Daily Reports for Spring 2018

Daily reports from Derby Hill Bird Observatory

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Saturday, May 19, 2018

Observation start time: 12:00 p.m.
Observation end time: 3:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 3 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Kevin McGann

Weather: Strong winds were from the southeast, with rain throughout the morning and into early afternoon. Skies were overcast, with temperatures in the fifties.

Raptor Observations: Very little was happening after the rain stopped, although we did have some good views of low and close birds.

Non-raptor Observations: Twenty one migrating Eastern Bluebirds passed the North Lookout. Kevin McGann and I participated in the Bird-a-thon as The Hill Hellions team, and we observed 106 species at Derby Hill and surrounding areas today.

Visitors: Eleven, most of whom were Bird-a-thon participants.

Forecast: Moderate to strong west northwesterly winds, cloudy skies, and temperatures in the fifties to low sixties are expected tomorrow. It will probably be a relatively slow day. Things look like they may improve on Tuesday, when southerly winds are in the forecast.

 

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Friday, May 18, 2018

Observation start time: 7:30 a.m.
Observation end time: 1:30 p.m.
Total observation time: 6 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Kevin McGann, Bill Purcell

Weather: Moderate winds were from the northeast, with partly sunny skies and temperatures in the fifties to seventies.

Raptor Observations: There was barely a trickle of raptors.

Non-raptor Observations: There were some interesting observations, including:

1 American Pipit
1 Blackpoll Warbler (FOS, in hedgerows)
1 Eastern Wood-Pewee (FOS, in hedgerows)
1 Least Sandpiper
1 Red-eyed Vireo (FOS)
1 Tennessee Warbler

1 Black Swallowtail

Visitors: About 30, including a Field Ornithology class from SUNY ESF. Thanks for stopping by!

Forecast: Tomorrow looks like it will be rainy for most of the day. That does not bode well for a hawk flight, although moderate to strong southeasterly winds are also expected. Temperatures should be in the fifties. Thanks to the wind direction, there could be a few birds moving during any breaks in the rain, but there is unlikely to be much. However, the rain could stall migrating passerines and cause them to land in the hedgerows, aiding tomorrow’s Bird-A-Thon participants. Good luck, fellow birders, and we hope to see you on the hill.

 

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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Observation start time: 8:00 a.m.
Observation end time: 3:30 p.m.
Total observation time: 7.5 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Peter Davidson, Kevin McGann

Weather: Light winds were variable with a northerly component, with partly sunny to clear skies and temperatures in the fifties to seventies.

Raptor Observations: It was slow, but it was great to see a Black Vulture (albeit slightly distant and to the south). There was a good burst of birds in the morning, followed by little movement for the rest of the day. The Ospreys are aggressively protective of their nest on the cell tower, and one was seen divebombing a Turkey Vulture that got too close today. Don thinks that he saw chicks in the nest today for the first time. The Ospreys continue to make repairs and bring sticks to the nest often. Hopefully the nest will remain intact in its precarious position as the young grow and begin to exercise their wings.

Non-raptor Observations: 2 Green Herons flying together

Visitors: Three

Forecast: Light and variable winds are expected tomorrow, mostly from the east and east southeast. Lake breeze will probably take over fairly quickly. Partly sunny skies and temperatures in the fifties to low seventies are in the forecast. There should be a few birds moving, but it still may be too early for a good immature broad-wing flight.

 

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Observation start time: 7:30 a.m.
Observation end time: 4:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 8.5 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Kevin McGann

Weather: Light winds were from the southeast for most of the day, with lake breeze kicking in during mid afternoon. Skies were partly cloudy, with temperatures in the fifties to seventies.

Raptor Observations: It was a decent day, with a nice Bald Eagle flight. Birds were generally high, with broad-wings passing in small kettles.

Non-raptor Observations: Several hundred Blue Jays were on the move. Other highlights included:

41 Cedar Waxwings
12 migrating Eastern Bluebirds
10 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds
5 Scarlet Tanagers
3 Indigo Buntings
1 Green Heron
1 Northern Parula
1 Willow Flycatcher

Visitors: Two

Forecast: Light to moderate northwesterly winds, partly sunny skies, and temperatures in the high fifties to high sixties are predicted for tomorrow. It will probably be slow overall, but hopefully some Bald Eagles will be on the move.

 

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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Observation start time: 1:15 p.m.
Observation end time: 3:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 1.25 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel

Weather: On and off rain and fog for most of the day, which cleared up late in the afternoon. Winds were from the north northeast during the count period, with cloudy skies and temperatures in the sixties.

Raptor Observations: Three sharpies were flying together, seen briefly before they disappeared into the fog. A local kestrel flew by carrying a passerine.

Non-raptor Observations: One Magnolia Warbler was at the south lookout. Some first of season birds were in the hedgerows this afternoon, including a few Wilson’s Warblers, Lincoln’s Sparrows, and a Traill’s Flycatcher.

Visitors: Two

Forecast: Light southeasterly winds, partly sunny skies, and temperatures in the low fifties to low seventies are expected tomorrow. If there are birds in the area to be seen, there could be a decent to good flight, but as always this depends on supply.

 

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Monday, May 14, 2018

Observation start time: 7:30 a.m.
Observation end time: 3:30 p.m.
Total observation time: 7.5 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Peter Davidson, Kevin McGann, Bill Purcell

Weather: Light to moderate winds were from the southwest for a very brief period this morning, before switching to lake breeze with a variable northerly component. Skies were partly cloudy, and temperatures were in the high fifties to low seventies.

Raptor Observations: Slowww. Two very low and close peregrines were a nice highlight, however. Even local Turkey Vultures were not very active at the south lookout.

Non-raptor Observations: Not much. Feeder birds continue to entertain at the north lookout, including several hummingbirds at the hummingbird feeder. The Baltimore Orioles seem to have trouble deciding whether they want to eat jelly, suet, or drink hummingbird water. Decisions, decisions.

Visitors: Four

Forecast: Tomorrow looks rainy, with moderate northwesterly winds and temperatures in the fifties and sixties. At this point, at least the later part of the afternoon looks like it will be dry. Doldrums are likely to continue. However, note that a Mississippi Kite was seen passing Braddock Bay this afternoon, so my fingers are crossed in hopes that it will pass Derby.

 

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Sunday, May 13, 2018

Observation start time: 7:30 a.m.
Observation end time: 4:30 p.m.
Total observation time: 9 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Kevin McGann, Bill Purcell

Weather: Light to moderate winds were from the east southeast and southeast, with some westerly winds at the very end of the day. Skies were partly cloudy in the morning, becoming clear for the majority of the day. Temperatures started out in the forties and rose into the seventies.

Raptor Observations: It was slow, and we had to contend with a “blue sky of death.” Mostly Turkey Vultures were on the move, with a decent Bald Eagle flight and one immature red-shoulder.

Non-raptor Observations: Passerines continue to be quiet. A catbird was absolutely gorging himself on the jelly feeder today, like a kid eating Halloween candy.

Visitors: About 25 or so, most of whom were here to enjoy the lake view for Mother’s Day.

Forecast: Westerly winds, partly sunny skies, and temperatures in the mid fifties to high sixties are expected tomorrow. The young broad-wings just haven’t gotten here yet in any numbers, and things will probably be slow again until there is a better supply of birds.

 

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Saturday, May 12, 2018

Observation start time: 7:15 a.m.
Observation end time: 3:30 p.m.
Total observation time: 8.25 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Joe Brin, Kevin McGann, Bill Purcell, Judy Thurber

Weather: Light winds were from the southeast and east southeast, with a few sprinkles in the morning. Skies were overcast, with temperatures in the forties to mid fifties.

Raptor Observations: A Swallow-tailed Kite was a major highlight of the day! The bird was first seen by Joe Brin, who was leading a bird walk on nearby trails. Joe called to notify us of the sighting, and about a minute later the bird flew up from the trees to the south of us. It floated up gracefully and continued on away from the north lookout, flying southwest. It was not a close look, but the forked tail and distinctive shape were clearly visible as I watched the bird in the scope. Several visitors were able to see the bird. This is only the fourth record of the species at Derby Hill. Aside from this gem of a sighting, movement was slow. Visitors were treated to some nice views of Bald Eagles.

Non-raptor Observations: Two Sandhill Cranes were seen this afternoon. Passerine activity continues to be slow, with mostly Yellow Warblers and Common Yellowthroats in the area.

Visitors: Many visitors came to enjoy Discover Derby Hill Day. We are glad that you all enjoyed the event!

Forecast: Light southeasterly winds, partly sunny skies, and temperatures in the forties to low seventies are expected tomorrow. Windspeed will start off light, but will increase and might be strong enough to fend off lake breeze. The strength of the flight will be dependent on our supply of young birds, but the weather certainly looks promising.

 

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Friday, May 11, 2018

Observation start time: 8:00 a.m.
Observation end time: 2:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 6 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Dave Fitch

Weather: Moderate to strong winds were generally from the north northeast in the morning, becoming northwesterly in the afternoon. Skies were mostly sunny in the morning, becoming cloudier in the afternoon. Temperatures were in the forties to low fifties.

Raptor Observations: Very slow, but we had some nice views of Bald Eagles. For the second time this season, a local kestrel flew by carrying a snake.

Non-raptor Observations: A Sandhill Crane flew by this afternoon, and a Yellow-throated Vireo was singing near the south lookout.

Visitors: Don Metzger

Forecast: Tomorrow looks like it could be a decent day, with light southeasterly winds and cloudy skies in the forecast. Temperatures should be in the mid forties to mid fifties. The afternoon will probably be busier than the morning, as temperatures warm up. Depending on our supply of birds, it could be a good day for low-flying sharpies and hopefully some broad-wings. We hope that you are able to join us for Discover Derby Hill Day tomorrow; check out our Facebook page for more details.

 

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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Observation start time: 6:45 a.m.
Observation end time: 3:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 8.25 hours
Official Counter: Bill Purcell
Observers: Wes Hetrick

Weather: It was cloudy most of day until cold front at 2:10 p.m. and then gradual clearing. There was off and on drizzle with several minutes of heavier rain. Winds were generally southerly until front and then went to west and west-northwest.

