difficult at times.

Today:
Osprey - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 4
Cooper's Hawk - 1
Red-shouldered Hawk - 3
Red-tailed Hawk - 2
Peregrine Falcon - 1
Total - 12

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 1107
Osprey - 113
Bald Eagle - 93
Northern Harrier - 86
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1276
Cooper's Hawk - 28
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 3
Broad-winged Hawk - 139
Red-tailed Hawk - 80
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 457
Merlin - 46
Peregrine Falcon - 30
Total - 3458

Monarch butterflies still continue their migration in respectable numbers with another 56 counted today.  Three new birds were added to our fall bird list; the Red-shouldered Hawk, Eastern Towhee, and Winter Wren.  Also, 3 Foxes were seen in the afternoon.

These 2 shots are courtesy of me...

Eastern Towhee

Winter Wren
 
And these are courtesy of Ann...
 



Kris, Arvo, Berle, Ann, Mike, Pat, Nancy, and a few others were at the Watch today.

Friday's predicted forecast calls for N and NE winds between 5 and 15 km/h.

Walter

October 9th - Back to...

...all blue sky and wrong way wind unfortunately!  Nothing seen for the first two hours and then a few birds finally came along.

Today:
Turkey Vulture - 1
Northern Harrier - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2
Red-tailed Hawk - 1
Merlin - 1
Peregrine Falcon - 1
Total - 7

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 1107
Osprey - 112
Bald Eagle - 93
Northern Harrier - 86
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1272
Cooper's Hawk - 27
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 139
Red-tailed Hawk - 78
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 457
Merlin - 46
Peregrine Falcon - 29
Total - 3446

All photos are courtesy of Ann today...

Peregrine Falcon

Northern Harrier

Sharpie - another one of Ann's classic 'butt' shots!

Merlin

53 Monarchs were counted today as well as another Loon.

Monarchs filled the main garden again today

Carol, Berle, Ann, Terry, Cori, and Manny were there for some of the fun and excitement.

The weather forecasted for tomorrow is "Overcast. High of 19C. Winds from the ENE at 5 to 15 km/h." according to wunderground.com's Upper Beaches weather station.  If birds come, they'll be high up.

Walter

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

October 6th - 9 Birds During the Afternoon

With good strong wind from the SW in the afternoon I headed down to the park to see what might fly through.  Well...nothing until Lee showed up around 2:30 PM.  We had tallied 4 birds up within just a couple of minutes of her being there.  We then had another 5 birds come by over the remainder of the afternoon.

Today:
Northern Harrier - 3
American Kestrel - 2
Merlin - 2
Peregrine Falcon - 2
Total - 9

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 668
Osprey - 112
Bald Eagle - 93
Northern Harrier - 80
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1239
Cooper's Hawk - 26
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 139
Red-tailed Hawk - 67
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 456
Merlin - 39
Peregrine Falcon - 27
Total - 2946

Here's a shot I took of a Northern Harrier as it struggled along fighting the wind...

 
Only 2 Monarchs today!

Fellow hawk-watchers today included: Lee, Terry, Cori, Carol, and Alex.

NW wind early tomorrow and then it switches on us again!

Walter