Tuesday, September 4, 2012

August Wrap-up - Bring on September

September is now upon us, and every hawkwatcher hopes for top-notch results at his or her favorite spot. But just for today we’re going to take a last look at the August hawkwatching results to see how those ended up.

Despite poor weather throughout much of the east, several sites posted some good numbers in what was largely a lackluster month for most sites this year.

Rockfish Gap VA doubled its count hours this year and then posted high August numbers for several species. Perhaps best of all were 36 Bald Eagles, compared to the previous August record of 14. Other species also benefited from the increased time at the site, especially Osprey, American Kestrel and Sharp-shinned Hawk.

Corpus Christi TX came oh-so-close to breaking its August record for Mississippi Kites. They ended up with 20,064, just 800 off the 2007 August record of 20,833.

A hearty “welcome back” is due to Smith Point TX, which had been closed for a few years. They counted for several days in late August and ended up with nearly 6000 Mississippi Kites and 183 Broadwings.

Hawk Ridge MN counted 737 Broadwings in August, which is at least their highest total in the past 12 years.

Hawk Mountain Pa tallied 12 Merlin in August, the highest total since at least 1995. With 75 years of records to look through, I didn’t go back the whole way.

Waggoner’s Gap PA also set two August records, one for Broad-winged Hawks at 363, just inching past 1999’s August record of 359, and another for its 3 Merlin (previous high of 2 in August)

Hawk Cliff ON saw a lot more Broadwings and American kestrel than they usually do in August. They had a record 162 kestrels, boosted by a thoroughly impressive result of 112 on August 28. The next day, a total of 137 Broadwings helped to boost the month’s total of that species to 174, and that looks alike another high tally for August.

And now it’s on to September, and for all of us who spent time on an eastern ridge, let’s hope for some better weather to bring us some more hawks!

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