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Thursday, September 29, 2016  
Posted by: Emily and Chase

Blast! The fog has cursed us again. The Thursday I team has yet to embrace the season with a solid day of hawk watching. Although we did spend a very informative morning puzzling over dark morph pictures and admiring regal Ferruginous photos. Praying for a shift in weather, we climbed the mystical Hill, swathed in fog. While no such change occurred before the 1PM cut-off time, we saw a few accipiters blow by in the gusty wind as well as some adult Redtails chasing after one another. As always the soup was delicious and the company very appreciated.

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel and Robert

Though fall is now upon us,
And whispers of peak do charm us,
Today felt more like Fogust.

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel and Chase

After a hot Monday Hawkwatch, we ascended the Hill to find a fog inversion brewing. Although beautiful to watch unfold, the fog layer made Sharpie spotting particularly difficult as the little accipiters popped in and out of the fog like spastic little dancers. A couple of Ospreys passed by, as well as a White-tailed Kite and a juvenile Ferruginous Hawk. A few Broadwings are still cruising around the Hill so you better get out here fast!

Total Sightings: 274
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 45.67
Total Species: 12

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 91
Osprey: 2
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 4
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 81
Cooper's Hawk: 28
Red-shouldered Hawk: 2
Broad-winged Hawk: 5
Red-tailed Hawk: 40
Ferruginous Hawk: 1
American Kestrel: 4
Peregrine Falcon: 3

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 9
Buteo: 1
Falcon: 1
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, September 26, 2016  
Posted by: Robert

It was a sweltering day on Hawk Hill. Sunscreen was a must, and a cooler filed with extra water was brought up in preparation for the heat. Temperatures reached into the 90's by noon and winds were very light from the east. The team called it a day at 2pm.

There weren't a lot of raptors moving, however a variety of species were seen. To start the day, we had a great look at an adult Peregrine Falcon as it rose out of Kirby Cove. Also near Kirby Cove, we watched a juvenile Ferruginous Hawk and a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk chase one another. At one point in the day, a Broad-winged Hawk soared close over the Hill. It was identified as a juvenile due to the lack of a thick white tail band and dark trailing edge of the wing.

Total Sightings: 186
Hours Counted: 4.5
HPH: 41.33
Total Species: 11

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 40
Northern Harrier: 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 42
Cooper's Hawk: 36
Red-shouldered Hawk: 3
Broad-winged Hawk: 7
Red-tailed Hawk: 42
Ferruginous Hawk: 2
American Kestrel: 3
Merlin: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 2

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 6
Buteo: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Sunday, September 25, 2016  
Posted by: Violet & Isabel

As predicted, today was HOT. The wind was gusty when we arrived to the Hill this morning, but it died down as the heat rose. The temperature reached 90 degrees by 2pm. Highlights of the fairly slow day were a male Northern Harrier, good looks at some juvenile Harriers, and one Broadwing that flew close over our heads. We also had a beautiful dark morph juvenile Redtail soaring over the bay, and were fortunate to have an adult female Coopers Hawk for the banding docent demonstration. Warm weather is expected for tomorrow as well, but hopefully the birds will still be flying.

Total Sightings: 323
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 53.83
Total Species: 10

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 117
Osprey: 1
Northern Harrier: 11
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 55
Cooper's Hawk: 29
Red-shouldered Hawk: 13
Broad-winged Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 78
American Kestrel: 4
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 9
Raptor: 4

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Saturday, September 24, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel and Violet

It was another warm, beautiful Saturday up on Hawk Hill. Winds were low, so the raptor flow was a little slower than yesterday. Despite the slowness, we were excited to see 2 White-tailed Kites, 12 Broad-winged Hawks, and 2 dark morph Redtails. Lots of Sharpies and Coops flapped their way overhead, as was expected. We're anticipating even more heat tomorrow, but we're hoping for some exciting species to show up in the Headlands. We'll see!

