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Broad-wing Count Topped at FKH!

October 11, 2011

By Rafael A. Gálvez

After a wet and challenging week, the Broad-winged Hawk floodgates were lifted and the birds moved through in excellent numbers.

The highest day count of Broad-wings at FKH was broken today, with a total 1363 total, surpassing the record of 1255 (Oct 16 2010). Another 460 Broad-wings were seen yesterday, October 9.

With a complete switch of winds, primarily out of the south at no more than 5 km/h – and plenty of sun and heat – conditions were perfect for a big Broad-wing flight. We saw 759 between 11 and 12, and the following hours continued with great numbers.

Mississippi Kites continue to be present and Sharpies are on the increase. No shortage of Peregrines here with 70 yesterday and 82 today. One question remains, where are the Kestrels??

Our total of 1574 today included:

Osprey – 26
Mississippi Kite – 8
Northern Harrier – 23
Sharp-shinned Hawk – 48
Cooper’s Hawk – 11
Broad-winged Hawk – 1363
Red-shouldered Hawk – 1
American Kestrel – 9
Merlin – 3
Peregrine Falcon – 82

Also seen, yet not exhibiting migratory behavior:

Bald Eagle
Short-tailed Hawk
Turkey Vulture

Despite the excellent numbers, flights were challenging today, mostly far inland nearing the bay, and often at the limit of binocular identification. Counters today included Bob Stalnaker, Lilli Ferguson, Jim Eager, Rafael Galvez, and Jennifer, Dave and Gabe Cenker. As always, Jim and Raquel Sease joined us.

Photo above by Julie Reagan.

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