Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hawk Watch review

Hawk Watch Participants
Saturday had a few wisps of clouds fading into blue skies and glorious sunshine. I knew the minute I got up it was going to be an awesome day filled with activities from one end of the park to the other. The temperature reached the 60's and by late morning the main sidewalk path at PI was filled with walkers, runners and cyclists donning shades, shorts and short sleeve tops. It doesn't take much for sun worshipers to get out and enjoy all that PI has to offer. Midway into the park hundreds of parents and kids gathered at the waterworks ponds for the first day of Trout Fishing and the bay was also filled with fishermen and boats.

Jen Brumfield
Our birding class had our usual rounds with the last half of class heading off to the entrance to the park at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center (TREC) for the Hawk Watch Festival. Upon arrival Jen Brumfield, an artist working for Clevelands Metroparks as a naturalist and teacher, was on hand constantly pointing for us in the distant sky the birds of prey migrating overhead. She was amazing and dazzled us as she could spot, count and tell you exactly which birds they were. Several people gathered with binoculars and scopes trying to follow her giving off the directional path of the hawks. Several times you could hear "I don't see it!" then finally capturing it's view in our scopes you would hear "Wow".

And if seeing the distant birds was not enough Presque Isle Audubon had the Tamarack Wildlife and Rehabilitation Center on hand for a closer view of birds of prey. Tamarack specializes in the rescue, treatment and release of injured, orphaned and sick wildlife. Additionally, Tamarack provides public education programs and materials on the behavior, feeding habits, and natural habitats of many of Pennsylvania’s species of wildlife. For more information on Tamarack please visit their site. Below are some of Tamaracks educational birds of prey.

Red Tail Hawk
Cooper Hawk
Saw Whet Owl
Barred Owl

Here is the list of birds spotted over the TREC on Saturday. I'll post the rest of our bird list on my post about the class tomorrow.

Bird list update 4/20/09: I received the count for the Hawk Watch. The list now shows the numbers counted.

Migrant raptors:
Turkey Vulture--68

Northern Harrier--7
Sharp-shinned Hawk--94
Cooper's Hawk--6
Broad-winged hawk--14
Red-tailed Hawk--23
Rough-legged Hawk--1 (light morph)
American Kestrel--61
Unidentified accipiter--5
Unidentified buteo--1
Unidentified falcon--2

Migrant non-raptors:
Double-crested Cormorant--46

Great Blue Heron--4
Chimney Swift--2
Northern Flicker--95
American Crow--8
swallow (mostly Barn and Tree)--20+

Jerry McWilliams
Erie, Erie County, Pa.


dAwN said...

These photos are wonderful! Looks like a wonderful day had by all.
Thanks for sharing..Maybe someday I will visit your lovely Presque Isle.

MicheleRF said...

Super shots Toni! So sorry I missed this event! Thanks for taking the photos so at least I can experience a little bit of what is was like.


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