Observation start time: 08:00:00
Observation end time: 16:00:00
Total observation time: 8 hours
Official Counter: Kevin Georg
Observers: Andrew Sturgess, Sam Heilman
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 HawkCount.org, 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!
For once the weather followed the script and the line of rain and storms
cleared the area in the morning hours leaving us with a view of receding
clouds and a clear blue replacement. The wind was consistently in the west
northwest direction but grew in strength as the day progressed. Eventually
the sky filled with puffy cumulus clouds and the pattern of blue skies
replaced by bands of cumulus clouds was repeated throughout the day. The
barometer rose from slightly below 30” to above by a half a tenth and
held steady for the best part of the day.
The day seemed to start with moderate sharpie and kestrel traffic which was
expected. The direction and strength of the wind made the flight of
broad-wings not a sure thing but the rising barometer on the backside of a
low gave us hope which was eventually fulfilled. Harriers numbered five in
today’s count. Two ospreys were counted. Twenty eight turkey vultures
braved their way into an opposing wind. Seven red-tailed hawks made the
clicker. We saw one peregrine falcon that seemed to be in an angry mood, or
at least hungry. Two merlin were counted, our first of the season. Leading
the falcon contingent in numbers were American falcons with forty four. The
sharp-shins lead the runners up with a count of one hundred and twenty.
Broad-wings were confoundingly difficult to find again. In their mind the
nosebleed seats are an extravagant waste as they fly very much higher than
that. Their flight lines were not consistent and required a diligent search
of both sides of the sky. The majority of the flight took place in the mid
to late afternoon hours. We eventually tallied a total of fifteen hundred
and sixty two birds.
Our lone Forster’s tern was seen on occasion. Mostly gulls were seen high
in the sky and occasionally in such dense numbers that they might be
mistaken for broad-wing kettles. They were very high in the sky and made
counting the equally high broad-wings difficult at times. Our Caspian terns
were seen but not close to us today. Large numbers of cormorants were seen
in congregations that must have exceeded several hundreds.
Tomorrow shows favorable barometric conditions and also a wind from a very
northern direction. This bodes well. The wind will be of moderate strength
in the single digits. The sky will be clear, which is not our favorite sky
as intermittent clouds provide a better background and give reference
points for locating raptors. Given that some raptors fly very high under
these conditions it might be a challenging day. Cheers! Andrew S.
Report submitted by Kevin Georg (<kevin.l.georg...>)
Detroit River Hawk Watch information may be found at: