Oct 16th - More Than 1400 Raptors And A Whole Lot Of Yogurt!

(Thanks to a photo that Mike took today, I have now added a Broad-winged Hawk to the count!)

If you missed it today don't say you weren't warned.  Although a little light at first, the north-west wind blew and the birds flew...lots of them!  Today, we observed 13 of the possible 15 species of raptors that we normally see each Fall at Rosetta.  The highlight of the day came at 2:40pm when Ron P called out a Golden Eagle out over the lake.  Our first 'Golden' of the season.  A few migrating Red-shouldered Hawks today were also our 'firsts' for the season.  If Turkey Vultures are your thing than Rosetta was definitely the place to be this afternoon as kettle after kettle rose up over the park!  Many groups also streamed right on through.  At times the sky was quite overcast making raptor identification quite a challenge, other times the sky was blue as blue could be making it hard to even see many of the birds, while other times the sky was just right with a perfect balance of cloud and blue sky giving most hawkwatchers a change for some spectacular views and photo opportunities.  Oh my, what a day!  Thank you everyone!

Today:
Turkey Vulture - 1128
Osprey - 1
Bald Eagle - 9
Northern Harrier - 14
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 152
Cooper's Hawk - 4
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 4
Broad-winged Hawk - 1
Red-tailed Hawk - 60
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 1
American Kestrel - 1
Merlin - 1
Peregrine Falcon - 3
Total - 1402

Eagle Time (DST):
10:16am - BE
10:48am - BE
12:26pm - BE
12:28pm - BE
01:55pm - BE
02:09pm - BE
02:37pm - BE
02:40pm - GE
03:32pm - BE
03:44pm - BE

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 2502
Osprey - 34
Bald Eagle - 64
Northern Harrier - 70
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 481
Cooper's Hawk - 30
Northern Goshawk - 0
Red-shouldered Hawk - 4
Broad-winged Hawk - 60
Red-tailed Hawk - 119
Rough-legged Hawk - 0
Golden Eagle - 1
American Kestrel - 215
Merlin - 21
Peregrine Falcon - 20
Total - 3621



the highlight of the day, a majestic Golden Eagle (Matt)

Sharp-shinned Hawk (Mike)

an adult Sharp-shinned Hawk (Mike)

an approaching Northern Harrier (Lee)

a Bald Eagle and a Turkey Vulture (Mike)

another shot of the same pair (Lee)

 a gorgeous adult Bald Eagle (Lee)

same bird as above (Matt)

 
an approaching Red-tailed Hawk (Mike)

Love this shot! (Mike)

another great shot of a different Red-tailed Hawk (Matt)

a very lightly marked Red-tailed Hawk (Mike)

I'm guessing that no one but eagle-eyed Mike saw this
bird high up.  It's a Broad-winged Hawk! (Mike)

a nice kettle of Turkey Vultures (Lee)

an adult Sharp-shinned Hawk (Lee)

a local Merlin with a fresh meal (Mike)


2 more beautifully marked Bald Eagles (Matt)

Other birds:
Blue Jays, mixed Blackbird flocks, and Robins made up the bulk of the passerine migration over the park today.  Other highlights included a group of 5 Eastern Meadowlarks and a few groups of Eastern Bluebirds and Pine Siskins.  Throughout the morning and in to early afternoon Loons were migrating south over the park and out over Lake Ontario in good numbers.  Large groups of Canada Geese and Double-crested Cormorants were also seen.  There was even a decent-sized group of Brant as well.

an extremely cropped photo showing a small section of a distant
flock of approximately 50 Brant heading out over the lake (Mike)

just one of a small group of 5 Meadowlarks that flew overhead (Mike)

Northern Flicker (Matt)

Gnats (bird food) (Matt)

Insects:
Over the course of the day there were an estimated 300 Monarch butterflies in total flying through following the Lake Ontario shoreline on their migration to the mountains of Mexico.  They just keep coming!  Several Painted Lady butterflies were also seen today.

Hawkwatchers:
Walter, Matt, Mike, Allison, Kris, Theresa, Peter, Lee, Ron P, Dave, Mark, Ruth, Gunnar, Rosemary, Berle, Bruce, Betty, Hugh, Terry, Naish, Ann, Ron, Lynn, Arvo, Diana, Blaine, Phil & kids, Vicki, and several others whom I likely forgot to write down.  After we all left the Watch by 5:00pm, Rick D was there from 5:30 - 6:20pm and got many more raptors that I've added in.  Thank you to all for a fantastic day at the park.  Your friendship and help is appreciated beyond words!

Weather Prediction:
20-30 km/h SW wind for tomorrow with gusts up to and above 50 km/h.  Should be good for Peregrine Falcons and late Osprey, if nothing else.  You just never know at Rosetta.

See you all again at the park,
Walter

PS - I almost forgot to explain the 'yogurt' thing.  While having my lunch today a little orange butterfly caught my attention.  While observing what turned out to be a Painted Lady I managed to pour the better part of my yogurt all down the front of my jacket.  It looked like an eagle had dropped a 'bomb' of poop on me!

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