[Ontbirds] Hawk Cliff Hawkwatch (08 Sep 2015) 61 Raptors

reports at hawkcount.org reports at hawkcount.org
Tue Sep 8 21:08:46 EDT 2015

Hawk Cliff Hawkwatch
Port Stanley, Ontario, Canada
Daily Raptor Counts: Sep 08, 2015

Species            Day's Count    Month Total   Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Black Vulture                0              0              0
Turkey Vulture               0              0              0
Osprey                       1             35             39
Bald Eagle                   0              3              3
Northern Harrier             4             41             46
Sharp-shinned Hawk          11             54             62
Cooper's Hawk                0              0              0
Northern Goshawk             0              0              0
Red-shouldered Hawk          0              0              0
Broad-winged Hawk            0              0              0
Red-tailed Hawk              0              0              0
Rough-legged Hawk            0              0              0
Golden Eagle                 0              0              0
American Kestrel            44            371            380
Merlin                       1              9              9
Peregrine Falcon             0             13             13
Unknown Accipiter            0              0              0
Unknown Buteo                0              0              0
Unknown Falcon               0              0              0
Unknown Eagle                0              0              0
Unknown Raptor               0              0              0

Total:                      61            526            552

Observation start time: 07:00:00 
Observation end   time: 15:30:00 
Total observation time: 8.5 hours

Official Counter:        Jim Dunn, Mary Carnahan

Observers:        Clive Hodder, Keith Sealy, Mary Carnahan

We had 1 viaitor today -- Don, from London.  As well, thanks for their
assistance to Rose Welch and Clive Hodder).

Another hot, muggy day at Hawk Cliff brought morning winds that shifted
from NNE to SSE, to ESE and finally to SW, settling there for the
afternoon.  Wind speed started out at around 8 km / hr, then dropped to
less than 6 km / hr, then shifted back up and continued to rise each hour
finally reaching 16 km / hr by 3:00 PM -- but only if you were sitting
along the edge of the cliff.  On the knoll, it was hot, hot, hot!  There
was haze towards the SE (i.e., over the lake) until about 1:30 in the
afternoon, making it difficult to perceive most of the birds, the majority
flying across near the lake.  Visibility that started out okay dwindled as
the day progressed reaching its worst between 10 and 11 o’clock.

Raptor Observations:
Today’s conditions were too hot for humans and may simply have been too hot
for raptors, as we tallied a slim total of 61 birds.  Another factor
working against the raptor flow today was that thunder storms were in the
area (some observers and visitors drove through a local thunder storm on
their way to the cliff) so birds may not have been able to travel to our
location today.  We tallied 5 species of raptor today including mainly
American Kestrels (44). As well, we tallied 1 Osprey, 4 Northern Harriers,
11 Sharp-shinned Hawks and 1 Merlin.  
Local Bald Eagles cruised the cliff from about 9:00 AM until noon, flying
east and west, so low that if you were standing at the edge it was as if
you could almost reach out and touch them – at eye level and really close. 
  Between 1:00 and 3:30 PM, the only birds we saw were not raptors but
local (at least temporarily) Turkey Vultures, far to the north end of the
field. We had a high count of 7 but they were just flying back and forth,
much like the Eagles had done in the morning.

Non-raptor Observations:
Observers tallied 44 species today of which the following are highlights. 
Jim spotted 3 Wood Ducks from the observation knoll this morning and in the
afternoon, observers on the knoll reported many Ring-billed Gulls, while a
trip to the cliff’s edge yielded a good view of only `1 Herring Gull. 
After the noon hour, we had a few Barn Swallows (fewer than 10) cross the
field very high up. We also tallied 6 Woodpecker species today including
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Downy, Hairy, Red-bellied and Pileated
Woodpeckers and Northern Flicker.  As well, we tallied 4 Flycatcher species
including Great-crested and Least Flycatchers, Eastern Wood-pewee and
Eastern Kingbird. 
We did well in the Thrush department as well today with 3 Swainson’s
Thrushes in the woods, a Gray-cheeked Thrush, Robins and 8 Eastern
Bluebirds sunning on the wires along Fairview Rd on the way to Hawk Cliff
very early this morning.  
Observers only reported 6 Warbler species today, but there were multiple of
most species:  the list includes Magnolia (1), Black-throated Blue (2), Am.
Redstart (3), Tennessee (1), Ovenbird (4)!!, and Wilson’s (2).  As well,
there was 1 Warbling Vireo reported and Red-eyed Vireos were all over the
place – across from the knoll, along the roadside and in the woods across
from Sharpie Alley.  
Butterfly species noted today included Monarch, Viceroy, Black Swallowtail,
Summer Azure, Cabbage White, Orange & Clouded Sulphur, Eastern Tailed Blue,
and thanks to Rose for spotting a Milbert’s Tortoiseshell.  

A cold front is expected to pass through overnight and into tomorrow
morning, bringing more comfortable temperatures and Northerly winds.  Rain
is expected in the wee hours of the morning, possibly lasting till noon. 
Depending on the wind speed and the total amount of rainfall we receive,
there could be a good flight Wednesday afternoon.  Thursday will bring
Easterly winds at a velocity favourable to raptor migration, but the birds
will be high and difficult to see.  

Report submitted by Dave Brown (thebrowns at ezlink.on.ca)
Hawk Cliff Hawkwatch information may be found at:

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