Posted by: jasonbojczyk | 17 October 2014

Continuation of the Incredible!!!

Today’s Count: 14,864 Raptors!

Turkey Vulture-444

Northern Harrier-22

Sharp-shinned Hawk-47

Cooper’s Hawk-11

Broad-winged Hawk-14,316 (at least 2 dark morph)

Red-tailed Hawk-1

Swainson’s Hawk-6

American Kestrel-13

Peregrine Falcon-2

Mississippi Kite-2

The unprecedented continues! As we were approaching 10,000 raptors today I began to wonder if this has ever happened before-3 consecutive days of 10,000+ raptors in the history of the Smith Point Hawk Watch. It hasn’t! This is the first time ever there have been 3 consecutive 10,000+ raptor days and there is only one year, 2009 (the 2nd best season), with 2 days in a row with 10,000+ raptors. Today was also the 5th best day for Broad-wingeds ever at Smith Point. The peak viewing today occurred when over 8,000 raptors were in view at once! These past 3 days have been amazing and just these 3 days have been better than 5 and nearly 6 previous full fall seasons of counting!!! One of the most amazing statistics to show the kind of turnaround that has happened here is the number of raptors per hour. Prior to October 15th, the number of raptors per hour was 11.9 raptors. In the last 3 days raptors have averaged at 1,577 per hour!!!!! This is a 13,152% increase in the number of raptors observed per hour!!!!! Two extremes resulting in yet another statistic that will almost certainly never be broken again (with x amount of days).

While far from peak numbers in any given season, both Harriers and Kestrels had their best days of the season thus far. Hopefully this a sign that they will start to be on the rise and peak in an unprecedented time period.

Some non-raptors today included: White Pelican-87, Anhinga-7, White Ibis-186, Marbled Godwit-3, Swallows-3,000+ but many many more-mostly Rough-winged, Rose-breasted Grosbeak-1, Dickcissel-18, Red-winged Blackbird-48, Meadowlark Sp-40, Brown-headed Cowbird-58, Blackbird Sp-46

Northern Harriers have regularly been passing well out over the bay, initially being detected from the southeast and not passing by the tower. At least 8 performed this flight path today and it has occurred for the past several.

Northern Harriers have been regularly passing well out over the bay, initially being detected from the southeast and not passing by the tower. At least 8 took this flight path today and it has occurred for the past several days.

I believe I've seen 3 Harriers migrating rather close together once or twice before, but I've certainly never seen 4 migrating together or so close before.

I believe I’ve seen 3 Harriers migrating rather close together once or twice before, but I’ve certainly never seen 4 migrating together or so close before. These came out over the bay.

Far from representing the best views, this is just a snapshot of one of the many large, mixed kettles these past 3 days.

Far from representing the best views, this is just a snapshot of one of the many large, mixed kettles these past 3 days.

Broad-winged Hawks

Broad-winged Hawks

Most have been far, but this dark Broad-winged Hawk made a brief, close pass this morning

Most have been far, but this dark Broad-winged Hawk made a brief, close pass this morning

Part of the 210 Franklin's Gull flock on Wednesday.

Part of the 210 Franklin’s Gull flock on Wednesday.

Franklin's Gulls

Franklin’s Gulls

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