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
Visitors: 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
Weather: 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 ridge.
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
Predictions: Hopefully more of the same! ======================================================================== Report submitted by Brenda Tekin (<brenda...>) Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch information may be found at: http://www.rockfishgaphawkwatch.org
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