Observation start time: 08:00:00 Observation end time: 17:00:00 Total observation time: 9 hours
Official Counter: Dave Hunter
Observers: Brenda Tekin, Gabriel Mapel, Rose Thomas, Vic Laubach
Visitors: Sue & Dan Harvey (Knightdale, NC), Bruce & Sherri Carl, Dave Fischer (Cary, NC), Beth Ann Doerring, Janet Paisley, Lois Kauffman, Lysanne Taylor, Elizabeth Hunter (Bakersville, NC), Wendy Ealding, Mary Ames, Paty Elton, Nancy Gray, Anne & Bob Beckley, Jennifer Jowdy, Leon & Patricia Book (Cape Girardeau, MO), Mary Mapel, and Bill Nettelhorst (Fond Du Lac, WI).
Weather: Another foggy morning. The fog cleared on the east side of Rockfish Gap at 8:15am but not on the west side of the gap until 9:45 so one counter was stationed at the alternate count site (Constitution Park in Waynesboro) to see the west side of the gap from below the fog until it cleared. Entirely overcast early with a tough, all blue sky after 1pm. Moderate westerly winds throughout the day and 19.5-22.2C temps.
Raptor Observations: A gorgeous morning liftoff with birds rising out of the trees in all directions, lit up by the sun through high fog! Lots of oohs and aahs. Quite slow from 10am until after 4pm and it looked like we were not going to get a good afternoon push but at around 4:25 Mary Mapel spotted a big kettle over the "Parkway" to the north. Birds kept feeding into the kettle and then they all started streaming SSE. The majority of them came right over our heads, low and close! That one group ended up numbering 462 birds. Hourly BW Count: 6 (8-9), 975 (9-10), 11 (10-11), 45 (11-12), 24 (12-1), 5 (1-2), 23 (2-3), 21 (3-4), 501 (4-5).
Decent diversity today with nine raptor species including our second 3-Falcon Day of the season. Two Merlins (11:24 and 11:52) and one adult Peregrine (4:15). 6 more BE: 3 adults (10:40, 12:42, 1:41) and 3 immature (10:48 1st-YR, 2:59 unaged immature, 3:17 2nd-YR).
Non-raptor Observations: 13 Red-headed Woodpeckers, 288 Chimney Swifts, 4 Hummingbirds, 4 Common Nighthawks, 6 Cedar Waxwings, 1 Tanager, 2 N. Rough-winged & 2 Tree Swallows, 1 Lincoln's Sparrow, 1 Baltimore Oriole, and 20 Monarch Butterflies.
Predictions: Mostly sunny with light northwest winds. Warm. ======================================================================== Report submitted by Gabriel Mapel (<birdmangabriel...>) Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch information may be found at: http://www.rockfishgaphawkwatch.org