Total Sightings: 395
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 65.83
Total Species: 10

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 130
White-tailed Kite: 2
Northern Harrier: 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 57
Cooper's Hawk: 90
Red-shouldered Hawk: 9
Broad-winged Hawk: 12
Red-tailed Hawk: 71
American Kestrel: 4
Peregrine Falcon: 2

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 14
Buteo: 1
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Friday, September 23, 2016  
Posted by: Chase and Emily

What a stellar first day on the hill for Friday II! Everyone applied multiple layers of sunscreen and eventually the wind cooperated and came from the Northwest. We not only saw over four hundred birds, but counted the first White-tailed kites and Golden eagle of the season! Step and a local Red-tail started yelling about a Turkey Vulture in the north, but lo and behold it was no vulture... it was an eagle! We had a 13 species day and scanning the west for a last minute Ferruginous hawk that would get us to 14 species, a bobcat was spotted. Thanks for a great day Friday II team!

Total Sightings: 438
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 73
Total Species: 13

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 92
Osprey: 1
White-tailed Kite: 2
Northern Harrier: 4
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 107
Cooper's Hawk: 85
Red-shouldered Hawk: 12
Broad-winged Hawk: 10
Red-tailed Hawk: 94
Golden Eagle: 1
American Kestrel: 1
Merlin: 2
Peregrine Falcon: 2

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 21
Raptor: 4

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Thursday, September 22, 2016  
Posted by: Emily and Robert

The Thursday II team FINALLY made it to the hill! We had amazing weather, but not as many birds as we expected during peak. We did see some great birds though; the highlights being seven Peregrine falcons, two Northern harriers, two Merlins, and two short-eared owls! We also got to see some bird-on-bird action with accipiters dive-bombing Peregrines, Peregrines dive-bombing red-tails, and even the local red-tails performing territorial displays. Today also had a nice amount of Monarch butterflies going past the hill. Way to go Thursday II!

Total Sightings: 312
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 52
Total Species: 9

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 102
Northern Harrier: 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 33
Cooper's Hawk: 53
Red-shouldered Hawk: 3
Red-tailed Hawk: 91
American Kestrel: 2
Merlin: 2
Peregrine Falcon: 7

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 12
Buteo: 2
Falcon: 1
Raptor: 2

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016  
Posted by: Violet Chase & Robert

Today was chillier than expected, with some high cloud cover and wind from the west. Just after we set up on the hill, we immediately got a close look at a juvenile Broad-winged Hawk. The flow of raptors (especially accipiters) wasn't as intense as it was earlier this week, but we had 11 Broadwings and 4 beautiful Ferruginous Hawk sightings that kept us well-pleased. An Osprey also flew directly overhead with a fish ("I'll take that to-go, please!") and a dark morph adult Redtail made an appearance.

Total Sightings: 398
Hours Counted: 5.75
HPH: 69.22
Total Species: 11

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 106
Osprey: 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 94
Cooper's Hawk: 50
Red-shouldered Hawk: 2
Broad-winged Hawk: 11
Red-tailed Hawk: 90
Ferruginous Hawk: 4
American Kestrel: 4
Merlin: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 2

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 25
Buteo: 6
Falcon: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016  
Posted by: Robert and Emily

A poem for foggy days:

The Hawkwatchers all did yearn
for accipiters to learn.
But the fog would not burn,
with no raptors to discern
all they saw was a tern.

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, September 19, 2016  
Posted by: Chase and Isabel

We approached the hill with caution. The rumors of sweltering heat from the day before prompted the lugging of bulky water containers and extra sunscreen bottles. However, Wednesday II was in luck. At tops, the temperature hit 86F, which was further soothed by a comforting breeze.

Like the temperature, our count was lower than yesterday, however still substantial. It was a great day for Sharp-shinned hawks, as we got to see 156 little ladies and fellas bounce by in the light wind. There were 53 Broadwings milling about in kettles, mostly far from the Hill. Although slightly straining for our lens-aided eyes, it was lovely to see those crow-sized Buteos rising off the thermals and passing through this place.

Thanks to all the extra eyes, scopes, and binoculars out there who helped out our small Wednesday II team.


