Daily Hawk Count

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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

By Veronica Pedraza

It was another beautiful day on Hawk Hill! Although a bit warm, there was a light breeze and clear skies as far as the eye could see. The day of hawkwatching had ebbs and flows, with some stretches lacking birds and others showing lots of activity. In the late morning, we were fortunate enough to see a juvenile Osprey, a juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk sporting ivory crescents in its wings, and a few Northern Harriers, including a juvenile eating a vole on the wing. In the early afternoon, there was a lull characterized by low windspeeds and reduced bird movement. But in the last couple hours of the day, activity picked up significantly, with several excellent sightings just before day's end. These sightings included one more juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk, another Osprey, a female American Kestrel, a dark-morph Red-tailed Hawk, and a juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk being chased off the hill by a hummingbird. Our finally tally for the day was 8 total species, a very solid species diversity considering we're still in the middle of August. We can't wait to be out on the hill again in a couple weeks! Until then, all the best from the Wednesday II team!

Total Sightings: 128
Hours Counted: 5
HPH: 25.6
Total Species: 8

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 66
Osprey: 2
Northern Harrier: 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 1
Cooper's Hawk: 2
Red-shouldered Hawk: 3
Red-tailed Hawk: 47
American Kestrel: 1

Unidentified...
Buteo: 2
Raptor: 1
Total unidentified: 3

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

By Emma Regnier

The day started out promising, with strong winds from the North blowing in handfuls of young Red-tailed Hawks and one Northern Harrier over the ridgelines. Turkey Vulture #368 made another guest appearance and circled the Hawkwatchers several times before disappearing into the approaching fog. The fog began to creep up around the hill around 1 pm, but the East and South Quadrants remained clear, so we continued our raptor count. Despite our stubbornness, the fog completely closed in around us within the hour, and visibility dropped dramatically. Because none of the quadrants could reliably see nor count any raptors, the call to return to the GGRO office was made shortly thereafter, so we packed up our scopes and headed down the hill for the day.

Total Sightings: 51
Hours Counted: 2.83
HPH: 18.02
Total Species: 4

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 28
Northern Harrier: 1
Cooper's Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 19

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 1
Buteo: 1
Total unidentified: 2

Monday, August 19, 2019

By Emma Regnier

Fog-ust is here in full force, and unfortunately the thick fog and low visibility on Hawk Hill prevented our raptor count today. We spent some extra time in the office this morning working on our raptor ID skills and discussing tricky field marks with the hope that the fog would lift in the meantime. We trekked up to Hawk Hill for a short visit to practice identifying the nearby landmarks and get familiar with the rhythm of our team. Unable to see even the resident ravens through the fog, we descended the hill and hiked along the Coastal Trail to look for birds and other wildlife. Luckily, the fog didn't put a damper on the group's energy, and we can't wait to return and put our landmark and ID skills to the test!

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

Sunday, August 18, 2019

By Taylor Barnes

Today was a beautiful day up at the hill! The morning started off foggy but cleared up and left us with blue skies and clear sights. Our hawk watchers were filled with excitement and enthusiasm when an adult Peregrine Falcon zipped by 3 times! We saw a total of 95 birds today which is a great way to end the first week of the 2019 season.

Total Sightings: 95
Hours Counted: 4.25
HPH: 22.35
Total Species: 6

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 44
Northern Harrier: 1
Cooper's Hawk: 2
Red-shouldered Hawk: 2
Red-tailed Hawk: 41
Peregrine Falcon: 3

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 2
Total unidentified: 2

Saturday, August 17, 2019

By Jeremy Pallant

Unfortunately, fog prevented the Saturday I team from counting raptors today. During the morning, we did a brief survey of the birds in Rodeo Lagoon. The highlights of our quick trip to the lagoon include Snowy and Great Egrets, a Pied-Billed Grebe, a Great Blue Heron, a Willet, and a Caspian Tern. We did make the trek up to the top of Hawk Hill in the late morning, but by mid-afternoon the fog hadn't let up. There were a few Red-Tailed Hawks circling the hill that could be seen through the fog, but visibility was not good enough to conduct an official raptor survey. While we wish the weather could have been better today, we're also happy to hear how much success the teams earlier this week had! Hopefully in a couple weeks, we'll have a better chance to count some hawks! Until next time, cheers from the Saturday I team!

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

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