Observation start time: 07:30:00 Observation end time: 18:00:00 Total observation time: 10.5 hours
Official Counter: Gabriel Mapel
Observers: Dave Hunter
Visitors: Jennifer Jowdy, Michael Roane, Tom Hawkins, David & Virginia Wayland
Weather: A very pleasant day! Light SE Breezes, 12.2-17.2C temps, clear visibility. A rough, all blue sky for most of the day with good 45% cloud cover only from 10:30-12:00.
Raptor Observations: Slow but steady flow of raptors throughout the day but some real highlights made this a day to remember! The first nine raptors of the day represented nine different species! These included two uncommon migrants (immature Golden Eagle distant to the west at 9:54am and unaged Northern Goshawk distant to the east at 10:15). Even at that far distance that Goshawk was clearly a large, strong bird with huge, bulging wings and broad tail! It flew past a RT and hardly appeared smaller. Just a bit later another massive accipiter appeared overhead and once again bulging secondaries, long but broad tail, and small head in comparison to body and wings were noted. The bird was too high to detect plumage details but it did circle long enough for some good views and a few photos. That bird, the day's second Goshawk (unaged) tracked southward at 10:38.
4 BE (2nd-YR birds at 9:46, 12:31, and 1:35 and one adult at 4:10). An afternoon falcon flurry including an overhead adult Peregrine at 2:07 took us once again to a record-tying 12 raptor species for the day! We worked hard all afternoon and even stayed late combing the sky looking for a Northern Harrier to take us to a record 13 but never found one. It's amazing how many different combinations of 12 raptor species we've had on different days, but still can't squeeze out a 13-raptor day!
First Raptor: 8:25 BW, Last Raptor: 5:32 ML.
Non-raptor Observations: 1 DC Cormorant, 1 Killdeer, 26 Chimney Swifts, 1 Hummingbird, 2 Red-headed Woodpeckers, 1 Sapsucker, 15 Flickers, 1 Phoebe, 62 Blue Jays, 21 Tree Swallows, 480 Starlings, 16 Waxwings, 1 Summer Tanager, 4 Scarlet Tanagers, and 35 Monarch Butterflies. ======================================================================== Report submitted by Gabriel Mapel (<birdmangabriel...>) Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch information may be found at: http://www.rockfishgaphawkwatch.org