Date: 10/24/17 5:53 am
From: Hawkcount.Org Reports <reports...>
Subject: [JERSEYBI] Raccoon Ridge (21 Oct 2017) 110 Raptors
Raccoon Ridge
Blairstown, New Jersey, USA
Daily Raptor Counts: Oct 21, 2017
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Species Day's Count Month Total Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Black Vulture 0 0 0
Turkey Vulture 0 0 0
Osprey 1 10 126
Bald Eagle 1 45 179
Northern Harrier 5 17 46
Sharp-shinned Hawk 68 487 841
Cooper's Hawk 15 82 115
Northern Goshawk 1 2 2
Red-shouldered Hawk 0 9 13
Broad-winged Hawk 0 4 6294
Red-tailed Hawk 8 51 65
Rough-legged Hawk 0 0 0
Golden Eagle 0 5 5
American Kestrel 4 38 147
Merlin 1 51 86
Peregrine Falcon 2 28 51
Unknown Accipiter 0 0 0
Unknown Buteo 0 0 0
Unknown Falcon 0 0 0
Unknown Eagle 0 0 0
Unknown Raptor 4 21 48

Total: 110 850 8018
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Observation start time: 09:00:00
Observation end time: 18:00:00
Total observation time: 9 hours

Official Counter: Brian Hardiman

Observers: Al Ambler, Jim Thomson, Phil Rodriguez, Scott Wood

Visitors:
Additional observers: Tom Campbell, Frank Merintino.

RR was a popular place today, welcoming individuals and groups: Bob and
Molly, Joe Goddu & Christine, Bob Rothberg, Bob Dieterich and the Queens
Co. Bird Club (~12), AMC hiking group from Mohican Outdoor Center (17), Mr
T -- thank you one and all for spending time with us and for your spotting!


Hikers - 24.


Weather:
clear early with increasing clouds thru day, wind SE light, temp 56-70 deg
F.

Raptor Observations:
BE - 2:04I.
NH - 3 of the 5 seen were Gray Ghosts.
PG - 2:09, 2:54 (both passing high, not aged).
NG - 3:25I.

Raccoon Ridge set a season record today when Peregrine #51
passed at 2:54. The old record of 50 was set in 1990 during a full-time
count.

However, the real excitement came just 31 minutes later when a lightning
bolt struck the ridge (FIGURATIVELY! FIGURATIVELY!)--it came in the form of
a BIG, BEAUTIFUL immature Northern Goshawk that gave what is likely the
best look any of us have ever had of this bird on Coon.

Most of the crowd had already departed when we got on a bird upridge that
was moving low on the reservoir side, giving us only a head-on look. As the
bird got closer its identity became apparent--it was a sizable immature
goshawk (heavy bodied, long tail, dirty/dark in appearance i.e. heavy
streaking, with a bold conspicuous eye-line)! Keeping its line, it would
have given us a 'knock you off your feet' classic Coon look (passing at or
below eye-level while closely hugging the ridge).

But the bird did something none of us expected--it pulled up, turned, and
headed straight for the owl decoy passing right in front of us! It
continued over the owl and down the ridge and out of sight on the river
side, leaving us thunderstruck. Wow! Wow! Wow! In my experience, few birds
on Coon have elicited from its observers the subsequent buzz and chatter
and whoops and exclamations (some of it which cannot be repeated here) that
this bird did.

Outside of rough-legged hawk, the goshawk has become in recent years the
rarest of the expected raptors at Coon. Taking this into account plus the
'knock your socks off' look it gave us, and how unexpected it was (warm
day, light southerly wind, not a big flight)--all these factors combined
make today's goshawk one very, very memorable bird.

And to top it off, Jim Thomson captured the moment with some damn fine
photos of the bird.

Bird of the Day? Really? Do you have to ask?

Non-raptor Observations:
TVs & BVs.
Ravens - 3.
RC Kinglets.
Pileated Woodpecker.
Myrtle Warblers.
Canada Geese - flock of 30.
Robins - small flocks moving sporadically.

Ring-necked Pheasant - male on A.T. near lookout, serenaded us periodically
with its crowing--it's a released bird that was no doubt flushed from the
PA side of the river where the small game hunting season just started.
We're taking bets if it survives the night.

Buck Moths.
Monarchs - 35.

Garter Snake and Red-belly Snake - seen by JT & AA on hike out at end of
day.
Screech Owl & Coyotes - heard by BH, PR, & SW on hike out.

========================================================================
Report submitted by Brian Hardiman (<hardimanbrian...>)


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