Hawk Count-September 2nd through 10th

Thanks to Ed and Steve for covering for me, while I was downstate for several days.

Raptors:  Raptors have been fairly good for the first third of September and rather great the last 2 days, considering the east winds.  Most noteworthy were 122 raptors on the 2nd, 225 raptors on the 9th, and 119 raptors today.  The 1,000th raptor of the season flew by today.

Yesterday, the 9th, had a rather excellent early season total of 80 Turkey Vultures, while the total of 58 Turkey Vultures on the 2nd, wasn’t too shabby either.  From the twenty-one Vultures tallied on August 30th to the 80 yesterday, this is the earliest I’ve personally seen Turkey Vultures, in numbers, clearly migrating.  Of the 80 yesterday, 41 crossed over the straits at some point during the day, with an additional 39 lingering around the count site.  Of the 39, about half made half-hearted attempts at crossing the straits but eventually came back to the general count site area.  Many vultures were crossing at the western tip of the point and were only visible crossing the straits in the scope.  Broad-winged Hawks have been consistently around 30 most of the past 4 days.  Some of these have crossed as well, mostly before noon.  Sharp-shinned Hawks are just starting their month or more peak period, with 84 yesterday and 57 today.  Interestingly, nearly all have been flying east across the point, directly into the moderate to strong east winds.  Bald Eagles have been steady and American Kestrels had their best day so far on the 8th, with 11 birds.  An Osprey spiced things up today, the first detected in a week.

Broad-winged Hawk

Turkey Vultures

Non-raptors: The 6th was by far the most interesting day, the best of which were 2 Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, an early Rusty Blackbird, a Green Heron, and 3 Rock Pigeons.  14 warbler species were nice this day as well, including 13 Palm.  The other rarity of the period was a lone Dickcissel on the 2nd.

Canada Geese are beginning to migrate, with 180 in the last few days.  A few shorebird species have been flying over most days, the best of which have been a lone American Golden-Plover on the 8th, and Semipalmated Plover and Solitary Sandpiper on the 6th.  Cedar Waxwings had their best day so far on the 2nd, with 271 birds.  Three finch species have been daily, with over 300 American Goldfinches the last several days.

A rather early Rusty Blackbird

Green Heron

Rock Pigeons may be relatively rare at Point LaBarbe

Monarchs: Monarchs have been steadily dwindling, especially the last 4 days.  The biggest day during the period was on the 3rd with 579 Monarchs.  Other notable days included 294 on the 2nd and 246 on the 6th.

Best of the next 5 days:  Mostly SW to SE winds appear to dominate the next 5 days.  Not ideal, but Bald Eagles have been moving in fairly good numbers on these types of days, particularly between 11 and 1.  It’ll be interesting to see if they move consistently on each of these days or pick a few days versus others.