Saturday, March 20, 2010

Black vulture

Although it was raining when we set out, by the time we got to the Valleyfield hawksite at around noon, the weather was brightening considerably. Later the sun came out locally, although rain and cloud still persisted in the Adirondacks.

After a couple of Rough-legged and Red-tailed Hawks had passed overhead we turned to face east to check for any hawks missed overhead (something we do automatically). A high bird caught our attention. The flap was unique, couldn't be mistaken. So was the silhouette. It was the first Black Vulture we had seen in spring migration since the hawkwatch began back in 1980. (By comparison, the fall migration, at two individuals recorded in 30 years, the latest of which was last October, practically drips with Black Vultures!) In the telescope the bird
showed the off-white primary tips typical of the species.

As we watched the bird circle away to the north, the roar of geese taking off down the road from us signalled the arrival of an adult Golden Eagle, which circled twice, then flapped and glided north, following the vulture.

What made this sighting even more amazing was the very early date and the fact that this was the first vulture of any species we had seen at the hawksite this spring. Not a single Turkey Vulture had yet passed by. You just never know.

Good birding. Cheers, Bob

No comments:

Nature Blog Network