Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Swainson's Hawk Migration Continues-March 22, 2014

Leader: 
Rose, assisted by Steve, Hal, Wes, Pam and Joe

Migration Today:
Swainson's Hawks-206
Turkey Vultures-25
Unidentified Raptors-10

Discussion:
Lift-off at 9A after aborted attempts in still air. Clear sky with a temperature range from 65-80 degrees. The wind was light and variable from the S-SW and West. At lift-off a few large kettles were observed taking off from the Date Farm and Roadrunner Club. All of the raptors streamed west and then north. I finally went to a new observation site near De Anza. From the roof of a home I spotted 34 Swainson's and 6 TV's lift-off from De Anza. Most of the Swainson's observed form the day site passed directly over the new site and left the valley by way of Henderson Canyon. The circle of hawks below may be indicative of a circular air mass rising faster at the edges. Almost looks like an inner core. I will ask my nephew (a meteorologist about this phenomena)

To this date we have counted 3,462 Swainson's Hawks migrating through Borrego Valley.

Evening Watch:
We began to see arrivals as early as 5:10P of a few hawks. By 5:45P around 30-40 Swainson's Hawks appeared to the south. They finally put down for the night near the Roadrunner Club.

Prediction:
Wind tomorrow should be light. Expect lift-off of the 30+ SW's around 9A. The best viewing spots include the southeast corner of Roadrunner Club on Palm Canyon Drive and along DiGirogio Rd in the open fields past The Springs RV Park.
Lift-off from the Date Farm
Interesting circle around a thermal?
A closer look at the circle-lots of light morphs visible
Closer view-look at the tail used as a rudder


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