[Ontbirds]HSR: Holiday Beach (16 Sep 2006) 545 Raptors

reports at hawkcount.org reports at hawkcount.org
Sat Sep 16 21:09:03 EDT 2006

Holiday Beach
Ontario, Canada
Daily Raptor Counts: Sep 16, 2006

Species            Day's Count    Month Total   Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Turkey Vulture               5             29             29
Osprey                       5             40             40
Bald Eagle                   1             29             29
Northern Harrier            21            234            234
Sharp-shinned Hawk         269           1721           1721
Cooper's Hawk               11             66             66
Northern Goshawk             0              0              0
Red-shouldered Hawk          0              0              0
Broad-winged Hawk          184           2404           2404
Red-tailed Hawk              8             89             89
Rough-legged Hawk            0              0              0
Golden Eagle                 0              0              0
American Kestrel            39            876            876
Merlin                       2             24             24
Peregrine Falcon             0             13             13
Swainson's Hawk              0              1              1

Total:                     545           5526           5526

Observation start time: 06:00:00 
Observation end   time: 15:30:00 
Total observation time: 9.5 hours

Official Counter: Bob Hall-Brooks

Observers:        Bob Pettit, Dan Lumm, Karen Padbury

Many new visitors and many old friends gathered on the Tower today.

Started cloudy, overcast with variable non-winds, changing around noon to
sunny with southerly winds.

Raptor Observations:
A slow start with great expectations for streams of Broad-winged Hawks was
not fulfilled as any Broad-wings seen were well north of the Tower. Lots
of Sharp-shinned Hawks were interspersed with Cooper's Hawks, Northern
Harriers, American Kestrels, Osprey and a Merlin.

Non-raptor Observations:
Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (111), Cedar Waxwings (390), and American
Goldfinch (160) were the most numerous. Blue Jays were vociferous but not
present in great numbers. Warblers kept dropping in to trees around the
Tower. A lone Solitary Sandpiper graced the Turtle Pond and several Sora
were heard.
Report submitted by Bob Hall-Brooks (bhall-brooks at cogeco.ca)
Holiday Beach Migration Observatory information may be found at:

Site Description:
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:
Entering Canada from Detroit at the Ambassador Bridge:
After Canadian Customs, stay left 50 yards, passing over the railroad
You are now on Huron Church Road leading to Highway 401 and Highway 3.
Continue east 3.8 miles to the intersection with Todd and Cabana roads. Go
through the intersection, staying to the right. In less than 100 yards the
main road splits; 401 and 3 continue to the left as the main road and
Huron Church narrows and angles to the right. Follow Huron Church right
for 0.5 miles to Disputed Road. After anglign a right turn onto Disputed
Road, travel south. At 4 miles Disputed Road intersects with Townline
Road, and the name changes to Concession 5. Continue south 5 miles and
Concession 5 "T"'s with South Townline Road. Turn left and travel east 0.2
miles, turning right (south) onto Concession 6. Continue south for 3.4
miles to the intersection with Highway 20 at Malden Centre in the town of
Amherstburg. There is a restaurant/convenience/gas store on the southeast
corner of the intersection. Go through the intersection south onto Route
50 for 1.3 miles. The entrance to the Holiday Beach Conservation Area is
on the right. Pay entry fee and continue to the Hawk Tower at the south
end of the park. Park vehicle and walk to the tower.

West bound on Routes 401 and 3

Howard Avenue, Route 9, intersects Routes 401 and 3 east of Windsor. Take
Howard Avenue south to Highway 20 ("T"'s) and turn left (west) traveling
to Malden Centre in the town of Amherstburg. A restaurant/convenience/gas
store is on the left. Turn left (south) on to Route 50 for 1.3 miles; the
entrance to HBCA is on the right. 

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