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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Frank Windfelder

November 1, 2009

Click Here for a 2005-2009 Summary of Trips

We always decide a few days before whether to go on Saturday or Sunday. We had chosen Sunday, but as the trip got closer, the weather forecast vacillated between good and bad for hawks. As it turned out, a week cold front had moved through by about noon, so conditions were better than average. Even co-leader Chris Walters made his way to the ridge, despite staying up late for a Phillies World Series loss.

Early arrival Paul Guris witnessed an over-flight of 18 Brant, new for the trip. Eleven participants enjoyed a wide variety of raptors, most notably 4 Golden Eagles and 3 Northern Goshawks. I know the Golden Eagles were lifers for a few participants, including Barbara Granger. Along with the usual large contingent of Red-tails, there were Red-shouldered Hawks, Northern Harriers, and a Peregrine. Two Merlin provided a first trip record. Everyone witnessed an over-flight of 10 Tundra Swans, also new for the trip. An amazing 500+ American Crows passed by, along with a few Common Ravens.

Paul came equipped with a Nikon 50 mm. ED mounted on a Bush Hawk, basically a way of mounting a telescope on a stable platform by using an arm and shoulder for support. This proved invaluable in studying distant raptors.

The day turned out to be quite nice, embellished by a tree containing a group of Purple Finches and a trip record 10 Common Loons. There were Hermit Thrushes and Cedar Waxwings. Paul picked up calling Red-breasted Nuthatches and a Golden-crowned Kinglet, both new for the trip. The complete list of raptors follows:

Turkey Vulture – 20
BlackVulture - 3
Red-tailed Hawk – 100
Golden Eagle – 3
Red-shouldered Hawk – 13
Sharp-shinned Hawk – 30
Cooper’s Hawk – 2
Northern Goshawk – 3
Bald Eagle – 4
Common Raven – 5
Northern Harrier – 4
Peregrine Falcon – 1
Merlin - 2

Frank Windfelder
Philadelphia, PA

Pictures by Frank Windfelder

DVOC Hawkwatchers

Bob and Nathaniel Shaw