Raptor Observations: Not much was on the move with the cloudy conditions.

Non-raptor Observations: Despite great looking radar overnight passerine activity was low.

Visitors: Four

Forecast: North and northwest winds for Friday with cool temperatures – there may not be much flying.

 

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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Observation start time: 7:00 a.m.
Observation end time: 3:30 p.m.
Total observation time: 8.5 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Wes Hetrick, Kevin McGann, Bill Purcell, Phil Taylor, Mike Tetlow, Judy Thurber, David Wheeler

Weather: Light to moderate winds started from the southeast, becoming variable and eventually shifting to lake breeze with a northerly component. Skies were clear in the morning, becoming partly cloudy. Temperatures were in the fifties in the earlier morning, reaching a summery high of the low eighties this afternoon.

Raptor Observations: There was a decent Turkey Vulture, Bald Eagle, and Osprey flight, along with one Golden Eagle at the end of the day. There was little else moving, however. A light morph rough-leg was another highlight.

Non-raptor Observations: It was exciting to see three Red-headed Woodpeckers fly by the north lookout this morning. Other highlights included:

450+ Blue Jays
65 Baltimore Orioles
35 Cedar Waxwings
4 Common Terns
4 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds
4 Solitary Sandpipers
2 Fish Crows
2 Indigo Buntings
1 Scarlet Tanager (FOS)
1 Spotted Sandpiper

Visitors: Five

Forecast: As of the current forecast it looks like it is going to rain for all or most of tomorrow. Moderate south southeasterly winds are expected for most of the day, switching over to westerly in the later afternoon. Temperatures should be in the sixties. If there are breaks in the rain there could be a few birds moving thanks to the wind direction, but otherwise there is unlikely to be much happening.

 

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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Observation start time: 7:00 a.m.
Observation end time: 3:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 7.5 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Peter Davidson, Wes Hetrick, Kevin McGann, Bill Purcell, Phil Taylor

Weather: Light to moderate winds were generally from the north, with partly cloudy to clear skies and temperatures in the low fifties to low sixties.

Raptor Observations: It was slow, and birds were flying high against a pure blue backdrop.

Non-raptor Observations: There was a good flight of American Goldfinches today, with easily over 100 birds passing the North Lookout this morning. Also, 28 Baltimore Orioles flew over. Other highlights included:

6 Eastern Kingbirds
3 Bank Swallows
2 Cliff Swallows
1 Cape May Warbler (FOS)
1 Great Crested Flycatcher
1 Least Flycatcher
1 Solitary Sandpiper

Visitors: Seven. Thank you to Don Metzger for cleaning up quite a lot of trash from areas all over the Derby Hill property yesterday and today. Also, thanks to Ken Hodgson for mowing, and to Pete, Don, Charlie, and Kevin for the snacks!

Forecast: Light to moderate south southeasterly winds, mostly sunny skies, and temperatures in the high fifties to mid seventies are expected tomorrow. Hopefully the wind will be strong enough to hold off lake breeze, and there could be a decent flight. It all depends on our supply of young broad-wings and Turkey Vultures, but the wind direction and warmth certainly ought to help.

 

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Monday, May 7, 2018

Observation start time: 8:00 a.m.
Observation end time: 2:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 6 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Wes Hetrick, Kevin McGann,

Weather: Light to moderate winds were generally from the north, with partly cloudy to clear skies and temperatures in the low fifties to low sixties.

Raptor Observations: Slow as a slug, although we had a nice view of a peregrine zipping past. A local kestrel was seen carrying a snake! An immature red-shoulder headed southwest.

Non-raptor Observations: An American Crow was carrying a small snake (likely garter) and flew out from the creek area, just as the kestrel did. This is interesting and makes me wonder if there is a concentration of snakes down there. A Cabbage White flew by.

Visitors: Six

Forecast: Light and variable winds are expected tomorrow, starting with a southerly component in the morning, then becoming northwesterly in the afternoon (or perhaps earlier depending on lake breeze). Skies should be clear, with temperatures in the high forties to mid sixties. There might be a small flight especially before the wind shifts to having a northerly component, but it’s likely to be slow. The temperature increase and consistent southerly winds on Wednesday look more promising.

 

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Sunday, May 6, 2018

Observation start time: 7:30 a.m.
Observation end time: 2:30 p.m.
Total observation time: 7 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Peter Davidson, Wes Hetrick, Kevin McGann

Weather: Winds were light and variable in the morning, becoming more moderate and generally from the northwest this afternoon. Skies were mostly cloudy, with temperatures in the sixties.

Raptor Observations: Very slow, although we had some nice views of a few Bald Eagles.

Non-raptor Observations: The first Ruby-throated Hummingbird of the season came buzzing in at top speed at the South Lookout, almost hitting us before veering off at the last second. We also heard the first Great Crested Flycatcher of the season. A Northern Mockingbird was at the South Lookout, and two American Pipits flew by. Non-avian first of season critters included a Gray Treefrog calling, and a dragonfly of unidentified species.

Visitors: About 12.

Forecast: Light and variable winds with a northerly component are expected tomorrow. Clouds in the morning and sunny afternoon skies are in the forecast, with temperatures in the low fifties to low sixties. It will probably be slow. Due to the fact that most adult broad-wings have gone through at this point, days with a northerly component to the wind are unlikely to produce many birds. The young broad-wings are a bit like slightly lazy teenagers, and they have nowhere to be in a hurry, so they tend to wait for optimal winds. Our next best chance for a good day is probably Wednesday, when southerly winds and temperatures in the high seventies should get more birds moving.

 

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Saturday, May 5, 2018

Observation start time: 7:00 a.m.
Observation end time: 4:30 p.m.
Total observation time: 9 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Peter Davidson, Kevin McGann, Bill Purcell, Phil Taylor, Judy Thurber

Weather: Light winds started out from the west southwest, becoming slightly stronger and from the west, then northwest. Skies were clear in the morning, with clouds generally increasing as the day went on. Temperatures were in the high forties to low seventies.

Raptor Observations: There was a decent Turkey Vulture flight for this time of year, and a good Bald Eagle flight. One Golden Eagle and two close rough-legs were nice highlights. Some immature broad-wings and immature red-tails were on the move.

Non-raptor Observations: New arrivals continue to trickle in. A beautiful Red-headed Woodpecker was seen at the North Lookout, flying among Blue Jays, and landed a couple of times before continuing on. Other highlights of the day included:

2 Sandhill Cranes
1 American Pipit
1 Common Yellowthroat (FOS)
1 Least Flycatcher (FOS)
1 Northern Mockingbird

1 Red Admiral (FOS)

Visitors: About 25, including a group from St. Lawrence University.

Forecast: Light southwesterly winds are expected in the morning, switching over to northwesterly and north northwesterly in the afternoon. Mostly cloudy skies and temperatures in the sixties are expected. These conditions are not bad and should produce a decent flight, perhaps similar to today, probably with high-flying birds.

 

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Friday, May 4, 2018

Observation start time: 8:00 a.m.
Observation end time: 4:15 p.m.
Total observation time: 8.25 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Wes Hetrick, Bill Purcell, David Wheeler

Weather: There was some rain in the early morning, but most of the day was dry. Winds were light in the morning, becoming stronger in the afternoon, and variable with a southerly component. Skies were generally cloudy, with increasing sun and cloud cover breakup in the afternoon. Temperatures were in the sixties and seventies. The day ended with a dramatic thunderstorm.

Raptor Observations: There was a good sharpie flight, with birds spread out and flying at different heights for most of the day. We saw the first four immature broad-wings of the season today. The broad-wing flight was very slow, despite good conditions. We may need to wait for a rush of young birds to arrive to replenish our supply.

Non-raptor Observations: A beautiful male Indigo Bunting was at the feeders today. The first Solitary Sandpiper, Blue-winged Warbler, and American Redstart of the season were observed. Other highlights included:

4 Green Herons
3 Eastern Kingbirds
1 Cliff Swallow

Visitors: Four

Forecast: Light westerly winds, clear skies, and temperatures in the fifties and sixties are predicted for tomorrow. The sunshine should get some birds moving, but it is hard to say how busy it will be given that we are kind of in between adult and immature broad-wing migration.

 

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Thursday, May 3, 2018

Observation start time: 7:45 a.m.
Observation end time: 3:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 7.25 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Peter Davidson, Kevin McGann, Bill Purcell

Weather: There were showers in the earlier part of the morning and later part of the afternoon. Light to moderate winds started out from the south, becoming southwesterly, westerly, and eventually west northwesterly. Skies were mostly cloudy, with temperatures in the sixties.

Raptor Observations: It was slow, with most birds flying very high. Large kettles did not form and birds were mostly passing as singletons or in small groups. This was probably due to a supply problem, after the past two busy days.

Non-raptor Observations: New migrant arrivals continue to trickle in. Several bumblebees and a Mourning Cloak were also seen. New birds for the season today included a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Wood Thrush, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, Ovenbird, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and at least 12 Bobolinks (11 of which perched in a tree together near the South Lookout, doing their best singing impression of R2D2 going crazy). Several dapper-looking White-crowned Sparrows were at the feeders, and a Green Heron flew by this morning.

Visitors: Four

Forecast: Rain and thunderstorms are expected basically all day tomorrow. There may be a little break during the late morning, but overall the conditions do not look good for a substantial flight. Light southeasterly winds are expected in the morning, becoming strong and southwesterly in the afternoon. Temperatures should be in the high fifties to mid seventies. The sun will be back out on Saturday and well into next week, though.

 

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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Observation start time: 6:30 a.m.
Observation end time: 3:30 p.m.
Total observation time: 9 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Peter Davidson, Wes Hetrick, Kevin McGann, Bill Purcell, David Wheeler

Weather: Winds started out light and southerly to southwesterly in the morning, becoming much stronger and westerly in the afternoon. Skies were partly sunny for most of the day, becoming overcast in the later afternoon. It was very warm, in the sixties and seventies.

