Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Crazy Wind Day-March 19, 2013

Steve Bier
Assisted by: Rose Leong, Joe Hopkins, Hal Cohen, Karin Vickars, Ann Riley

Migration Today:
Swainson's Hawks-157
Turkey Vultures-14

A wild day with high wind from the northwest. Just after 6A at least 55 Swainson's departed the valley. Additionally around 100 SW's remained in the valley flying far east and reappearing to the west later. Many folks moved about looking for the birds and were rewarded with close views at times. Many hawks were sitting on the ground just off of Borrego Valley Rd. The second large kettle of hawks finally flew through Coyote Canyon and out of the valley.

So the beat goes on. The magic of March 19/20. Another triple digit day on one of these dates. That's 10 years in a row.

Below are photo's of the dump road sign (diagonal road leading to the potato fields). As the season progresses we might see more of the potato fields. Over 20 chemicals are poured into the potato fields to kill insects, fertilize, control weeds and defoliate the potato's at the end of the season. If you eat potato's, eat ORGANIC. Sprouts sells them sometimes at 50 cents a pound. We are concerned that the Swainson's Hawks might begin to spend time in the area of the potato fields, seeking dead and dying insects. We have had over 1,000 Swainson's Hawks in the fallow fields in the past.

Evening Watch:
Very few SW's were observed this evening, perhaps 5 at the Date Farm. Some hawks were spotted in a Tamarisk row east of the potato fields. It is possible that birds did come in but we missed them. Often hawks drop in very late and we can't see them.

The windy conditions are supposed to continue through tomorrow. If so, most hawks will depart very early. We will have scouts out looking for birds at the potato fields as well as at the Date Farm.

Where to Watch From:
Check in at the day count site located on Di Giorgio Rd south of Henderson Canyon Rd. The leader will be at the site by 8A.

The "Hill" watching to the east-3/19/13
5 Swainson's sitting in the field with old grape stakes in the background through a scope shot-3/19/13
Sign on Dump Road
The Dump on Dump Road
Agra-Empire Potato Field in Borrego Springs-3/19/13

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