Sep 20th - Quite the Day!

Not a lot of raptors today but it was an interesting day to sit and observe nature as it unfolded all around us.

The first few hours of the day started with a couple of thousand Blue Jays, a whole bunch of Cedar Waxwing flocks, and many American Goldfinches flying over the park and heading south for the winter.  There were a few other odd birds thrown-in but yours truly couldn't get on them fast enough with the camera or the binoculars.

At 10 o'clock sharp the Monarch migration through Rosetta got underway.  Up until that time we hadn't seen and single one!  They started off slowly but before long they were moving along the bluffs one after another.  One of the things that we noticed today while watching and counting the butterflies flying overhead was that a number of them seemed to be accompanied by a dragonfly.  They appeared to be flying as a team.  Not sure if there has been any scientific study done on this phenomenon or not but it sure looked like something was happening up there with the two of them.  Later in the afternoon not only did the Monarch migration really pick-up but we also had a small movement of both species of Sulphur butterflies - Clouded and Orange.  These are species that have not been seen in big numbers this season.

While we're on the subject of butterflies, in particular the Monarchs - Terry and Betty, with help from Bruce Grubbe, and Peter Attfield had their best day ever for tagging the little gems.  Working together as a team they were able to capture, tag, and release an unbelievable 107 Monarchs!  The only reason they arrived at this number was because they actually ran out of tags!  Who knows how high their bar could've been set if they hadn't depleted their sticker stock.  Congratulations on a record setting day!

As for the raptors - we had only counted a handful early in the morning but as we got in to the late afternoon and as the winds picked-up, so did the birds.  Thankfully that left us with a far more respectable count for the day.

Today:
Turkey Vulture - 2
Northern Harrier - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 31
Red-tailed Hawk - 2
American Kestrel - 5
Merlin - 6
Total - 47

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 41
Osprey - 35
Bald Eagle - 63
Northern Harrier - 54
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 492
Cooper's Hawk - 9
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 0
Broad-winged Hawk - 233
Red-tailed Hawk - 23
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 0
American Kestrel - 151
Merlin - 38
Peregrine Falcon - 6
Total - 1145

American Kestrel (Paul)

A local Red-tailed Hawk (Paul)

 A 'Sharpie' (Sharp-shinned Hawk) with a full crop (Paul)

Other Birds:
American Goldfinch - many small flocks flying overhead in the morning
Blue Jay - a few thousand flying overhead mostly in the morning and late afternoon
Cedar Waxwing - many small flocks flying overhead in the morning

Butterflies:
Clouded Sulphur - 18
Eastern Tailed Blue - 3
Fiery Skipper - 2
Monarch - an estimated 600 (107 tagged!)
Orange Sulphur - 5

People:
Trudy, Matt, Betty, Bruce, Berle, Dave, Terry, Don, Manny, Arvo, Paul, Janice, Liz, and several others who stopped and checked us out.  Thankyou everyone for another wonderful day!

Weather Prediction:
SW wind for Wednesday!  Might be okay for a few birds to fly on!

See you along the fence,
Walter

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed Terry's Rosetta McClain Raptor Watch presentation at Cliffcrest Library last night! Lots of great photos and some very useful identification tips. We had a good crowd of 18 people and everyone enjoyed the information and the humour and had lots of questions for Terry. We can just picture the line of Blue Jays stretching from Pickering to Hamilton and beyond! We are looking forward to his next presentation on Monarch Butterflies in March, when we hope to hear how many of his tagged butterflies are recovered in Mexico.
--------Bonnie W.---------