Observation start time: 09:45:00 Observation end time: 15:00:00 Total observation time: 5.25 hours
Official Counter: Jerry McWilliams
Observers: Ken Felix
Visitors: Ken Felix assisted with the count for most of the day. Lots of visitors today including Julie Dell, Ruth Swaney and friend, Carol Allen, Diane Kallor, Joe Susi, with help spotting and counting birds from Joao Taveres, and Jim and Carolyn Baxter.
Weather: Cloudy with steady rain until 0930 EST then mostly cloudy with strong SSW and an occasional sprinkle. The skies began to clear after the 1100 hour EST then birds began to pour through.
Raptor Observations: Finally a long-over-due spectacular hawk flight beginning with far more hawks than vultures, which eventually came through in huge kettles with up to 350 in one kettle. There were so many birds at times that we were sure birds passed by before we could ID and tally them. Top of the chart migrants were Osprey, Northern Harrier, Sharp-shinned Hawk and American Kestrel. A new one day high of 53 for Northern Harrier broke the 2011 daily high of 31 birds. Our Osprey daily high matched the 2011 record daily high of 37 birds. Birds came through at decent levels until it cleared then they went stratospheric. We had our first Broad-winged Hawks of the season. A wind shift out of the west dramatically dropped the temp. by 15 F at about 1430 EST shutting down the flight.
Non-raptor Observations: Canada Goose-3, Common Loon-2, Double-crested Cormorant-64, Great Blue Heron-3, Caspian Tern-2, Belted Kingfisher-4, Northern Flicker-30, many Tree Swallows,hundreds of American Robins and thousands of blackbirds.
Predictions: Continued warm with SSW wind with some rain likely and a bit warmer. A repeat of today would be great!
Jerry McWilliams Erie, Erie County, Pa. <jerrymcw...>