Aug 8th - A Quiet Day

No surprises today with wind switching to the east by mid-day.  The only raptor that we saw was a Merlin fairly high up and flapping the whole way across our viewing area.

Today we added Common Loon, Least Flycatcher, Great Egret and Trumpeter Swan to our Species Survey.

Walter

Aug 7th - The North Wind

Today's north wind brought a few nice surprises our way in the form of seven Broad-winged Hawks!  This is without a doubt the most BWs we've ever had in the first week of August.  Let's hope it only gets better from here.  Another Bald Eagle and Osprey were seen today.  A few of the local raptors made appearances as well including, a Turkey Vulture, two Red-tailed Hawks and the Merlin.  Two Buteos flew by way up high but sadly weren't unidentified due to poor lighting and a slightly hazy sky.

Today:
Osprey - 1
Bald Eagle - 1
Cooper's Hawk - 1
Broad-winged Hawk - 7
American Kestrel - 2
Total - 12

To Date:
Osprey - 5
Bald Eagle - 3
Copper's Hawk - 1
Broad-winged Hawk - 7
American Kestrel - 3
Merlin - 1
Total - 20

Eagle Time (EDT):
12:58 PM - BE (unknown age)

Here are a couple of shots courtesy of Ann:

 Osprey

 Broad-winged Hawk

Ann also got this quick pic of the Mink heading through the fence.



Fellow observers today included Pat & Nancy, Theresa, Hugh, Berle, Betty, Terry, Ron, Ann, and new guy Don.  Thankyou everyone.

Walter

Aug 6th - 4 Birds Today

Well, today was a little better.  First off, what a gorgeous day to be at the park, wow!  When I arrived this morning, Theresa informed me that she had already seen an Osprey fly by.  A few hours of conversation went by before the next birds were seen - 2 Bald Eagles, one after the other way up high.  Thank God for clouds or they likely would never have been spotted.  Both were 1st year birds.  Another couple of hours past before a Merlin was seen flying along the edge of the bluffs.

Today:
Osprey - 1
Bald Eagle - 2
Merlin - 1
Total - 4

To Date:
Osprey - 4
Bald Eagle - 2
American Kestrel - 1
Merlin - 1
Total - 8

Eagle Time (EDT):
12:35 PM - BE (first year)
12:39 PM - BE (first year)

Surprisingly not a lot of butterfly species today despite the sunshine.  Monarch numbers were encouraging.  An American Mink which climbed the bluffs and eventually made it's way in to the park was another highlight.

On hand today were Theresa, Peter, Betty, Hugh, Terry, Ron, Berle, Lee and Carol.

See you tomorrow,
Walter

Aug 5th - Two Osprey

Today was not all that great for raptor migration with lots of haze/fog and no wind but we did manage to see 2 Osprey fly by.  Off and on rain did not make the morning any better.  One beautiful highlight was seeing the majestic Lancaster Bomber fly overhead on it's way from it's home in Hamilton to Goose Bay, Labrador.  This is first leg of a three to four leg flight to England.  It's heading there to join up with the only other airworthy Lancaster in the world.  They will both be touring the UK in a series of airshows and other events to commemorate 50 years since the last time two Lancansters ever flew together.

This is a 'slightly' edited photo of the big bird that I took today at Rosetta.  It must have been flying near it's full speed of 275 mph when it flew over.  Charlene and 'Crown Vic' Ron were also there to enjoy the flyby.


Walter

Aug 4th - Oops, Minus Bird One...Or

It appears that an Osprey might be hanging around along the bluffs as I received a text message from Lee saying that one just flew by the Watch site heading east.  It could be the same bird as yesterday...or it could be a new one from today that might have flown down from the north further west of the Watch site and flew eastward once it reached the lake.  It happens.  I will hold off counting anything that goes by for now until we get a better understanding of the situation.  This is why we normally start the Hawk Watch on August 1st instead of the 15th, to learn!

As for today, not much happened although the two local Red-tailed Hawks put on an entertaining show for everyone as they hunted along the bluffs and in the park.  At one point an American Kestrel flew up and followed one of the Red-tails briefly before moving along to the west.  I won't count him just yet either as he may be a 'local' as well.

Paul Reeves managed these great shots.



Today Lee, John, Pat & Nancy, Paul, Mark and Ron were at the Hawk Watch.

Walter

Aug 3rd - Bird One

I was just about to leave the house this morning when I got a text message telling me that an Osprey had just flown along the bluffs and passed the Hawk Watch...dammit!!!  Sharp-eyed Mike Kinrys gets the gold star for spotting this year's first countable bird.  Thankyou Mike!  Others who were gathered at the time to see 'bird one' were Leslie, Theresa, Peter, Betty, and Kris.  Sadly tho, that was it for raptors for the day.  Where there were no raptors there were Great Blue Herons.  An incredible 23 Herons passed by the Watch today including 8 that flew by together almost wingtip to wingtip.  Ron Pittaway, who was with us at the time commented that he couldn't recall ever seeing so many and so close together in all his years of birding.  Some other birds of interest today included a Belted Kingfisher, a Warbling Vireo and a Red-eyed Vireo, as well as a Yellow Warbler singing from down the side of the bluffs.  Butterflies were a little sluggish today, some even sat still on flowers and allowed for great photo opts.  Kris captured this beautiful shot of an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Lantana camara.


As we sat and chatted by the gardens watching butterflies, Paul, Patty and Cori joined us.

I'll be at the park much earlier tomorrow hoping for another Osprey to come my way.

Walter

Aug 2nd - The Second Day

The second day of the Watch went as expected...hazy, hot and humid!  Not much was happening in today's heat.  The best sighting was of a Peregrine Falcon flying in from the west just out over the lake.  It flew after one of the last remaining Bank Swallows but came up empty due to it's feeble attempt.  I didn't get a very good view of the excitement with my binoculars because for some unknown reason the lenses were completely covered in condensation INSIDE!  Not sure why this happened but I'll check online after I'm done here.  Thank God it didn't happen on a busy day!  Between all the socializing that I did today I was able to add not only the Peregrine but two more butterflies to our Species Survey.  The butterflies were Mourning Cloak and American Lady.

Again I'd like to thank everybody who stopped by today to say hello and wish us success.  If today was any kind of indication, the park should be full with people for the remainder of the long weekend.  Having so many folks moving around and enjoying the gardens makes it difficult to photograph butterflies and hummers, oh well, another day.  By-the-way, there were 3 more Hummingbirds today.  One landed high up in a nearby tree and returned to the gardens a couple of times.

Robin's nest

American Lady

Another Black Swallowtail


I haven't checked the weather for Sunday as yet but I'll be at the park for a while in the morning if the sun is out.

Walter