[Ontbirds]HSR: Holiday Beach (03 Oct 2006) 496 Raptors

reports at hawkcount.org reports at hawkcount.org
Wed Oct 4 06:10:01 EDT 2006

Holiday Beach
Ontario, Canada
Daily Raptor Counts: Oct 03, 2006

Species            Day's Count    Month Total   Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Turkey Vulture             211            893           1633
Osprey                       0              5            102
Bald Eagle                   4             15             66
Northern Harrier            10             58            488
Sharp-shinned Hawk          76            470           4907
Cooper's Hawk               25             73            257
Northern Goshawk             0              0              3
Red-shouldered Hawk          0              0              0
Broad-winged Hawk          132            266           7521
Red-tailed Hawk             10             37            197
Rough-legged Hawk            0              0              0
Golden Eagle                 0              0              4
American Kestrel            22            110           1864
Merlin                       4             19             96
Peregrine Falcon             2             10             75
Unknown                                                    6
Swainson's Hawk              0              1              3

Total:                     496           1957          17222

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

Official Counter: Bob Hall-Brooks


The CAW held their annual Youth Environment Workshop at HBCA today. Four
groups of high school students each spent a half hour on the Tower as one
of four activities. The fall raptor migration was explained and the
species of raptors revealed to them. All birds passing were pointed out.

Heavy rain, light rain, overcast then sunny. Temperatures ranged from 16 to
31 degrees Celsius. Wind were from all around the compass.

Raptor Observations:
After a slow start, sightings picked up dramatically around 12 noon then
subsided again quickly.

Non-raptor Observations:
Blue Jays were streaming by constantly after the rain stopped. A flock of
10 Kildeer were seen. Only one Ruby-throated Hummingbird was spotted
passing the Tower.
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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