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Blueberry Hill Hawkwatch & Picnic

Blueberry Hill, Granville

September 17, 2022

John Weeks

At least 19 members gathered to glimpse a peek at a mass migration of Broad-winged Hawks and they were not disappointed.  The weather was sunny and hazy, with skim-milk clouds that were often no help at all.  It was a tough sky for hawkwatching. Despite this, for Blueberry Hill, it was a spectacular day, one of the best we’ve had in years.  The Broadwings came in many kettles, but were often far away and difficult to count. Dan Burt and Kathy Conway can be singled out for their amazing ability to spot and tally so many of these swirling poppy seeds in the distance.  They easily doubled the count we would have reached without them.  Thanks also to Tom Swochak on Shatterack Mountain northeast of us; he alerted us that 900Broadwings were possibly headed our way.

In all, we counted six different raptor species, with Broadwings giving us the high count of 1409, followed by Sharp-shinned Hawk at 13, Northern Harrier at 5, Osprey and Bald Eagle at 3 each, American kestrel at 1 and just one unknown raptor species.  We also counted a long list of non-raptors, including Canada Goose (1!), Rock Pigeons (3), Northern Flickers (2), PHILADELPHIA VIREO, Blue Jays (ca. 125 migrants), TREE SWALLOWS (500+ in a single swarm), Red-breasted Nuthatch, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, American Goldfinches (3), Purple Finch. Warblers spotted were American Redstart, Black-and-white, Northern Parulas (2), Magnolia, Black-throated Green, and Yellow-rumped. Last, but not least, seven Monarch Butterflies floated by overhead.