Aug 29th - What a Show!

With very little raptor movement today, the two local Red-tailed Hawks thought they'd put on a show for all to see.  They flew in to the park around eleven o'clock and we're still being seen when we left at four.  Many park goers today got amazing unexpected views as the hawks came down to the ground repeatedly searching for squirrels.  What a thrill watching them dive at high speed from across the park, talons down ready to grab a meal.  I, myself took very few photos, I just sat back and enjoyed the show.  Way better than television!

Today:
Osprey - 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1
Merlin - 1
Total - 4

To Date:
Osprey - 35
Bald Eagle - 11
Northern Harrier - 15
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 66
Cooper's Hawk - 3
Broad-winged Hawk - 81
Red-tailed Hawk - 12
American Kestrel - 61
Merlin - 11
Peregrine Falcon - 2
Total - 297

 Red-tailed Hawk (Walter)

Osprey (Patty)

The best non-raptor sighting of the day without a doubt was of a Pileated Woodpecker which flew right over our heads at tree level.

We added our 22nd butterfly species to our survey list today - a Leonard's Skipper.  Butterfly experts Bob and Karen Yukich and Barry Harrison found and photographed it.  They told me that it vanished after one shot was taken, much the same as when I found one in the park last year.  As these 'rare for Toronto' butterflies are not migrants, it is believed that there is likely a small colony of them somewhere close to the park.  I will be going through the park over the next couple of days in hopes of finding one myself.

I was in great company again today.  Norm, Ron, Carol, Dave, Peter, Patty, and new hawk-watching friend Matt all enjoyed the day, the park and the Red-tails.

Tomorrow I'll be absent from the park so if you see anything interesting, please let John know.  If I don't get sick eating chocolate-covered chicken tasty food at the EX, I'll see you Sunday.

Walter

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