Raptor Observations: As hoped for, there was a gigantic morning clean-up flight of broad-wings. There was also a relatively strong Turkey Vulture flight for this time of year. However, after the morning burst things slowed down considerably. Radar imagery suggested that birds were becoming very spread out, often flying over the lake. The birds that were passing over the north lookout were, for the most part, very high throughout the day. A low-flying juvenile goshawk and two nice views of rough-legs were fun highlights.

Non-raptor Observations: Many new arrivals were seen and heard today, including a Common Gallinule, Warbling Vireo, Northern Waterthrush, Golden-winged Warbler, Black-and-white Warblers, Nashville Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, and Baltimore Oriole. There was not a large passerine flight despite the good conditions, but it’s nice to see that things are slowly but surely returning.

Visitors: Many

Forecast: Rain and possible thunderstorms are expected in the early morning and late afternoon, but it should be dry for a good portion of the day. Winds should be light to moderate and generally from the west southwest and west, with cloudy skies and temperatures in the sixties throughout the day. A large flight is unlikely due to rain in the area, but hopefully a few birds will be on the move.

 

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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Observation start time: 7:00 a.m.
Observation end time: 6:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 11 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Wes Hetrick, Chris Holt, Kevin McGann, Phil Taylor, David Wheeler

Weather: Light winds started off from the southeast, and then a north northwesterly lake breeze took over during late morning. Skies were partly sunny, with temperatures in the forties to sixties.

Raptor Observations: The mega day arrived! There was an intense broad-wing flight throughout most of the day, along with a good number of Ospreys and one Black Vulture. Not only was it a big flight, but the conditions were excellent for viewing birds. The partial cloud cover aided spotting, and many birds were passing low overhead. We had some beautiful views of large, close kettles. The flight became higher during the later part of the afternoon, during one of the larger waves of birds. It was a memorable day all around.

Non-raptor Observations: The Blue Jays are starting to migrate; Gerry counted a total of 169 jays this morning. Nine Chimney Swifts and a Fish Crow passed.

Visitors: Many. A big thank you to the regular observers and visitors who helped to spot birds. It was great to share the flight with you all!

Forecast: Conditions look good for tomorrow, with light southwesterly winds in the morning becoming stronger and west southwesterly in the afternoon. Partly sunny skies are expected for most of the day, with more cloud cover moving in during the afternoon. Temperatures should be in the mid fifties to high seventies… truly summery! It is hard to say what the supply of birds will be like after today, but there should be a moderate to good flight and probably a good clean-up flight in the morning. It also could be a very big day for passerine movement.

 

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Monday, April 30, 2018

Observation start time: 7:30 p.m.
Observation end time: 5:30 p.m.
Total observation time: 10 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Dave Fitch, Wes Hetrick, Chris Holt, Kevin McGann, Bill Purcell, Judy Thurber, David Wheeler

Weather: Moderate to strong winds were from the west northwest. Skies started out overcast, but gradually worked towards becoming mostly sunny in the afternoon. Temperatures were in the high thirties to mid fifties.

Raptor Observations: There was a strong broad-wing flight, and birds were zipping by at high speed. The flight was quite spread out, with some good views of low-flying birds. A very low-flying Golden Eagle was a nice highlight this morning.

Non-raptor Observations: Two Sandhill Cranes flew by to the south.

Visitors: About ten.

Forecast: Tomorrow looks like it could be very good, with light southwesterly winds in the morning, becoming more westerly. Due to the lightness of the wind, lake breeze will probably take over by late morning or so. Mostly sunny skies are expected, with temperatures starting in the mid forties but climbing to the high sixties. Birds may be high-flying, but there should be a strong flight. Tomorrow should also be a good day in terms of passerine movement.

 

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Sunday, April 29, 2018

Observation start time: 12:15 p.m.
Observation end time: 2:30 p.m.
Total observation time: 2.25 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel

Weather: It rained for most of the day, but there was a break during the afternoon. Skies were overcast. Moderate to strong winds were generally from the west northwest, with temperatures in the mid to high thirties.

Raptor Observations: During the break in the rain, there was a nice burst of broad-wings. This was a pleasant surprise given the conditions.

Non-raptor Observations: Not much.

Visitors: Three

Forecast: Moderate to strong west northwesterly winds, mostly cloudy skies, and temperatures in the high thirties to low fifties are expected tomorrow. It should be a good day after the extended period of rain that we’ve had, especially considering the strength of the flight during the brief precipitation break today. After tomorrow, temperatures should warm up considerably for at least the next few days. This ought to result in some big flights of raptors and passerines, especially on Tuesday and Wednesday as temperatures climb into the seventies.

 

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Saturday, April 28, 2018

Observation start time: 6:00 a.m.
Observation end time: 2:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 8 hours
Official Counter: Bill Purcell,
Observers: Peter Davidson, Wes Hetrick, Chris Holt, Judy Thurber

Weather: Light south wind to begin but lake breeze took over by 9 AM. Heavy clouds rolled in by 11:00 and were followed by occasional rain and fog. Persistent rain began at 2:50 PM (EDT).

Raptor Observations: Very slow for this time of year, we hope the broad-wings are sitting it out waiting for better weather.

Non-raptor Observations: A Sandhill Crane calling as it flew by was the star of the day. Barred Owl was calling at the south lookout, Three Green Herons early on and 107 Northern Flickers.

Visitors: About 20 including a class from the Cornell Lab’s Spring Field Ornithology.

Forecast: Rain and snow showers through the day are predicted with west winds and a high of 37 F. Not a prescription for a great flight.

 

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Friday, April 27, 2018

Observation start time: 7:00 a.m.
Observation end time: 6:30 p.m.
Total observation time: 11.5 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Kevin McGann, Bill Purcell, Phil Taylor, Judy Thurber, David Wheeler

Weather: Light winds were from the southeast, with overcast to mostly cloudy skies and temperatures in the forties to mid fifties. This afternoon, the variation in shades of the clouds allowed for excellent spotting conditions.

Raptor Observations: It was a good day, with most activity occurring in the afternoon. There was a strong broad-wing flight, with many high-flying birds. Dave Wheeler spotted the second Black Vulture of the season. A good number of Ospreys were moving this afternoon, and three peregrines passed.

Non-raptor Observations: There was a strong Northern Flicker flight this morning, and a few Blue Jays were moving. Some low-flying blackbirds were on the move, including some Rusty Blackbirds. The first three Chimney Swifts of the season fluttered past.

Visitors: Many

Forecast: There may be some rain in the afternoon, but the morning looks dry. Light southwest winds are expected in the morning, becoming west northwesterly in the afternoon. Skies should be mostly cloudy to overcast, with temperatures in the high forties to low fifties. There could be a decent flight in the morning, but the afternoon will probably be slow due to the wind shift, cold front, and possible rain.

 

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Report by Anna Stunkel

No count was conducted.

Weather: Rain; very strong west winds.

Forecast: Light southeast winds, cloudy skies, and temperatures in the mid forties to low sixties are in the forecast for tomorrow. There is certainly potential for a good flight under these conditions, especially if we have a little sunshine peeking through the clouds. The southeast winds and warm temperatures in the afternoon should get birds moving.

 

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Wednesday, April 25, 2018 

Observation start time: 7:15 a.m.
Observation end time: 3:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 6.75 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Wes Hetwick, Kevin McGann, Bill Purcell, Judy Thurber,

Weather: There was light drizzle this morning, but we had dry weather for most of the day. Light to moderate winds were mostly from the east southeast, with overcast skies and temperatures in the high forties to low fifties. Heavier rain moved in during the later part of the afternoon.

Raptor Observations: There were some broad-wings moving, along with a decent flight of low-flying sharpies. A tailless Turkey Vulture passed closeby over the bluff.

Non-raptor Observations: The first two Brown Thrashers of the season were seen and heard singing, and the first Green Heron of the season flew by.

Visitors: Two

Forecast: It might rain in the morning tomorrow, but the afternoon looks dry. Moderate to strong westerly winds, cloudy skies, and temperatures in the low to mid forties are expected. These aren’t the kind of conditions that typically produce a large flight, but there should be some birds moving once any precipitation passes. Friday looks like our next chance for a big flight, with south winds and temperatures reaching into the high fifties. The weekend and Monday don’t look great, but a big warmup and southwesterly winds on Tuesday and Wednesday should bring in a lot of birds (both raptors and passerines).

 

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Observation start time: 7:00 a.m.
Observation end time: 5:30 p.m.
Total observation time: 10.5 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Dave Fitch, Wes Hetwick, Jon Kauffman, Kevin McGann, Bill Purcell, Judy Thurber, David Wheeler

Weather: Light winds started off from the south southeast this morning, becoming more south southwesterly and eventually switching to north northeast in the afternoon. Skies were partly cloudy for most of the day, becoming overcast in the later afternoon. Temperatures were in the high forties to mid sixties.

Raptor Observations: We had another strong flight, with a good number of broad-wings. Many of them were specks moving out over the lake, however. There was also a nice Turkey Vulture movement for the date, with a good burst this afternoon. Quite a few Bald Eagles and four goldens were on the move. According to radar imagery the flight moved out over the lake for the most part today. As a result, we probably missed thousands of birds that were cutting the corner. The flight slowed down after lake breeze and thick cloud cover moved in.

Non-raptor Observations: About 174 Northern Flickers passed by this morning. The first few Purple Martins of the season were seen, and the first House Wren of the season was heard singing. It has been nice to hear Northern Leopard Frogs, which first started calling in Sage Creek Marsh yesterday along with Spring Peepers and Wood Frogs.

Visitors: Many. Thanks to all who helped out including Paul Shanahan, whose sharp eyes have been very helpful for the past few days.

Forecast: Tomorrow looks like it is mostly going to be rainy, although we may have a few good hours of counting in the morning. Light east southeasterly winds, cloudy skies, and temperatures in the high forties to low fifties are expected. There could be a good flight of quick, low, and zippy birds (such as sharpies, kestrels, and harriers) in the morning, but once the rain hits it’ll probably be a washout for the rest of the day.

