Thursday, September 17, 2015

Lake Erie Metropark Hawk Watch 9/16/15

  On a quick trip back to my old neighborhood to return a borrowed trailer, I spent the afternoon at the Lake Erie Metropark hoping to catch a significant Broad-winged Hawk migration.  The annual fall Broadwing migration through southeast Michigan is a function of weather and the calendar. Previous years' data shows that 85% of the Broadwings counted at LEMP occur between September 15 and 19, so yesterday's date fell conveniently into that window.  The weather on the other hand was not ideal. The sunny skies were fine but the moderate south winds were far from ideal, as the higher counts in the past have typically occurred on day with a light wind with a northerly component that had followed a day or two of similar light north winds that push Broadwings from Canada to the northern shores of Lakes Erie and Ontario. 

  Of the 300+  raptors tallied at the countsite yesterday only a couple of dozen were Broadwings.  Despite the modest count there were still a few photo ops to be had.

Osprey working the shoreline

Sharp-shinned Hawk

American Kestrel

Immature Bald Eagle
  For anyone with an opportunity and desire to view Broadwings this season, you may want to stop by  the countsite on Sunday or Monday.  Although those two dates fall outside the aforementioned calendar window the winds will be much more favorable.

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