Total Sightings: 465
Hours Counted: 5.83
HPH: 79.76
Total Species: 11

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 62
Osprey: 1
Northern Harrier: 4
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 156
Cooper's Hawk: 81
Red-shouldered Hawk: 2
Broad-winged Hawk: 53
Red-tailed Hawk: 78
American Kestrel: 5
Merlin: 3
Peregrine Falcon: 4

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 14
Falcon: 1
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Sunday, September 18, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel

Today was so hot, it would have been nice to slip away to the coast...Oh wait! We are on the coast! Today was very sunny with low winds, making for a very warm day on the Hill. For a moment, I thought I was back at home in the Central Valley. Our team did their best to stay hydrated and cool, but the heat got the best of the team by 1:30pm. While most of the team headed home, a handful of determined hawkwatchers stuck out the last two hours of counting. It was another great Broadwing day and a Ferrug even stopped by in the afternoon. At 3:30pm closing time, a female Kestrel glided by to be the final bird on the count and remind us that our extra efforts were worth the heat.

Total Sightings: 503
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 83.83
Total Species: 12

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 79
Osprey: 3
Northern Harrier: 9
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 167
Cooper's Hawk: 67
Red-shouldered Hawk: 7
Broad-winged Hawk: 63
Red-tailed Hawk: 64
Ferruginous Hawk: 1
American Kestrel: 6
Merlin: 5
Peregrine Falcon: 3

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 25
Buteo: 2
Raptor: 2

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Saturday, September 17, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel and Violet

Broadwings galore! Within seconds of setting up on the Hill this morning we were counting a kettle of Broad-winged Hawks. We were all very excited to see these migrants from various angles and distances. It was also another great day for accipiters, particularly Sharpies. Now is an excellent time to get up to Hawk Hill and brush up those accipiter ID skills! Hope to have another clear day of hawkwatching tomorrow (and maybe even more species)!

Total Sightings: 577
Hours Counted: 5
HPH: 115.4
Total Species: 11

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 80
Osprey: 2
Northern Harrier: 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 200
Cooper's Hawk: 72
Red-shouldered Hawk: 4
Broad-winged Hawk: 52
Red-tailed Hawk: 111
American Kestrel: 3
Merlin: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 3

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 28
Buteo: 10
Raptor: 10

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Friday, September 16, 2016  
Posted by: Violet & Emily

It was a Sharpie, Sharpie, Broadwing kind of a day! We began our count around 11am after the fog cleared, and the Sharpies never stopped popping up in front of our faces. The accipiters have started to pile in; we counted 209 Sharpies and 87 Coops. In the mix were 11 Broad-winged Hawks, some of them wonderfully close to the top of the hill. Other notables were 2 Ferruginous, 5 Northern Harriers, 9 Redshoulders, and 3 Merlins. We broke 550 sightings, and the Sharpies continued to pop up in front of us, even after we closed the count. The floodgates have opened!!

Total Sightings: 570
Hours Counted: 4.67
HPH: 122.06
Total Species: 11

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 54
Northern Harrier: 5
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 209
Cooper's Hawk: 87
Red-shouldered Hawk: 9
Broad-winged Hawk: 11
Red-tailed Hawk: 154
Ferruginous Hawk: 2
American Kestrel: 1
Merlin: 3
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 23
Buteo: 7
Falcon: 3
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Thursday, September 15, 2016  
Posted by: Chase and Emily

After yesterday's successful hawk-filled day, the Fog Gods growled with jealousy. As a consequence, the oozing white clouds poured into the Marin Headlands with a swift and angry force. Poor Thursday I team, we didn't stand a chance. However, a brisk walk around the lagoon and a Pectoral Sandpiper convinced us to pop up to Conzelman Road for some raptor viewing. Lucky for us, 9 different species soared by! This included: several Merlins, Sharp-shinned and Cooper's Hawks, Peregrine Falcons, American Kestrels, Red-tailed Hawks, an Osprey, a Northern Harrier, and, of course, many Turkey Vultures.

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016  
Posted by: Robert Heim

Apologies for the delayed post! We had some server issues yesterday.