 

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Monday, April 23, 2018

Observation start time: 7:00 a.m.
Observation end time: 6:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 11 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Peter Davidson, Dave Fitch, Wes Hetwick, Jon Kauffman, Kevin McGann, Bill Purcell, Phil Taylor, Mike Tetlow, Judy Thurber, David Wheeler

Weather: Light winds started off mostly from the south southeast, and then switched over to a northwesterly lake breeze in the afternoon. Skies were clear, with temperatures starting in the high thirties and skyrocketing to the mid sixties this afternoon.

Raptor Observations: It was another excellent day, with a strong flight of broad-wings, Golden and Bald Eagles, kestrels, sharpies, and red-tails. This morning, radar suggested that the flight was cutting the corner, and many birds were out over the lake. When the lake breeze kicked in the flight came over the south lookout, and there were many broad-wings and other birds moving within visible range. This evening, the flight moved further inland. Highlights of the day included a Black Vulture and a beautiful leucistic Turkey Vulture. This piebald bird had white flight feathers and what appeared to be an entirely white upperside.

Non-raptor Observations: There was a strong blackbird flight this morning, including a good number of Rusty Blackbirds. Other highlights included:

~130 Northern Flickers
64 Pine Siskins
2 Bank Swallows
1 Eastern Kingbird (FOS)
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet (FOS)
1 Yellow-rumped Warbler (FOS)

Visitors: Many.

Forecast: Tomorrow looks like it will also be a very good day, with light to moderate south southeasterly winds becoming south southwesterly in the afternoon. Mostly cloudy skies are expected, with temperatures in the mid forties to mid sixties. The warm temperatures and wind direction should result in another large flight. The cloud cover should hopefully bring birds down lower than they were today.

 

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Sunday, April 22, 2018

Observation start time: 7:00 a.m.
Observation end time: 5:30 p.m.
Total observation time: 10.5 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Wes Hetwick, Kevin McGann, Bill Purcell, Phil Taylor, Judy Thurber, David Wheeler

Weather: Skies were a deep, clear blue again, with light winds starting out from the south and switching over to west northwest relatively early in the count. Temperatures were in the thirties to low fifties.

Raptor Observations: It was another great day, and birds stayed relatively low despite the light winds and sunny skies. Broad-wing and sharpie numbers are increasing day by day, and we had another good red-tail and harrier flight. Birds were quite spread out.

Non-raptor Observations: There was a good Northern Flicker flight this morning, with 67+ birds passing the North Lookout. We were serenaded by the bubbly song of a Winter Wren at the North Lookout. Other highlights included:

13 Great Blue Herons
3 Pine Siskins
1 Northern Rough-winged Swallow (FOS)
1 Pine Warbler (FOS)

Visitors: Many.

Forecast: Tomorrow is very likely to be a big day. Light south southeasterly winds and sunny skies are in the forecast. To make matters even better, temperatures will be truly balmy, starting in the low forties but reaching the mid sixties in the afternoon. This ought to really get birds moving, and we should have our first mega broad-wing flight of the season. Tuesday also looks excellent, with similar conditions aside from the fact that there will be more cloud cover.

 

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Saturday, April 21, 2018

Observation start time: 7:30 a.m.
Observation end time: 6:30 p.m.
Total observation time: 10.5 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Ken Burdick, Peter Davidson, Wes Hetwick, Bill Purcell, Judy Thurber, David Wheeler

Weather: Light to moderate winds were generally from the west northwest, with clear skies and temperatures in the mid thirties to mid forties.

Raptor Observations: There was an excellent flight today, with good species diversity. There was a strong flight of Turkey Vultures, adult red-tails, harriers, and sharpies, along with a decent early flight of broad-wings. Birds were generally quite high and spread out.

Non-raptor Observations: Highlights included:

15 Great Blue Herons
4 Sandhill Cranes
1 Eastern Towhee (FOS)
1 Horned Grebe, which continues to hang out on the small pond near the south lookout
1 Field Sparrow (FOS)

Visitors: Many. It was great to see so many people here to enjoy the flight. Thank you to those who helped to spot birds!

Forecast: Light winds may start out from the south southwest, quickly switching over to west northwest and northwest for the remainder of the count. Clear skies are expected tomorrow, with temperatures in the mid thirties to low fifties. There should be another very good flight, probably similar to today. Again, birds are likely to be very high and spread out. Hopefully a good flight of broad-wings will arrive tomorrow. Monday and Tuesday continue to look like they should be very big days.

 

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Friday, April 20, 2018

Observation start time: 7:30 a.m.
Observation end time: 5:30 p.m.
Total observation time: 10 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Peter Davidson, Wes Hetwick, Kevin McGann

Weather: Moderate to strong winds were from the northwest and west northwest, with cloudy skies in the morning becoming sunny in the afternoon. Temperatures were in the thirties.

Raptor Observations: The morning was relatively slow, but as the sun came out there was a nice flight this afternoon. Birds were zooming past in a hurry after the long stretch of bad weather that we’ve been having.

Non-raptor Observations: A Northern Shrike landed in a tree close to the feeder at the south lookout (striking fear into the hearts of nearby songbirds). Kevin spotted two Green-winged Teal and a Horned Grebe in the small pond near the south lookout. Cedar Waxwings were on the move, with a count of 133 individuals passing by.

Visitors: Five, including the second person who I have run into at Derby Hill who attended my college (College of the Atlantic, a tiny liberal arts school in Maine).

Forecast: Clear skies, light to moderate northwest winds, and temperatures in the mid thirties to mid forties are expected tomorrow. There should be a good flight thanks to the sunshine and complete lack of precipitation. Bring on the birds!

 

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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Observation start time: 7:00 a.m.
Observation end time: 11:00 a.m.
Total observation time: 2.5 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel,

Weather: There was light snow throughout most of the day, and moderate to strong winds generally from the north. Temperatures were in the mid thirties.

Raptor Observations: To borrow a phrase from my friend and fellow hawkwatcher Harry Armistead, “slower than molasses running uphill in January.” A local kestrel kept me company at the south lookout.

Non-raptor Observations: Not much.

Forecast: Things are going to improve, thank goodness. Moderate to strong northwest winds are expected tomorrow, with cloudy skies in the morning and sunnier skies in the afternoon. Temperatures should be in the thirties. Considering the extremely long stretch of overcast weather with precipitation that we have been having, any sunshine should result in a decent to very good flight regardless of wind direction. So tomorrow afternoon definitely has potential. Northwest winds are expected over the weekend, but with full sun, so there should definitely be birds moving. And Monday and Tuesday could be big days, given the southerly component to the wind and jump in temperature to the sixties.

 

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Observation start time: 7:30 a.m.
Observation end time: 4:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 8.5 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel,
Observers: Wes Hetwick, Kevin McGann, Bill Purcell, David Wheeler

Weather: Strong winds were from the west, with cloudy skies and the occasional bit of cloud cover breakup. Temperatures were in the mid to high thirties.

Raptor Observations: There was a good Turkey Vulture flight, along with a decent flight of red-tails and sharpies. Another juvenile goshawk zoomed by nice and low. The first seven broad-wings of the season passed by today. So it begins.

Non-raptor Observations: Two Red-throated Loons were a nice highlight of the day. There was a decent flight of Common Loons again, especially in the later part of the afternoon. Seventy seven Cedar Waxwings flew by.

Forecast: Northwesterly winds are in the forecast tomorrow, starting off light in the morning and becoming strong in the afternoon. Cloudy skies are expected, with a slight chance of rain/snow in the late afternoon. Temperatures should be in the mid thirties. These aren’t great conditions, but there could be a decent flight in the morning before windspeed picks up. This weekend could be quite good, as the sun will be out. Monday and Tuesday of next week look excellent, with sunshine, temperatures in the low sixties, and light and variable winds.

 

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Observation start time: 8:45 a.m.
Observation end time: 4:30 p.m.
Total observation time: 7.75 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel,
Observers: Dave Fitch, Wes Hetwick

Weather: There were intermittent snow showers, mostly in the morning. Winds started out strong and from the west, with windspeed slowing down as the day progressed. Skies were overcast with temperatures in the mid thirties.

Raptor Observations: Some Turkey Vultures and a few other birds were on the move. Highlights included a juvenile goshawk which passed by very low, and a distant immature Golden Eagle.

Non-raptor Observations: There was a large flight of Common Loons today, with a conservative estimate of about 250 birds flying towards the lake. The largest group of loons traveling loosely together contained 12 individuals. The first Caspian Tern of the season was seen today. Other observations included:

1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
1 Great Egret
1 Snow Goose

Visitors: Three

Forecast: Strong westerly winds are in the forecast for tomorrow, with cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid thirties to low forties. A little sunshine might peek through the clouds in the later afternoon. The flight might be similar to today under these conditions, perhaps with a late day burst if cloud cover breaks up.

 

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Monday, April 16, 2018

Observation start time: 7:00 a.m.
Observation end time: 1:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 6 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel, Gerry Smith
Observers: Wes Hetwick, Kevin McGann

Weather: There was on and off drizzle and rain, with very strong southeast winds this morning. Windspeed decreased as the day went on. Skies were overcast throughout the day, with temperatures in the low forties.

Raptor Observations: It was not a bad day given the conditions, and we had some very nice views of low, close birds. The wind resulted in many birds flying directly at our faces, veering off at the last moment.

Non-raptor Observations: 1 Bonaparte’s Gull

Forecast: Snow is expected tomorrow, with the highest chance of precipitation occurring in the morning. Strong winds will be from the west and west southwest, with cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid thirties. These are slightly better conditions than we’ve been having in that the chance of precipitation will be lower in the afternoon, and the westerly winds may result in a decent Turkey Vulture flight. However, it is still a far from ideal forecast. The sun should finally come out this weekend.

 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

No count conducted today

Weather: Rain/Drizzle

Forecast: The weather forecast does not look great tomorrow, either. Rain and strong southeasterly winds are expected. Hopefully a few birds will be moving during breaks in the rain. Temperatures should be in the forties. Chance of rain will diminish on Tuesday.

 

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Saturday, April 14, 2018

Observation start time: 8:00 a.m.
Observation end time: 11:30 p.m.
Total observation time: 3.5 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Wes Hetwick, Kevin McGann

Weather: The weather continues to be, quite frankly, horrible. Moderate to strong winds were from the northeast, with overcast skies and temperatures in the thirties. There was some on and off drizzle.

