Observation start time: 08:00:00 Observation end time: 14:30:00 Total observation time: 6.5 hours
Official Counter: Brenda Tekin
Visitors: Kevin McGann, Syracuse, NY; John Pancake, Tom Pendleton, Mary Jane "MJ" McMillan from Winston-Salem, NC area; and Ana Blum with young Miss Lucy on her first bird watching adventure.
Weather: Once again, low clouds moved low over the ridge with a slight SSE breeze for most of the morning with zero visibility. When airflow shifted to more variable the low clouds would move back out to the east to briefly clearing to view the sunny Shenandoah Valley to the west. Shift of airflow and low cloud ceiling moved back. A slight increase in wind finally began to slowly lift the clouds up and out by 10:45 EST, enough for clear skies from NE corner to west. The towers on Bear Den Mountain were never visible throughout the day.
Mild temps 22.8c>26.6c; Humidity: 90<78%; Cloud cover: increasing to 80% to the E.
Raptor Observations: Arrived to find two Broad-winged Hawks perched atop bare tree snag at top of Afton. Dense fog moved in and we could only see one Common Raven that flew in close below out of the mist. Once the winds shifted the fog finally lifted and we could finally spot birds, some distant, some to the north that would gain altitude and disappear into the mist. First vulture came in low through the gap at 10:19EST. Three Bald Eagles (adult-1:11; 2nd year-11:53 and a 3rd year at 11:53 spotted after following a fast moving adult Peregrine Falcon that flew up and popped the young eagle.
A low flying adult Golden Eagle at 11:29 headed S behind the "plateau."
Non-raptor Observations: Quite a few Monarch Butterfly still moving. Chimney Swift-21 ======================================================================== Report submitted by Brenda Tekin (<brenda...>) Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch information may be found at: http://www.rockfishgaphawkwatch.org