Date: 9/29/20 3:07 pm From: Nick Lethaby <nlethaby...> Subject: [sbcobirding] Bella Vista hawkwatch
This AM I spent a couple of hours at the Bella Vista hawkwatch point John Callender has posted about recently. I started about 9.45 and finished at 11.45. Although I had occasional views of hawks from soon after arriving, things really picked up at about 11, when there appeared to be thermal just W of the watchpoint that attracted Red-tails.
I found the watchpoint pretty frustrating ( I think Eric C. believed it to be best in the late afternoon) as there is rather limited visibility. It was apparent that there were plenty of hawks out over the coastal lowlands but the high hedge meant that I had to back up a driveway on the other side of the road to look over it (which then limited visibility elsewhere). I also tried walking a few hundred yards west to where one can look out over Romero Canyon. This spot looks quite promising but definitely requires a scope. I definitely preferred the results I had at the Romero Canyon fire road watchpoint a couple of years ago, where I had really nice looks at accipiters and Broad-winged Hawk.
I did see a persistent number of birds kettling over a large property that appeared to be near the junction of Romero Canyon Rd and Bella Vista on the W side of Romero Canyon. I may investigate this spot later this week.
I had an absolute minimum of 12 Red-taileds with up to 5 in view at once. I had 3-4 Coopers and 2 Red-Shouldered Hawks. I likely saw a Northern Harrier. I had one good candidate BW Hawk that seemed definitely smaller than a nearby Red-tail but I felt uncomfortable calling it for certain, given that size perspective can get distorted when viewing birds at range. A flock of WT Swifts included at least one Vaux's.