Raptor Observations: Very slow. A beautiful low and close juvenile peregrine was a nice highlight, though.

Non-raptor Observations: 1 Bonaparte’s Gull, 1 Vesper Sparrow

Visitors: Two

Forecast: More nonsense is in the forecast for tomorrow, with rain expected throughout the day. Moderate winds will be from the east southeast, with temperatures in the thirties. It will probably be a washout, or a count day in which very little is happening. It looks like our next real chance for improvement will come next weekend; fingers crossed.

 

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Friday, April 13, 2018

Observation start time: 8:00 a.m.
Observation end time: 2:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 6 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Peter Davidson, Dave Fitch, Bill Purcell

Weather: Winds were very light, variable, and nearly nonexistent. There was a low overcast cloud cover throughout the day, with temperatures in the forties.

Raptor Observations: Very slow. A few sharpies were flying. The lack of wind did not impress Turkey Vultures.

Non-raptor Observations: Highlights included:

3 Barn Swallows (FOS)
2 Bonaparte’s Gulls
1 Vesper Sparrow singing at the south lookout

Visitors: Eight

Forecast: Unfortunately, conditions do not look good for the next several days. It looks like tomorrow will mostly be a washout, with freezing rain and moderate north northeast winds in the forecast for most of the day. A few decent hours of counting may be possible in the earlier morning. Temperatures will be in the high to low thirties, dropping as the day progresses. More rain, cold, and general crumminess is likely through Tuesday. Let’s hope that after this bad weather passes, there will be a burst of birds waiting to move.

 

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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Observation start time: 7:30 a.m.
Observation end time: 1:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 5.5 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Peter Davidson, Kevin McGann, Bill Purcell, Judy Thurber, David Wheeler

Weather: Light to moderate winds were from the southeast, with mostly cloudy skies becoming overcast. Drizzle set in during early afternoon, becoming a steadier rain later on. Temperatures were in the thirties to forties.

Raptor Observations: There was a decent flight of sharpies before the rain hit. Birds were passing by quite low. Three Merlins zipping past were a nice highlight.

Non-raptor Observations: There was a relatively steady blackbird movement during much of the day, including Red-winged Blackbirds, Common Grackles, Brown-headed Cowbirds, and possibly some Rusty Blackbirds. Other highlights included:

26 Cedar Waxwings
25 Great Blue Herons
11 Eastern Meadowlarks
2 Savannah Sparrows on the lawn at the North Lookout
1 Greater Yellowlegs
1 Sandhill Crane

Forecast: Very light and variable winds are expected tomorrow, mainly from the southeast, with overcast skies. Rain is in the forecast again, but it shouldn’t start until mid-afternoon. Temperatures should be in the high thirties to mid forties. The flight conditions will be similar to today, and will probably produce a similar to slightly better movement of birds.

 

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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Observation start time: 7:00 a.m.
Observation end time: 4:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 9 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Joe Brin, Peter Davidson, Dave Fitch, Kevin McGann, Phil Taylor, Judy Thurber

Weather: Light winds were variable, generally from the southeast in the morning and west/west southwest for the remainder of the day. Skies were partly cloudy in the morning, becoming cloudier as the day progressed. Temperatures were in the high twenties to low forties.

Raptor Observations: It was an excellent day, with a strong Turkey Vulture flight and a good number of red-tails and sharpies moving through. The morning started off slowly, but activity picked up nicely in the late morning and throughout the afternoon. Red-tail numbers increased considerably during the later hours of the count. Highlights of the day included a dark morph adult Red-tailed Hawk, a goshawk, and a peregrine. Many birds were high-flying.

Non-raptor Observations: Quite a few Common Loons were on the move today. Ten Great Blue Herons passed.

Visitors: Many, including a visiting group from Beaver Lake Nature Center.

Forecast: Tomorrow looks rainy overall, but the earlier part of the morning could be good. Light to moderate southeast winds, cloudy skies, and temperatures in the mid thirties to mid forties are expected. Hopefully we will have some raptors moving ahead of the rain. Once rain starts in late morning it will probably be a washout, unless some Turkey Vultures decide to move on through it.

 

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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Observation start time: 8:15 a.m.
Observation end time: 5:30 p.m.
Total observation time: 9.25 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Dave Fitch

Weather: Light to moderate winds started off mainly from the southwest, becoming westerly and then west northwesterly. Skies were mostly cloudy in the morning, becoming partly sunny and then clear. Temperatures were mostly in the thirties. There were a few snow flurries this morning.

Raptor Observations: It was another good day for Turkey Vultures, and a few other raptors were on the move as well.

Non-raptor Observations: Observations included:

3 Sandhill Cranes
1 Pine Siskin
1 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Visitors: Four

Forecast: Light winds should start out from the southeast tomorrow, switching over to southwest in the afternoon. Mostly cloudy to overcast skies are in the forecast, and temperatures should be in the low thirties to mid forties. Hopefully, the southerly component to the wind and slightly warmer temperatures will get some birds moving. Conditions do not look great for the next few days, but tomorrow and Friday look like the driest days in the near-term forecast.

 

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Monday, April 9, 2018

Observation start time: 7:30 a.m.
Observation end time: 4:30 p.m.
Total observation time: 9 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Ken Burdick, Peter Davidson, Kevin McGann, Bill Purcell, David Wheeler

Weather: Light to moderate winds started off variable, mainly from the south southeast this morning. Winds then shifted and became mostly north northwesterly. Skies were partly sunny, with some cirrus cloud cover and temperatures in the twenties to high thirties (balmy weather is gradually arriving, folks!).

Raptor Observations: There was a good flight today, with an improvement in species diversity. A few Ospreys were on the move, and we had some nice looks at rough-legs.

Non-raptor Observations: 53 Cedar Waxwings
8 Rusty Blackbirds (seen by Dave Wheeler near the south lookout)
8 Wild Turkeys

Visitors: Two

Forecast: Light to moderate west northwesterly winds are predicted for tomorrow, with clouds in the morning and sunshine in the afternoon. Temperatures should be in the low thirties to low forties. The flight will probably be similar to today, but with more activity occurring in the afternoon as the sun comes out. Wednesday looks better, with southwesterly winds and temperatures climbing to the high forties. Thursday looks rather rainy, but Friday could be very good. Light and variable winds with a southerly component are in the forecast, with temperatures reaching the mid fifties. The warmup certainly ought to bring more birds our way.

 

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Sunday, April 8, 2018

Observation start time: 7:30 a.m.
Observation end time: 3:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 7.5 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Peter Davidson

Weather: Cold and windy. Strong winds were from the northwest and west northwest, with partly cloudy skies and temperatures around freezing. Low cloud cover and some snow flurries moved in during the later afternoon.

Raptor Observations: The morning started off very slow, but it suddenly picked up and there was a nice Turkey Vulture flight in the afternoon. Vultures were flying very low, with many of them off to the north. An Osprey was seen carrying a stick to the cell tower.

Non-raptor Observations: An Eastern Phoebe seems to have taken up residence at the south lookout. Three Common Loons passed by.

Visitors: One

Forecast: Light northwesterly winds, mostly cloudy skies, and temperatures in the mid twenties to mid thirties are expected tomorrow. There could be another good vulture flight, and let’s hope that the lighter winds will also result in more raptor diversity.

 

4.7.2018 web

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Observation start time: 7:30 a.m.
Observation end time: 5:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 9.5 hours
Official Counter: Bill Purcell, Anna Stunkel
Observers: Dave Fitch, Kevin McGann

Weather: Strong winds were generally from the west and west northwest, with partly cloudy skies and temperatures around freezing.

Raptor Observations: It was rather slow. Thank goodness for Turkey Vultures, since little else was flying. An Osprey was scoping out the cell tower, maybe for a potential nest site.

Non-raptor Observations: A local Barred Owl was hooting this afternoon.

Visitors: About fifteen. Thanks for the good company and delicious cookies! Special thanks to Bill for covering some count time on short notice.

Forecast: Winds should start out light and northwesterly tomorrow morning, becoming stronger and west northwesterly in the afternoon. Mostly cloudy skies and temperatures around freezing are in the forecast. Hopefully there will be some action in the morning, before the winds pick up. Thankfully, the forecast is showing promise on Wednesday and onwards several days.

 

4.6.2018 web

Friday, April 6, 2018

Observation start time: 7:15 a.m.
Observation end time: 9:30 p.m.
Total observation time: 2.25 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Gerry Smith

Weather: Light to moderate winds were from the south southeast, with cloudy skies and temperatures just below freezing. After the earlier part of the morning, there was snow and mixed precipitation for the rest of the day.

Raptor Observations: Just a few birds were moving, including a nice and close rough-leg.

Non-raptor Observations: A flock of about 30 Cedar Waxwings zoomed by.

Forecast: Strong west northwesterly and westerly winds are expected tomorrow, with partly sunny skies and temperatures hovering around freezing. Trying to look at things in a positive light, there ought to be a good Turkey Vulture flight under these conditions. The wind strength and low temperatures are not ideal, but sunshine should bring out some other raptors, especially after today’s snow.

 

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Thursday, April 5, 2018

Observation start time: 7:30 a.m.
Observation end time: 5:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 9 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Kevin McGann

Weather: Strong winds were from the west northwest and northwest, with partly sunny skies and temperatures mostly in the high twenties.

Raptor Observations: It was much slower than expected, probably because of scattered precipitation to the west and south of Derby Hill. Almost every bird counted was a Turkey Vulture, aside from one sharpie and two red-tails.

Non-raptor Observations: A few bluebirds were scouting out the nest boxes around the south lookout.

Visitors: Six.

Forecast: Snow and rain is expected for most of tomorrow, so there probably won’t be much of a flight. There may be a few good hours of counting in the earlier part of the morning, before the precipitation hits. Light south southeast winds are predicted in the morning, becoming more moderate and southwesterly in the afternoon. Temperatures should be in the high twenties to low forties.

