Hawkwatch Begins!

~Ahh, the first Turkey Vulture photo of the season. Mt. Peter Hawkwatch, 09/02/17.~

Time flies. It’s hard for me to believe the summer is over and hawkwatch is upon us already. I am excited for the season; hawk watching is one of my favorite types of birding, and, with the exception of next week (9/9), I will be the official counter at Mount Peter Hawkwatch every Saturday for the duration of season.

I got off to a decent start to the season today with 17 migrating raptors counted, which isn’t horrible for September 2nd. I had 11 Broad-winged Hawks, 5 Sharp-shinned Hawks, and a single Osprey. Five of the Broad-winged Hawks came over in a “mini-kettle” that formed to the right of the tower in front of the viewing platform. The birds climbed quite quickly and then streamed off, migrating to the southwest. I was joined by Bill Connolly and Rob Stone – not coincidentally, I had my most productive hour (8 birds) when they were both present.

It was a good day for birding up on the mountain and I had nice count of 28 species of birds (in addition to 3 species of migrating raptors): Common Raven (4), American Goldfinch (20), Blue Jay (24), White-breasted Nuthatch (2), Tufted Titmouse (4), Black-capped Chickadee (4), American Crow (4), Ruby-throated Hummingbird (1), Cedar Waxwing (30+), Chimney Swift (7), Gray Catbird (2), American Robin (3), Northern Flicker (1), European Starling (8), Northern Mockingbird (1), Red-bellied Woodpecker (1), Northern Cardinal (2), Turkey Vulture (many), Black Vulture (many), Red-tailed Hawk (2), Mourning Dove (1), Pileated Woodpecker (1), Baltimore Oriole (1), Great-crested Flycatcher (1), Barn Swallow (1), COMMON NIGHTHAWK (1), Black-throated Green Warbler (1), and Red-eyed Vireo (1). The most exciting for me was the Common Nighthawk that Rob picked up just beyond the tower – it was my first time having one at Mt. Peter.

~Okay, this wasn’t taken today at Mt. Pete. Our CONI today was much more distant than this one, which I took at Turtle Bay earlier in the week, 08/30/17.~ 

Here’s my report from the day:

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