HSR: Holiday Beach (23 Oct 2003) Raptor counts (total=6474)

reports at hawkcount.org reports at hawkcount.org
Fri Oct 24 12:10:30 EDT 2003

Holiday Beach Migration Observatory
Essex County, Ontario, Canada
Daily Raptor Counts: Oct 23, 2003

Species            Day's Count    Month Total   Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Turkey Vulture            5261          21335          21571
Osprey                       0             26             95
Bald Eagle                   3             19             74
Northern Harrier            18            590            864
Sharp-shinned Hawk         220           5396           9292
Cooper's Hawk              106            382            480
Northern Goshawk             6             16             25
Red-shouldered Hawk        172            230            232
Broad-winged Hawk            0           2889           7012
Red-tailed Hawk            678            955           1070
Rough-legged Hawk            2             10             10
Golden Eagle                 3              5              5
American Kestrel             2           1027           2207
Merlin                       0             28             61
Peregrine Falcon             3             27             49
Unknown                      0             17             23
Swainson's Hawk              0              2              2

Total:                    6474          32954          43072

Observation start time: 07:30:00 
Observation end   time: 16:30:00 
Total observation time: 9 hours

Official Counter: Jim McCoy, Mike Fitzpatrick

Observers:        Jim McCoy, Laurie Yorke, Mike Forton, Sylvia Telasco,
                  Wayne Telasco

Ed and Charlotte Hosking; Kathy Pihlstrom; Doug Adams; Mike Champagne; 
Lori Yorke; Tony Pasko; Georgia Reid; Bob Finkelstin; Elena Smirenski. 
Many thanks to all of these visitors and observers for their help,
especially Tony Pasko for counting the Turkey Vultures and to Jim McCoy
and Lori Yorke for completing the afternoon count.

Cool; extremely cloudy most of the day.  Winds NNW to NW all day anywhere
from 9 - 12 KMH.  Sky began to break up towards end of day.

An excellent flight of TVs.  3 Peregrines, including one carrying living
prey.  We got to watch it administer kill bite right next to the tower. 
Good number of Red-shouldereds and acipiters, including 6 Goshawks. 

A small crane was seen at 4:10 p.m.  Based on the description by the
observers, it may again be the Demoiselle Crane reported earlier this
month.  2 Common Loons @ 12:37; 1 lonely Tree Swallow at 11:30 a.m.

Based on yesterday and today, if the winds continue it should be another
good day.
Report submitted by Michael Fitzpatrick (eagle2 at ameritech.net)
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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