 

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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Observation start time: 10:15 a.m.
Observation end time: 2:30 p.m.
Total observation time: 4.25 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel

Weather: Strong to very strong winds from the west southwest and west, with overcast and partly cloudy skies. Wind speed picked up quite a bit in the mid-afternoon. Temperatures were in the high thirties and forties. There was rain this morning, and snow in the later afternoon. 

Raptor Observations: Turkey Vultures kept on flying despite the very strong winds. It was impressive to see vultures flying even in 25-30 mph winds, following a tippy but direct path. Little else was flying, however.

Non-raptor Observations: 2 Common Loons

Visitors: Two

Forecast: Strong west northwest winds, mostly sunny skies, and temperatures in the twenties to low thirties are expected tomorrow. Due to the sunshine and wind direction there will probably be a large vulture flight. Hopefully the sun will bring out more raptor diversity as well.

 

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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Observation start time: 7:30 a.m.
Observation end time: 1:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 5.5 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Dave Fitch, Kevin McGann, David Wheeler

Weather: Light winds were from the southeast, with cloudy skies and temperatures in the thirties to low forties. Drizzle started in the afternoon. 

Raptor Observations: It was slow, with some Turkey Vultures and a few other low raptors moving. Once rain was in the area, the flight shut down.

Non-raptor Observations: Observations included:

~313 Cedar Waxwings (an unusually high number for early April)
22 Eastern Meadowlarks
2 Belted Kingfishers
2 Pileated Woodpeckers
1 Common Loon
1 Mute Swan

Visitors: Three

Forecast: Conditions do not look very good tomorrow. Rain is expected in the morning, followed by very strong west southwesterly winds (sustained 20+ mph), cloudy skies, and temperatures in the forties and fifties. There might be some Turkey Vultures, but there is unlikely to be much of a flight.

 

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Monday, April 2, 2018

Observation start time: 7:00 a.m.
Observation end time: 5:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 10 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Dave Fitch, Kevin McGann, Bill Purcell, Phil Taylor, David Wheeler

Weather: Light winds were variable, starting out from the southeast, then becoming northwesterly and north northeasterly in the afternoon. Skies were partly cloudy, with temperatures mainly in the thirties to low forties.

Raptor Observations: There was an excellent Turkey Vulture flight, with a steady stream of birds and several large bursts of movement. There was also a decent movement of buteos, including eight rough-legs. A Peregrine Falcon passed this morning, and tangled briefly with a Cooper’s Hawk in midair. A tailless Turkey Vulture flew over the south lookout.

Non-raptor Observations: There was a strong blackbird flight this morning, with thousands of Red-winged Blackbirds and Common Grackles moving through. One American Pipit flew over.

Visitors: Many

Forecast: Rain is predicted for most of tomorrow. However, a couple hours of counting with good conditions may be possible in the earlier morning. Cloudy skies, southeast winds, and temperatures in the high thirties are expected during this time. Hopefully some birds will be up and moving before the rain hits.

 

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Sunday, April 1, 2018

Observation start time: 7:30 a.m.
Observation end time: 4:30 p.m.
Total observation time: 9 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel

Weather: Strong winds were from the west northwest, with mostly cloudy skies in the morning becoming mostly sunny later in the afternoon. It was chilly, with temperatures around freezing, and occasional snow showers in the earlier part of the day. 

Raptor Observations: Thanks to the Turkey Vultures, it was a nicely busy day. Vultures were streaming by steadily from late morning to mid-afternoon. Little else was moving in the high winds, although a few harriers passed low and close.

Non-raptor Observations: Highlights included:

17 Horned Larks
5 Sandhill Cranes together in a single flock
2 Double-crested Cormorants

Visitors: Three

Forecast: A brief period of very light southerly winds is expected in the morning tomorrow, followed by a change to slightly stronger (but still light) northwesterly winds. Partly cloudy skies are in the forecast, with temperatures in the thirties to low forties. It will probably be a very good day, thanks to the sunshine and light winds. Given the number of Turkey Vultures moving today under less than ideal conditions, there should be a large movement tomorrow. And the sunshine should bring out more raptor diversity, including buteos and eagles.

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Saturday, March 31, 2018

Observation start time: 7:00 a.m.
Observation end time: 6:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 11 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Ken Burdick, Kevin McGann, Bill Purcell

Weather: Light to moderate winds started out mostly from the south, becoming more southwesterly this afternoon. Skies were clear this morning, becoming cloudier and then overcast in the late afternoon. Temperatures started out in the thirties, eventually reaching fifty degrees. 

Raptor Observations: There was excellent diversity today. Turkey Vultures had a slow start, but movement picked up nicely in the late afternoon. It was a good day for buteo and eagle movement, and 13 Golden Eagles were a wonderful highlight. Birds were high and veered towards the lake while skies were clear, but they became much lower after cloud cover moved in. The first two Ospreys of the season passed over the lake.

Non-raptor Observations: The first Tree Swallows, Belted Kingfisher, and Eastern Phoebe of the season were seen today. Other highlights included:

36 Great Blue Herons
8 Bonaparte’s Gulls
7 Double-crested Cormorants
4 Sandhill Cranes

Visitors: Many

Forecast: Strong west northwest winds are expected tomorrow, with cloudy skies in the morning and sunshine in the afternoon. Temperatures are expected to hover at around freezing. Due to the wind strength and temperatures, there probably will not be a big flight. However, at this point birds are getting more restless, particularly Turkey Vultures. Hopefully there will be some birds on the move, and they should be low because of the strong winds.

 

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Friday, March 30, 2018

Observation start time: 8:00 a.m.
Observation end time: 4:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 8 hours
Official Counter: Bill Purcell

Weather: Consistent WNW wind through the day, with temperatures hovering around 40 F and 100 percent clouds. 

Raptor Observations: Mostly Turkey Vultures but 30 red-shoulders, 2 rough-leggeds and a Golden Eagle were very nice.

Non-raptor Observations: 17,320 Snow Geese, 1 Great Egret and a Sandhill Crane were the highlights.

Visitors: Five

Forecast: Saturday should be good with southerly winds and temperatures approaching the long sought 50 degree mark.

 

3.29.2018 web

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Observation start time: 7:30 a.m.
Observation end time: 3:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 7.5 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Dave Babb, Bill Purcell, Judy Thurber, David Wheeler

Weather: Light to moderate winds were generally from the southeast, with cloudy skies and temperatures in the forties. This afternoon, there was light drizzle and eventual rain.

Raptor Observations: It was a slow day for raptors, but the flight was often low and directly overhead, allowing for nice looks at birds.

Non-raptor Observations: The big day finally arrived for Snow Goose migration, with an estimated 23,250+ of them passing the hill. The bulk of them passed in the earlier morning, with another decent flight this afternoon before the rain hit. It is always a beautiful experience to watch so many geese migrating past. Along with the Snow Geese, one Cackling Goose and one Ross’s Goose were mixed in. Other observations included:

330+ American Robins
107 Northern Pintails
78 Horned Larks, which passed over in two large flocks
9 Great Blue Herons
1 Fox Sparrow, heard singing nearby

Visitors: Three

Forecast: There is a chance of showers in the earlier morning tomorrow. Moderate to strong west northwesterly and westerly winds are expected, with cloudy skies and temperatures in the low forties. These conditions are unlikely to produce much of a flight, although there is a chance of a decent Turkey Vulture movement occurring. Saturday looks like it could be another big day, thanks to the sun coming out. Sunshine after multiple days of low overcast cloud cover generally produces large flights at this time of year. Stay tuned!

 

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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Observation start time: 7:30 a.m.
Observation end time: 3:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 7.5 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Dave Babb, Dave Fitch, Kevin McGann, Bill Purcell

Weather: Light winds were generally from the south southeast, with cloudy skies and some fog and occasional mist. Temperatures were in the forties.

Raptor Observations: It was very slow, and the first raptor didn’t pass until this afternoon. Persistent low cloud cover and fog did not help.

Non-raptor Observations: 21 Great Blue Herons,1 Great Egret, 1 Mute Swan

Visitors: Eighteen, including the group of interns and trainees from Hawk Mountain and a field trip from Montezuma NWR.

Forecast: Tomorrow looks like it could be better, at least for most of the day. Light southeast winds, cloudy skies, and temperatures in the forties are predicted. Fog seemed to be the main issue today; as long as fog holds off, hopefully there will be a good flight. Rain is expected to start during mid-afternoon. Looking ahead, Saturday looks like it could be very good. The sun will finally be out again, and temperatures are expected to reach the mid fifties, so this ought to get a good number of birds moving. Moderate southwest winds are expected which is not ideal, but the sunshine will definitely help move things along.

 

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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Observation start time: 7:00 a.m.
Observation end time: 2:30 p.m.
Total observation time: 7.5 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel

Observers: Joe Brin, Ken Burdick, Tom Carrolan, Peter Davidson, Dave Fitch, Kevin McGann, Bill Purcell, Phil Taylor, Mike Tetlow, Judy Thurber, David Wheeler

Weather: Moderate to strong winds were generally from the southeast, with overcast skies and temperatures in the thirties to low forties. Rain moved in late this afternoon. 

Raptor Observations: It was another very good day in terms of numbers and diversity. A good number of Turkey Vultures, harriers, and rough-legs were on the move. Four Golden Eagles were also a lovely highlight. Given the conditions, most birds were flying quite low, so visitors were treated to excellent views.

Non-raptor Observations: At least 1,115 American Crows were moving today. Thanks to Gerry for keeping track of crow numbers. There was a moderate flight of Snow Geese, but many of them were flying in the distance, to the southwest of Derby Hill. Again, thousands of blackbirds were moving this morning.

Visitors: Many visitors came to enjoy the flight today, including David Barber and a group of interns from Hawk Mountain.

Forecast: Light winds, mainly from the west, are expected tomorrow, along with overcast skies and temperatures in the forties. South southwest winds are predicted earlier in the morning, becoming west and then west northwest late in the afternoon. Things might be a bit slower due to the combination of wind direction and cloud cover, but it should still be a decent day since windspeed will be light and temperatures aren’t likely to be below the forties. Thursday looks like it could be better, with southeast winds and a warmup to fifty degrees in the forecast.

