Thursday, April 16, 2009

Warm spring day

Beautiful weather today made for enjoyable hawk watching. Birds were lower during the first two hours of the count, then on light winds got higher. The Rough-legged Hawk flight picked up considerably, with 62 for a day count, making it the second most numerous hawk today. I think we can expect more for tomorrow, when - if the weather forecast is to be believed - conditions will be even better than today.

There was good stuff throughout the day, like the first Osprey of the season, three Golden Eagles, 14 Northern Harriers, 13 Bald Eagles, and an adult male Northern Goshawk, in addition to the 'usual', more abundant species like Sharp-shinned and Red-tailed Hawks. The total hawk count reached 270. Curiously absent - and now officially late - was Broad-winged Hawk. I searched through the redtail flock for them, but didn't find any. Maybe tomorrow...

Other birds seen from the platform today included a Boreal Chickadee, a Northern Shrike and a Glaucous Gull.

But the bird of the day undoubtedly was this American White Pelican! The bird flew directly over the platform. Not sure where this bird thought it was going, because it was heading ENE, while its nearest breeding grounds are to be found NW of here, in southern Manitoba and North Dakota.

Looking at historic data, I believe this sighting represent the earliest record by 5 days for this species for Whitefish Point.

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