It was an awesome day for the Wednesday 1 team. With temperatures in the low 70's and a light breeze from the west, conditions were great for watching raptors. A total of 77 Sharp-shinned and 41 Cooper's Hawks passed through, so the team had plenty of opportunities to practice accipiter identification. Many of the accipiters were flying high overhead, causing the Hawkwatchers to develop achy necks as they aimed their binoculars directly above. Such discomfort was quickly forgotten, however, as birds continued moving through in good numbers. A total of 10 Northern Harriers were seen, including an adult female and a juvenile in the same frame. There were also 8 Merlins and 1 Ferruginous Hawk!

Total Sightings: 395
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 65.83
Total Species: 10

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 77
Osprey: 3
Northern Harrier: 10
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 77
Cooper's Hawk: 41
Red-shouldered Hawk: 7
Red-tailed Hawk: 145
Ferruginous Hawk: 1
American Kestrel: 12
Merlin: 8

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 7
Buteo: 6
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel

Hawkwatchers got back on the Hill for a full day of counting after several days of fog. Winds were low, the sun was shining, and 11 species were documented. The first Broad-winged Hawk of the season made its appearance high in the clouds over Angel Island and crossed the bay before going completely out of view. A beautiful bird that did not make the count today, but was seen just as we loaded in our cars this afternoon was a juvenile Ferruginous Hawk. We'll get it next time!

Total Sightings: 176
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 29.33
Total Species: 11

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 35
Osprey: 2
Northern Harrier: 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 20
Cooper's Hawk: 13
Red-shouldered Hawk: 4
Broad-winged Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 90
American Kestrel: 2
Merlin: 2
Peregrine Falcon: 2

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 1
Buteo: 3

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, September 12, 2016  
Posted by: Robert

When the Monday 1 team arrived on Hawk Hill this morning, there was cloud cover overhead but decent visibility. Unfortunately, the hawkwatching conditions quickly deteriorated. A thick blanket of fog rolled in from the west, causing the team to call it a day around noon. Although the team was only out for two hours, seven different raptor species were observed. A highlight bird was a juvenile Red-Shouldered Hawk, which showed all the Hawkwatchers its wing crescents as it soared into the dense fog.

Total Sightings: 23
Hours Counted: 2.25
HPH: 10.22
Total Species: 7

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 9
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 1
Cooper's Hawk: 1
Red-shouldered Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 9
American Kestrel: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Sunday, September 11, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel and Violet

Another fogged out day. We took a walk around Rodeo Lagoon and saw a few exciting non-raptor species: a Spotted Sandpiper, a Red-necked Phalarope, Yellow Warblers, and Common Yellowthroats. The fog never cleared on Hawk Hill, but we traveled up anyway to engage any visitors and watch our banding docent release a magnificent male American Kestrel. Just a reminder, Hawk Talks are held on clear weekends from noon to 1pm in September and October. Following Hawk Talks, a banding docent will release a live raptor and be available for questions. Hope to see you on the Hill!

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Saturday, September 10, 2016  
Posted by: Violet Kimzey & Isabel Lawrence

Fog-ku

Cold gray cloud covers
the Hill. Hawk watchers retreat,
but docents still meet.


Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Friday, September 09, 2016  
Posted by: Emily and Chase

Once upon a time there were two interns. They started their season with high hopes of raptors cruising across Hawk Hill. But their days were darkened by the ever oppressive fog. Try as they might, the interns' attempts to get to the hill were thwarted time and time again by the evil fog! But they knew that somewhere out there, the birds were flying. And when that fog-less day arrives, the two interns will watch hawks to their hearts' content and live happily ever after.

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Thursday, September 08, 2016  
Posted by: Emily and Robert

The fog finally lifted... for an hour! We got up to the hill and enjoyed some visibility briefly. Not a full count today, but great practice keeping track of Red-tails and Turkey Vultures as they moved in and out of the fog around the hill. We saw a few Cooper's hawks on Conzelman while waiting for the fog to clear, but they never popped up once the count officially started... those sneaky Accipiters!! There are sunny days ahead for Thursday II and many birds to come... These are some dedicated hawk watchers!

