Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The End of the Season-April 4-10, 2017

April 4-Hal/Judy
April 5-Laura
April 6-Hal
April 7-Judy/Herb
April 8-Laura
April 9-Herb/Judy
April 10-Herb/Judy

April 4-5 SW's; 3 TV's
April 5-1 SW's; 1 TV
April 6-0
April 7-1 SW
April 8-1 TV; 1 Unidentified Raptor
April 9-0
April 10- 4 SW's; 1 TV

We decided to end the season early as we did not have enough leaders to cover the remaining days. Next season we hope to provide a stipend for an experienced hawk counter. We are dedicating this season to Steve Bier. For the past 7 years, Ranger Steve was an essential part of the hawkwatch. His knowledge of Borrego Valleys vast assemblage of plants and animals provided school children through adults with an endless stream of awareness. His quick wit, remarkable eyes, photo skills and knowledge of natural history were endless.

The final totals for the season:
Turkey Vultures-96-The lowest number in 15 years, well below the average
Cooper's Hawks-2
Red-shouldered Hawks-3
Swainson's Hawks-11,690-A record, overshadowing 2016's record season (8,917)
Ferruginous Hawks-1
Peregrine Falcon-1
Unknown Raptor-1
Total Raptors Counted: 11,795
Here are some photos of Swainson's Hawks and a charged up TV

Mac Stone

Hal Cohen-oh oh! Hot Feet Coming Soon
Daniel Garcia
Daniel Garcia
Larry Master
Larry Master

Monday, April 3, 2017

April 3, 2017 More Hawks in Town


Swainson's Hawks-12

Hawks were high after takeoff and difficult to follow.

Evening Watch:
At least 45 Swainson's Hawks flew in this evening. They remained in flight until 7:20pm. The flight took the hawks very far west before returning to the Date Farm. A few hundred ravens chased the hawks relentlessly.

Tomorrow (Tuesday April 4) wind should be light so lift-off around 8-9:30am. Best viewing probably from the evening watch on Borrego Valley Rd.
Juvenile Light Morph SW-Larry Master, www.masterimages.org

Adult Make Light Intermediate SW

Sunday, April 2, 2017

March 30-April 2-Slow Migration But Still Some Hawks in Town

March 30-Hal
March 31-Hal
April 1-Laura
April 20-Herb and Judy

March 30-0
March 31-1 Swainson's Hawk
April 1-3 Swainson's Hawks
April 2-100 Swainson's Hawks

On Sunday April 2 several hawks came up from the east and at least 10 from the date farm. All in all it was a good day for viewers.

On a sad note, one of our leaders died a few days ago. Ranger Steve Bier will always be remembered as the guy with the eyes. Steve had the ability to spot hawks without binocs when everyone scanned to find them with scopes and binocs. He will always be remembered for his knowledge of just about everything that moved in nature as well as flowers. This season is dedicated to Steve. We miss you.

Evening Watch:
This evening around 35 hawks were counted coming to the date farm. Hawks arriving now through the end of the season are probably coming from Argentina.

The fact that hawks are coming to the date farm, a return to the usual pattern, indicates that caterpillars are no longer in abundance. Tomorrow if the predicted wind arrives 12-15mph, the hawks will get up and leave between 7-9am.

A Swainson's with some caterpillars in the crop-Larry Master, www.masterimages.org.
Typical wing fold of a SW for a glide-Larry Master, www.masterimages.org.
Adult Light Morph SWLarry Master, www.masterimages.org.