 

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Monday, March 26, 2018

Observation start time: 7:30 a.m.
Observation end time: 6:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 10.5 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Bill Purcell

Weather: Light winds were generally from the east southeast, with sunny skies and temperatures in the high twenties to forties. 

Raptor Observations: It was a very good day, with a strong movement of Turkey Vultures, buteos, and Bald Eagles. Some accipiters are also starting to move. Nine rough-legs were a nice highlight of the day. There was a considerable burst of activity late in the afternoon today.

Non-raptor Observations: Plenty of crows and blackbirds were on the move, especially in the morning. Thanks to Bill Purcell for keeping track of non-raptor migrants today. Observations included:

5200+ Red-winged Blackbirds
2000+ Common Grackles
1206+ American Crows
275+ American Robins
197 Cedar Waxwings
1 American Pipit

Visitors: Many visited to enjoy our first big flight of the season.

Forecast: All signs point to tomorrow being an excellent day! Given the strength of today’s late afternoon flight, we should have a good supply of birds ready to go. Moderate to strong south southeast winds, cloudy skies, and temperatures in the thirties to mid forties are expected. The clouds and wind strength should bring birds down low, allowing for great looks. Some rain is in the forecast, but it should hold off until quite late in the afternoon.

 

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Sunday, March 25, 2018

Observation start time: 8:30 a.m.
Observation end time: 4:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 7.5 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Peter Davidson , Kevin McGann, Judy Thurber, David Wheeler

Weather: Light to moderate winds were variable, with a northerly component. Skies were mostly sunny, and temperatures were in the mid twenties to high thirties. 

Raptor Observations: It was a bit slower than expected, although there was a decent buteo movement given the conditions. Three Peregrine Falcons, which zipped by in rather rapid succession, were a highlight of the day.

Non-raptor Observations: There was a surprising lack of Snow Goose movement today. A small flock of Cedar Waxwings was hanging around the South Lookout parking lot, along with several bluebirds and goldfinches.

Visitors: Ten

Forecast: Tomorrow looks like it should be a very good day, especially in the late morning and early afternoon as temperatures rise. Light southeast winds are predicted for most of the day, and winds may switch over to light northeast in the late afternoon. Sunny skies are expected, and temperatures will be in the low thirties to mid forties. The southeast winds, sunshine, and increased temperatures are likely to get a good number of birds moving. The same can be said for Tuesday; in this case conditions look even better, especially for viewing low and close birds. Let the serious migration begin!

 

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Saturday, March 24, 2018

Observation start time: 8:00 a.m.
Observation end time: 5:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 9 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Peter Davidson

Weather: Moderate to strong winds were generally wavering between north northwest and north northeast. Skies were mostly sunny, with temperatures around freezing. 

Raptor Observations: It was a slow day, but it was nice to finally see two rough-legs. Both birds passed quite closeby.

Non-raptor Observations: About 756 Snow Geese were headed northwards today. A beautiful Sandhill Crane flew low over the South Lookout, heading north.

Visitors: Eight

Forecast: Light to moderate, variable winds with a northerly component are expected tomorrow. Skies will be mostly sunny, with temperatures in the mid twenties to high thirties. The relatively light winds, sunshine, and warming temperatures should certainly get some birds up and moving. Hopefully a few hundred birds will be on the move under these conditions. Again, Monday morning looks like it will be very good, and Tuesday looks excellent. Hope to see you on the hill soon!

 

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Friday, March 23, 2018

Observation start time: 8:30 a.m.
Observation end time: 4:30 p.m.
Total observation time: 7.5 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Dave Fitch, Bill Purcell, Judy Thurber, David Wheeler

Weather: Moderate winds were generally from the northwest, with mostly sunny skies and temperatures mainly in the thirties. 

Raptor Observations: There was a decent Turkey Vulture flight, and a few buteos were moving through. It was nice to see two more Golden Eagles.

Non-raptor Observations: Several thousand Snow Geese were moving northwards (over 3,000 birds as a rough estimation).

Visitors: Four

Forecast: Tomorrow will probably be similar to today in terms of numbers and diversity. Mostly cloudy skies in the morning, and sunny skies in the afternoon, are expected. Moderate north northwesterly winds and temperatures in the mid to high twenties are in the forecast for tomorrow. On Sunday, winds with a northerly component will persist, but temperatures may climb to the low forties along with sunshine. This should result in increased movement. Southeast winds are in the forecast for Monday morning, so the morning could be quite good. And Tuesday is likely to be “the real big one.” Moderate south southeast winds, partly sunny skies, and temperatures climbing to the low fifties should really get birds moving, including Turkey Vultures, eagles, and “March buteos” (red-tails, red-shoulders, and hopefully a few rough-legs). Tuesday will probably kick off the season as our first very good flight day.

 

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Observation start time: 9:00 a.m.
Observation end time: 4:30 p.m.
Total observation time: 7 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Ken Burdick, Peter Davidson, David Wheeler

Weather: Moderate winds were generally from the north northeast and northwest, with mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the twenties and thirties. 

Raptor Observations: Given the conditions, it was a good day, with decent Turkey Vulture and buteo movement. Two peregrines passed, including one beautiful adult that flew very low over us. We also enjoyed watching a male Cooper’s Hawk displaying for a female overhead.

Non-raptor Observations: Two Sandhill Cranes were a nice highlight.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Observation start time: 8:30 a.m.
Observation end time: 3:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 6.5 hours
Official Counter: Bill Purcell
Observers: Dave Babb, Judy Thurber

Weather: Temperature barely climbing above freezing today and north wind beginning at 8 mph and increasing through the day to 20 mph+. Cloudy all day from spin off the Nor’easter on the Atlantic coast. 

Raptor Observations: Would have been very quiet without the Turkey Vultures.

Non-raptor Observations: A flock of 100 Snow Geese flying SW presumably to the Montezuma NWR area. 20 Cedar Waxings.

Visitors: Three

Next Day Forecast: Weather should be much the same as today: cloudy and temperature just above freezing with possibly slightly less strength to the northerly winds.

 

3.20.2018 web

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Observation start time: 8:30 a.m.
Observation end time: 4:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 7.5 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Peter Davidson, David Wheeler

Weather: Winds started out light and were generally from the northeast, becoming considerably stronger later on in the afternoon. Skies were mostly sunny, with temperatures in the high teens to low thirties.

Raptor Observations: There was a decent Turkey Vulture and red-tail movement today, and it was an excellent day for Golden Eagles. Two peregrines were another nice highlight.

Non-raptor Observations: Two Tundra Swans flew by heading northeast.

Visitors: Nine

Next Day Forecast: Mostly cloudy skies and moderate to strong northerly winds are predicted tomorrow, with temperatures in the mid twenties to mid thirties. The increased cloud cover and stronger north winds may cause things to slow down, but rain and low pressure systems have been pushing adult Golden Eagles westwards. This has aided our recent high counts of the species. Hopefully the pattern will continue tomorrow, and more goldens will be passing Derby. It’s hard to say this early, but at this point it looks like next Monday and Tuesday could be the big days that push off the season. Warming temperatures and southerly/southeasterly winds ought to really get birds moving, if the forecast holds true.

 

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Monday, March 19, 2018

Observation start time: 9:00 a.m.
Observation end time: 3:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 6 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers:, Dave Fitch, Kevin McGann, Bill Purcell, Judy Thurber

Weather: Light winds were generally from the northwest and north northeast, with cloudless skies and temperatures in the high teens and twenties.

Raptor Observations: It was another decent day given the conditions, with mostly Turkey Vultures and red-tails on the move.

Non-raptor Observations: An Eastern Meadowlark was hanging around very close to the south lookout pad. A flock of 55 Snow Buntings passed. One Killdeer flew over.

Visitors: Three

Next Day Forecast: Light to moderate winds, generally from the north, are expected tomorrow. Skies should be mostly sunny, with temperatures in the twenties and low thirties. The day will probably be similar in numbers and diversity to today. Although the wind direction is not ideal, continuing sunshine and light wind speed should get a few birds moving.

 

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Sunday, March 18, 2018

Observation start time: 9:00 a.m.
Observation end time: 3:30 p.m.
Total observation time: 6 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Peter Davidson, Kevin McGann, Bill Purcell

Weather: Light winds were generally from the north northeast, with partly to mostly cloudy skies and temperatures in the twenties. 

Raptor Observations: Given the conditions, it was a good day today! Six Golden Eagles (most of which were quite close) were the highlight of the day. There was a decent Red-tailed Hawk and Bald Eagle movement, and we had some nice views of Red-shouldered Hawks.

Non-raptor Observations: 27 Snow Buntings

Visitors: Four

Next Day Forecast: Light and variable winds with a northerly component are expected tomorrow, along with sunny skies and temperatures in the high teens to low twenties. The increased sunshine should encourage more birds to move, and there’s a good chance we will have another decent day tomorrow.

 

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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Observation start time: 9:00 a.m.
Observation end time: 3:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 6 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Kevin McGann, Bill Purcell

Weather: Strong winds were generally from the northwest, with partly sunny skies and temperatures just below freezing. 

Raptor Observations: There was a trickle of raptors, and we had some nice diversity today. We enjoyed a beautiful low and close view of an adult Golden Eagle this morning.

Non-raptor Observations: Several hundred Snow Geese were seen moving in a southwesterly direction. A group of 16 Snow Buntings flew by. Three Northern Flickers were hanging around across the street from the south lookout.

Visitors: Three

Next Day Forecast: Light and variable winds, mostly from the north northwest, are expected tomorrow, with mostly cloudy skies and temperatures in the twenties. It’s unlikely to be a really busy day, but the lighter winds may encourage more birds to move, especially if we don’t have too many clouds.

Friday March 15, 2018

Observation start time: 10:00 a.m.
Observation end time: 2:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 4 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel.

Raptor observations: A whole lot of nothing in the migrant department. Even the local red-tails and Bald Eagles were not very active. 

Weather: Strong northwest winds, cloudy skies, and temperatures in the twenties. There were a few light snow flurries in the morning. 

Non-raptor observations: A flock of ~250 Snow Geese were seen traveling southwest.

Next day forecast: Strong northwest winds, partly sunny skies, and temperatures in the high twenties are expected tomorrow. Maybe the sunshine will bring out a trickle of raptors.

