Sep 13th - They Were Arriving by the Bus Load Today!!!

No, not birds.....children.....lots of them!!!  Today we had the great pleasure of hosting 2 bus loads of 6th graders from St Bridget Catholic School in Brooklin (North Whitby).  Terry had organized the visit through a friend (a teacher at the school) to bring the classrooms down to Rosetta today to learn all about butterfly and hawk migration.  Terry setup 4 stations around the park - one for tagging Monarchs by the rose gardens, one for tagging Monarchs in the main gardens by the fountain, one for learning about plants and trees, and one for learning about hawks and hawk watching.  The kids were split up in to 4 small groups and they rotated from station to station on a timed basis.  The plan worked perfectly!  For our hawk watching station unfortunately it was not a great day for viewing migrating birds of prey but with the help of Ann and Hugh, the three of us were at least able to explain the migration, show photos of the various raptors, show feathers of a few birds, and answer a lot of really tough questions.  The kids were quite keen to learn and also shared with us a lot of their own nature experiences from closer to home.  Not once today did I hear the word 'Pokemon' - LOL!  Anyway, a big 'thankyou' to all the children, the teachers, and their helpers for coming to down to Rosetta and making our day so special.  We loved having you!  Also, a big 'thankyou' to Terry, Betty, Bruce, Ann, Hugh, Carol, and the couple that were doing the plants and trees (sorry I didn't get your names) for making our visitors feel so welcomed and for sharing everything you could about what we do and see with them.  Hope you all had a fun-filled day!

A few lovely photos of the day from Ann...





Now on to the facts and figures...

Today:
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 7
Merlin - 3
Total - 10

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 26
Osprey - 24
Bald Eagle - 52
Northern Harrier - 37
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 247
Cooper's Hawk - 7
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 176
Red-tailed Hawk - 12
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 84
Merlin - 21
Peregrine Falcon - 5
Total - 691

A Sharp-shinned Hawk in a stoop! (Ann)

Other Birds:
Blue Jay - With a few flocks flying over this morning it appears that their migration has started.
Red-bellied Woodpecker - 1 (quickest view ever!)

An interesting sighting that Hugh and I had today was of a Northern Flicker which was being chased by a Merlin at high speed and only a foot or so above the path beside us where we stand.  It was over in the blink of an eye - the Flicker turned and headed out along the bluffs eastward and the Merlin continued on his way westward.

Butterflies:
Monarch - 75 (24 tagged)

People:
Hugh, Allison, Ann, Carol, Berle, Terry, Betty, Bruce, the St Bridget gang, plus a few others that stopped by including a lovely family that have been visiting from England.

Weather Prediction:
Good gusting NW and N winds tomorrow!  Might be a spot of rain between 7-9am.

We'll likely see more Broad-winged Hawks flying low over the park but we'll also focus some of our attention to the north in hopes of spotting a decent-sized kettle of them rising up above the trees!  Fingers crossed!

See you at the park!
Walter

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