If it wasn’t for Kyle Dudgeon’s persistence, we would have missed a lot of good birds. We met up at 7:30 am and arrived around 8:15, just in time to catch one of the local Peregrine Falcons enjoying a meal at “the perch”. We had many good birds early on, including several Bald Eagles, but the lighting was pretty bad; all the early photos in this post have a stark white background. I haven’t shot hawks in flight for an extended period of time like this in a while and I definitely felt rusty. I was having a hard time keeping up with the birds (and camera settings!), particularly the Peregrines which move so fast it’s incredible. I managed to get some good shots, but really I felt like I could have done better; that many opportunities had slipped by. I guess that will motivate me for the next outing.
We were joined by Jill Homcy and then a little later on by Maria Loukeris. We all enjoyed a good mix of local raptors (Peregrine Falcons, Bald Eagles, Red-tailed Hawks, and Osprey) and migrating raptors which were lead by Osprey (35), followed by a tie between two accipiters Sharp-shinned Hawks (28) and Cooper’s Hawks (28). I felt like they must have been having a pretty good day for migration, I checked when I got home and according the Hawkcount.org, the total count for the day at State Line Lookout was 121 migrating raptors. It was a really enjoyable day for me, with good company and plenty of super birds to photograph.