HSR: Holiday Beach (26 Oct 2003) Raptor counts (total=332)

reports at hawkcount.org reports at hawkcount.org
Sun Oct 26 09:10:02 EST 2003


Holiday Beach Migration Observatory
Essex County, Ontario, Canada
Daily Raptor Counts: Oct 26, 2003
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Species            Day's Count    Month Total   Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Turkey Vulture             232          22262          22498
Osprey                       0             26             95
Bald Eagle                   0             19             74
Northern Harrier            17            620            894
Sharp-shinned Hawk          50           5548           9444
Cooper's Hawk                1            393            491
Northern Goshawk             0             18             27
Red-shouldered Hawk          6            241            243
Broad-winged Hawk            0           2889           7012
Red-tailed Hawk             22           1004           1119
Rough-legged Hawk            0             10             10
Golden Eagle                 1              7              7
American Kestrel             0           1027           2207
Merlin                       1             29             62
Peregrine Falcon             2             29             51
Unknown                      0             20             26
Swainson's Hawk              0              2              2

Total:                     332          34144          44262
----------------------------------------------------------------------

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

Official Counter: Bob Hall-Brooks

Observers:        Dorothy McLeer, Jim Crozier, Jim McCoy

Visitors:
Our friends from Fort Wayne, Indiana and from Tennessee made today's wet
watching a delight as always.


Weather:
Rain, then Sun, then Cloudy again. Barometer falling all day.Visibility
good.

Observations:
The highlight was the first sighting of the day of a pair of Peregrine
Falcons playing with each other all over the sky around the Tower. One
Golden Eagle later in the day.

The only sighting of note was four Greater Yellowlegs who flew by the Tower
calling distinctively.

Predictions:
North West winds are predicted with clear skies in the morning. Showers
predicted in the afternoon. Could be a good morning.
========================================================================
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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