Saturday, September 17, 2011

23,480 Broad winged Hawks today at Holiday Beach

I stopped by Holiday Beach today after work (Friday Sept 16th). I figured it would be a good day as I drove down Howard Ave and noticed roadside flags blowing in a Southeasterly direction indicating North-West winds. Also the weather on Friday was dramatically colder which may encourage some movement as well.

Upon arrival to Holiday Beach, I started off by scanning the forest edge along the beach, but not much was  seen. Later from the hawk tower, 16 species of warblers continually streamed by the trees bordering the area around the tower. Several flycatchers were noticed as they perched on a leaf-less branches. The one below might be a Least Flycatcher. Red eyed Vireos, various Thrushes and Cardinals were present as well.

A Least Flycatcher

Some raptors seen today ... well so many were seen... Merlins, Coopers, Sharp Shinned, Bald Eagles, Osprey, Broad winged Hawks, Common Nighthawks, and Northern Harriers... wow... that was in one hour that I was on the tower! Five Wilson's Snipe passed over the tower at one point and obviously ducks and herons were everpresent.

I had forgotten my binoculars, so I could not really enjoy the numerous kettles of Broad winged Hawks, but at times, some were low enough to see with the naked eye, and I attempted to take some photos. Even at 5:30pm, streams of Broadwings were still going overhead.
This video... well, it's not that good, but is worth watching if you've never seen a good kettle of hawks. When I take video with my camera, I must hold the camera away from my face, as I must look at the preview screen. With the heavy lens and manual focusing, it really makes it too wobbly to make for decent video footage. Still pretty cool though.

Good birding,

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