 

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Observation start time: 9:00 a.m.
Observation end time: 3:30 p.m.
Total observation time: 6.5 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Bill Purcell

Weather: Moderate winds were generally from the west northwest, with partly sunny skies and temperatures in the high twenties to mid thirties. 

Raptor Observations: There was a trickle of birds today, most of which were Turkey Vultures. It was beautiful to see the sunlight reflecting off of the snow cover below and onto the undersides of passing birds.

Non-raptor Observations: The highlight of the day was a Northern Shrike, which perched in plain view for a few seconds right across the street from the South Lookout. Several hundred Snow Geese were seen heading southwards.

Visitors: David Babb, Don Metzger

Next Day Forecast: Moderate to strong west northwest winds, cloudy skies, and temperatures in the mid twenties are expected tomorrow. Due to the wind strength and overcast skies, there is unlikely to be much happening.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

No count was conducted today because of snow.

Forecast: Moderate to strong west/west northwesterly winds, mostly cloudy skies, and temperatures in the low to mid thirties are expected tomorrow. Although it’s not an ideal forecast, at least it shouldn’t be snowing. Hopefully a few raptors will be on the move.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

No count was conducted today because of snow and west northwest winds.

Forecast: Snow and strong west northwest winds are expected all day tomorrow, so there probably will not be a count.

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Monday, March 12, 2018

Observation start time: 8:30 a.m.
Observation end time: 3:30 p.m.
Total observation time: 7 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Ken Burdick, Peter Davidson, Dave Fitch, Kevin McGann, Bill Purcell, David Wheeler

Weather: Very light winds were generally from the southeast, with partly sunny skies becoming cloudier as the day went on. Temperatures were in the high twenties to low thirties. 

Raptor Observations: It was a decent day given the date and conditions, in terms of diversity and numbers. Five Golden Eagles were definitely a highlight, and most of them flew quite low directly overhead. Two were soaring on the same thermal at one point. We also had some great views of red-shoulders.

Non-raptor Observations: Some non-raptor movement was going on today. Ken Burdick counted approximately 220 Red-winged Blackbirds, 90 American Crows, and 25 American Robins on the move.

Visitors: Four

Next Day Forecast: Unfortunately, the next two days are likely to be snowed out. Even if there is a break in the snow tomorrow, moderate northwest winds and temperatures around freezing are predicted, so there is unlikely to be much going on.

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Sunday, March 11, 2018

Observation start time: 9:00 a.m.
Observation end time: 3:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 6 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Kevin McGann, Bill Purcell

Weather: Light winds were mainly from the northwest, with overcast skies and temperatures just below freezing.

Raptor Observations: Only one Turkey Vulture was seen migrating. I had a very brief glimpse of a Northern Goshawk (probable adult) traveling west northwest, followed by a gang of mobbing crows, flying low into the trees.

Non-raptor Observations: Twenty nine Wild Turkeys were strutting their stuff in the fields near the south lookout.

Visitors: Don Metzger

Next Day Forecast: Tomorrow looks slightly more promising, with light southeast winds in the forecast for the morning and early afternoon. Winds may shift to northeast later in the afternoon. Mostly cloudy skies are expected. Temperatures will be in the low to mid thirties so there is unlikely to be a big flight, but there should be a few birds moving.

3.10.2018 web

Saturday, March 10, 2018

 Observation start time: 10:30 a.m.
Observation end time: 3:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 4.5 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Pete Davidson, Bill Purcell

Weather: Moderate to strong winds were from the northwest, with mostly cloudy skies and temperatures in the thirties.

Raptor Observations: Moderate to strong winds were from the northwest, with mostly cloudy skies and temperatures in the thirties.

Non-raptor Observations: A Barred Owl was heard hooting nearby.

Visitors: Don Metzger

Next Day Forecast: Light northwesterly winds, partly cloudy skies, and temperatures in the low thirties are expected tomorrow. The lighter winds and sunshine may get a few birds moving. The forecast is now calling for southeasterly winds all morning on Monday, which shows promise for some actual raptor and non-raptor movement. Winds will shift to northwest on Monday afternoon, but they will remain light.

Friday, March 9, 2018

No count was conducted today because of snow and strong west winds.

Forecast: Moderate to strong west northwesterly winds, temperatures in the low thirties, and cloudy skies are expected tomorrow. It doesn’t look like there will be good migration conditions for awhile. The long-range forecast shows Saturday, March 17 as the next day with consistently good winds and a warm-up (southwesterly winds and temperatures in the forties).

3.8.2018 web

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Observation start time: 11:30 a.m.
Observation end time: 3:30 p.m.
Total observation time: 4 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel

Weather: There were snow showers this morning, which stopped late in the morning. Moderate winds were generally from the west northwest, with cloudy skies and temperatures in the thirties. 

Raptor Observations: Few birds, but it was nice to see a Golden Eagle (albeit miles away). A local American Kestrel was repeatedly seen landing on nearby wires. A kettle of five local Bald Eagles put on a real show wheeling and diving around.

Non-raptor Observations: 1 Pine Siskin

Visitors: David Babb, Don Metzger

Next Day Forecast: Tomorrow will probably be snowed out. Strong winds out of the west/west northwest are expected, so even if the snow stops in the afternoon there are unlikely to be many birds moving.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Observation start time: 9:00 a.m.
Observation end time: 12:30 p.m.
Total observation time: 3.5 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Bill Purcell, Dave Fitch, Judy Thurber, Kevin McGann

Weather: Moderate winds were generally from the southeast, with cloudy skies and temperatures in the low thirties. Snow flurries started in the late morning and continued into the afternoon.

Raptor Observations: There were few birds, but at least we had nice looks at two harriers and a dark morph rough-leg.

Non-raptor Observations: Blackbirds continue to be scarce, and Snow Geese were not on the move. We’re still waiting for the big push of non-raptor migration.

Visitors: Three

Next Day Forecast: Conditions don’t look promising for the next few days. There will be a prolonged period of intermittent snow, with ongoing west/northwest winds. Tomorrow might be snowed out for the morning and early afternoon. Moderate west winds are expected tomorrow, with temperatures in the low thirties and cloudy skies. These aren’t good conditions for migration. Friday might be snowed out.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Observation start time: 8:30 a.m.
Observation end time: 3:30 p.m.
Total observation time: 7 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Bill Purcell, Chris Holt, Dave Fitch, Judy Thurber, Ken Burdick, Kevin McGann, Tom Carrolan

Weather: Light winds were mainly from the southeast, with mostly cloudy to partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the high twenties and thirties.

Raptor Observations: It was a decent day for early March, with most of the activity occurring in the afternoon. Red-tails and Bald Eagles composed most of the flight.

Non-raptor Observations: An Iceland Gull flew south past us this morning.

Visitors: Eight

Next Day Forecast: If you are hoping to visit within the next week, tomorrow will be the best day to do so. Moderate east southeasterly winds are expected, with cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid thirties. There is a chance of snow showers tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully the snow will hold off long enough for a few birds to move through. After tomorrow, a crummy period of northwest winds and intermittent snow is expected to last for the next week.

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Monday, March 5, 2018

Observation start time: 10:00 a.m.
Observation end time: 3:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 5 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Kevin McGann 

Weather: There was a brief snow flurry in the earlier morning, followed by mostly cloudy skies and moderate winds. Wind direction started out northeasterly, switching to more north northwesterly. 

Raptor Observations: No migrants. A few red-tails, immature Bald Eagles, and one light morph rough-leg were hanging around the area and hunting.

Non-raptor Observations: A few Common Ravens were having a blast flying around and doing barrel rolls.

Visitors: David Babb, Don Metzger

Next Day Forecast: The weather should finally improve and make for a decent day tomorrow. Light southeast winds, mostly sunny skies, and temperatures in the mid twenties to low forties are expected. Tomorrow and Wednesday look like the best migration days within the next week, and it looks like winds will shift to become unfavorable again after that.

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Sunday, March 4, 2018

Observation start time: 9:00 a.m.
Observation end time: 11:00 .m.
Total observation time: 2 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel 

Weather: Strong north winds and partly cloudy skies.

Raptor Observations: None

Non-raptor Observations: Not much besides a lot of starlings in the sumac.

Next Day Forecast: Light north northwesterly winds, temperatures in the high twenties to low thirties, and cloudy skies are expected tomorrow. There is unlikely to be much happening once again. With the lighter winds, however, hopefully there will be a few raptors moving. Tuesday and Wednesday look better, with southeast winds and warmer temperatures in the forecast.

3.3.2018 web

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Observation start time: 10:15 a.m.
Observation end time: 3:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 4.75 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Bill Purcell
Visitors: Don Metzger

 Weather: Moderate to strong north winds and overcast skies all day.

 Raptor Observations: A whole lot of nothing. An adult male and an adult female harrier were seen traveling westwards, though.

Non-raptor Observations: 6 Horned Larks, 1 Eastern Meadowlark

Next Day Forecast: Moderate northwest winds are expected tomorrow, with windspeed increasing as the day goes on. Temperatures will be in the mid twenties to low thirties, with cloudy skies. There is unlikely to be much happening.

.3.1.2018

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Observation start time: 9:00 a.m.
Observation end time: 3:00 p.m.
Total observation time: 6 hours
Official Counter: Anna Stunkel
Observers: Dave Fitch, Kevin McGann, Bill Purcell
Visitors: Don Metzger

Weather: Light to moderate winds were generally from the northeast, with overcast skies and temperatures in the low thirties to low forties. Wind speed was calmest in the afternoon.

Raptor Observations: It was nice to see a couple of red-shoulders. A few local red-tails and Bald Eagles were active.

Non-raptor Observations: A Common Raven greeted me this morning, doing barrel rolls nearby at the south lookout. A group of 27 Pine Siskins passed.Next Day Forecast: Tomorrow will probably be snowed out. Snow is predicted all day, along with strong north northwesterly winds. Northwest winds are expected to prevail for the next few days, and it looks like Tuesday is our next chance for a decent flight, with southeast winds in the forecast. I hope to see you on the hill soon!