Total Sightings: 25
Hours Counted: 1
HPH: 25
Total Species: 2

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 11
Red-tailed Hawk: 13

Unidentified...
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016  
Posted by: Chase Violet and Robert

This Wednesday Hawkwatch team brought the heat. Quite literally. Slathering sunscreen and sporting fashionable brimmed hats, the Wednesday II crew scanned the skies while the temperature increased, hitting 95F around 1 pm.

The morning was bountiful for dragonflies. While hawks seemed to be lacking, Blue-eyed Darners, Green Darners, Black Sadddlebags, and Variegated Meadowhawks zoomed around Hawk Hill. But as the day wore on, Redtails and Turkey Vultures appeared. A few Coops powered through, giving the hawk watchers a run for their money, and a female American Kestrel even showed us her tiger stripe tail. An Osprey made the list and a tiny buteo from far away revealed wing crescents (among other clues) and became our Red-shouldered Juvenile.

Therefore, another productive but sweaty day on Hawk Hill has passed.

Total Sightings: 190
Hours Counted: 5.5
HPH: 34.55
Total Species: 8

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 91
Osprey: 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 1
Cooper's Hawk: 6
Red-shouldered Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 86
American Kestrel: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 1
Falcon: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016  
Posted by: Emily and Robert

Sorry for the technical difficulties, folks! Yesterday was one of the warmest days on the hill yet; we got up to 80 degrees. Our highlights were the Osprey, early morning Red-shouldered hawks, and of course the lone Ferruginous hawk. The team got practice in identifying Sharpies and Coops, as well as telling male and female kestrels apart as they hover and zip by. We also kept track of the insects and passerine species on the hill. There were a number of blue-grey gnatcatchers, 2 Say's phoebes, and a mix of Vaux's and black swifts. We counted six species of dragonfly and four species of butterfly moving through... what a great day!

Total Sightings: 198
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 33
Total Species: 8

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 83
Osprey: 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 4
Cooper's Hawk: 9
Red-shouldered Hawk: 3
Red-tailed Hawk: 83
Ferruginous Hawk: 1
American Kestrel: 9

Unidentified...
Raptor: 4

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, September 05, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel and Chase

Monday-ku

Foggy then sunny
Osprey, Coop, Sharp, Red-tail hawks
Flying, soaring, high



Total Sightings: 240
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 40
Total Species: 6

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 94
Osprey: 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 1
Cooper's Hawk: 22
Red-tailed Hawk: 113
American Kestrel: 3

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 1
Raptor: 4

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Sunday, September 04, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel

I think today we could finally say with confidence that raptor migration is happening in the Headlands! We had a really great hawkwatch crew today and a variety of raptors to accompany us. We saw 11 species, including the first Merlin of the season and a fantastically white Ferruginous Hawk! Our American Kestrel count was the highest so far this season at 19 sightings. On our non-raptor count, the most exciting species were Violet-green Swallows and Black Swifts. Visibility and temperatures were great all day. Can't wait to get back on the Hill tomorrow!

Total Sightings: 411
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 68.5
Total Species: 11

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 160
Osprey: 5
Northern Harrier: 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 4
Cooper's Hawk: 12
Red-shouldered Hawk: 3
Red-tailed Hawk: 194
Ferruginous Hawk: 1
American Kestrel: 19
Merlin: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 2

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 4
Buteo: 1
Raptor: 3

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Saturday, September 03, 2016  
Posted by: Violet Kimzey & Isabel Lawrence

We were anticipating another exciting day of hawk watching, but the fickle weather decided otherwise. We counted for 3.5 hours as the fog danced between leaving and staying. After nearly an hour of only Turkey Vultures and 1 Redtail, a pair of bright American Kestrels flitted past. A few Osprey sightings broke up the slow count of mostly Redtails and TVs after that. The fog looked like it would break, but it ended up coming in thicker with a strong, gusty wind. The team called it quits at 1:30. Isn't Fogust supposed to end when September begins? We'll see what happens tomorrow!

