Ron Morriss Park, Tubac, AZ, March 2, 2017
8:00am - 3:00pm
I chuckled at the half dozen birders at the park when I pulled into Ron Morriss this morning. A bit early in the season to expect much migration, especially of Black Hawks. Several visitors were experienced watchers from the Hitchcock Hawk Watch in Iowa who knew what to do with pure blue skies - scan, scan, scan.
At 9:14 the first Turkey Vultures rose from the trees. A Harris Hawk joined them. At least something unusual for the hardworking visitors.
A birder from the UK (the senior Mr. Fray) spotted a Black Hawk moving up the river side at 10:33. Brilliant! We redirected everyone from the nearby Red-Tailed to the Black Hawk. With our March 2nd average of about 0.5 Black Hawks, I judged it a lucky day and things should settle settle down to TVs and Red-tails.
As my phone alarm proclaimed 11:00, the laughs were on me. 10:59 a second Black Hawk. 11:09 two more Black Hawks moving north together. 11:12 another. 11:25 another. By 11:57 our new March 2 average Black Hawk count was over 2!
(Too early in the morning to make you dust off your calculators and dig out the old high school algebra book - that was 10 Black Hawks today.)
The afternoon was a typical early March migration with just an occasional migrant passing by.
Common Black Hawk 10
Turkey Vulture 42
Harris Hawk 1
Red-tailed Hawk 5
Peregrine Falcon 1
Black Vulture 6
Cooper’s Hawk 1