HSR: Holiday Beach Raptor Counts, Sep 18, 2002

reports at hawkcount.org reports at hawkcount.org
Wed Sep 18 18:52:48 EDT 2002


Holiday Beach Migration Observatory
Essex County, ON, Canada
Daily Raptor Counts: Sep 18, 2002
===================================================================

Species            Day's Count    Month Total   Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Turkey Vulture               0             11             11
Osprey                       3             41             41
Bald Eagle                   0              3              3
Northern Harrier             3             98             98
Sharp-shinned Hawk          96           1353           1353
Cooper's Hawk                0              8              8
Northern Goshawk             0              1              1
Red-shouldered Hawk          0              1              1
Broad-winged Hawk            1           1098           1098
Red-tailed Hawk              0             22             22
Rough-legged Hawk            0              0              0
Golden Eagle                 0              1              1
American Kestrel             4            641            641
Merlin                       1             19             19
Peregrine Falcon             1              6              6
Unknown                      0              1              1

Total:                     109           3304           3304
======================================================================

Observation start time: 07:00:00 
Observation end   time: 13:00:00 
Total observation time: 6 hours

Site Coordinator: Betty Learmouth

Observers:        Bob Hall-Brooks, Chuck Gossel, Sylvia Telasco, Tom Faren

Visitors:
A number of visitors today from Ohio, Michigan, New Hampshire and from
around Essex County.


Weather:
Variable winds throughout the day with visibility decreasing.  Sunny
conditions, then clouding over and finally hot and hazy.

Observations:
A light migration with highlights a Merlin which streaked across Big Creek
Marsh along the water surface and a Peregrine Falcon that headed out over
Lake Erie.

A variety of waterfowl were resting on Big Creek Marsh. Three Sora Rails
were seen.  Eighteen Monarch butterflies were seen at tower height or
higher throughout the day, but moving in a westerly direction due to
variable winds.  A large Eastern Fox Snake crossed the roadway near the
hawk tower at 12:28 p.m. DST
========================================================================
Report submitted by Betty Learmouth(bettlear at wincom.net)
Holiday Beach Migration Observatory information may be found at:
http://hbmo.org/


Holiday Beach Migration Observatory

Information on southern Ontario\'s hawk migration and the Holiday Beach
Conservation Area site
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Southwestern Ontario is largely an area of flat, featureless farmland. There
are only two geographic features of note in the region. One is the proximity
of the Great lakes, which influence bird migration in the area to a great
extent, The second is the shape of the province, roughly funnel-shaped with
the narrow end to the southwest. These features confine south-bound bird
migrants, especially hawks, to specific flight corridors.

Holiday Beach Conservation Area was formerly a Provincial Park, but is now
administered by the Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA). It is
strategically located at the extreme southwestern tip of southern Ontario.
The park is on the eastern end of a large freshwater estuary known as Big
Creek. (Specifically the site is 1.1 miles south of the junction Highway 20
(old 18) and Essex Road 50, Town of Amherstburg).

The Holiday Beach Migration Observatory (HBMO) (founded in 1986) is a
non-profit, volunteer organization formed to promote the study and
protection of migrating birds. Activities focus primarily on fall migration
of raptors and other species. This site is in Essex County, Ontario, on the
north shore of Lake Erie near the Detroit River. In 1988, HBMO persuaded
Detroit Edison to donate a 40 foot Hawk Tower which is now at the site.

Southwestern Ontario has a funneling effect on migrating raptors due to the
geography of the nearby lakes and the reluctance of most raptors to cross
large bodies of water. Birds gain altitude over the flat farmland to the
north and east, rising easily with the thermals that such areas provide in
abundance. As the birds head south they meet Lake Erie and, reluctant to
cross it , turn west. With appropriate wind and weather conditions, birds
pile up along the lake shore and move west until they reach the narrow
crossing at the Detroit River (or island hop within the river mouth).




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