Total Sightings: 77
Hours Counted: 3.5
HPH: 22
Total Species: 6

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 48
Osprey: 3
Cooper's Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 14
American Kestrel: 6
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 1
Raptor: 3

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Friday, September 02, 2016  
Posted by: Emily and Violet

What a great day it was to be out on Hawk Hill! The weather was perfect and the hawks were flying. We had a big team today and counted the most birds this season so far: 229. Around noon we got a very exciting bird: Ferruginous Hawk!! We almost had a four falcon day; we had the first Prairie Falcon of the season hunting down on the northwest side of the hill!! Unfortunately the Merlins have not arrived yet, but we're ready when they are. Not 30 minutes after the Prairie Falcon, ANOTHER Ferruginous Hawk made an appearance. Looks like the birds are loving the lack of fog as much as we are!

Total Sightings: 229
Hours Counted: 5.5
HPH: 41.64
Total Species: 9

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 119
Osprey: 4
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 1
Cooper's Hawk: 4
Red-tailed Hawk: 86
Ferruginous Hawk: 2
American Kestrel: 5
Peregrine Falcon: 3
Prairie Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Buteo: 1
Raptor: 3

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Thursday, September 01, 2016  
Posted by: Emily and Chase

As we add another tally to the season's list of fogged-out days, I'm beginning to think that it's something I've said. Did I create this abundance of foggy days through my optimistic Hawk Hill dreams? Did I perhaps admire the mystery and the beauty of the fog as it crept over the land a little too much?

Despite these musings about the nature of fog, the Thursday I crew trekked around on a few of the trails around the Headlands. We spotted some Redtails, a Turkey Vulture or two, and even a female American Kestrel. Additionally, we saw an assortment of towhees, finches, and a surprise Belted Kingfisher by the lagoon.

Tonight, I'll dream of fog, and maybe that will appease its fickle nature.

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016  
Posted by: Robert

With 187 birds and 9 different species seen, it was a solid first day on the Hill for the Wednesday 1 team this season. Just after starting time, we were impressed by the agility of a Northern Harrier as it interacted with a Cooper's Hawk that came a bit too close for comfort. As the wind picked up in the afternoon, our Accipiter identification skills were put to the test. We found a useful distinguishing trait to be the ability of Cooper's Hawk to remain more steady in flight than a Sharp-Shinned Hawk. Late in the day, two juvenile peregrine falcon flybys kept the team engaged and excited!

Total Sightings: 187
Hours Counted: 5.5
HPH: 34
Total Species: 9

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 67
Osprey: 1
Northern Harrier: 6
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 1
Cooper's Hawk: 8
Red-shouldered Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 89
American Kestrel: 8
Peregrine Falcon: 2

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 2
Buteo: 1
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel and Chase

It was a beautiful sunny day on the Hill. A few accipiters flew over today and it was entertaining to listen to experienced hawkwatchers argue over their species. Everyone got a different angle on the accipiters, which makes ID tricky. The one Cooper's Hawk today showed me its classic, elongated Coop shape by flying directly overhead. For others, all they saw were the Coop's unsteady flapping and pushed-forward "wrists," appearing Sharpie-like instead. The great accipiter debate will go on throughout the season, but these friendly arguments are always welcome on Hawk Hill. Thanks for reading and happy hawkwatching!

Total Sightings: 127
Hours Counted: 5.75
HPH: 22.09
Total Species: 7

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 70
Northern Harrier: 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 2
Cooper's Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 46
American Kestrel: 4
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, August 29, 2016  
Posted by: Robert

Second day in a row of great visibility from Hawk Hill! Early on, the Monday 1 team watched a juvenile Bald Eagle soar effortless among a few Turkey Vultures. This spectacle set the tone for a great day, during which a total of ten different species were recorded. Red-shouldered Hawks were spotted for the first time this season, and a considerable number of Osprey were seen. Activity seemed to slow in the mid-afternoon as the winds picked up, but skies remained clear. We look forward to more exciting days as September quickly approaches.

