[Ontbirds]HSR: Holiday Beach (20 Sep 2005) 1009 Raptors

reports at hawkcount.org reports at hawkcount.org
Tue Sep 20 10:09:53 EDT 2005

Holiday Beach Migration Observatory
Ontario, Canada
Daily Raptor Counts: Sep 20, 2005

Species            Day's Count    Month Total   Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Turkey Vulture               3             51             51
Osprey                      13             57             57
Bald Eagle                  11             34             34
Northern Harrier            32            238            238
Sharp-shinned Hawk         384           2435           2435
Cooper's Hawk               11             90             90
Northern Goshawk             0              0              0
Red-shouldered Hawk          0              0              0
Broad-winged Hawk          124           4388           4388
Red-tailed Hawk             11             75             75
Rough-legged Hawk            0              0              0
Golden Eagle                 0              0              0
American Kestrel           397           1062           1062
Merlin                      16             48             48
Peregrine Falcon             7             12             12
Unknown                      0              1              1

Total:                    1009           8491           8491

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

Official Counter: Mike Fitzpatrick

Observers:        Claude Radley, Jerry Stanley, Martin Blagdurn

N. Keller, J. Stenger, P. Wharton, J. Morgan, J.Upson came all the way from
Cincinnati to "enjoy the show".  Many people dropped in throughout the day.

Hot, dry, windy, cloudless, WNW winds all day

Raptor Observations:
An excellent day for falcons and sharpies.  Kestrels coming in groups of 3
to 6 all day.  Some great aerial duels witnessed.  Merlins were low and
many were actively hunting

Non-raptor Observations:
solitary sandpiper, red-headed woodpecker, nice movement of bluejays and
goldfinches throughout the day

If winds stay out of the WNW, or NW, it should be a great day.  Pls bring
us some clouds though, as clear blue skies are "death" on finding birds
and/or tracking them
Report submitted by Michael Fitzpatrick (eagle2 at ameritech.net)
Holiday Beach Migration Observatory information may be found at:

Site Description:
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). 

Directions to site:
See http://hbmo.org/directions.php

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