Monday, March 17, 2014

Great Swainson's Hawk Views Today and a Surprise Stream-Monday March 17, 2014

Hal assisted by Wes, Rose, Pam and Joe

Migration Today:
Swainson's Hawks-224
Turkey Vultures-10
Red-tailed Hawk-1

The weather was in the mid 50's to begin the day and mid 70's at the end. Calm wind at the beginning stalled the SW's but a breeze from the north shifting to the south stimulated them. We counted 107 birds from the first lift-off at 9A. Viewing from DiGiorgio was fantastic. A large cloud formed above us at 10A and we watched for hawk dots very high. At 10:15A we caught sight of a big stream of SW's. For the next 15 minutes we counted 127 Swainson's Hawks and 4 TV's. This second group of Swainson's Hawks probably roosted 15-20 miles to the south of Borrego Valley.

We are now entering the height of our migration season. We often see huge kettles of Swainson's Hawks sometime between March 18-March 30. If you would like to be on the ALERT LIST, email me your address. I always post the ALERT before the blog. It will automatically be in your inbox when I send it. The blog doesn't show up until the following morning (if you subscribe to it). I send blind copies so you never have your email address shared with other folks. Below check out the number of Swainson's Hawks observed migrating from the beginning of the season to March 17.

Interesting Statistics: February 15-March 17: What does this mean? More discussion later.
2004-575 SW's

Evening Watch:
Very windy conditions this evening so an accurate count of incoming hawks was difficult. We had counts as high as 114 Swainson's Hawks. However we believe that this number is on the low side. The hawks were spread out from west to east.  It appears that most of the hawks flew into the Date Farm. Some my have set down in other locations. The hawks remained aloft from 5:30P to 6:30P.

The wind should be light tomorrow so take-off normally should be between 8 and 9A. DiGiorgio Rd continues to be the best place to view the hawks.
Getting Ready to Lift-Off-Iris Kilpatrick

What a View!-Iris Kilpatrick

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