Observation start time: 08:00:00 Observation end time: 15:30:00 Total observation time: 7.5 hours
Official Counter: Kevin Georg
Observers: Andrew Sturgess, Don Sherwood, Mark Hainan, Patrick Mulawa, Rosemary Brady
Visitors: We had visitors today and, as usual, timing was everything. The late afternoon flight was light except for turkey vultures and they were on a different flight line in the afternoon that was not as visible and entertaining as the morning flight.
Weather: The wind was still fresh from yesterday and lingered in a northern/eastern quarter which helped the morning flight. Barometer was slower to fall than predicted although it dropped a tenth and a half by the end of day, seeming to accelerate later on. The cold wind in our face most of the day brought thoughts of stews and dumplings; the comfort food cravings of late fall beginning in earnest as we clad ourselves in more layers than had been previously required.
Raptor Observations: The turkey vultures got an early start on the day during he first hour and never stopped coming. We racked up over 10,500 for the day. Our other species seem to slow around the middle of the day as the wind went more easterly and the barometer dropped. A lot of them seemed to be crossing over the lake which made picking them up difficult. Gull flack was considerable as they are feasting on probable dragonflies high in the sky. We did manage over 200 broad-wings, 37 sharp-shins, red-tails came in at 38, kestrels numbered 8, harriers almost made double digits with 9. 2 peregrines were spotted and 1 merlin was called. Cooper's Hawks are increasing in number with 12. Our first red-shouldered hawks were seen today but only 3 made the list.
Non-raptor Observations: Blue jays were on the move early but like most species except the TV's they took the afternoon off. 2700 were counted. We had two flyovers by a vintage B-25 aircraft today. The occasional monarch butterfly was noted.
Predictions: Speaking of timing, the timing of the rain and it's clearing will determine tomorrow's flight. The barometer should be on the rise and winds should be from the west. Hopefully, the migration will continue. We had a long wait the last time the rain passed through and it did not clear till the end of the day. Fingers crossed for tomorrow. ======================================================================== Report submitted by Jerry Jourdan (<jerry.jourdan...>) Detroit River Hawk Watch information may be found at: http://www.detroitriverhawkwatch.org