Total Sightings: 151
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 25.17
Total Species: 10

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 52
Osprey: 8
Bald Eagle: 1
Northern Harrier: 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 7
Cooper's Hawk: 15
Red-shouldered Hawk: 14
Red-tailed Hawk: 43
American Kestrel: 3
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Buteo: 5

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Sunday, August 28, 2016  
Posted by: Violet & Isabel

Today was a 9-species day on Hawk Hill! Within the first 45 minutes we deviated from our usual Redtails and Turkey Vultures with our first Northern Harrier of the season. We saw more Cooper's Hawks than the last few days and finally spotted a couple of Sharpies. The real treat of the day happened around 1pm when somebody loudly exclaimed "SWAINSON'S HAWK!!!" We identified the Swainie as a dark morph juvenile and were overjoyed at the uncommon sighting for the Marin Headlands. It was an exciting, sunny day for the hawkwatchers!

Total Sightings: 203
Hours Counted: 5
HPH: 40.6
Total Species: 9

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 68
Osprey: 2
Northern Harrier: 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 2
Cooper's Hawk: 14
Swainson's Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 107
American Kestrel: 3
Peregrine Falcon: 3

Unidentified...
Buteo: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Saturday, August 27, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel and Violet

Hooray for a clear day on Hawk Hill! We had high fog all day, giving hawkwatchers a complete 360 degree view from the Hill. There was a steady count of Red-tailed Hawks and Turkey Vultures throughout the day, but an Osprey, a Peregrine Falcon, and a Cooper's Hawk were also seen. Among the 45 juvenile Red-tailed Hawks counted today, one was a dark morph! During the slow moments of the day, we shared chocolate and identified 6 American Lady butterflies in the bushes. It was great to have a full day of hawkwatching!

Total Sightings: 179
Hours Counted: 5
HPH: 35.8
Total Species: 5

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 102
Osprey: 1
Cooper's Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 74
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Friday, August 26, 2016  
Posted by: Chase

"Finally!" I gasped as I reached the summit of Hawk Hill. Having been plagued by multiple days of white-out fog, my little intern heart soared at the chance to see some hawks. Today was my first official day of counting.

The fog continued to obscure many (if not most) of the landmarks and certain quadrants were less than ideal, however, Friday II managed to see not one, not two, but ten Turkey Vultures. We passed them back and forth a few times, giving our voices a chance to practice the Hill's volume control. It was a very special day for us all, finishing with a 50th birthday celebration!


Total Sightings: 10
Hours Counted: 2.25
HPH: 4.44
Total Species: 1

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 10

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Thursday, August 25, 2016  
Posted by: Emily

Fogged out again! But the Thursday II team is stronger than ever with 12 volunteers, two interns, and our fearless leader, Step. We spent the morning having some great discussions about raptor identification and learning from slides versus in the field. Later in the afternoon, we did make it out to Conzelman road and saw turkey vultures and red-tailed hawks... plus an adorable raven couple preening each other!

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016  
Posted by: Robert and Chase

Twas another foggy day on Hawk Hill. However, after an invigorating Raptor ID quiz, the hawkwatchers were galvanized to head to Conzelman Road. While Turkey Vultures wobbled their way across the sky, many sets of skilled eyes spotted a few Redtails. One adult Redtail even perched on a nearby rock, giving the avid watchers something to point their scope at. The highlight of the day was seeing a lone accipiter flap/glide across the landscape. A Cooper's Hawk was the general consensus. Although the sun peeked through the fog below, the Hill continued to be lost in white. Hopefully tomorrow will be luckier, but the Wednesday II crew still had a good day watching raptors!

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016  
Posted by: Emily

Our day started with a welcome from a red-tailed hawk stilling over the path up the hill. The whole team stopped and watched the local red-tail hovering into the wind for about five minutes... we didn't realize that was a good omen for the day! We saw plenty of red-tailed hawks today, and, of course, a good amount of turkey vultures. Our highlights were the peregrine falcon on the Golden Gate Bridge and a juvenile Cooper's hawk perched on the hill. The fog came back to show us who's boss around three, so we ended the day a few minutes early... 12 raptors per hour and good visibility for Tuesday 2!

