Our club had its first ever field trip to Shatterack Mtn yesterday to watch for migrating hawks. Tom Swochak led us up to a rocky outcropping with wonderful views of the valley below. The weather became quite warm in the afternoon, with temps ranging from upper 60s F at the start, to low 80s F by the end of the watch. The skies were part-ly cloudy, light to moderate haze, good conditions for spotting migrants.
Eight members scanned the skies all or part of the 6 total hours of observation, spotting a variety of migrating raptors, including Osprey (5), Kestrel (1), Sharp-shinned (1), Cooper's (2), and Broad-winged Hawks (292). Though variety was good, it was a slow day for migrating raptors except for a ten-minute period from 1:45pm to 1:55pm, when 265 Broadwings kettled and streamed past just before and during a steady, but light, rain shower that lasted only 10 minutes.
We enjoyed some non-migrating raptors as well. Turkey Vultures were quite active with a maximum at one time of 8. There were several sightings of Black Vultures, with a maximum at one time of two. We were also treated to sightings of adult Bald Eagle, and the fun that is had when gathered with a group to scan the skies with the single mis-sion of spotting a migrating hawk, or better yet a kettle of hawks!