Date: 10/4/19 10:17 am
From: reports--- via VA-bird <va-bird...>
Subject: [VA-bird] Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch (03 Oct 2019) 11 Raptors
Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch
Waynesboro, Virginia, USA
Daily Raptor Counts: Oct 03, 2019

Species Day's Count Month Total Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Black Vulture 0 0 0
Turkey Vulture 0 0 0
Osprey 0 9 187
Bald Eagle 0 3 131
Northern Harrier 0 0 12
Sharp-shinned Hawk 8 196 569
Cooper's Hawk 2 10 75
Northern Goshawk 0 0 0
Red-shouldered Hawk 0 0 6
Broad-winged Hawk 1 99 26031
Red-tailed Hawk 0 5 82
Rough-legged Hawk 0 0 0
Golden Eagle 0 0 0
American Kestrel 0 10 96
Merlin 0 2 17
Peregrine Falcon 0 2 20
Unknown Accipiter 0 0 6
Unknown Buteo 0 0 2
Unknown Falcon 0 0 2
Unknown Eagle 0 0 1
Unknown Raptor 0 2 12
Mississippi Kite 0 0 7

Total: 11 338 27256

Observation start time: 08:00:00
Observation end time: 11:00:00
Total observation time: 3 hours

Official Counter: Brenda Tekin


Greg Moyer arrived just before noon as counter was leaving to head home.

Upon arrival, a brisk WNW wind blowing, bright blue sky, a few "faded"
wisps, and already warm at 77 degrees and still climbing. By top of
second hour wind was more SW and diminishing. Much better visibility with
light haze on the far horizons.

Raptor Observations:
Was hopeful and halfway expecting a decent morning flight, given the brisk
WNW winds but maybe it was just too warm. Not sure if it was record
breaking but it was close enough. Reached 94 degrees by mid-afternoon down
at my place not far as a Raven flies from Rockfish Gap!

Only 11 birds in 3 hours. Would have stayed longer but was feeling under
the weather and it had become too miserable to remain.

Non-raptor Observations:
Blue Jays took to the air early morning (121) with a few Norther Flickers
(12) and a couple of small groups of Tree Swallows (17). Monarch
Butterflies were well represented with 63 counted.

The HUGE surprise was an immature Lark Sparrow that flew in at 8:22 am EST!
First saw a bird fly up into top the Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus) next to
skating rink. It was mostly visible on outer upper branch and I could see
that it was a largish sparrow-like bird. Bright morning light made it
difficult to see much detail but when the bird faced looking northward I
could see the facial markings that also included a somewhat wide whitish
eye stripe above left eye. Facial pattern was faded-like but dead ringer
for Lark Sparrow. It flew down to grassy area below, briefly foraging
along edge of thick vegetation, and grabbed up something. I was by now
standing on edge at top of the knoll looking down and had decent views of
the dorsal. Briefly saw what looked like a bit of white on outer tip of
long tail. It the flew up and came up the knoll to right where I was
standing, facing into the wind so it fluttered a bit at that point, me
looking at it in full profile as it faced into the wind (westward). I
could then confirm the bit of streaking on upper underside. WOW! This
may be the first documented record for a Lark Sparrow for the hawk watch.

Report submitted by Brenda Tekin (<brenda...>)
Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch information may be found at:

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