Observation start time: 08:00:00 Observation end time: 16:15:00 Total observation time: 8.25 hours
Official Counter: Katrina Fenton
Observers: Judd Nathan, Paul Bourgault
Weather: The hawk watch began under a baking sun with not a sign of a cloud in the sky. A few wisps of cirrus seemed to mix in with the grey/brown sludge smeared over the mountains, but beyond a few contrails and a skim of milky haze in the afternoon, the skies were largely empty of definition. The fickle wind puffed lightly from every point in the compass, settling to come mostly out of the west for the second half of the day. Temperatures soared to the low 80s.
Raptor Observations: We had to wait for the local Turkey Vulture gang to take to the skies before the first migrant raptors came into view. Small kettles of Broad-winged Hawks rose behind curtains of flying ant clouds, pepper flakes beyond pepper flakes. An early kettle numbered 30 birds, which seemed to bode well, but loose, unorganized groups of 2-12 and many solo birds were all that followed. American Kestrels took up the slack, just about keeping pace with Sharp-shinned Hawks for the first time this season.
Non-raptor Observations: Five distant specks rising in a thermal in a flapping, soaring, swirling flock were shown in a scope to be medium-sized shorebirds. They climbed to the top of the thermal, than headed off in a line to the west. General impression of size and shape suggested that they might be large plovers, but they never came close enough to confirm.
Non-raptor Migrants: Great Blue Heron- 2 Double-crested Cormorant- 3 shorebird sp.- 5 Ruby-throated Hummingbird- 2 Black-throated Blue Warbler- 1 Blackpoll Warbler- 7 warbler sp.- 19 Red Crossbill- 1
Monarch Butterfly- 8
======================================================================== Report submitted by Katrina Fenton (<trina16...>) Carter Hill Observatory information may be found at: www.nhaudubon.org