Sunday, March 25, 2012

Remarkable Views of Over 500 Swainson's Today

Migration Today:
Swainson's Hawks-576
Turkey Vutures-6

Swainson's Hawks 6:45A today on the ground

Fearing an early departure I ventured out at 6:20A. The wind was up and at 6:30A a huge gathering of hawks lifted up from the Date Farm. They did not rise high and descended into the trees and adjacent field. The first real lift off occurred at 8A from the Date Farm and Ellis Farm. Several kettles began to form and the hawks moved west. Many crossed Di Giorgio Road then returned to the east to join other kettles. Finally hawks began to stream to the west in earnest. Some at tree level The kettling and streaming lasted for an hour. From 9A-10A small kettles formed, some low, some very high. A few individuals remained in the area, aerial feeding.

How far will the hawks fly today? Well, we don't know. The average daily flight is somewhere around 80 miles or so. The hawks may fly further if conditions are right. Two hundred miles in a day is possible. We have very little information from points north after the hawks leave Borrego Springs.

Evening Watch:
Only a few left over hawks were observed this evening. The rainy conditions may have slowed the migration. Of course we may have surprises tomorrow.

Prediction for Tomorrow:
We do not expect much of a migration tomorrow. However, we have been fooled in the past. Tomorrow evening, after the storm, may be productive. The best migration days are coming soon.

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