Oct 15th & 16th - 53 Birds Altogether!

The past two days have not been great for migration but we have managed to see a few birds flying overhead.  On Wednesday a lone Osprey was seen and today between the rain and fog we tallied 52 raptors including enough Sharpies to set a new single season record.  They're the first species to ever hit the '3000 Counted' mark.  Somewhere during the excitement of last weekend we quietly turned this into our best October ever.  Our best August, best September and best October.....WOW!  Thankyou everyone!

Yesterday & Today:
Osprey - 1
Northern Harrier - 7
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 37
Cooper's Hawk - 2
Red-tailed Hawk - 1
American Kestrel - 4
Merlin - 1
Total - 53

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 2404
Osprey - 140
Bald Eagle - 87
Northern Harrier - 186
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 3028
Cooper's Hawk - 72
Northern Goshawk - 3
Red-shouldered Hawk - 8
Broad-winged Hawk - 1417
Red-tailed Hawk - 90
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 627
Merlin - 113
Peregrine Falcon - 66
Total - 8241

Today the clouds were below us (Walter)

As the fog over the Gardens lifted, one of the local Red-tailed Hawks moved into center stage and stole the show.  It was another aerial display for the ages.  Many high-speed dives down into the park after the squirrels, many low fly-bys right in front of us as it left the park and returned out over the bluffs, and several high-speed dives right over Carol and I as we just stood still in amazement.  Again, as happened in the past, a squirrel was behind us on the ground and we just happened to be in-between the hawk and it's potential meal.  OMG, what a feeling it is to have one of these beautiful hunters flying right at you and passing only inches above your head!  Please click on photo #2 for a better look.

Local Red-tailed Hawk (Walter)

Focused on Carol and I (Walter)

Although blurry, I thought you might like to see what 'death from above' looks like (Walter)

The only non-raptor excitement was a flyover by a Pileated Woodpecker.

63 Monarchs were counted today.

Thankyou to everyone who visited the park over the past two days watching for hawks.

Tomorrow there are decent SW winds predicted which might bring a few more Peregrine Falcons along the bluffs and Saturday and Sunday have good NW winds which should be perfect for more birds in good numbers...Saturday may have some rain off-and-on.

Walter

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