Hawk Watch Report 2011

by | Mar 21, 2012 | Hawk Watch Updates

Happy Spring everyone!

A brief summary of last year’s highlights follows – here’s hoping this letter finds everyone happy, healthy and thinking about September.

Turning the clock back to the previous September: there was a immature Northern Goshawk seen pretty regularly from the deck between 9/2 and 9/10 (last day seen was the day the bird was counted). During the month of September, Bald Eagles were seen on 19 of the 27 count days (three rainout days with no count conducted). There were multiple birds counted on those days, including 10 on 9/18.

The two dates with the greatest number of Broadwings counted were 9/16 and 9/17 with just over 4000+ seen. A low number by last year’s and many other count year standards. It’s tough when the big flights miss us! There were three record breaking Osprey days – 9/28 (52) 9/29 (61) and 9/30 (43). All three days eclipsed the previous high of 40. These were amazing days with multiple numbers of osprey in the sky at the same time – just streaming by. Also of note an adult Swainson’s Hawk was spotted at 1:50pm on 9/26 Non-raptor species seen from the deck in September included American Golden Plover, Common Nighthawk, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Bobolink.

For October: Like September – 3 days had no counts recorded due to weather conditions 133 Osprey counted in October for a total of 431 for the season – of which 156 (or 36% in a three day barrage) There were 265 Broadwings on 10/2 – what took them so long? A few of us (Andy Fayer, Chris Dooley and myself amongst others) participated in a Big Sit from the deck on 10/9 as a fundraiser to sponsor the Militia Hill page on HMANA’s Hawkcount site. We tallied 71 species from park opening to dusk – for a successful sponsorship of $500 for our page.

I’d also like to thank Jamie Stewart for his individual sponsorship of the MHHW page as well. We are thinking about a similar fundraiser next October – so we hope more of you can be involved either actively or by contributing to the cause. Please ask Andy or I about additional details if you are interested. October saw a steady stream daily for the majority of the month, driven mainly by Sharp-shinned Hawk numbers and Turkey Vulture (1213 for the month!) In the non-raptor sightings – a few Common Raven were well sighted and also heard vocalizing.

Gotta love that croaking call!

In summary, 8958 raptors were counted in Fall 2011. 3628 were counted in October , which is a pretty good October by my memory (which is admittedly shorter than many regulars – but growing longer). As always the picnic was wonderful – a beautiful day to end another successful year.

That’s all for now – looking forward to seeing you all in a few months time.

Rich Conroy
MHHW Site Co-Coordinator