Wow! Mount Peter GOLDEN EAGLE!

~An immature GOLDEN EAGLE soars just to the left of the platform at Mount Peter Hawkwatch, 10/17/15.~

Wow, great day at Mount Peter Hawkwatch for me – I finally got a GOLDEN EAGLE! This is the first one I have seen at Mount Peter, and it was by far my best look ever at a Golden Eagle. I located a large raptor to the northwest of the viewing platform. In my binoculars I could not determine what it was, I was thinking possibly a vulture. I got the bird in my spotting scope and it became clear that it could possibly be a Golden. The bird worked its way closer to the platform, still quite high up, but in great light.  I was so excited, I didn’t even know what to do with myself! I knew that I needed to photograph it to document it at least, even if the bird was a bit too high for great pics. The remainder of the watch was pretty good too, I had 71 migrating raptors including 2 immature Bald Eagles, 4 Red-shouldered Hawks, and 5 (!) Merlins. See below for my complete report from the day.

~This one made me happy – Red-Shouldered Hawk at Mount Peter Hawkwatch, 10/17/15.~
~A local Red-tailed Hawk finally came in close enough for a photo. Mount Peter Hawkwatch, 10/17/15.~

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Observation start time: 08:00:00
Observation end time: 16:00:00
Total observation time: 8 hours
Official Counter Matt Zeitler
Observers: Rob Stone

Richie Freud, Mike X, and Fred and Donna Paley from York, Pennsylvania, and who are currently doing a tour of Hawkwatches. They spent the morning at Scott’s Mountain in Harmony, New Jersey.

Sunny with some clouds with a steady wind from the northwest. Temperatures ranged from 4 to 9 degrees Celsius.

Raptor Observations:
Migrating Raptors: (2) Immature Bald Eagles, (1) immature Northern Harrier, (1) adult Red-shouldered Hawk, (1) immature Red-shouldered Hawk, (2) unknown Red-shouldered Hawks, (1) unknown American Kestrel, and the highlight of the day, at 10:20 EST, (1) immature GOLDEN EAGLE was spotted to the north of the viewing platform, soared just to the left of the platform and then headed southwest. Non-migrating raptors included (2) adult Bald Eagles; one headed north, the other northeast.

Non-raptor Observations:
Non-raptor Species: Eastern Bluebird (2), Blue Jay (15), American Robin (6), Common Raven (6), American Goldfinch (3), Yellow-rumped Warbler (3), Cedar Waxwing (2), Black-throated Green Warbler (1), Ring-billed Gull (1), Northern Flicker (1), European Starling (75), American Crow (10), and Canada Goose (812).

~I shot this Sharp-shinned Hawk at Mt. Peter on Thursday, 10/15/15.~
~One more shot of the Golden Eagle, Mount Peter Hawkwatch, 10/17/15.~

15 thoughts on “Wow! Mount Peter GOLDEN EAGLE!”

    1. Great to hear from you Amy, it was great to see the golden today, I was excited like a little kid. I’ll be counting every Saturday until the end of the season (Nov. 15th). Matt

  1. Congratulations, Matt.

    That has to be one really exciting day to see the Golden. I’ve only seen one on a carcass last winter but never flying. They must look so majestic. It was an extraordinarily beautiful day today and all I saw were vultures.

    1. Thanks Wilma! I wouldn’t mind seeing one on a carcass though, I think that would be cool too. I saw loads of vultures today too. Matt

    1. Thanks Deb! I hope you can make it out too, it’s such a great watch with a great group of counters. Come on a Saturday and I’ll be there for sure. Matt

    1. Yeah Bill, I was lucky for this one, but my luck wasn’t so good last year – I missed all 7 Goldens they had at Mt. Pete! I’m thrilled with this one though! Matt

    1. It’s actually our second Golden of the season – Ajit had one earlier, but I think this was a better look. Thanks Karen! Matt

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