[Ontbirds]HSR: Holiday Beach (06 Oct 2005) 243 Raptors

reports at hawkcount.org reports at hawkcount.org
Thu Oct 6 18:10:19 EDT 2005

Holiday Beach Migration Observatory
Ontario, Canada
Daily Raptor Counts: Oct 06, 2005

Species            Day's Count    Month Total   Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Turkey Vulture             128            451            609
Osprey                       1              6             75
Bald Eagle                   3              7             47
Northern Harrier             5             28            351
Sharp-shinned Hawk          79            478           4253
Cooper's Hawk                6             32            180
Northern Goshawk             0              0              1
Red-shouldered Hawk          0              6              7
Broad-winged Hawk            1              7           7842
Red-tailed Hawk              2             29            173
Rough-legged Hawk            0              0              0
Golden Eagle                 0              0              0
American Kestrel            15             39           1328
Merlin                       2              6             75
Peregrine Falcon             1              8             27
Unknown                      0              2             10

Total:                     243           1099          14978

Observation start time: 07:00:00 
Observation end   time: 14:00:00 
Total observation time: 7 hours

Official Counter: Claude Radley

Observers:        Jim McCoy

The CAW sponsored school trip to the tower provided more than 100 visitors.

Sunny with winds from the S-SE. Temperature in the 20s. 

Raptor Observations:
Another fairly slow day.  Again, sharpies dominated.  

Non-raptor Observations:
Blue Jays continue in good number with 24,000 today. 340 Red-winged
Blackbirds.  275 Goldfinches.  Locals include the Bald Eagle family (2
adult, 2 imm.) hunting along the beach for most of the morning and
escorting the three migrating Eagles out of their territory.  Greater and
Lesser Yellowlegs, Common Snipe, Killdeer, immature Black-crowned Night
Heron, Green Heron, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Kingfisher.  The duck
population shows little sign of an influx of migratory birds. 

Cold frontal passage during the night will bring the delayed Northerly
winds for tomorrow.  There may be a little light rain in the morning but
that will give way to mostly cloudy and cool conditions for the remainder
of the day.  It looks like we may be on the East side of a high pressure
ridge for 4 or 5 days.  This bodes well for the winds. 
Report submitted by Claude Radley (ca at radley.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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