Hawkwatch, 20 November 2016

Winds howled and birds sheared through the air at lightning speeds. It was a day of low flying birds and up close views of swallows, particularly Cave Swallows! Raptors rarely flew above the trees as a result of the gusty winds keeping their light paths low and direct. A Northern Harrier and Peregrine Falcon were seen migrating over Bunker Pond at sunrise. A few Sharp-shinned Hawks flapped and glided their way past the hawkwatch.

An amazing number of Cave Swallows were seen today. This species is typically found as far north as central Texas Texas, south Florida, and the Caribbean. Every late fall this species experiences northwards pushes well outside of their traditional range. Fifty-eight of them were tallied today along with a Barn Swallow and late season Cliff Swallow. It was an interesting day of few passerines, unique passerines, and fast-flying raptors!

The first raptor of the day, a Peregrine Falcon.

Adult Bald Eagle

Studying raptor silhouettes is a great way to better understand raptor ID.
Note the long, slender tail and angular, sharply-decurved wings of this American Kestrel.

Female Black Scoter swimming on Bunker Pond.

Canada Geese

Cave Swallows taking refuge from the cold.
Cave Swallow 
Cave Swallow

Cave Swallow

Cave Swallow and a Tree Swallow flying head on!

These Tree Swallows stopped by for a brief rest from flying.

Birds seen today.

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