Oct 4th - As Quoted!

So, as quoted in yesterday's post, SW wind brings the Peregrines, Eagles and Osprey.  No surprises there as I know the Hawk Cliff people know what they're talking about, they've got years of experience at this game!

Today:
Osprey - 1
Bald Eagle - 3
Northern Harrier - 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 19
Cooper's Hawk - 1
Red-tailed Hawk - 1
American Kestrel - 1
Peregrine Falcon - 5
Total - 34

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 115
Osprey - 127
Bald Eagle - 70
Northern Harrier - 100
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2117
Cooper's Hawk - 38
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 1403
Red-tailed Hawk - 30
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 395
Merlin - 76
Peregrine Falcon - 25
Total - 4496

Eagle Time (EDT):
10:56 AM - BE
04:00 PM - BE x2

Nineteen Monarch butterflies were counted today.

Joining me today were - John, Gunnar, Hugh, Carol, Gary & Wei Li and their visiting relatives, Pat & Nancy, and Cori. Today we also had an afternoon shift which consisted of Betty, Berle and Allison.  My thanks to everyone for their participation and friendship.

Weather-wise, likely more of the same tomorrow as wind is predicted to be from the SW again.

Some of you who use Lee's Rosetta Facebook site might know a gentleman named Andre Tardif.  Andre was at Rosetta last weekend with his remote controlled quadcopter, or drone as they're known.  With an attached camera, these small drones now have the ability to shoot film from just about anywhere and at any angle.  This short 'teaser' that Andre kindly offers gives us bird lovers a brand new perspective, a bird's eye view of the Gardens.


Thankyou Andre for sharing this video.  We look forward to seeing the finished piece.  More of Andre's work can be found on YouTube by searching 'travelwithsally'.

Walter

301 Osprey...

Wow, this looks like fun!  301 Osprey in one hour at the Florida Keys Hawkwatch!  Amazing!


Oct 3rd - 17 Birds Ahead of the Rain

Just like the weather people predicted - rain starting around 2:00 PM!  Before that, we did manage to see a few birds in the late morning including 4 Peregrine Falcons and a couple of Cooper's Hawks.  Also of note was a Red-tail that flew along the bluffs, it appeared to have an extremely light belly band.

Today:
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 6
Cooper's Hawk - 2
Red-tailed Hawk - 1
American Kestrel - 4
Peregrine Falcon - 4
Total - 17

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 115
Osprey - 126
Bald Eagle - 67
Northern Harrier - 97
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2098
Cooper's Hawk - 37
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 1403
Red-tailed Hawk - 29
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 394
Merlin - 76
Peregrine Falcon - 20
Total - 4462

During our time today we counted another 6 Monarchs.  I think it's safe to say that we've seen the bulk of their migration for this year.  Should be a few stragglers tho!

The weekend forecast calls for periods of rain, cloud, sun, and a whole lot of SW wind.  If I may quote from The Hawk Cliff Foundation's publication A Field Guide To The Migrating Raptors of Hawk Cliff (ISBN 0-9733947-0-6) - "If you want to see Peregrine Falcons make sure to choose a day with very strong, even gale force southwest winds.  Such winds strike the cliff face and are pushed upward, creating great lift (updrafts) along the cliff edge.  Many falcons, eagles and Osprey take advantage of this lift to migrate effortlessly westward along the lakeshore."  This statement also holds true for our Rosetta hawk watch as our position at the lake is very similar to that at Hawk Cliff near Port Stanley, albeit different bodies of water.  Hopefully the birds read the same page!!!

Walter

Oct 2nd - Zero Birds!

After waking this morning, I got totally ready to go to the park including packing my lunch.  Sitting and looking out the kitchen window while having my coffee made me change my mind, it just didn't look that great weather-wise and I figured nothing would fly.  Peter confirmed my suspicion later in the day via an email, the title included the words "no birds".  Oh well, tomorrow's another day!

If the wind ever blows from the north again, we should have a pretty good day - LOL!

Walter

Oct 1st - Bad Weather, Birds and Butterflies

When I arrived at the Watch site this morning it was extremely cloudy, cold, and lightly drizzling.  When we left 4 hours later it was extremely cloudy, cold, and lightly drizzling!  Weird thing was that a few birds and a few butterflies didn't really care.

