Observation start time: 07:00:00
Observation end time: 17:45:00
Total observation time: 10.75 hours
Official Counter: Gabriel Mapel
Observers: Dave Hunter, Rose Thomas, Vic Laubach, William Leigh
Plenty of visitors up to watch the Broad-wings including Wade Hildreth
(NC), Blythe & Fianna Wilde (Los Osos, CA), Robert Butler, Marlene Condon,
Mary & Daniel Mapel, Dave Fischer (Cary, NC), Peter Van Acker, Tink Moyer,
Ed Lewis, Jennifer Jowdy, Rita Walton, Steve Barnett, Laura Neale, Nancy
Weiss, Carol Wise, Dan & Sue Harvey (Knightdale, NC), Elizabeth Hunter
(Bakersville, NC), Bill Nettlehorst (Fond Du Lac, WI), Susan Beers, Frank
Hanlon, and Marshall Faintich.
Unfortunately Rockfish Gap was socked in with heavy fog until 9:30am EST.
Counters headed down the east side of the gap a couple miles to start the
count where we could view the gap from below the fog until it cleared.
Poor visibility until 11am and distant haze throughout the day. Mostly
cloudy all day with low, dark, heavy clouds until 2pm. Nonexistent to very
light breezes throughout the day, from an easterly direction. 21.5-26.6C
Another great day of Broad-wing migration and awesome kettles! Once the
fog cleared we had a decent late morning flight highlighted by a nice, tall
kettle of 222 BW on the west side of the gap. The excitement quickly
calmed down with very few BW all afternoon, and those that were seen were
distant out to the west, barely visible in the scopes. However, everything
changed at 3:15pm when Bill Nettlehorst spotted a “river of hawks” flying
distant down the east side of the gap. That river became a tall, wide wall
of Broad-wings extending a binocular glass high and stretched out all
across the entire eastern sky! We ended up tallying over 2,300 BW during
the following 45 minutes, almost all on that same flight path.
Several nice kettles out to the west and a very late-day, nearly overhead
kettle took us to over 3,500 BW for the day. Hourly BW Count: 2 (7-8), 6
(8-9), 40 (9-10), 338 (10-11), 21 (11-12), 11 (12-1), 26 (1-2), 55 (2-3),
2317 (3-4), 621 (4-5), 79 (5-5:45).
Osprey numbers remain low but we had a slightly better flight today. 7
more BE (1 2nd-YR at 1:00, and 6 adults at 1:04, 1:04, 1:10, 1:33, 2:29,
and 2:45). 3 NH (10:37 unaged, 4:40 adult female, and 5:27 adult male).
Two nice Merlins (11:30 unaged and 12:04 adult male) both flew through
close affording good views. First Raptor: 7:48 BW, Last Raptor: 5:27 NH.
Mostly sunny with light north winds.
Report submitted by Gabriel Mapel (<birdmangabriel...>)
Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch information may be found at: