Posted by: jasonbojczyk | 16 October 2014

More Craziness in the Positive Direction

10-16 Raptors: 12,355

Black Vulture-13

Turkey Vulture-228

Northern Harrier-5

Sharp-shinned Hawk-30

Cooper’s Hawk-4

Broad-winged Hawk-12,058 (at least 6 dark today and at least 17 yesterday)

Swainson’s Hawk-3

American Kestrel-10

Merlin-1

Mississippi Kite-2

Unknown Accipiter-1

Where to begin? Even more craziness to this season these past few days. No buildup of Broad-wingeds, as in pretty much every prior season, but just instant incredibly huge days. In fact, from a numbers/viewing perspective these have been the most amazing raptor days I’ve ever seen. The average number of birds in view at any one time these past 2 days is probably somewhere around 2,000 raptors!

These past 2 days have not only resulted in this no longer being by far the worst raptor count ever here at Smith Point, but it’s actually now ‘only’ the 3rd worst season ever, surpassing 2 other seasons!!! Yesterday’s count exceeded the previous 75 days, or 556 hours, of counting in under 4 hours!!! The amount of birds seen these last three days is 3.4x the number of birds seen in the previous 74 days!!! Today’s raptor total is a full 2 weeks later than any other previous season with at least 10,000 raptors seen in a day.  Last year and in 2001 are the only seasons where raptors have even reached half the totals of these past two days for this time of the year. Who knows what the rest of the season will bring? Despite these amazing Broad-winged totals, there are many species in well-below average to unbelievably below average numbers. If they started picking up now, some species would be 3 weeks behind. Is it still possible for them to arrive even later? Will Broad-wingeds continue in the thousands? We shall see.

Today we reached the 150th species seen from the tower-a House Wren. Some of the more interesting combined totals of the past 3 days in the non-raptor department include: Greater White-fronted Geese-258, White Pelican-254, Anhinga-154, White Ibis-865, Dark Ibis-162, Wood Stork-1, Sandhill Crane-2, Killdeer-205, Yellowlegs-91, Dowitcher-80, Franklin’s Gull-472, Mourning Dove-219, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher-92 but hundreds reported in the area, Rough-winged Swallow-1,500+, American Pipit-6, Sprague’s Pipit-1, Yellow-rumped Warbler-6, Common Yellowthroat-2, Savannah Sparrow-a few dozen at Robbins Park, Lincoln’s Sparrow-1 (in mottes), Rose-breasted Grosbeak-2, Indigo Bunting-31, Dickcissel-24, Red-winged Blackbird-68, Eastern Meadowlark-11, Meadowlark Sp-76, Brown-headed Cowbird-331, Blackbird Sp-114, and Pine Siskin-2

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