Sunday, October 28, 2007

Raptor Movement Day

Today (Sunday) I went to Rondeau Park and area. There were not many passerines. The only species of warbler now, it seems, is Yellow-rumped. There may be a few late individuals of others species to be found yet.

South Point Trail was not too productive, so Jim Burk and I headed over to Marsh Trail. We took a long walk out about three-quarters of the way. Lots of sparrows were to be seen or heard and a few more Yellow-rumped Warblers. Fox Sparrows finally made an appearance this weekend. They seem to be late this fall. A number of Eastern Towhees were still around. Pine Siskins were flying through all morning, as well a few Purple Finches.

On our return walk, it was evident that it was going to be a good day for hawk and raptor migration. We did see an Osprey on the way out, but the first raptor we looked at was a Golden Eagle. Several Red-tailed Hawks, Sharp-shinned Hawks, Cooper's and Harriers were also seen. A second Golden Eagle was also sighted.

I later headed over to Terrace Beach south of Morpeth and found a bonanza of hawks, vultures and eagles. I saw another three Golden Eagles within a half hour. Hundreds of Turkey Vultures were also kettling. One can see along the lakeshore for a long distance as the photo shows.

Golden Eagles are always nice to see, but are becoming increasingly common. If I saw five in about an hour and a half, I wonder how many really passed through today?

The wind was light out of the NW, ideal for hawk migration along Lake Erie. It pushes them south until they hit the lake. Since these raptors do not cross large bodies of water, they follow the shoreline until they find a crossing point.

It was actually a nice day to be out birdwatching!

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