HSR: Holiday Beach (21 Sep 2003) Raptor counts (total=346)

reports at hawkcount.org reports at hawkcount.org
Sun Sep 21 08:09:05 EDT 2003

Holiday Beach Migration Observatory
Essex County, Ontario, Canada
Daily Raptor Counts: Sep 21, 2003

Species            Day's Count    Month Total   Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Turkey Vulture              10             52             52
Osprey                       2             45             45
Bald Eagle                   0             39             39
Northern Harrier            18            145            145
Sharp-shinned Hawk          60           1835           1835
Cooper's Hawk                5             51             51
Northern Goshawk             0              0              0
Red-shouldered Hawk          0              2              2
Broad-winged Hawk          204           1429           1429
Red-tailed Hawk              5             90             90
Rough-legged Hawk            0              0              0
Golden Eagle                 0              0              0
American Kestrel            40            560            560
Merlin                       1             19             19
Peregrine Falcon             1              3              3
Unknown                      0              5              5

Total:                     346           4275           4275

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

Official Counter: Bob Hall-Brooks


We were treated to visits from the OFO members who had attended their
conference at Point Pelee this weekend. We greatly enjoyed the
knowledgeable and those less so who viewed the birds from the Tower today.

Sunny all day with NE winds changing early to East, then to SE.
Temperatures of 12 to 24 degrees Celsius.Visibility very clear, little
cloud cover.

Only 346 raptors today, the early forecast gave us hope, but it was not to
be at our site today. Only a late kettle of Broad-winged hawks, not the
masses expected.

The Blue Jay was the bird of today with 37,840 counted. Only one
Ruby-throated Hummingbird seen from the Tower, but good looks at
Pied-billed Grebe, Common Moorhen, American Coot, and sounds of Sora and
Virginia Rail echoed over the marsh. Green Heron, Black-crowned Night
Heron, Great Egret and Great Blue Heron abound. Cedar Waxwings, American
Pipits, American Goldfinches, along with Nashville Warbler, Black-throated
Green, and Palm Warbler, Indigo Bunting  and 207 Monarch butterfly were
seen by the many visitors.

Rain is predicted for Monday, but not for the whole week as previously
Report submitted by Bob Hall-Brooks (bhall-brooks at cogeco.ca)
Holiday Beach Migration Observatory information may be found at:

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).

reports at hawkcount.org

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