Observation start time: 06:45:00 Observation end time: 16:45:00 Total observation time: 10 hours
Official Counter: Brian Hardiman
Observers: Al Ambler, Jack McCormack, Tom Bailey, Tom Campbell
Visitors: Additional observers/visitors: Roger Johnson, Patrick Keelen, Frank Merentino, Blais Brancheau, Jeff Climpson, Aaron Tidridge, Carl Andresen, Jeff Moffatt.
Hikers - 6, plus the Ocean County Boy Scouts backpacking group (20).
Thank you to all for your company and excellent spotting on this very cold but very rewarding day.
Weather: clear skies very early w/ clouds and snow squalls moving in between 8:00-9:00, then increased clearing thru the day; wind NW 10-20 steady all day, w/ some gusts pushing 30; temp 23-29 deg F w/ wind chill as low as 10 deg F.
It was an outstanding, classic November Coon day that had it all--birds, wind, cold temps, and snow squalls! Coon's 'wow factor' meter had its needle buried.
Highlights were many:
- 31 eagles (by 7:20 4 Goldens & 4 Balds had already been counted. The first Golden, at 6:50, put on a show as it fended off two pestering Ravens). - the 294 RTs represent the 5th highest count for this species in the last 11 seasons. - today's Goshawk count of 3 had last been reached back on 3 November 2012 when 4 were tallied. Two of today's birds gave 'toe-curling' looks. - 20 RS marks a high for this season, with some super looks at adults at and below eye level.
Bird of the Day contenders were many--collectively the big RT flight, several adult RS that 'gave it up', the early Golden scrapping with the Ravens, and a number of BE that gave sweet looks...but the winner is the 11:48 immature Goshawk that came out of nowhere and popped up over the trees directly in front of us and passed very close on the river side. The sighting of this large individual not only curled toes, but it rolled some socks down and back up again--WOW!
Non-raptor Observations: Ravens - 2-3. TVs & BV (1). Canada Geese - flocks moving much of day. Cedar Waxwings. Loon. Gulls (Ring-bills?). American Robins - flocks moving early and late in day. Winter Wren. Coyotes - heard by BH & JM around 5:30 pm on hike out. ======================================================================== Report submitted by Brian Hardiman (<hardimanbrian...>)