Sep 30th - The First Half in Review

The following is a review of what's happened so far and a bit of prediction on what's to come...

Turkey Vulture (115) - So far only a few individuals and small groups have made it our way.  Peak migration over Rosetta generally occurs in the first two weeks of October.  Numbers should jump dramatically in the coming days.

Osprey (125) - We are currently experiencing our second best year ever.  Peak migration over Rosetta for this species generally occurs in the first two weeks of September.  Numbers should begin to slow in the second half of October.

Bald Eagle (67) - Although it's been over a week since we added our last BE, we are currently enjoying our third best year ever.  Peak migration over Rosetta generally occurs in the first two weeks of September but there should still be many more to come through till the end of November.

Northern Harrier (97) - To date we've not had the numbers expected for this species.  Presently, we've only tallied-up about half of our average for this time.  Peak migration over Rosetta generally occurs in the last two weeks of September.   Being a ground nesting bird, my hope is that due to the delay of Spring, these birds are just a little late in leaving this year.

Sharp-shinned Hawk (2089) - Only seventeen birds shy of our best count ever for this period!  Peak migration over Rosetta generally occurs in the first two weeks of September.  There should still be a decent number of 'Sharpies' to come, including the 'adult' birds which have yet to appear.

Cooper's Hawk (35) - Numbers so far would indicate that we're experiencing a slightly below average year for this species.  Peak migration over Rosetta generally occurs in the first two weeks of October.  Hopefully we'll see a surge in numbers in the coming days.

Northern Goshawk (0) - Although a few birds have been counted in late September over the years, usually this species does not arrive until early October.  Peak migration over Rosetta generally occurs in the last two weeks of October.  An average of 15-20 birds are counted with a high of 24 in 2006.

Red-shouldered Hawk (0) - Only one bird has ever been counted before the first of October.  Peak migration over Rosetta generally occurs in the second half of October.  An average of 15-25 birds are counted with a high of 76 in 2012.

Broad-winged Hawk (1403) - Easily our best day, month, and year ever for this species!  Peak migration over Rosetta generally occurs in the middle two weeks of September.  We should still see a few late individuals heading south.

Red-tailed Hawk (28) - A few individuals have been counted to date.  Peak migration over Rosetta generally occurs in late October and continues in to November.  We look forward to another great count.

Rough-legged Hawk (0) - Only one bird has ever been counted before the first of October.  Peak migration over Rosetta generally occurs in the last half of October and continues in to November.  An average of 5-10 birds are counted with a high of 28 in 2010.

Golden Eagle (0) - Only one bird has ever been counted before the first of October.  Peak migration over Rosetta generally occurs in late October and continues in to November.  An average of 5-10 birds are counted with a high of 20 in 2012.

American Kestrel (387) - Numbers to date would indicate that we'll end up having another good year.  Peak migration over Rosetta generally occurs throughout the month of September and in to the first week or so of October.  Numbers should continue to climb in the coming days.  

Merlin (75) - We are already experiencing our fourth best year ever.  Peak migration over Rosetta generally occurs throughout September and continues well in to October.  Likely our numbers will steadily increase over the next several weeks.

Peregrine Falcon (14) - Numbers are a little low for this time.  Peak migration over Rosetta generally occurs during the last two weeks of September and continues well in to October.  Hopefully we'll see a jump in numbers over the coming weeks.

Total (4435) - Although the last week of September was not conducive to good bird migration, we have finished the first half of our 'count' period with some great numbers, as noted above.  The first two months of the season have been our best ever.  Our August count of 297 birds was 52 birds more then our previous high count and our September count of 4138 birds was 753 birds more then our previous high count.  The total first half count of 4435 birds is 869 birds more then our previous high count.

Plus, as most of you are aware, I like to keep track of what else is being seen in the park during our four month 'Watch' period...

Species Survey - Birds (102) - Last year we finished the season with 115 birds being identified.  This year's first half number currently stands at 102 birds identified.  Highlight was new Park List species - Pectoral Sandpiper.  Lots of time left for more species.

Species Survey - Mammals (7) - Nothing overly exciting has been observed in the park so far.  Highlight has been 'Rosie' the Eastern Cottontail rabbit.  She has been good company during our time at the park.  Does anyone actually know if she is a she?

Species Survey - Butterflies (23) - So far it's been another great season for butterflies with 23 species being identified.  Although highlights which included a sighting of the now 'GTA rare' Leonard's Skipper, 17 Giant Swallowtails, and new Park List species - Red-spotted Purple, nothing compares to the number of migrating Monarchs.

Monarch Count (5789) - What an amazing turnaround to such a dreadful migration last year.  By the end of September last year we had only observed 700 Monarchs flying along the bluffs.  This year our count at month's end is a very encouraging 5789!!!

My thanks to everyone who has helped make this our most successful first half ever.  Let's hope for an equally good second half.

See you at the park!

Walter

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