Observation start time: 08:00:00 Observation end time: 16:30:00 Total observation time: 8.5 hours
Official Counter: Kevin Georg
Observers: Andrew Sturgess, Mark Hainen, Patrick Mulawa, Rosemary Brady
Visitors: Visitors were plentiful today as those in the know watch for the northerly winds during September. There were not disappointed today. I was a little concerned that the winds might be too light but it actually worked to our advantage as it kept the birds closer overhead than a stronger wind. Streaming birds overhead mean that OMG! is heard in the crowd, that's the sign of a good day.
Weather: The barometer stayed high with light winds with a northerly component for most of the day. Cloud cover varied from near 100% at times to multi-colored layers of cottony cumulus interspersed with blue windows. A nice backdrop for the spectacle that we were fortunate enough to witness.
Raptor Observations: Wow! There are days and there are extraordinary days. This was one of the latter. The skies were filled with flying creatures today. Nearly 35,000 broad-wingeds passed by in large kettles today. Starting around 1100 EDST and continuing through to 1730. Sharpies kept up the pace with 95, kestrels numbered over 30. Harriers reached double digits with 10.
Non-raptor Observations: The other flying creature of note was the monarch butterfly. I can only estimate that well over 30,000 passed by. The sky was truly filled with them. We had no way to effectively count them but we estimated them at about 100 per minute and that was only one little slice of the sky! The raptors kept us busy but it would have taken a team to even try and come close to an accurate estimate. Common nighthawks were also observed today catching insects in a hatch that occupied the gulls as well.
Predictions: The winds are from the NE going E with a high barometer. I hope that means that we can duplicate at least some of today's movement but the old saying applies; you should have been here yesterday. Hopefully tomorrow will put that to rest. ======================================================================== Report submitted by Kevin Georg (<kevin.l.georg...>) Detroit River Hawk Watch information may be found at: http://www.detroitriverhawkwatch.org