Aug 8th - Really Quiet Day!

Not much at all was flying today.  A local Red-tailed Hawk flew west and then came back 30 minutes later and an Osprey that Lee spotted out at East Point Park managed to sneak passed me heading west but I saw him on his flight back east with a decent sized fish in his tallons.  Other than that, very few song birds or butterflies around.  Oh well, it happens!

Walter

Aug 7th - No Raptors but...

Today was spent back along the fence watching and hoping for our first fall raptor to fly overhead but unfortunately that didn't happen.  What did happen was quite interesting though, Ed and I realized that we had taken pictures of two different Black-billed Cuckoos.  We compared photos and noticed that the one Ed took (click here to view) on Wednesday was an adult (note the bright red eyering) and the photo that I took and included in the Thursday post was of a juvenile Black-billed Cuckoo (note the pale coloured eyering).  Also, the juvenile in my photo has a buffy coloured throat compared to the white throat of the adult bird in Ed's photo.  OMG, not one but two Cuckoos!!!  Not sure what to make of this but it's pretty darn cool.  Neither bird was seen today to my knowledge.

Another great group at the park today including:  Terry, Berle, Carol, Kris, Theresa, Allison, Dave, Betty, Lee, Phil, Pat & Nancy, Hugh, and Ron.

The predicted winds out of the east will likely not help in any raptors being seen in the sky over Rosetta but we'll see what happens.

Walter

Aug 6th - Less the Same but...

For the most part today's raptor watching was not conducted from it's usual spot along the fence, it was done from a bench in the northwest area of the park where yesterday's rarity was seen.  As we are not really expecting much so early in the migration I thought I'd take a change and watch to see if the Black-billed Cuckoo would return.

From this vantage point those gathered had an excellent view of the sky above Rosetta and also had a good view to watch for the Cuckoo.  After a few hours of searching high and low I saw a bird with a long(ish) tail fly into the top of a tall tree right beside our location.  After several minutes in hiding the bird decided to show itself and sat out in plain view on a branch at the top of the tree for all to see.  Ed, who discovered the bird yesterday, confirmed that it was the Cuckoo.  Oh what fun!  This was a 'life bird' for Hugh and 'park bird' #188 for me personally.  The bird eventually flew-off in the direction in-which it came.

It's my belief that this bird is staying in the area and is likely feeding on the many berries that are available in this section of the park.  After reviewing my photos I've determined that this is a juvenile Black-billed Cuckoo.  The pale coloured eye-ring is easy to see in the photo (adults are red in colour).  If you go to look for this new visitor, please allow it some space.  Although we did nothing wrong today, I feel that our presence might have kept the bird from flying down from atop the tree and feeding in the berry trees below.  I will be back along the fence watching for hawks tomorrow.

Black-billed Cuckoo (Walter)

As you may have guessed, no raptors today.

As most of you know, we do get our fair share of 'crazies' at Rosetta.  With the high heat and humidy this summer, they're out in force.  Everything from someone in a wheelchair digging-up and stealing rose bushes to a guy uttering vulgar comments and talking highly of people like Charles Manson!!!  Please be very cautious and report anything out of the ordinary to the nearest park staffer.

Walter

Aug 5th - Much the Same but...

Today was much the same as yesterday with no migrating raptors flying over Rosetta.  We again added a handful of new birds and butterflies to our fall species lists including a very rare visitor to the park - a Black-billed Cuckoo!  Only the second one since 2002 that I'm aware of.  It may still be around so we'll look for it again tomorrow in the northwest corner of the park where it was seen.  A big 'thankyou' to Ed McAskill for letting me know and showing me his photo of the bird.  Excellent find!

Lee, Kris, Theresa, Richard, Berle, Gunnar, Rosemary, Ron, Arvo, Brian, and Ed were all at the park today anticipating our first raptor.

We'll try again tomorrow.

Walter

Aug 4th - Today and the Long Weekend

Just a quick post to let everyone know that we've been down to the park a couple of times over the last four days but not a lot has been happening.

Betty was there for an hour on Saturday and got a few species to start-off our 2015 Fall Species List including a local Red-tailed Hawk and a couple of the local Turkey Vultures.

Today, I finally made my appearance at the Watch.  Needless to say, there were no raptors flying.  We added several more species to our growing list of fall birds and butterflies.  We are now at 27 bird species and 5 butterfly species.

Arvo sent along this shot of me hanging the count sheet on the fence for the very first time this season.  Hopefully soon we'll get a raptor to count!


Joining me today were: Arvo, Hugh, Betty, Ron, Manny, Cori, and Diane.  Thanks!

Walter