[Ontbirds] HSR: Hawk Cliff Hawkwatch (Tuesday 16 Sep 2008) 82217 Raptors

reports at hawkcount.org reports at hawkcount.org
Wed Sep 17 11:09:48 EDT 2008

Hawk Cliff Hawkwatch
Port Stanley, Ontario, Canada
Daily Raptor Counts: Sep 16, 2008

Species            Day's Count    Month Total   Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Black Vulture                0              0              0
Turkey Vulture               0              0              0
Osprey                      13             96             97
Bald Eagle                  14             56             58
Northern Harrier            20             85             85
Sharp-shinned Hawk         251           1136           1138
Cooper's Hawk                2              5              5
Northern Goshawk             0              0              0
Red-shouldered Hawk          0              0              0
Broad-winged Hawk        81814          84388          84396
Red-tailed Hawk              0              1              3
Rough-legged Hawk            0              0              0
Golden Eagle                 0              0              0
American Kestrel            99            588            604
Merlin                       3             30             30
Peregrine Falcon             1              3              3
Unknown Accipiter            0              7              7
Unknown Buteo                0              1              1
Unknown Falcon               0              0              0
Unknown Eagle                0              0              0
Unknown Raptor               0              0              0
Mississippi Kite             0              1              1

Total:                   82217          86397          86428

Observation start time: 06:00:00 
Observation end   time: 17:00:00 
Total observation time: 11 hours

Official Counter:        Colin Horstead

Observers:        Craig Brown, Dave Brown, Dave Verkley, Derek Lyon,
                  Eleanor Kee-Wellman, Jennifer Lyon, Jim Dunn, Keith Sealy,
                  Mac McAlpine, Mark Cunningham, Mary Carnahan, Mike Street,
                  Ronnie Goodhand, Tom Bolohan, Wayne Parnall

Lots today...with everyone expecting to see a great flight after so many
days of wet rotten weather. They weren't disappointed. :)  Thanks to all
the counters / spotters that helped out today.

Great weather today with lots of cumulous clouds developing as the morning
went on...BUT the winds swung too quickly from N to SW and WSW and were
farily light for the day. The humidity dropped nicely and it was obvious
that there was good thermals developing to the north of the main Hawk Cliff
site...especially along the Sparta Ridge near St. Thomas.

Raptor Observations:
WOW!!! After a slow start for the first couple of hours we started to pick
up small kettles of Broadwings to the NE of the site. Several of the
counters / spotters decided to head to our auxillary site near the Sparta
Ridge (north of the main site by about 10km) and soon found what became a
FLOOD of Broadwings. This flight seemed to be flowing between light to
moderate SW winds and a wind line where N or NW winds prevailed to the
north of the ridge. This kept the flight moving quite literally along a
narrow band under some excellent cloud formations...making them easy to
spot. On top of this, several of the kettles (which often exceeded 2000
birds and in a couple of cases 5000 birds!!) were forming low enough to be
easily visible to the maked eye. In one instance there was a massive kettle
to the east of us that had BW's coming in the bottom from the east while
those at the top streamed into a second huge kettle to the west...just an
amazing sight. :) Note that this means today's count is a COMBINED total
from the main site and this secondary site to the north (normally used for
inland Golden Eagle flights later in the season). Other highlights included
a young Peregrine right along the cliff that almost picked off an
unsuspecting Kestrel that was hovering looking for a meal.

Non-raptor Observations:
Many good passerines noted today with highlights being Tufted Titmouse,
Northern Parula (2), Palm Warbler, Philadelphia Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo...and
14 Yellow-shafted Flickers in the same dead snag at the same time.

More nice weather but SW winds again a bit stronger than yesterday. The
BW's will almost certainly be moving again today...but likely back up near
the ridge inland. Thursday is looking not bad with predicted light to
moderate NE winds and lots of sun.
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 

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