Observation start time: 09:45:00 Observation end time: 16:15:00 Total observation time: 6.5 hours
Official Counter: Gabriel Mapel
Observers: Dave Hunter, Josh Laubach, Vic Laubach
Visitors: Fianna & Blythe Wilde (Los Osos, CA), John Alcock (Tempe, AZ), Jennifer Jowdy, Mary Mapel, JoAnn Dalley, Ken Molidore, Ron Shearer, Jarod Barton
Weather: Some fog and light rain early (before 9am). Light and variable breezes early and moderate SE Winds after 1pm. 18.2-23.1C temps. Entirely overcast all day with heavier, darker clouds later in the afternoon. Clear visibility with some haze in the distance.
Raptor Observations: Today's four-digit Broad-wing flight was quite a surprise given how early in the season we are! The morning liftoff was quite spectacular with many medium size kettles (ranging in size from 20-55) rising up very low above the valleys to both the east and west. Later in the day a couple of kettles came in low, circling nearly directly overhead, offering very nice views! Hourly BW Count: 28 (9:45-10), 720 (10-11), 179 (11-12), 45 (12-1), 131 (1-2), 45 (2-3), 3 (3-4), 0 (4-4:15). The BWs this morning were flying all over the sky, but the afternoon flight was heavily concentrated on the east side of the gap. At 10:43am Jennifer Jowdy spotted a single bird flying across the gap, fairly close by. It turned out to be the third Mississippi Kite of the season, another immature, which gave a good but brief view before disappearing southward. One nice adult male Harrier at 10:35 and three more Bald Eagles (12:26 adult, 2:09 adult, and 3:01 immature). First Raptor: 9:52 BW, Last Raptor: 3:40 OS.
Non-raptor Observations: 210 Chimney Swifts, 4 Hummingbirds, 1 E. Wood-Pewee, 1 Least Flycatcher, 1 BG Gnatcatcher, and a group of warblers (2 BT Blue, 1 Chestnut-sided, 1 Bay-breasted, and 1 Magnolia). 9 Monarch Butterflies.
Predictions: Cool, rain likely, east winds ======================================================================== Report submitted by Gabriel Mapel (<birdmangabriel...>) Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch information may be found at: http://www.rockfishgaphawkwatch.org