Today:
Osprey - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 3
American Kestrel - 3
Merlin - 1
Peregrine Falcon - 2
Total - 10

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 115
Osprey - 126
Bald Eagle - 67
Northern Harrier - 97
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2092
Cooper's Hawk - 35
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 1403
Red-tailed Hawk - 28
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 390
Merlin - 76
Peregrine Falcon - 16
Total - 4445

Local Birds:
Red-tailed Hawk - 1
Merlin - 1 (appears to be hanging around)

Non-raptor sightings today included a Wood Duck (flew over the east side of the park and made a sweeping right turn upon reaching the lake), 13 Loons (including a group of 10 which flew in a loosely-packed flock), a Scarlet Tanager, and a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher.

Monarchs, to my disbelief were again on the move.  A total of 21 individuals were counted.  Most were flying fairly high up.

Many thanks to those who came to the park today to enjoy the birds and the weather.

Walter

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

Sep 29th - Too Slow!

Today was so slow that I can't think of anything to say - LOL!

Today:
Northern Harrier - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 5
American Kestrel - 1
Merlin - 1
Peregrine Falcon - 1
Total - 9

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 115
Osprey - 125
Bald Eagle - 67
Northern Harrier - 97
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2089
Cooper's Hawk - 35
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 1403
Red-tailed Hawk - 28
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 387
Merlin - 75
Peregrine Falcon - 14
Total - 4435

Today we counted 93 Monarch butterflies.

My thanks to everyone who spent time at the Watch today.

Walter

Sep 28th - Another Gorgeous Day!

Again today the weather was just too nice for a decent push of birds.  Oh well, we don't want to wish winter on too soon.  Highlight of the day was seeing the Lancaster Bomber returning from it's tour in Britain.

Today:
Northern Harrier - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 15
American Kestrel - 3
Merlin - 2
Peregrine Falcon - 1
Total - 22

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 115
Osprey - 125
Bald Eagle - 67
Northern Harrier - 96
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2084
Cooper's Hawk - 35
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 1403
Red-tailed Hawk - 28
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 386
Merlin - 74
Peregrine Falcon - 13
Total - 4426

Blue Jays were on the move again today as well as our first Pine Siskins.

Today we added another 61 Monarchs to our ever-growing migration count.

My thanks to everyone who came down to the park today.  Your help and friendship is very much appreciated.

Walter

Sep 27th - 65 Birds, 8 Species

As beautiful as today was we did manage a decent number of birds at the Watch.  The light NW wind this morning brought several early movers over the park.  Once the wind started to shift the birds flew higher up and further to the north.  At the end of the day, I was sitting on a bench near the washrooms chatting with Ann and a Peregrine Falcon flew at tree-top height along the bluffs heading west.  As Ann was driving me home she had another Peregrine flying right over Kingston Road shortly after leaving the park.  Great way to end the day!

Today:
Turkey Vulture - 1
Osprey - 3
Northern Harrier - 5
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 24
Cooper's Hawk - 5
American Kestrel - 22
Merlin - 3
Peregrine Falcon - 2
Total - 65

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 115
Osprey - 125
Bald Eagle - 67
Northern Harrier - 95
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2069
Cooper's Hawk - 35
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 1403
Red-tailed Hawk - 28
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 383
Merlin - 72
Peregrine Falcon - 12
Total - 4404

We have now counted 2003 Sharp-shinned Hawks during the month of September.  The all-time 'Month' record is 2067 counted.  We need 65 more 'Sharpies' over the next 3 days to break it.

A Merlin with a quick snack (Mike D)

A lone Turkey Vulture (Mike D)

American Kestrel (Mike D)

Osprey (Mike D)

(Sharpie) Sharp-shinned Hawk (Mike D)

An adult male American Kestrel (Mike D)
(note the differences between the Kestrel and the above Sharpie)

Another Kestrel (Mike D)

A pair of high-flying Northern Harriers (Mike D)

Early this morning we had a Cackling Goose flying directly overhead with a pair of Canada Geese.  Also observed today were our first Golden-crowned Kinglets.

It was another good day in the world of butterflies with 150 Monarchs flying through.

My thanks to everyone who visited the Watch today.  It wasn't always easy finding birds in the all blue sky.

Light W and then SW winds are predicted for tomorrow.

Walter