Date: 9/6/19 7:41 pm From: Ryan Tomazin <wvwarblers...> Subject: Allegheny Co. - Hilltop Park Nighthawk Watch
Well, I don't know if anyone else came to count, but I had an abbreviated count before my new local friend Prakesh spirited me away from our watching spot to their family home for a wonderful second dinner of homemade Indian dishes that (nearly) made me forget about birding until well after nightfall.
There were birds in the 19 minutes I was there:
Bald Eagle/Osprey - 1 bird was flying over the houses towards Carnegie/Greentree, and I couldn't get my bino covers off fast enough to see it before it was out of view. I am strongly leaning towards Osprey, as the coloration, size, and an eventual arching of the wings was done.
European Starling - 276, including one group of 240
Common Grackle - 70, just as I was leaving
6:24 - 1 bird moving south to north
6:27 - 7 birds moving south to north
I left at 6:34, unfortunately for the count, but fortunately for a wonderful life experience of culture, family, and three generations of people who wanted to learn all about the birds and birding places around them (among many other things, and it wasn't one sided, either). One of Prakesh's sons, a doctor, had a cell video he took of a soaring Turkey Vulture, but never knew they existed, and they were very interested to learn more. THAT is why we do it! Just by chance of remembering this park last week, I've found a good place to watch for flocking migrants, AND I've made great acquaintances and have taught a lot of people about the birds all around them. A very happy night!