Hawk Count-August 26th

Raptors: It was an interesting day for raptors.  Sometimes raptors can have a pulse or series of pulses of migration within a day of counting, but the pulse today was rather unique among my experience.  The first 4 hours of the count didn’t really have much moving in the raptor department, but all of a sudden, between 1-2, there was a rather nice early-season pulse of raptors.  Seven species of raptors flew by within this hour comprised of Bald Eagle-11, Northern Harrier-3, Sharp-shinned Hawk-2, Broad-winged Hawk-1, Red-tailed Hawk-1, American Kestrel-1, and Merlin-1.  The following 3 hours were just as slow as the first 4, with only 5 of the day’s 25 raptors recorded in the 7 hours of observation outside this lone pulse of birds.  No obvious weather movement appeared to impact this pulse of birds and it remains a mystery, and perhaps the most bizarre raptor pulse I’ve ever experienced. The first Osprey of the season was also recorded, along with (presumably) the same Peregrine Falcon (this time perched on Green Island) making for a 9 species day.

Non-raptors: It was another fairly good day for non-raptors, contributing 61 of the 70 species recorded today.  Warblers were again well-represented with 14 species detected.  Yellow-rumpeds made up exactly half of the warbler total, with 55 birdsCommon Yellowthroat, American Redstart, and Cape May made up the bulk of the rest.  There’s virtually no habitat for shorebirds at Pointe LaBarbe, so I was pleasantly surprised to have 2 Semipalmated Plovers, 1 Pectoral Sandpiper, and 1 Lesser Yellowlegs (along with 3 Killdeer) fly by.  Other highlights included 4 Great Egrets, 1 Bonaparte’s Gull, 21 Common Nighthawks, 1 Least Flycatcher, and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

Monarchs: 133 were recorded during the count, with an additional 12+ recorded during non-count periods.

Best of the next 5 days: Thursday still looks like the best day of the near future, although Wednesday may be just as good or better.

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