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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Adrian Binns

Sunday September 18, 2005

12 of us participated in what we all thought would be a perfect raptor day at Hawk Mountain. The weather cleared, the winds (though ever so slight) were out of the west-north-west, the temperature was very pleasant, we got there early guaranteeing good seats, it was a cloudy sky making it easier to view - everything we could possibly want we had…….expect a big show! By noon the official Broad-wing tally was 81 though slightly misleading because one of the counters was able to find about half that total in one distant kettle that no one else was able to get on. It was mainly individuals flying through though at one stage we had a spell of threes and fives. Several great views were had of individuals streaming overhead. A Northern Harrier was seen well as was a male American Kestrel, a couple of Sharp-shinned and a Cooper’s. The Merlin was too distant not to mention too quick, and one could easily pick out the Osprey that was high overhead.

Small flocks of American Goldfinch and Cedar Waxwings appeared at intervals throughout the morning while a Flicker, Hairy Woodpecker and off all things a juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker, spotted by Paul put in an appearance. For a brief second a Ruby-throated Hummingbird buzzed a Sharpie and distant Ravens were seen amongst the Turkey and Black Vultures. Great views were had of a female Scarlet Tanager perched atop a hemlock, which was a popular spot as 2 Magnolias and a Nashville were also seen there. Slate-colored Junco, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Black-capped Chickadee and a Black-throated Green Warbler flitted about the lower boulders while some of those lucky enough to get there early got to see a Philadelphia Vireo and Eastern Wood Pewee. Robin’s, Chimney Swifts, Canada Geese and 8 Wild Turkey’s in Hunter’s Field rounded out the species seen at the lookout.

A quick walk around the native wildlife garden adjacent to the visitors center prior to meeting the group yielded the following species not seen at the lookout, Blue-headed Vireo, Black and white Warbler, Catbird, Wood Thrush, Common Yellowthroat, Blue Jay and Carolina Wren.

Adrian Binns

Image by Kate Somerville