Hawkwatch - Saturday & Sunday, September 29-30, 2018

September has come to an end, and the birds are migrating through in full force. Sunday's flight of raptors was filled to the brim with birds. Merlins darted through the sky at lightning-fast speeds as the powerful-flapping Peregrine Falcons soared high overhead. We had our first Red-shouldered Hawk of the season (three of them, at one time!) and were treated to dozens of Bald Eagles over the course of the day. A grand total of 308 Broad-winged Hawks were also counted on Saturday. This buteo species' local presence is greatly influenced by wind direction. These cool and breezy northwest winds helped concentrate them to right where we are!

On a very special note, this month marks the highest Cape May Hawk Watch Peregrine Falcon September count ever! Throughout the month 702 Peregrine Falcons were counted migrating past the hawkwatch platform. We've had many east wind days this season, and despite those winds being unfavorable for many raptors to show up in the Cape May area, these large falcons can plow through these conditions with ease, sometimes even migrating over water! Cheers to a fun month of hawkwatching, with two more months to go for the official Cape May Hawk Watch season.

Adult Peregrine migrating by.

Merlin eating a dragonfly on the go!

This rare Clay-colored Sparrow made an appearance on Saturday.

Saturday's Totals.

Sunday's totals.

Good Hawkwatching,
Erik Bruhnke

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