Saturday, March 10, 2012

ALERT-Around 200 Swainson's Are In

Migration Today:
Part of the Large Kettle of SW's 3/10/12
Swainson's Hawks-13
Turkey Vultures-102

Warm, clear and calm wind today, Turkey Vultures began to kettle up at 8:30A. At least 3 kettles formed above the date farm. Swainson's Hawks joined them and all began to stream northwest over the watch site. 

We have information concerning the Swainson's Hawks with radio transmitter's attached. As of March 9th only one bird has crossed the US border from Mexico. Three are still in South America, 2 are in Central America and 3 in Mexico. The lone bird that crossed the border on March 7th came in 10 miles west of Mexicali and continued northwest. It flew 2 miles west of Santa Ysabel and on March 8 it was 2 miles east of Valley Center near Escondido. by March 9th it was in Kern County. This bird was quite a bit west of Borrego Springs. Most of the birds are moving northward but don't seem to be in a great rush to get back on the breeding grounds. When they decide to move, they move fast.

A reminder concerning the time change tomorrow. Our raptors fly on standard time. So birds leaving the roost tomorrow at 8:45A will be leaving tomorrow at 9:45A. 

Evening Watch:
Joe Hopkins had a group out this evening from the park. An introduction to the hawkwatch. Little did they know what was in store for them. At 4:45P we looked up to see a huge kettle of Swainson's Hawks above the date farm. For over an hour the birds meandered about and finally landed in the west side of the date farm. Photo's can't capture the beauty of the flight. Counts exceeding 200 were made. 

Coming in to Roost/Date Farm 3/10/12
Prediction for tomorrow:

The winds should pick up in the morning. The birds will probably be up early. Between 185-250 Swainson's Hawks and around 20 TV's will take off between 7:30-8:30A new time (unless the wind stays light). If we are lucky and wind is light, the hawks will depart around 9A. 

No comments:

Post a Comment