Sunday, March 13, 2016

Hawk Watch Saturday March 12

We had a spectacular adult Golden Eagle / Aigle royal flight at Valleyfield today. For about 2 hours we had group after group heading NNE while they fought the strong and biting SW - W wind. Many were at low altitude. We tallied 35 in all, which is 15 more than our previous 1 day high, which occurred on 24 March 2010. We also sighted a single adult Bald Eagle / Pygargue à tête blanche.

In 2012, we had 54 Golden Eagles over 3 days (67 in 1 week), although the highest 1 day count then was 19 on 17 March. Since 1990, we have tallied 16 1-day flights, of 10 or more Golden Eagles. The wind was so blowy and cold that, even in the lee of the car, we had trouble scoping the more distant birds. We have noticed that Goldens often move in large groups. It remains to be seen how good the entire season will be - in 2012, we had 123 birds. In the 1980s, typical season tallies were most often less than 10 birds. We have come a long way! Besides the eagles we had a small flight of Red-tailed hawks / Buse à queue rousse and 1 Red-shouldered hawks / Buse à épaulettes.

Should be more tomorrow, although the wind will be NE, which is not a good wind unless it is light. After that we are promised more rain, if the forecast holds true, which it may well not do. - Bob Barnhurst

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