[Ontbirds] Holiday Beach Conservation Area (29 Nov 2015) 440 Raptors

reports at hawkcount.org reports at hawkcount.org
Sun Nov 29 19:17:20 EST 2015

Holiday Beach Conservation Area
Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada
Daily Raptor Counts: Nov 29, 2015

Species            Day's Count    Month Total   Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Turkey Vulture              18           1224          51077
Osprey                       0              1             83
Bald Eagle                   4             29            200
Northern Harrier             8            169            835
Sharp-shinned Hawk           3            176           8270
Cooper's Hawk                7             26            209
Northern Goshawk             0              0              2
Red-shouldered Hawk         18            212            444
Broad-winged Hawk            0              0          16636
Red-tailed Hawk            371           1617           2410
Rough-legged Hawk            5             21             21
Golden Eagle                 3             36             56
American Kestrel             0              5           1521
Merlin                       2              6             64
Peregrine Falcon             0              7             51
Unknown Accipiter            1              3             19
Unknown Buteo                0             24            106
Unknown Eagle                0              0              0
Unknown Falcon               0              1              3
Unknown Raptor               0              1             24
Swainson's Hawk              0              0              1

Total:                     440           3558          82032

Observation start time: 08:00:00 
Observation end   time: 16:00:00 
Total observation time: 8 hours

Official Counter:        Jeremy Hatt

Observers:        Bob Sandford, Donny Moore, Ian Woodfield, Jenna McDermott,
                  Jim McCoy, Kory Renaud, Larry Ludwicki, Michael Williamson

A few visitors out enjoying the weather had great looks at high numbers of
raptors. Many veteran hawkwatchers made it out to take advantage of the
north winds (very scarce this year) and spirits were high! Thanks to all
those that helped spot. 

A brisk but beautiful day for the end of November. At the beginning of the
count, temperatures were chilly at -1.5C but by 11am, the temperature got
above 0 and eventually reached 2.5C by the late afternoon. Winds were out
of the north or NNE for the duration of the count w/ gusts up to 12km/h
(winds were light in the morning and picked up in the afternoon). Cloud
cover was around 40-60%. 

Raptor Observations:
An excellent count day! Everyone was excited to finally have north winds
this weekend and they did not disappoint. There were lots of us on the
tower today and we were kept busy. 

A total of 440 birds of 10 species were counted. Red-tailed Hawks flew over
in the highest number at 371 birds. At times there were up to 10-15
Red-tailed Hawks visible in the sky over the tower at once. The most
exciting hour was from noon until 1pm when 124 Red-tailed Hawks were
counted. A partially leucistic Red-tail w/ an all white head and bands of
white feathers across its upper wings was a treat. 

Other butoes counted included 18 Red-shouldered Hawks and 5 Rough-legged
Hawks (made up of 3 light morphs and 2 dark morphs). Northern Harriers,
Sharp-shinned and Cooper's Hawks, and Merlin were seen in low numbers. 

Turkey Vultures continue w/ 18 slowly drifting by today. 4 Bald Eagles and
3 Golden Eagles (all juveniles) were also seen. Two of the Golden Eagles
put on an impressive show as they circled around each other not far from
the tower giving great looks. 

Non-raptor Observations:
The highlight of the day was a Short-eared Owl flying over the southwest
end of the marsh around 10am. An unexpected but welcome surprise! 

Another highlight was a large flock of Sandhill Cranes that flew over in
the late morning plus a couple smaller groups. 75 were counted in total.
Plenty of ducks and American Coots still remain in the marsh. 

American Crows flew over throughout the day w/ a final total of 1,520
birds. Other migrants included: 83 Horned Larks, 2 Eastern Bluebirds, 2
American Robins, 41 European Starlings, 73 Cedar Waxwings, 1 Lapland
Longspur, 35 Snow Buntings, 914 Red-winged Blackbirds, 1 Rusty Blackbird,
32 Common Grackles, 27 Brown-headed Cowbirds, 3 Purple Finches, 2 House
Finches, and 475 American Goldfinches. 

Black-capped Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch, Golden-crowned Kinglet,
American Tree Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Northern
Cardinal, and a Winter Wren were seen in the trees and marshy area around
the tower. 

See today's complete list:

A slightly milder day w/ temperatures starting at 1C in the morning and
rising to 7C by the afternoon. Winds up to 20km/h out of the east and no
precipitation. Partly cloudy. 
Report submitted by Jeremy Hatt (hattjeremy at hotmail.com)
Holiday Beach Conservation Area information may be found at:

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