Date: 9/11/20 7:34 pm
From: <reports...>
Subject: [birders] Detroit River Hawk Watch (11 Sep 2020) 986 Raptors
Detroit River Hawk Watch
Brownstown, Michigan, USA
Daily Raptor Counts: Sep 11, 2020

Species Day's Count Month Total Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Black Vulture 0 0 0
Turkey Vulture 37 56 56
Osprey 0 5 5
Bald Eagle 1 13 13
Northern Harrier 6 18 18
Sharp-shinned Hawk 22 39 39
Cooper's Hawk 1 1 1
Northern Goshawk 0 0 0
Red-shouldered Hawk 0 0 0
Broad-winged Hawk 874 910 910
Swainson's Hawk 0 0 0
Red-tailed Hawk 22 41 41
Rough-legged Hawk 0 0 0
Golden Eagle 0 0 0
American Kestrel 22 70 70
Merlin 0 0 0
Peregrine Falcon 1 2 2
Unknown Accipiter 0 0 0
Unknown Buteo 0 1 1
Unknown Falcon 0 0 0
Unknown Eagle 0 0 0
Unknown Raptor 0 0 0

Total: 986 1156 1156

Observation start time: 08:00:00
Observation end time: 17:00:00
Total observation time: 9 hours

Official Counter: Kevin Georg

Observers: Andrew Sturgess, Michala Burke, Rosemary Brady

While Lake Erie Metropark is currently open to the public, for the safety
of our counter and volunteers we encourage visitors to follow along with
the count virtually on, or our Detroit River Hawk Watch
Facebook page. There will be daily updates and photographs. If you do
decide to join us in person, please help the counter and volunteers to
follow their mandated safety protocols by refraining from approaching them.
Please follow the recommended Covid 19 procedures by wearing a mask and
maintaining a safe social distance. Thanking you in advance for your
cooperation. Stay safe!

On the third day of promise we were greeted by a robust wind from east of
north searching for chinks in our textile armor. It seemed that we were
going to face another day of disappointment as there was considerable cloud
cover and the wind seemed a little too strong in a direction that did not
seem beneficial to our site. Things change however, and the stars finally
aligned. The winds went round to a more easterly direction and the clouds
gradually cleared. This left us to scan the sky for that most devious of
raptors, the broad-winged hawk, perhaps the leading cause of HWN (Hawk
Watcher’s Neck), which in its most advanced form allows the sufferer to
rest the back of their head comfortably between their shoulder blades. The
bird seems at home in the mare’s tail cirrus clouds that eventually
filled the sky and with a wind that gave them plenty of impetus they
streamed by at a rapid pace. As per usual, blink and you miss them. The
high cirrus clouds and a late hour halo around the sun foretold wet weather
to come but today was a day to finally celebrate a movement that in the
afternoon hours kept us busy

Raptor Observations:
Of course, the broad-wings were the stars today. Although a moderate
movement by their standards we counted approximately 600-700 birds. (I do
not have the final tally as I write this.) There were no large kettles but
flights of 100 or less that came in the afternoon hours causing us to put
in a couple of overtime hours. The birds were high in the sky as is their
custom. Joining them in the voyage south were twenty three sharp-shins. Our
best number this season but still these birds seem to be late out of the
blocks by last year’s totals. Twenty kestrels joined the flow. The turkey
vultures were inspired by the wind and twenty eight were tallied. Although
the local bald eagles were plentiful today in the fresh wind, we only
counted one as a migrant. Six Northern harriers were seen flying higher
than usual. We counted a Cooper’s hawk today as it seemed different from
our local birds. Twenty one red-tailed hawks took advantage of a favorable
wind to start the journey south. A peregrine falcon was seen early in the

Non-raptor Observations:
We had little time to observe non-raptors but searching the skies led to
frequent observations of gulls and swallows searching for insects high in
the sky. The Caspian terns occasionally squabbled with their loud abrasive
calls. The ring-billed gulls were observed diving either on or very close
to diving cormorants that had found a school of small fish. They are
frequent companions since gulls are very opportunistic feeders. A warbling
vireo was heard behind us and many Northern flickers were seen on the
ground early in the morning hours.

The wet weather foretold by the clouds today will arrive tomorrow evening,
or night, depending on the fudge factor. The barometer will be falling
throughout the day. Winds will shift from ENE to SE. Cloud cover will
lessen during the early afternoon hours but should be plentiful early and
late. A difficult day to predict since changing weather can affect the
flight. Some birds, like sharpies, kestrels and harriers may not be
bothered by the changes,as for the others, we will watch closely to see if
they come.

Report submitted by Kevin Georg (<kevin.l.georg...>)
Detroit River Hawk Watch information may be found at:

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