Observation start time: 13:00:00 Observation end time: 16:15:00 Total observation time: 3.25 hours
Official Counter: Gabriel Mapel
Weather: Good hawk watching weather all day but no coverage available until 1pm. Moderate NW Winds and overcast all day, 7.2-6.2C during count period, moderate visibility with some haze in the distance.
Raptor Observations: A fantastic flight of late-season raptors! Many RS and RT today, almost all first seen rising up over the ridge to our NE and then flying SW, with many coming directly overhead. The #1 highlight of the day was the second Rough-legged Hawk of the season at 1:09pm, and it was a special sighting of a dark-morph bird! It was first sighted over the ridge to our NE flying with 3 RT, and it was quite noticeably the largest bird of the group. It then proceeded to fly SW passing nearly directly overhead, offering great views of its stunning dark plumage. This dark-morph RL was identified as a juvenile by its overall dark brown (rather than black coloration) with black belly and carpal patches, dirty brown (rather than black) border of trailing edges of wings, all dark tail, and most distinctly pale primary windows on upperwings.
Another highlight was a subadult Golden Eagle which flew slow, low, and close down the east side of the gap at 2:40pm giving wonderful views all the way across. It was in view for 10 minutes from the time it was first spotted until it disappeared to the south! The final highlight was an immature Northern Goshawk flying swiftly across the gap at 2:52. Two 4th-YR Bald Eagles flew through together at 3:57.
Non-raptor Observations: 310 Cedar Waxwings, 45 Robins, 55 Fish Crows, 15 RW Blackbirds
Predictions: Sunny, light SE Winds ======================================================================== Report submitted by Gabriel Mapel (<birdmangabriel...>) Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch information may be found at: http://www.rockfishgaphawkwatch.org