Observation start time: 09:30:00 Observation end time: 16:00:00 Total observation time: 6.5 hours
Official Counter: Vic Laubach
Weather: It was very wet overnight with light drizzle at sunrise. Everything was covered with fog (both mountain and valley). By 9:30am the valley had cleared out mostly but Rockfish Gap remained in heavy fog. The count was thus started at the alternated count site down the road in Waynesboro since much of the mountain just to the east could be seen. Finally Rockfish Gap cleared out at 12:45pm enough to finish the remainder of the day's count there. Visibility through 11am was only 2 km, 10km at noon, 25km at 1pm and 35km after 3pm.
Light S breezes all day. Temp. 23.6-27.2C. 90% overcast early. Once the fog lifted nice partly sunny skies appeared with lots of low, dark clouds mixed with lighter, higher clouds as the constant southerly breezes continued. Humidity 73-67%.
Raptor Observations: During the first half hour a total of 41 Broad-winged Hawks were observed lifting from the forest and gathering in small groups before proceeding south in and out of the fog and low clouds. 10 more BW flew by 10-11am and another 19 between 11-12. Only 6 BW counted for the remainder of the day. Adult BE (11:17, 11:52, 12:10). 2nd-YR BE at 3:45.
Non-raptor Observations: 21 Monarchs. Lots of Chimney Swifts throughout the day. A close encounter with a Black Vulture occurred up at the Inn in afternoon. A scratching noise heard directly above me turned out to be a Black Vulture perched on the roof at the very corner of the building. It looked down at me a couple of times and as I reached for my camera it flew off, but not before defecating over the edge, partially landing on my equipment bag (yuck!). Better my bag than my head! ======================================================================== Report submitted by Vic Laubach (<laubach...>) Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch information may be found at: http://www.rockfishgaphawkwatch.org