Date: 9/15/20 4:50 pm
From: <reports...>
Subject: [va-bird] Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch (15 Sep 2020) 6865 Raptors
Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch
Waynesboro, Virginia, USA
Daily Raptor Counts: Sep 15, 2020
Species Day's Count Month Total Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Black Vulture 0 0 0
Turkey Vulture 0 0 0
Osprey 9 105 172
Bald Eagle 12 74 140
Northern Harrier 2 8 14
Sharp-shinned Hawk 4 21 29
Cooper's Hawk 4 13 26
Northern Goshawk 0 0 0
Red-shouldered Hawk 0 3 11
Broad-winged Hawk 6825 7168 7423
Red-tailed Hawk 3 50 98
Rough-legged Hawk 0 0 0
Golden Eagle 0 0 0
American Kestrel 5 35 51
Merlin 1 4 6
Peregrine Falcon 0 0 0
Unknown Accipiter 0 0 1
Unknown Buteo 0 2 2
Unknown Falcon 0 0 0
Unknown Eagle 0 0 0
Unknown Raptor 0 1 5
Mississippi Kite 0 2 3
Swainson's Hawk 0 0 1

Total: 6865 7486 7982

Observation start time: 07:15:00
Observation end time: 16:30:00
Total observation time: 9.25 hours

Official Counter: Brenda Tekin

Observers: Dave Hunter, Janet Paisley, Rose Thomas, Vic Laubach

Lois Kauffman, Penny Warren, Lois McKim, Don Lawson from Pilot Mountain
Hawk Watch (NC), Cole Burrell, Joe Glick, Nelson Lewis, Janet Paisley

Assistant Counters: Dave Hunter, Rose Thomas, Vic Laubach

Quite chilly, enough for jackets, hats and glove at top of the ridge with a
steady NW breeze at start of the morning, wavering between N to WNW. Low
ground fog was slow to lift but upper ridge was clear. A persistent haze
hung low over the sky, greatly distorting visibility throughout the day,
making it difficult at times to spot even closer in birds. Reports coming
in say it is smoke from the devastating western fires that drifted up into
the jet stream.

Raptor Observations:
Fried eye balls, aching neck, and sore fingers...But oh so worth it! It
has been a slow start in the season for movement of broad wings. Don't
know what it was, maybe a bee got under their wing, but man, they made up
for it today! Once they got going it was pretty much nonstop. We had a
flowing river of broad-wing stretched across the sky. There were kettles
upon kettles, at one point 4 kettles stretched out across the Piedmont to
the east and even lower birds streaming on without slowing down. With
diminishing wind later in the day we had several closer in "waves" flying
overhead. Many thanks to the folks who helped spotting some of those
distant birds, many only seen with spotting scopes.

A total of 12 Bald Eagles (1 2nd year, 1 3rd year, 10 adults).

One non-broadwing exciting moment was when a Cooper's Hawk zipped across
the gap high above the gap and dive-bombed as it came straight towards us,
possibly going after prey and without skipping a beat sped on down the

1st bird of the day-Osprey at 7:21.

Non-raptor Observations:
A decent flight of 37 Red-headed Woodpecker, a stirring of Northern Flicker
(5), Ruby-throated Hummingbird (6), and 8 Monarch Butterfly

Hopefully more of the same!
Report submitted by Brenda Tekin (<brenda...>)
Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch information may be found at:

More site information at

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