Wednesday, September 14, 2016
The Raptor Count I spent a very enjoyable morning at the Hawk Cliff Forest just east of Port Stanley Ontario observing migrating raptors. Joining me where a group of a dozen or so very dedicated and knowledgeable bird watchers. The objective for this morning was to continue the annual fall raptor count, this is done by identifying counting and recording bird numbers. The counters arrange themselves in folding chairs at the edge of a large field facing east, the process is to spot a bird call out it's location and have others verify what kind of hawk it is. I soon discovered that farther away you can spot the bird the better, there were lots of hawks but most came no closer than half a mile. Suddenly there appeared a kettle of raptors over 60 in number, this happens when an off shore wind pushes the birds out over the water. They do not like flying over open water and attempt to move back on shore, the strong wind pushes them into a group and they are forced to reduce altitude to escape the winds. These are mostly broad wing hawks. This caused great excitement amoung my fellow birders. By the way a hummingbird, spotted and verified does not make the tally sheet.