Date: 9/23/17 12:01 am From: Don Simons <drsimons56...> Subject: Peregrines and broad wings
Keith Hawkins and I had a good day hawk watching on Mount Magazine. I arrived at the overlook at about 9:45 and had three broad-winged hawks right away.
Then, way off to the north were two silhouettes coming straight at me but too far out to call. They challenged each other with long, pointed wings. Keith arrived and got set up just in time to see one of those two power past us about 50 feet below. "Peregrine!"
Southern winds create downdraft conditions on the northern rim causing birds to pass below our vantage point. Over the years, I have seen quite a few peregrines from above.
About 45 minutes later a large falcon came in from the sun. This could have been our third peregrine of the hour.
As usual, things slowed down at 11:00 with a short list buteos, accipiters, and falcons.
After 4 p.m. an excited phone call announced a large kettle. Keith estimated over 100 hawks. I arrived too late to see that group but was there when another kettle appeared.
According to hawkcount.org 30,000 broadwings passed Hawk Ridge, Minnesota on the 17th. We have had no cold fronts to push them through Arkansas yet, but they are coming. I am tempted to make a Game of Thrones reverence here.