Observation start time: 08:30:00 Observation end time: 15:00:00 Total observation time: 6.5 hours
Official Counter: Rod Chase
Observers: Christine Restell, Daryl Turek, Eric Mueller, Mike McNamara
Visitors: Also observing: Bob Heppler from 9-12 was a welcome help!
Compared to the last 3 days the hill was quiet and peaceful. One school group up for half an hour and a few dozen people asking about the watch and taking in the good views. Of note was a gentleman Knute Hansen who spoke with Christine for a while and I was pleased to catch the last half. Great talk with an all-smiles birder who loves ocean and shore birds and much more.
Weather: NW breeze 5mph/8kph to start but dropped to 0-3/0-5 by 10am. Mid-afternoon we found some periods with variable shifts from North to West and only a hint of breeze. The fair morning flight evaporated to a very slow flight from 11am on. Cloud cover 5% rose to 15% by noon but the light cirrus was almost transparent and had no effect on the available thermal lift. We just needed more birds. Visibility was also fine: 15mi/24k with light haze down below in the AM but 30mi/48km in the afternoon.
Raptor Observations: Again, TVs were the biggest contributers to our total yet all appeared before 10:50am. Having another RS was nice but it passed so high above us. An early PG decided he had to repeatedly dive on the BE and did so from under and over. One strike to eagle's back just for emphasis -- no harm done. The two local Coopers hawks put on the best show. One came in high and made many close passes at our high, back and forth then higher and lower. Suddenly the 2nd Coop came up from the NE shrubs and began a duel with the original bird. They were all over each other but, after about 5 minutes worth, one peeled down and out to the NW.
Locals, besides the 2 CH: 3 TV, 1 BE adult.
Non-raptor Observations: 5 Common Ravens playing all day; 70-75 Grackles swirled by; only some Blue Jays popped up from the trees. Monarchs 5.
Predictions: Increasing clouds, high near 60, light South wind becoming SW in the afternoon at 5-10 mph. ======================================================================== Report submitted by Rod Chase (<rodchase...>) Wachusett Mountain information may be found at: http://www.massbird.org/emhw