Observation start time: 07:00:00 Observation end time: 17:00:00 Total observation time: 7.25 hours
Official Counter: David Brown
Observers: Kim Steininger
Visitors: Nancy Steckel in the morning (thanks for the quiche!). Megan Kasprzak, Shannon Modla, and Kelley Nunn at the very end.
Weather: Overcast in the morning with light westerly winds. A band of thunderstorms descended from the northeast and paused the count for about 2 hours midday. After the storms the winds shifted to the NW and eventually the low cloud cover cleared to a sunny evening.
Raptor Observations: A small number of raptors in the morning including a group of 7 broad-wings mixed in with a kettle of vultures. After the storms passed and the winds shifted we had a nice late day flight of ospreys, bald eagles, kestrels, sharpies, and merlins, plus one more broad-wing.
Non-raptor Observations: 50+ nighthawks in the early evening.
Predictions: Sunny with light to moderate north winds and a high around 81F. It is always risky to make bold predictions but I don't see how it will be anything but an amazing day. Sunny skies and light north winds the day after a front passed in the peak of broad-winged hawk migration. I know a few of you will be calling in sick to work!
The only downside is that the lack of clouds will make it difficult to spot birds especially in the early afternoon as the migrants reach their peak altitude.
Is this going to be the big broad-winged hawk day? It is hard to say. I stayed late at the hawk watch and didn't see any kettles settling down into the area so maybe we won't have a huge morning liftoff. Maybe they'll come later in the day or maybe it will take another few days. Even without the broad-wings we should have good numbers of kestrels, sharpies, and bald eagles among the other expected species.
======================================================================== Report submitted by David Brown (<davidebrownpa...>) Ashland Nature Center information may be found at: www.delnature.org