Saturday, March 31, 2012

March 31, 2012 A Wonderful Day for Hawks

Migration Today:
Swainson's Hawks-421
Turkey Vultures-13

Calm wind with increasing breeze, clear and warm 60's-80. The Swainson's were lined up on Tamarisk Trees along Borrego Springs Rd and Pekoff Farm. The first lift-off of one SW from Borrego Springs Rd at 8:40A. By 9A hawks were flapping low across Borrego Springs Rd to kettle to the west. Over 300 Swainson's flew to a few large kettles. Several SW's lifted off from the Date Farm. Some SW's came out of Ellis. The hawks streamed through Coyote Canyon by 10A.

3/31/12 Swainson's on Borrego Springs Rd. 
This is the last addition from PORTS. We finally made it happen! 1700 students were able to learn about the Borrego Valley Hawkwatch and the conservation of Swainson's Hawks and other migratory species. Forty sessions were taught in March! Using a scope and binoculars encouraged students to get out and take a closer look. LuAnn will meet with some classes again this spring and will start by asking how many have done some additional birding, listening or maybe even listing. 

This final week 21 Classes came out to the Hawkwatch via the PORTS program. Olive Vista Middle School from Los Angeles and Windermere Ranch from Contra Costa County up north where some of the hawks are headed.Thanks for bringing your students to California State Parks to learn about conserving animal species through understand their habitats and natural history. LuAnn hopes to hear about the new birds your student's have discovered when she meets you later in the spring with more Science in California State Parks. 

When does the season end? We may have hawks move through into May. However, the watch officially closes down April 15. By the end of the first week of April the number of hawks falls sharply. 

Evening Watch:
Some crazy folks stayed at the evening watch site in 40 mph wind and sand blasting. At least a dozen Swainson's Hawks stayed aloft and landed at the Date Farm. While we were hiding from the wind, someone found 24 Swainson's hawks coming to roost in Tamarisks along Borrego Valley Road near Ellis Farm and Roadrunner Tree Farm. This may be only part of a larger group in that area. 

Prediction for Tomorrow:
Wind may get the hawks up very early. Some will kettle up from the Date Farm. Additionally a larger group will lift off from Ellis and Roadrunner Tree Farm. There might be more near the potato fields. The best viewing spots are Henderson Canyon Road and Borrego Valley Road and at the evening site. 

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