Ive been out a couple of times already this year,and have seen 34species to date. Today I went to Humber Bay Park,to pad my list,adding many duck species. Ruddy Ducks were a nice surprise,2 among many Lesser Scaup and Redheads. I saw all 3 Merganser Species,Hooded,Common and Red-breasted. Mute Swans came very close..soo beautiful. I saw 2 American Kestrels,one sent pigeons into a frenzy. A Common Goldeneye,swam with a few Bufflehead,while 2 American Coots swam among a pair of American Widgeon. The best bird today was one I missed last year,a Northern Shrike. It flew by with prey in its tallons...a small bird I think. Sounds of all the various ducks and a beautiful January day made for a terrific start to birding in 2007.
BIRDING WITH BIGFRANK 2007
YOU GET A ** A ** for your dedicated studies of the raptors in your area very informitive to those interested in raptors-
Well its been longer then I thought since I posted! Ive been a busy birder and counted more then 2000 raptors so far this fall at the little park 10minutes from my home. Local awareness of my watch is growing,which has been rewarding. People from the area,are discovering a new spot to view birds of prey,and some have taken up a new hobby.
Last Saturday was a record day at Rosetta McClain Gardens Raptor Watch. With the help of many able assistants,a new high total of 755 raptors was counted. Most were very low. 2 Bald Eagles flying below the bluff we watch from were within 20meters(60feet ish) of us. Sharp-shinned Hawks were everywhere,we saw 569 of them. Truely an impressive sight. Everyone gathered really enjoyed it...and for me thats what its all about. A few of the coming days will be slow,but that bodes well for the next day which weather conditions are condusive to a big movement as birds will be itching to leave and another monstor count is possible!
Enjoy..I'll try to post more regularily. If U really miss me check http://raptorwatch.blogspot.com
Sharpshinned Hawks are flying...my current total for this fall so far is now sitting at 209 raptors,the bulk of which is Sharpshinned Hawks. In near days to come,several hundred a day will be seen of this smallest hawk(pigeon sized). I've already counted 22 Osprey too,last year I saw 92 ..Im shooting for 100 this fall!
The last few days,new folks have come to the raptor watch,which is most rewarding. Another friend who I knew previously from birding,hadnt realized how close the birds came. He enjoys photography so is in heaven. It makes me happy to introduce people to this great little park,only moments from their homes,and show them the wonder that is fall raptor migration. Later this month I have a group coming to attend,the Toronto Field Naturalists...I hope the day they chose is a winner! Tomorrow is setting up to be a good day,"hold thumbs" for me!
Upup to this point,August had been extra slow,a combination of poor weather conditions coupled with my own lack of attendance. I refuse to poke even my nose from the house on days the humidex is very high! I had counted 58 birds of prey this month b4 today. Today was the best August count in the 4 years of the count..a final tally of 59 birds of prey. The day began with very grey dark skies,which momentarily gave way to some nice blue sky with white puffy clouds followed by the bright blue sky for the remainder of the day. We had some close up birds,but many were medium high today. Several friends joined me. Our count consisted of:
Hi gang Im raptor watching most days now,most especially from mid-month onward. Things start slow as mentioned,but I enjoy all I can see. Friends have been coming over to see what is around and thus far my count is 42,which includes 6 Osprey and 2 early Broadwinged hawks. Today unknown to us,one Broadwing landed in the park before continuing onward. It circled for awhile giving me a chance to get at least one decent photo.
I also saw about 15000 Double-crested Cormorants flying to find food,over 500 Swallows..predominantly Barn Swallows,a few Caspian Terns,Cedar Waxwings,2 Least Flycatchers,a pair of Gray Catbirds,a Red-breasted Nuthatch,several American Goldfinch and Black-capped Chickadees. It was a good clear crisp day..with a tease of things to come!
Hi gang,Ive been out watching the skys...trees and lake again. The raptor watch has started slowly,but I saw 2 Sharpshinned Hawks,a Coopers Hawk,an Osprey and a Harrier yesterday. I'll be off shortly and with luck see a few more. I also saw a pair of Trumpeter Swans,many young Baltimore Orioles,migrating Cedar Waxwings,a number of Eastern Kingbirds..also migrating,many American Goldfinch in all manner of plumages a few more Great Blue Heron migrating..the total so far this August of them is 16. Saw an Eastern Wood Peewee and my first migrating Ruby-throated Hummingbird of the "fall" as well.
Alive and birdin. Hi gang,Im not lost,strayed or stolen,just busy with that Canadian Peregrine Foundation special project which so far I cant widely or publically(like on a forum like this)speak of. Once the story can be told,I will. I finally got out birding for the morning yesterday,and of note already few Bank Swallows were around. They start to migrate very early. I saw and heard tons of new Starlings,Red-winged Blackbirds and Robins. A few good sightings included Northern Mockingbird,Gray Catbird and Eastern Kingbird. Unique to this time of year,a friend reported seeing several thousand Double-crested Cormorants nearby. Ive seen conservatively,5000 Cormorants flying from Leslie Spit to Bluffers Park..it looks like the lake is moving,the way the birds skim the surface as they fly along. An American Kestrel and Sharpshinned Hawk were the only raptors I saw,but that will soon change. In Aug I start my migration Raptor Watch. It is slow but I just cant wait to start. Generally I count about 100 raptors in Aug,with things really picking up in September. August gets my stamina up and ready for later in the fall when Im at the park from 6am till 3pm,mostly standing. Helps me hone my spotting skills too. All of August early migrants of all kinds pass the park to keep my interest up. Stay tuned!
Hi gang spent today with "my" Redtailed Hawks. All 3 chicks are out of the nest and flying around now.We saw 2 of them fly. There was a good deal of squawking every time an adult flew in the area. We saw BIGRED bring one of the juvenile males a pigeon to eat. The youngster moved it around abit in the pine tree,before taking flight with it. I knew it couldnt keep altitude,and we found it on the ground,hopping and hobbling around taking the pigeon with him. In the end he didnt bother to eat it! They are being well fed as in the last 2 days we've found 2 dead rats and a dead pigeon(todays) that hadnt been eaten at all. Upon reviewing the photos,clearly the little guy with the pigeon had a full crop before he ever got the pigeon. In all a great day.
BIGRED and Juvenile Male Food Transfer
Juvenile Carrying Pigeon Around
Juvenile In Tree
Beautiful Juvenile Perched
Wow...quite a story...it was Dina's good fortune someone heard her scratching and did something about it. Thanks for sharing
Hi gang been busy with a project I cant yet publish on an open forum such as this....here is a harrowing report from one of the Canadian Peregrine Foundations most dedicated volunteers.
Downtown Toronto Sheraton July 1st:DINA PULLED FROM AN AIRSHAFT