Date: 9/13/17 4:05 pm
From: reports--- via va-bird <va-bird...>
Subject: [Va-bird] Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch (13 Sep 2017) 89 Raptors
Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch
Waynesboro, Virginia, USA
Daily Raptor Counts: Sep 13, 2017

Species Day's Count Month Total Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Black Vulture 0 0 0
Turkey Vulture 0 0 0
Osprey 5 73 122
Bald Eagle 4 94 103
Northern Harrier 0 3 5
Sharp-shinned Hawk 4 25 33
Cooper's Hawk 0 21 33
Northern Goshawk 0 0 0
Red-shouldered Hawk 0 11 14
Broad-winged Hawk 76 1896 1994
Red-tailed Hawk 0 28 45
Rough-legged Hawk 0 0 0
Golden Eagle 0 1 1
American Kestrel 0 30 33
Merlin 0 4 4
Peregrine Falcon 0 3 4
Unknown Accipiter 0 1 1
Unknown Buteo 0 1 6
Unknown Falcon 0 0 0
Unknown Eagle 0 0 0
Unknown Raptor 0 2 6
Mississippi Kite 0 2 3

Total: 89 2195 2407

Observation start time: 09:30:00
Observation end time: 16:00:00
Total observation time: 6.5 hours

Official Counter: Vic Laubach


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:

More site information at

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