Hawkwatch - Saturday, September 8, 2018

Today's flight of raptors battled strong eastern winds and heavy rain. The first half of the day was filled with rain and (finally) cooler temperatures. The latter half of the day was topped with strong winds and clouds rushing overhead. All of today's elements were blowing in from the vast Atlantic Ocean to our east...

The most abundant raptor of the day was the Osprey. These long-winged raptors are adept at rowing through the elements. Even through rain, they pursue their migration with ease. The Peregrine Falcon seen today shears itself through oncoming headwinds; flaring its fine-tipped wings back in a bullet-like profile. Northern Harriers gracefully bound their wings and slowly-but-surely make their way south. Its fascinating to see how each raptor flies through these challenging conditions.

Throughout the day we picked up two rarities for the area; an adult White Ibis as well as a Hudsonian Godwit!
Quiz bird. This raptor is also known as a Marsh Hawk...

A locally-rare Hudsonian Godwit flew by the hawkwatch today. Such a handsome species!

Two Parasitic Jaegers chasing gulls around over the dunes.

Distant White Ibis through steady rain.

Eastern Box Turtle

It will be interesting to see which raptors show up tomorrow, as well as should any rarities appear. Rain and strong driving winds out of the northeast are expected to dominate for much of the day. These blustery conditions can drive raptors south to where we are as well as occasionally push pelagic birds towards the tip of New Jersey where we are. We'll have to see what birds show up! Please be mindful of tomorrow's conditions by dressing in an extra layer for warmth and bringing rain gear, as temps will be cooler and steady rain is expected.

Today's sightings.

Good hawkwatching,
Erik Bruhnke

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