[Ontbirds]HSR: Holiday Beach (09 Sep 2008) 75 Raptors

reports at hawkcount.org reports at hawkcount.org
Wed Sep 10 08:09:35 EDT 2008

Holiday Beach
Ontario, Canada
Daily Raptor Counts: Sep 09, 2008

Species            Day's Count    Month Total   Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Turkey Vulture               0              3              3
Osprey                       0              3              3
Bald Eagle                   6              8              8
Northern Harrier             2              5              5
Sharp-shinned Hawk          36             50             50
Cooper's Hawk                4              5              5
Northern Goshawk             0              0              0
Red-shouldered Hawk          0              0              0
Broad-winged Hawk            6              6              6
Red-tailed Hawk              4              9              9
Rough-legged Hawk            0              0              0
Golden Eagle                 0              0              0
American Kestrel            17             20             20
Merlin                       0              2              2
Peregrine Falcon             0              1              1
Unknown Accipiter            0              0              0
Unknown Buteo                0              0              0
Unknown Eagle                0              0              0
Unknown Falcon               0              0              0
Unknown Raptor               0              0              0

Total:                      75            112            112

Observation start time: 09:30:00 
Observation end   time: 15:00:00 
Total observation time: 5.5 hours

Official Counter:        Mike Fitzpatrick

Observers:        Jim McCoy

Ken Newman of Colchester, ON

Day started perfectly clear with zero clouds--ended with 60-70% cloud
cover.  Wind was a constant NW to NNW, 6-20 kmph.  Temps started @ 20C,
ending at 16C.

Raptor Observations:
With NW winds, we certainly expected more birds, esp sharpies and broadies.
 Highlight of day was the 2 adult bald eagles that flew in tandem the
entire length of the marsh, until disappearing into the western end. Raptor
flight STOPPED at 2:15--nada-finish-the end!

Non-raptor Observations:
A singing Carolina wren started the morning with a smile. A few flocks of
goldfinches throughout the day.  "resident" osprey. Ch swifts and tree
swallows. 4 hummers near end of day.

The resident bald eagles put on a show, with 4 imms and an adult flying
around out in front of us, "playing tag" most of the morning hours.

Should be a good one, as conditions should be similar, but then, we thought
today would be more productive!
Report submitted by Michael Fitzpatrick (eagle2 at ameritech.net)
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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