October 19th - Before you leave the house...

Today is looking like another one of those 'on again, off again' rain days.  Lots of showers predicted for the surrounding area so I'm thinking it's not going to be good.  Likely very little, if any movement today.  Stay tuned...

Walter

October 18th - Some Day Our Birds Will Come!

Several birders arrived early this morning including myself as we were expecting a decent flight of birds.  With near perfect conditions we sat and waited...and waited...  Birds came but they were really few and far between.  Wind up high appeared to WNW and lower down it seemed to be from various directions throughout the day.  I'm starting to get the feeling that we may be at the park until Christmas looking for hawks!

Today:
Turkey Vulture - 10
Osprey - 1
Northern Harrier - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 10
Red-shouldered Hawk - 1
Red-tailed Hawk - 2
Merlin - 2
Peregrine Falcon - 2
Total - 29

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 1350
Osprey - 117
Bald Eagle - 95
Northern Harrier - 88
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1338
Cooper's Hawk - 33
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 5
Broad-winged Hawk - 139
Red-tailed Hawk - 117
Rough-legged Hawk - 1
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 463
Merlin - 51
Peregrine Falcon - 39
Total - 3836

Monarch migration was much slower today with only 13 counted.  6 more Loons were observed.  Our first Dark-eyed Juncos of the season were seen flying from shrub to shrub and a late Northern Parula was heard calling by me and beautifully photographed by Ann.

Here's a couple of fabulous captures courtesy of Paul Reeves...

Hermit Thrush

Winter Wren

On-hand today were: Paul, Carol, Berle, Dave, Ron, Terry, Allison, Patti, Manny, Peter, and Ann.  Thank you everyone for another great day despite the lack of birds.

I forgot to mention that the unidentified eagle that we saw back on October 14th will remain just that 'unidentified'.  After reviewing photos taken that day it was realized that none were of an eagle.  Not enough field markings were seen through binoculars or scopes to positively ID the bird 100%.  It happens!

Walter

October 17th - Our first Rough-legged Hawk!

Sorry, short and sweet tonight...

Today:
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 3
Cooper's Hawk - 2
Rough-legged Hawk - 1
Total - 6

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 1340
Osprey - 116
Bald Eagle - 95
Northern Harrier - 87
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1328
Cooper's Hawk - 33
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 4
Broad-winged Hawk - 139
Red-tailed Hawk - 115
Rough-legged Hawk - 1
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 463
Merlin - 49
Peregrine Falcon - 37
Total - 3807

It was a great day for Monarch migration with another 108 butterflies counted.  Six more Loons were added as well.

Kris, Ron, Terry, Berle, Allison, Betty, Lee, Arvo, Manny, Carol and Ann all enjoyed a fabulous October day at the park.  So did I.

Walter

Special Post - The Coming Days...

Please watch the weather forecasts for the next couple of days, a slight shift in the wind direction and we could have ourselves a festival of feathered fliers (a.k.a. lots of birds)!  Or, they may come anyway!

Walter

October 15th - Peregrine Falcon goes for Gold!

This morning as I was sitting and wondering if anything would fly by on the strong ESE wind an adult Peregrine Falcon came flying along the bluffs from the east at eye-level.  As it got to the Watch site it quickly made a sharp left-hand turn and headed straight out over Lake Ontario.  It was flying directly towards the Niagara region.  Because of the cloud cover and lighting on the American side I was able to view this bird flying for quite a long time.  This is only the third time that I've seen a Peregrine attempt the crossing and twice I've had excellent lighting...I guess the bird too!  It would appear to me that they must focus on a distant landmark and keep it in sight all the way across.  They don't seem to stray very far off target.

Today:
Osprey - 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 9
American Kestrel - 1
Merlin - 1
Peregrine Falcon - 3
Total - 16

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 1340
Osprey - 116
Bald Eagle - 95
Northern Harrier - 87
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1325
Cooper's Hawk - 31
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 4
Broad-winged Hawk - 139
Red-tailed Hawk - 115
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 463
Merlin - 49
Peregrine Falcon - 37
Total - 3801

Here are a couple of great photos courtesy of Helena...


local Red-tailed Hawk
 
One of the local Red-tailed Hawks put on a spectacular show for us this afternoon.  He flew from one side of the park to the other dive-bombing at unsuspecting squirrels.  Our newest friend and fellow hawk-watcher Helena sure got her eyes filled with the flying abilities and hunting skills of this large bird.  At one point it passed behind us just clearing the fence between us and the big Maple tree.  It also was kind enough to do some 'kiting' right above Helena so she could get some great photos of it.
 
Also, earlier in the day one of the Red Foxes decided to stroll right through the center of the park.  We never did see it return.  We added another 32 Monarchs to our count as well.
 
On-hand today were; Terry, Helena, Hugh, Manny, and Cori.  Thanks for your help!
 
Tomorrow's is looking 'Wet' but maybe clearing in the afternoon.  The strong SW wind may bring some Peregrines and Osprey our way.
 
Walter 
 

October 14th - Lots O' Vultures!

Today was not quite as good as we had expected but in the end 321 birds was a decent number.  With light wind a lot of the flight path was to the north of the park over Kingston Road and beyond.  This made identification tough at times.  I'd like to thank everyone for their help and great friendship today.  In all it was just a wonderful way to spend the holiday.

Today:
Turkey Vulture - 233
Osprey - 1
Bald Eagle - 2
Northern Harrier - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 38
Cooper's Hawk - 3
Red-shouldered Hawk - 1
Red-tailed Hawk - 34
American Kestrel - 3
Merlin - 1
Peregrine Falcon - 4
Total - 321

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 1340
Osprey - 114
Bald Eagle - 95
Northern Harrier - 87
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1316
Cooper's Hawk - 31
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 4
Broad-winged Hawk - 139
Red-tailed Hawk - 115
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 462
Merlin - 48
Peregrine Falcon - 34
Total - 3785

Eagle Time (EDT):
12:24 PM - BE
02:07 PM - BE

At 11:46 AM we had a UFE (unidentified flying eagle) over the center of the park, I'm now waiting for a photo to confirm it's identity.  Stay posted.

Today we counted 264 Loons, 250 of them were sitting out on the lake.  Anthony found them in his scope and was kind enough to count them.  Another 48 Monarchs were observed today headin' south.  Other great sightings today included: a Raven, Horned Larks, Eastern Bluebirds, and a Red-tailed Hawk who I think was helping a Black Squirrel move further along the Bluffs.  He sure was holdin' him tight in his talons so he wouldn't fall!

So many great folks came by today including: Manny, Lorne, Mike 4, Cori, Terry, Ann & her mom, Sonja, Kris, Ron & Jean, Pat & Nancy, John, Berle, Mark, Mike 3, Allison, Betty & her friend Bob, Bruce, Hugh, Peter, Julie, Patti, Margaret, and our new friend Helena.  Again, thank you everyone!

Tomorrow's wind is not looking great but, who knows.

Walter

Special Post - Monday's Looking Great

The predicted forecast from wunderground.com is "Clear. High of 17C. Winds from the NNW at 10 to 15 km/h."  Very similar forecast from weathernetwork.com.  Let's hope they've got it right!

Walter