Monday, March 11, 2013

Slow Day Today With Only 13 Swainson's Hawks-3/11/13

Hal Cohen
Assisted by: Richard Yates, Joe Hopkins, Rose Leong, Pam Albers, Herb Stone

Migration Today:
Swainson's Hawks-13
Turkey Vultures-10
Unidentified Buteo's-3

The weather today was clear with calm wind (less than 3mph) NE. Temps ranged from 57-75 degrees. 
Lift off from the date farm and RR at 9:40AM.  Additionally we had a few Swainson's arrive at 10:53A and 11:10A. These birds probably roosted to points East of Borrego Springs. At 9:56A we felt two jolts (earthquake,and the hill vibrated).  . 

Most of the  of the SW's and TV's migrated west then NW and out Coyote Canyon. A few TV's were found to the north and they moved NW through Coyote as well.

We reached the 500 plateau for Swainson's Hawks. Only 2 years, 2005 and 2011 reached this point earlier. Only 2 years had a higher count at this time, 2010 and 2011. Several years had big days March 12 and 13. We are now entering that period when huge numbers begin to enter the valley. Most of the veteran hawk watchers in town will come out to the evening hawkwatch soon.

Below you can see what we sometimes see when the raptors are far away. The 8 birds/4 Swainson's Hawks and 4 Turkey Vultures flew together all the way out of the valley.

Evening Watch:
At 6P we watched at least 35 Swainson's Hawks drop into the Date Farm. They began to fly south to an unknown roost site by 6:30P.

With continued calm wind conditions the Swainson's Hawk will probably take off between 8:45A and 9:30A. Because their final location could not be found you might want to hang out on Di Giorgio Rd about 1 mile north of Palm Canyon Drive.
8 Raptors-4 Swainson's Hawks and 4 TV's-This is what we often see at a distance-3/11/13-HC

A Closer view of the same birds-can you tell the difference?

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