Observation start time: 11:15:00 Observation end time: 16:30:00 Total observation time: 5.25 hours
Official Counter: Gabriel Mapel
Observers: Brenda Tekin
Visitors: Daniel Mapel, Jennifer Jowdy, Jere Bidwell
Weather: Fog and rain throughout the morning which delayed the start of the count until the rain clouds dissipated after 11am. Unfortunately, Rockfish Gap remained socked in with fog until 2:30pm so the first 3.25 hours of the count were conducted from the alternate site at Constitution Park in Waynesboro. Low, dark clouds remained along the ridgeline all afternoon. 29.7-21.7C temps and humid. Moderate SE breezes.
Raptor Observations: Several groups of 15-20 Broad-wings moving through but most were distant birds out over the valleys picked up in spotting scopes. The highlight bird of the day was a fast-flying falcon-like raptor with a long tail distant to the west spotted by Brenda at 3:27pm. We were able to watch the bird in our spotting scopes all the way across, studying the shape and flight pattern of the bird to identify a Mississippi Kite, the seventh one on this record-breaking season!
An adult male Merlin at 12:43 gave a nice, direct flyover as did several of today's four adult Peregrine Falcons (1:22, 1:25, 1:27, 2:40). Two Bald Eagles (2:18 3rd-YR and 2:28 unaged immature). First Raptor: 11:29 BW, Last Raptor: 4:10 AK.
Non-raptor Observations: 1 Yellow-billed Cuckoo, 1 House Wren, 50 Chimney Swifts, 1 Great Blue Heron, 8 Double-crested Cormorants, 1 Red-headed Woodpecker, 9 Flickers, 401 Blue Jays, 5 N. Rough-winged and 10 Tree Swallows, 1 Brown Thrasher, 1 Cape May Warbler, 1 Common Yellowthroat, and 206 Monarch Butterflies. ======================================================================== Report submitted by Gabriel Mapel (<birdmangabriel...>) Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch information may be found at: http://www.rockfishgaphawkwatch.org