Total Sightings: 36
Hours Counted: 3
HPH: 12
Total Species: 4

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 16
Cooper's Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 18
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, August 22, 2016  
Posted by: Chase and Isabel

Today's Hawkwatch was cancelled once again due to--you guessed it--fog. However, we took our small team up to Hawk Hill to get a feel for the quadrant system. We also enjoyed lunch amidst the fog, getting to know one another, and even identifying a couple juvenile Red-tailed hawks floating around. With two new hawkwatchers on the team, I think the most valuable discussion we had today was not to feel insecure about your individual hawk ID skills. The important thing is that everyone is doing their part to spot raptors, get help from experienced hawkwatchers, and contribute to the overall accuracy of GGRO Hawkwatch data.

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Sunday, August 21, 2016  
Posted by: Violet

After a long, foggy first week, the Hawkwatch team was finally able to count some raptors!!! We counted from 11:15am to 3pm, and had a total of 69 sightings. As the fog rolled in and out, we saw mostly Red-tailed Hawks and Turkey Vultures, with a couple of American Kestrels and Peregrine Falcons in the mix. Towards the end, 28mph winds were blowing the fog back into our faces, so we left the hill half an hour early. It was great to break the fog streak and finally count some hawks from Hawk Hill!

Total Sightings: 69
Hours Counted: 3.75
HPH: 18.4
Total Species: 5

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 30
Osprey: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 33
American Kestrel: 2
Peregrine Falcon: 2

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Saturday, August 20, 2016  
Posted by: Violet

Another mostly foggy day out on Hawk Hill! It was clear enough for the team to go up to the hill to practice naming a few landmarks and taking weather data, but not clear enough to officially count anything. Around 1pm, we drove down to the old rifle range on Bunker Road and spotted a juvenile Cooper's hawk, two turkey vultures and quite a few adult red-tailed hawks stilling in the wind. No data, but still a fun day for the team!

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Friday, August 19, 2016  
Posted by: Violet

We were hopeful that today would look differently than the last four, but unfortunately it did not. The fog almost lifted enough for us to count from Hawk Hill, but it stubbornly stayed too low. We saw the usual resident red-tailed hawks and a handful of turkey vultures from Conzelman Road, and a few of the team spotted a Cooper's hawk near the GGRO office. Maybe tomorrow will be different!

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Thursday, August 18, 2016  
Posted by: Emily

Sorry this entry is a day late... we were fogged out and forgot to let you all know! We did not count any birds, but did do some practice hawk watching down Conzelman road by the bridge. We saw the resident red-tailed hawks, a couple of turkey vultures, and an osprey on our walk around the lagoon.

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016  
Posted by: Violet

Hawk Hill was fogged out for a THIRD day! We spent time along Conzelman Road and spotted a few Red-tailed Hawks, a handful of Turkey Vultures, and a beautiful Northern Flicker, but did not count any of the raptors. The team had a nice time birding and eating homemade macaroons. Hopefully the fog will lift for tomorrow's count!

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel and Chase

Unfortunately, Hawk Hill was fogged out on the second day of the season. This did not deter us from birding! We tramped around the Rodeo Lagoon and saw a Snowy Egret, Great Egret, and Great Blue Heron all in one scope view. We also spied a few dorsal fins on the horizon, which happened to be dolphins. All in all, not a lost day in the Marin Headlands.

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, August 15, 2016  
Posted by: Robert

Welcome to the 2016 fall migration season at the GGRO! Overcast skies on the first day allowed for the Monday 1 team to take its time getting up to Hawk Hill. After an informative meeting with GGRO staff and a quick raptor ID quiz, the team headed to the Annex. A slight break in the fog prompted the optimistic Hawkwatchers to quickly leave the Annex for the Hill. Over the period of an hour, we counted three Turkey Vultures and two Red-Tailed Hawks. Aging of the Red-Tailed Hawks proved difficult due to the foggy conditions. While it was a relatively slow first day, the Monday 1 Hawkwatchers felt fortunate to be spending their day in the Headlands with fellow wildlife enthusiasts. We look forward to the season ahead!

Total Sightings: 5
Hours Counted: 1.25
HPH: 4
Total Species: 2

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 3
Red-tailed Hawk: 2

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.


Contact Information

Hawkwatch Hotline
(415) 561-3030 (ext. 2500)