[BIRDHAWK] SMRR BIG DAY (September 16, 2000)

Diann MacRae tvulture at halcyon.com
Sun Sep 17 20:12:03 PDT 2000

Hi, Tweets

I promise, I promise, this is the last broadwing post. I thought the
earlier one of 33,000+ was special, but the Southeast Michigan Raptor
Research hawkwatch, numberwise, beats them all (even their own record, as I
understand). Read to the end of the paragraph . . .

>September 16, 2000


>Summary Of Today's Count:

>Today was the best flight of the season so far. The Broad-winged Hawk flight

>started out promising with over 2,000 seen from 9:00AM to 11:00PM (EST). Then

>for the next four hours, only 18 were seen. Then the flood gates opened

>slightly at 3:00PM (EST) when 1,477 were counted. Including this season's

>third Swainson's Hawk. A juvenile, light morph located in a small stream of

>BW's and a lone Red-tailed Hawk. This Swainson's was seen a very short time

>later by Brad Murphy on Roberts road. Thanks Brad for the info and great

>meeting you. Then came the BIG push when 50,000+ Broad-wings came streaming

>by and in large kettles. Many people waited out the entire day waiting for

>such a flight.

Now, lest you think I am only interested in numbers passing by, not so at
all. The thousands of broadwings seen in these kettles are often viewed as
"pepper spots" fading in and out of telescope range. There truly is wonder
in numbers, taken in the right frame of mind. These people are seeing
something like citizens used to see of Passenger Pigeons before their
demise. Broadwings swirling through the sky are impressive. We watched
kettles of mere hundreds in New Hampshire and I was certainly impressed.
However . . . I would not trade those thousands for the glorious sight of a
few hundred -- or even less -- turkey vultures coming in low off the water
to land on our shore. Up close and personal is also impressive - and pretty

Cheers, Diann
Diann MacRae
Olympic Vulture Study
22622 - 53rd Avenue S.E.
Bothell, WA 98021
mailto: tvulture at halcyon.com

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