HSR: Holiday Beach (06 Oct 2002) Raptor counts (total=937)

reports at hawkcount.org reports at hawkcount.org
Sun Oct 6 20:32:07 EDT 2002


Holiday Beach Migration Observatory
Essex County, ON, Canada
Daily Raptor Counts: Oct 06, 2002
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Species            Day's Count    Month Total   Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Turkey Vulture             450           1935           2165
Osprey                       4             22             94
Bald Eagle                   0              2             12
Northern Harrier            37            106            357
Sharp-shinned Hawk         213            743           4282
Cooper's Hawk               16             37             85
Northern Goshawk             1              1              5
Red-shouldered Hawk          0              0              4
Broad-winged Hawk            0              6           4879
Red-tailed Hawk              4             36            115
Rough-legged Hawk            0              0              0
Golden Eagle                 0              0              1
American Kestrel           198            426           1697
Merlin                       7             19             84
Peregrine Falcon             7             31             47
Unknown                      0              3             15

Total:                     937           3367          13842
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Observation start time: 06:00:00 
Observation end   time: 15:00:00 
Total observation time: 9 hours

Site Coordinator: Bob Hall-Brooks

Observers:        Jim McCoy

Visitors:
>From Nova Scotia one had to arrive,
while two from Long Island made the drive,
two came from my town in LaSalle,
and a guy from Macomb became my pal.


Weather:
The winds did swirl but from the South,
the sun shone down to dry my mouth,
the temperatures ran from cold to hot,
were we depressed? No, we were not.

Observations:
Turkey vultures soared across the sky,
Sharpies and Kestrels flew right by,
Northern Harriers hovered over the marsh,
but the sight of Peregrines was not too harsh.


Over fifteen thousand of that bird, Blue Jay,
dominated the airways on this day,
their incessant chatter nearly drove me insane,
and all that clicking gave me a pain.

Predictions:
I don't know what tomorrow has in store,
but for now with my poetry I'll no longer you bore.
========================================================================
Report submitted by Bob Hall-Brooks (bhall-brooks at cogeco.ca)
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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