Monday, September 14, 2009

Today's Hawks on Putney Mountain

It was another good hawk day at the Putney Mountain Hawk Watch. By the time I left at 2pm, the totals were approaching 500. As of this posting, I have not received an e-mail with the final numbers, proably because a few watchers remained into the early evening hours and have not yet reported.

There were few "tourists" today, but a dozen or more watchers.

Broad-winged Hawks dominated, as expected this time of year. My column this week will be on the broadies, so I will save the photos until Saturday's posting. The birds were flying at a much higher elevation today than yesterday, but enough were at a lower height to provide detailed looks ... as, for example, this juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk ...

... perhaps immodest, but that is probably the best photo of a sharpie that I have managed (to date).

There is no doubt that we have a resident adult Red-tailed Hawk (or two). We do not begin counting the "tails" as migrants until later in the month, but some think an exception should be made for the juveniles who certainly do a lot of wandering, usually in a southerly direction. This juvenile, however, seemed to be hanging around most of the day ...

... Red-shouldered Hawks are uncommon in our northern woods (though some reports this year suggest more nests than usual). We do not see many during the hawk count, but this one was an exception. We've had a number of good sightings of "shoulders" this year, perhaps the same bird. This one gave us some of the best looks we've had - usually the "shoulders" are mixed with other birds, or very distant. When one suddenly pops out of the valley, it brings oohs and aahs ...

When not totally preoccupied with hawks, we also count monarchs. Numbers seem to be down significantly this year, but a few do make their way across the ridge.

I hope your birding has been good - or at least, that your day on balance has been positive!

2 comments:

Kim said...

Chris, Thats a fantastic shot of the Sharpie!! Love the Red-shouldered photo too. I have yet to see one of those hawks w/ my own two eyes....

Great numbers thus far! Keep sending them down south a little and in our direction. ;-)

deejbrown said...

I agree with Kim. Send them down our way! We're waitin'!

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