Friday, April 6, 2012

April 5-6-Catch Up-65-100 Hawk Drop-In Tonight

Migration April 5:
Swainson's Hawks-39
Turkey Vultures-1

Swainson's Hawk flying to the moon-Ray Spence April 3, 2012
Weather warm, 63-77 F, winds calm then breezy at 15 mph, wispy clouds. First lift-off at 8:15A from Ellis Farm. Kettles began to appear to the north as hawks streamed in from the east along Coyote MT. For the past few days we have observed some hawks moving to our north. Pictured here today is a Swainson's Hawk moving through the moon. Ray Spence took this picture earlier this week. A kettle of SW's were observed with the moon in the background.

Migration April 6:
Swainson's Hawks-26
Zone-tailed Hawk-1
Turkey Vultures-7

Weather was cool, 60 F, wind was calm with high clouds. First lift-off at 8:20A from the east. Once again we began to see small kettles just below Toro Peak. It appears that most of the hawks are coming in from the east/southeast along Coyote Mountain before kettling below Toro. We watched a hawk move from the Date Farm area, at a distance identifying it as a Turkey Vulture. As it approached it became apparent that it was buteo size with a bigger head. The body was blackish with white primaries (similar pattern to a TV), the tail had a dark subterminal band.

Evening Watch:
A beautiful calm evening with a drop-in. At 6:30P we watched a lone Swainson's Hawk fly from Ellis going south. It joined a large group of streaming hawks going toward Ellis Farm. In all I counted 65 birds before they dropped into Ellis. I

Prediction for Tomorrow:
Calm conditions will keep the hawks in late. Lift-off between 8:15-9A from Ellis Farm. Expect anywhere from 65-100 Swainson's Hawks. Best viewing will be from the day site and Henderson Canyon Road where it intersects Borrego Valley Road.

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