We have been having some great days at the hawkwatch, despite still not having a single day with southwest winds. While the winds may not be perfect, we have still been seeing some great overall diversity, with 16 species of raptors passing by in the last week.
May 6th was our second largest day in terms of individuals, with over 1,000 Sharp-shinned Hawks and over 300 Broad-winged Hawks passing by. Perhaps even more exciting was the dark Swainson’s Hawk that made an appearance. Even though the bird did not end up passing overhead as we had hoped, it was high enough that it could be seen from the waterbird shack.
Unfortunately, the weather forecast does not look too encouraging for southwest winds in the near future, but hopefully we will soon have a large push of Broad-winged Hawks pass by. If the winds push around to the southwest or even just the south, we may finally see some massive kettles.
We are at the point where birds are coming anyway. It is pretty hard to believe we are already so far into May. There are only three weeks left in the season. In non-raptor notes, bird diversity has been picking up. Recent mornings have had some great warbler flights, with over a dozen species reported. A Lark Sparrow was feeding with the White-crowned and White-throated Sparrows last night at the main feeders behind The Owl’s Roost. We have also been having large gangs of Blue Jays flying around the point.
As a final note, auroral activity has also still been pretty impressive and some of the displays can be seen from the hawkwatch.