Friday after work, I headed out to Holiday Beach for an hour or so of hawk-watching. For some readers that do not know, Holiday Beach is located in the deepest, Southwestern point of Ontario. Hawks migrating from the northern boreal northward are funnelled between lake erie and lake huron (and lake St Clair) and must cross over to Michigan over this small geographic location, Holiday Beach. Anyway, upon arrival, Sarah from PPNP mentioned that it had been a great day so far with 10 or so Golden Eagles having gone by earlier in the day.
Long story short, the next hour was really good. Coopers Hawks, Northern Harriers, 2 Bald Eagles, 2 Golden Eagles, many TV's and Buteo Jamaicensis (or Red tailed Hawks... if you prefer english to latin names) and a juvenile Northern Goshawk! (Lifer #287). Sarah called out the Goshawk as it travelled at tree level over the beach, about 40m away from the tower. The Goshawk had a huge lump in its gullet, hinting that it may have just eaten something. The photo is poor because it was heavily backlit and well... rushed. This Accipiter looks similar to a Coopers Hawk but Steve & Sarah were confident the ID was correct. I'm not there yet because well, I've never seen a Goshawk with the exception of this brief fly-by. I can tell a Coopers from a Sharp-shinned though.
Saturday morning, I headed out to Point Pelee in hopes of searching for Saw whet Owls, but no luck. I searched DeLaurier Trail and Sparrow field with no luck. I tried an area near Sanctuary that has been good for Eastern Screech Owls and Great Horned Owls and did find a Screech Owl, although, not a surprise! I continue to be fooled and eluded by the camo of Owls. I recall having a friend show me the location of a Long-eared Owl earlier this year, and even pointing directly at it in a tree, I could not see it... So I imagine the same thing is happening with my search of Saw Whet Owls. I quickly walked out to the tip of Point Pelee while visiting Sparrow Field and noted hundreds (or possibly thousands) of ducks a few hundred meters off the west beach. A scope would have been needed to see them, although, a few Common Mergansers were hanging out just meters off the tip parking lot.
Delaurier trail had the typical mix of birds for right now... Downy Woodpecker, Eastern Phoebe, Caronlina Wren (heard) White throated Sparrows, and Yellow Rumped Warblers. A few Robins (Nova Scotian?) were hanging out as well. Yet another Golden Eagle flew overhead, but headed back north towards the park entrance. Perhaps it thought it head toward Holiday Beach (taking the land route) rather than heading over Lake Erie considering a light southerly wind.
Lifer summary- Northern Goshawk #287
I may have passed you in the park! Perhaps we saw the same Golden Eagle.
A nice day to be out!