[Ontbirds] Hawk Cliff Hawkwatch (28 Sep 2015) 32 Raptors

reports at hawkcount.org reports at hawkcount.org
Mon Sep 28 19:59:29 EDT 2015

Hawk Cliff Hawkwatch
Port Stanley, Ontario, Canada
Daily Raptor Counts: Sep 28, 2015

Species            Day's Count    Month Total   Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Black Vulture                0              0              0
Turkey Vulture              10             54             54
Osprey                       0            111            115
Bald Eagle                   0             56             56
Northern Harrier             4            402            407
Sharp-shinned Hawk           6           4041           4049
Cooper's Hawk                0             49             49
Northern Goshawk             0              0              0
Red-shouldered Hawk          0              1              1
Broad-winged Hawk            0          12907          12907
Red-tailed Hawk              0             36             36
Rough-legged Hawk            0              0              0
Golden Eagle                 0              0              0
American Kestrel             0           1495           1504
Merlin                       1             52             52
Peregrine Falcon            11             41             41
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:                      32          19245          19271

Observation start time: 06:00:00 
Observation end   time: 15:00:00 
Total observation time: 9 hours

Official Counter:        1Counter, Mary Carnahan

Observers:        Keith Sealy

Lots of visitors turned up today, despite the gloomy skies and threat of
rain which lasted throughout the morning.  Thanks to Garth Baker from
Innisfil for his assistance on the mound all morning and for his early
count.  Thanks as well to the group from Guelph (Toni, Larry, John,
Grainne, Gordon, and Marlene) for their contribution to the non-raptor list
for today (including the Hooded Warbler).  Also visiting this morning were
Ben, Seth, and Emma Sprenger and their parents, Victor and Laura from
Milton, ON.  

We had drizzle and low, dark cloud for the first hour or two with brisk SW
winds throwing sand up over the cliff right along the shoreline.  Although
the temperature started at 20 degrees Celsius, it felt much colder if you
were standing right out in the wind, which was relentless, only calming a
bit in the early afternoon.  The cloud cover persisted right through the
morning, only partially clearing in the afternoon, then quickly filling in
again once or twice.  We eventually reached a high of 22 C. and in the
afternoon, as the wind began to lessen somewhat, the sun also gave us a bit
of a break and everybody was able to at least remove their jackets which
sounds ridiculous for such balmy temperatures, but without that sun with
the wind blasting away at you, it feels a lot colder.  
Based on yesterday’s forecast, this wasn’t what we expected, but the bonus
was the SW wind which actually gave us an interesting day’s count.

Raptor Observations:
We counted 4 species of migratory raptors today; in addition, we included
Turkey Vultures (10) in today’s total, down from the 20 that originally
sailed across the sky in the pattern typical of migrating TVs, and later
subtracted 10 to account for the mob that returned from the west later in
the morning!  The four raptor species counted today were Northern Harrier
(4), Sharp-shinned Hawk (6), Merlin (1) and today’s big news – 11 Peregrine
Falcons.  Originally, 2 Merlins were counted, but 1 returned and spent the
afternoon hunting, then disappeared to the east.  Perhaps we’ll re-count
him tomorrow.  The Peregrines all zoomed across the field about 20 feet
north of the cliff’s edge.  The highest hourly count today was between 9 &
10 AM, but the total of 14 birds included 10 TVs.
Throughout the morning hours, local Bald Eagles cruised the cliff.  None
were seen flying farther north across the field, and none achieved an
altitude that said “Migrating”, so none were counted today.  Nevertheless,
they are a wonderful sight to see and always a crowd pleaser!
Many thanks to Garth Baker, Ken Wootton and Eleanor Kee Wellman for their
assistance with today’s raptor count.  

Non-raptor Observations:
Observers logged 32 non-raptor, avian species today including about 3500
Blue Jays, which really didn’t get going until afternoon, although a trip
up the road at mid-morning revealed they were flying west along Dexter
Line, low in the tree lines, and thus, couldn’t be seen by observers on the
knoll.  Goldfinches were also migrating today, although we didn’t see many
flocks near the cliff.  At times there were large numbers of Gulls cruising
along the cliff including the usual Ring-billed and what seemed to be an
unusual number of Herring Gulls today (perhaps they just really liked the
wind?) as well as 1 Great Black-backed Gull.  On the opposite end of the
size chart, we also saw a few Ruby-throated Hummingbirds.  
A New Species for this season was Winter Wren, found in the woods by some
of our visitors, along with a few other highlights:  Red-eyed and
Blue-headed Vireos, Downy and Red-bellied Woodpeckers plus many Northern
Flickers, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Swainson’s Thrush, Cedar Waxwing, 7 Warbler
species (Black-throated Blue, Bay-breasted, Blackpoll, Am. Redstart,
Orange-crowned, Ovenbird and Hooded), Northern Cardinal, Eastern Towhee and
White-throated Sparrows.  Early this morning, a couple of Eastern Bluebirds
were seen along Fairview Rd and there was a mob of House Sparrows at the
corner of Dexter and Hawk Cliff Rd.
A few stalwart Monarch Butterflies tried to make their way westward,
finding success in greater numbers as the sun tried to beat off the cloud
in the afternoon, while Orange & Clouded Sulphurs and Cabbage Whites can
still be found in the fields and weed patches at the Cliff.  Dragonfly
species were quite evident this afternoon including mainly Black Saddlebags
and Green Darners, although 1 Mosaic Darner (probably Shadow Darner)
patrolled in front of the knoll for a while and a few 12-spotted Skimmers
crossed the treeline near the knoll.

In the Hawk Cliff area we are expecting thunder showers over the next 24
hours which will bring some rain.  Temperatures will be mild Tuesday, with
the likelihood of southerly flow switching to northerly flow in the
afternoon, although humidity is going to be very high (100% tomorrow
morning) and that is not a good indicator for raptor migration.  Even if
the showers miss Hawk Cliff, there will be showers in the area, which
prevents birds from reaching our hawk watch site, so on all fronts ,
tomorrow is not a good bet for a high count.  Wednesday could be
interesting with sunshine, NE winds at about 30 km / hr and a high of 17
degrees Celsius.  However, that is going to feel a lot colder than 17 C.
with that easterly wind component and birds will fly high as well.  

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

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