Raptors have slowed down quite a bit during the period, with the first half of it once again impacted by poor weather. The 29th was by far the best day for raptors. Thanks to Steve and Ed for covering on the 27th and 28th.
10-25: A drizzle in the morning gradually turned into rain at 1:00, at which point it rained the rest of the day. Just 1 Red-shouldered and 1 Rough-legged were tallied.
10-26: Rain throughout the day.
10-27: A drizzle to light rain all day resulted in just 4 Sharpies, 20 Red-taileds, 2 Rough-leggeds, and a Merlin being tallied. One “dark morph” Red-tailed was also tallied.
10-28: Forty-six raptors were tallied, the highlights being 2 Harriers, 1 Red-shouldered, and 8 Rough-legged Hawks.
10-29: A high-quality day with nice numbers of the “later” migrants. Golden Eagles were moving through most of the day, the best of which was when 3 were seen simultaneously crossing south in different flight paths. All Goldens crossed with virtually no hesitation, most of which were adults. At the end of the day a rather nice total of 21 Golden Eagles were tallied. Rough-legged Hawks had their first push of the season, with 19 birds, and Red-shouldered Hawks continued in good numbers, with 11 birds. The accipiter hat trick was completed for the 3rd time this season, the best of which was an immature Northern Goshawk. Bald Eagles finally made a decent push, with 13 birds. Surprisingly, this is the largest number seen in a day this month. An American Kestrel was the first in 9 days.
10-30: An overcast day, with moderate southeast winds led to a small movement of raptors. Two Golden Eagles were the best of the 49 raptors tallied, with 5 Red-shouldereds, a Rough-legged, and a “dark morph” Red-tailed nice as well.
Non-raptors have been rather great lately, with a much more “wintery” feel to them. The best of the period has been 77 Snow Buntings on the 25th, 112 Sandhill Cranes on the 27th, 566 Sandhill Cranes on the 28th, 166 Sandhill Cranes on the 29th, a Sharp-tailed Grouse on the 28th and 29th, 46 Rusty Blackbirds on the 28th, 18 American Tree Sparrows on the 28th, an American Pipit on the 28th, a Northern Shrike on the 29th and 30th, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet on the 29th, a White-winged Crossbill on the 29th, 722 Long-tailed Ducks on the 30th, a Great Blue Heron on the 30th, a White-crowned Sparrow on the 30th, a Common Redpoll on the 30th, and 645 American Goldfinches on the 30th.
Thursday through Saturday look really good for raptor migration and this period is very likely the “last hurrah” of any sizable migration of raptors for the season. Friday and Saturday are likely to be the best of the three. Large numbers (for Pointe LaBarbe) of Red-shouldered Hawks, Rough-legged Hawks, and Golden Eagles are likely to pass through this period. The last remaining big Red-tailed days are likely to be during this period as well, with 400-1,000 birds likely moving through during these three days. Northern Goshawks should be daily, and their biggest day of the season is likely to occur during this period. If there are any 20+ Bald Eagle days left this season, they should occur during this period. Hundreds of Sandhill Cranes, thousands of finches, and hundreds-thousands of ducks are all likely as well. Thousands of birds should move through these three days, and it’ll be a great finale to the season.
Grant it, the season goes until November 14th, but after November 3rd hawk migration will be rapidly winding down, and the theme of October will continue into November: bad weather for raptor migration. Of course, the forecast will change many times between now and the end of the season, but the forecast image below is incredibly ominous. There should be a few nice days of raptor migration left after November 3rd, but it’ll greatly pale in comparison to October (or earlier).
If the forecast significantly alters for Thursday through Saturday, updates will be posted here.