Friday, September 9, 2011

Fall Hawkwatching - September 2-8

Hurricanes Irene, Katia and Lee were the major players in this past week's fall hawk migration. Unless you were lucky enough to be at one of the midwestern sites, there wasn’t much to cheer about this week. The impact of these storms caused many watches to shut down for 2-3 days, and often the days surrounding the shutdowns weren’t very good either.

The midwestern sites did have some excellent days, particularly for American Kestrels and Sharp-shinned Hawks. Hawk Ridge, near Duluth, had several outstanding days, with the best on September 4. That day the watch counted 2165 birds, including 1859 Sharp-shinned Hawks and 107 American Kestrels. Hawk Ridge also had a super kestrel flight, that one on September 9 with 152. This site also had two great Bald Eagles flights, on September 7 and 8 with 62 and then 52 birds.

Hawk Cliff and Holiday Beach, both in Ontario, also had some outstanding flights. Holiday Beach counted 62 American Kestrels on two consecutive days September 5 and again on September 6. Hawk Cliff counted 103 kestrels on September 5 and 92 the following day.

One species not being counted very much at all so far is the Broad-winged Hawk By my quick and dirty tally, just 731 were counted for the entire month thus far at all the reporting sites. To compare, the month to date tally for Sharp-shinned Hawks is 5527, and even kestrels total 976. Presumably, the broadwing total should take a pretty dramatic upturn this next week, assuming there aren’t more hurricanes to contend with.

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