Date: 11/14/17 2:20 pm
From: reports--- via va-bird <va-bird...>
Subject: [Va-bird] Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch (14 Nov 2017) 52 Raptors (RL, NG, GE)
Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch
Waynesboro, Virginia, USA
Daily Raptor Counts: Nov 14, 2017

Species Day's Count Month Total Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Black Vulture 0 0 0
Turkey Vulture 0 0 0
Osprey 0 0 227
Bald Eagle 2 21 242
Northern Harrier 0 4 44
Sharp-shinned Hawk 0 55 973
Cooper's Hawk 2 15 233
Northern Goshawk 1 1 6
Red-shouldered Hawk 12 39 76
Broad-winged Hawk 0 0 22341
Red-tailed Hawk 32 99 271
Rough-legged Hawk 1 1 2
Golden Eagle 1 11 21
American Kestrel 0 1 120
Merlin 0 2 50
Peregrine Falcon 0 0 34
Unknown Accipiter 1 3 20
Unknown Buteo 0 0 13
Unknown Falcon 0 0 2
Unknown Eagle 0 0 1
Unknown Raptor 0 3 25
Mississippi Kite 0 0 3

Total: 52 255 24704

Observation start time: 13:00:00
Observation end time: 16:15:00
Total observation time: 3.25 hours

Official Counter: Gabriel Mapel


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

Sunny, light SE Winds
Report submitted by Gabriel Mapel (<birdmangabriel...>)
Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch information may be found at:

More site information at

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