HSR: Holiday Beach (24 Oct 2002) Raptor counts (total=1371)

reports at hawkcount.org reports at hawkcount.org
Thu Oct 24 20:07:50 EDT 2002


Holiday Beach Migration Observatory
Essex County, ON, Canada
Daily Raptor Counts: Oct 24, 2002
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Species            Day's Count    Month Total   Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Turkey Vulture             685          19625          19855
Osprey                       0             30            102
Bald Eagle                   0             24             34
Northern Harrier            24            332            583
Sharp-shinned Hawk         117           3590           7129
Cooper's Hawk               14            279            327
Northern Goshawk             1             21             25
Red-shouldered Hawk         78            257            261
Broad-winged Hawk            0             13           4886
Red-tailed Hawk            442           2119           2198
Rough-legged Hawk            1             12             12
Golden Eagle                 4             20             21
American Kestrel             1            740           2011
Merlin                       1             25             90
Peregrine Falcon             1             41             57
Unknown                      2             31             43

Total:                    1371          27159          37634
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Observation start time: 07:30:00 
Observation end   time: 15:00:00 
Total observation time: 7.5 hours

Site Coordinator: Betty Learmouth

Observers:        Donna Bedard, Jeanice Seals, Phyllis Coble, Teresa Lindsey

Visitors:
Jeanice Seals, Teresa Lindsey and Phyllis Coble (all from Nashville, TN),
Donna Bedard from Mississauga, and Roy Orr from Chalfont, PA visited and
assisted with spotting today.


Weather:
Winds were Northeast and moderate throughout the day, with low temperatures
and a cloud cover until the last half hour.

Observations:
A steady stream of raptors all day with kettles forming over the lake.  We
likely missed numbers of birds over Lake Erie.

Golden Eagles were seen today as well. One to the north chased ducks which
dove to avoid the eagle so lots of frantic splashing as the ducks ducked
for cover. The morning got off to a good start with a single Rough-legged
Hawk seen hoving over the marsh near "the point."

Crow numbers less than yesterday (a low count of 1,225), an influx of 239
Bonaparte's Gulls from Lake Erie to Big Creek Marsh, two Common Loons seen
overhead, and a few Tree Swallows as well as large flocks of blackbirds
(3,965).
========================================================================
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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