[Ontbirds]HSR: Holiday Beach (25 Sep 2005) 271 Raptors

reports at hawkcount.org reports at hawkcount.org
Sun Sep 25 19:09:44 EDT 2005

Holiday Beach Migration Observatory
Ontario, Canada
Daily Raptor Counts: Sep 25, 2005

Species            Day's Count    Month Total   Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Turkey Vulture               0            158            158
Osprey                       1             68             68
Bald Eagle                   0             40             40
Northern Harrier             3            319            319
Sharp-shinned Hawk         253           3672           3672
Cooper's Hawk                7            147            147
Northern Goshawk             0              1              1
Red-shouldered Hawk          0              1              1
Broad-winged Hawk            0           7827           7827
Red-tailed Hawk              0            144            144
Rough-legged Hawk            0              0              0
Golden Eagle                 0              0              0
American Kestrel             4           1279           1279
Merlin                       1             68             68
Peregrine Falcon             1             17             17
Unknown                      1              8              8

Total:                     271          13749          13749

Observation start time: 06:00:00 
Observation end   time: 14:00:00 
Total observation time: 8 hours

Official Counter: Bob Hall-Brooks

Observers:        Denis Boulay, Karen Padbury

We greatly appreciated the company of guests from Indiana, Michigan, and
Oshawa, Ontario today. You make the day enjoyable for our counters.

Foggy all day with visibility of 0.2 km. Overhead low ceiling.Low of 21 to
a high of 25 degrees Celsius. Cold front moved through at 2:00 p.m.
resulting in light rain.

Raptor Observations:
The fog kept buteos from flying, but Sharp-shinned Hawks made the trip with
253 sighted from the Tower. One late Peregrine Falcon and one energetic
Merlin added the thrill to the day's activities.

Non-raptor Observations:
Many warblers, kinglets and vireo's were spotted from the Tower in nearby
trees, including Palm, Black-throated Green, Black-throated Blue,
Yellow-rumped (Myrtle), both Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglets,
Red-eyed Vireo and Blue-headed Vireo. The star of the passerine world was
the Blue Jay with 20,230 recorded.

Cold front goes through, birds usually follow.
Report submitted by Bob Hall-Brooks (bhall-brooks at cogeco.ca)
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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