[Ontbirds]HSR: Hawk Cliff Hawkwatch (10 Sep 2006) 2773 Raptors

reports at hawkcount.org reports at hawkcount.org
Mon Sep 11 01:09:27 EDT 2006

Hawk Cliff Hawkwatch
Port Stanley, Ontario, Canada
Daily Raptor Counts: Sep 10, 2006

Species            Day's Count    Month Total   Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Black Vulture                0              0              0
Turkey Vulture               0              0              0
Osprey                      34             88             88
Bald Eagle                  62             82             82
Northern Harrier           252            404            404
Sharp-shinned Hawk         757           1012           1012
Cooper's Hawk                5              9              9
Northern Goshawk             0              0              0
Red-shouldered Hawk          0              0              0
Broad-winged Hawk          930            939            939
Red-tailed Hawk             33             33             33
Rough-legged Hawk            0              0              0
Golden Eagle                 0              0              0
American Kestrel           662           1227           1227
Merlin                      37             74             74
Peregrine Falcon             1              1              1
Unknown                                     9              9

Total:                    2773           3878           3878

Observation start time: 08:00:00 
Observation end   time: 18:00:00 
Total observation time: 10 hours

Official Counter: Ches Caister, Dave Brown

Observers:        Ches Caister, Colin Horstead, Keith Sealy, Mac, Tom Thomas

Lots....the 2nd day of the first Hawk Cliff Weekend for the 2006 season was
a huge success! Based on those that signed our guest book we had at least
110 visitors (with many more that didn't get a chance to sign the book :).
There was a group from the KWFN, as well as a number of folks from Bird
Studies Canada. Long distance visitors included Claire from Taiwan, Pat
from Vancouver Island, and the Neyers from Liechtenstein

The morning live bird display / talk (11:00 am) was very good with a young
Redtail, a couple of Northern Harriers, a young male Merlin, a Sharpie and
a male and female Kestrel all released in front of the large crowd.

We're looking forward to seeing lots more folks for next weekend as well.

An absolutely perfect hawkwatching day...lots of clouds providng a good
backdrop for the many raptors counted today. Cooler temp to a high of just
17 after the passage of the cold front.

Although the TUV (Thermal Updraft Velocity) was over 400 ft/min in the
Hawk Cliff area, we suspect that the strong NE winds were disruptive for
thermal development and as a result we didn't get as many kettles as one
might've expected given the weather.

Raptor Observations:
Wow!! A spectacular day and a great flight with 2,773 birds tallied of
which only 930 were Broadwings (best kettle was about 400 birds).

However, the exciting part was that we broke 3 previous 1-day species
count records...
Merlin (21 in 1994 / now 37 for 2006)
Northern Harrier (209 in 2003 / now 252 in 2006)
Bald Eagle (46 in 2005 / now 62 for 2006)

There was also an impressive number of Osprey with 34 for the day. 
Interestingly, the counts for Sharpies and Kestrels are almost identical
with 653 and 662 respectively.
And just to top things off...the 2nd last bird counted was a young
Peregrine Falcon (first one for 2006) low over the field to the north.

Non-raptor Observations:
Not only was there an impressive hawk movement today...there was a huge
fallout of passerines in the last couple of hours in the day. In the line
of Willow trees right behind the counters there were literally hundreds of
passerines including many warblers, vireos, tanagers and so on (over the 2
hours they were continuously feeding and moving both north up the trees on
both sides of Hawk Cliff Rd and also west along the lakeshore)  As the day
drew to a close we noted many lose flocks that started to fly off to the
west toward Windsor / Detroit.

Highlights (based on a quick scan of just 200 ft of treeline and the one
large mulberry tree!) included Canada Warbler (2), Tennessee Warbler (2),
Northern Parula (3), Bay-breasted (3), Blackpoll (5), Blackburnian (6),
Black-throated Green (7), Black-throated Blue (3), Black and White (2),
Chestnut-sided (6 - all youngsters), Palm (6), Yellow (1), Common
Yellowthroat (2), American Redstart (8), Yellow-rumped (1 youngster) and
one possible Hooded. Vireos included Red-eyed (1), Warbling (3),
Philadelphia (at least 2). At least 5 Scarlet Tanagers (male and females).
Other birds seen throughout the day...Eastern Wood-pewee (2), Pileated
Woodpecker (1), Northern Flicker (7).  Unfortunately (if one should look
at it that way) there was just too much activity with the raptors for
spending the time scouring the area for the smaller birds. :)

Monday may not prove as large a flight with straight E winds...but they
will be strong and provide a tail wind for the birds...so those that
didn't get going today may still come through on Monday...especially with
another wet system predicted for Tuesday and Wednesday and continued
cooler temperatures.
Report submitted by Dave Brown (thebrowns at ezlink.on.ca)
Hawk Cliff Hawkwatch information may be found at:

Site Description:
Hawk Cliff Hawkwatch:
Oldest Hawkwatch in Ontario - since 1931 - located just east of Port
Stanley on the cliff overlooking Lake Erie 

Directions to site:
>From east 401, take the Highbury south cut off at London, follow Highbury
(Hwy 30) south to St. Thomas. Highbury changes into South Edgeware at a
large curve in the road to the west. Follow South Edgeware west to the
first set of traffic lights - Burwell Road, turn left (south) and stay on
this road. It becomes Fairview Ave (Regional Road 22), which runs directly
into Hawk Cliff Road. You will see a sign for Hawkes Cliff Farm, where they
sell fresh vegetables and a gravel road just beyond sign. Just continue
down gravel road to viewing area.

>From west 401, take the Highway # 4 (Colonel Talbot Rd.) exit south,
through Talbotville, road now is Sunset Rd. continue towards St. Thomas;
you will come to a veer in the road, straight up to St. Thomas, veer to
the right for Port Stanley, follow Highway 4, now Sunset to Port Stanley.
As you approach Port Stanley you will come to a large curve  in the road
with a sign saying East St, to the left. Take East St., and follow it to
the first road left, (opposite Port Stanley Water Tower) Dexter Line.
Follow Dexter Line approximately 2 km. and turn right down gravel road at
Hawkes Cliff Farm, and follow gravel road to viewing area 

More information about the ONTBIRDS mailing list