October 12 Hawk Watching at Jo Hays Vista

On Friday, I joined Chuck Widman, Josh Lefever, and Alex Lamoreaux for a day of hawk watching at Jo Hays Vista. Winds were gusty out of the northwest, which brought in a high number of migrant Red-tailed hawks (96 for the day!). At one point we had five in the sky at the same time!   Sharp-shinned hawks were also numerous, coming through in groups of 3 or 4, occasionally accompanied by an American Kestrel (our Sharpie count was 35).  While it was a great day for high numbers of raptors, it was a bad day for photos, as most of the migrants stayed very high.  Non raptor migrants included a flock of six Double-crested Cormorants, two Common Loons, a flock of Canada Geese, and two Great Blue Herons. I also got my first of season Golden-crown Kinglet, when a flock of about 6 of them appeared in the trees near the vista. The blustery weather seemed ideal for Golden Eagles, but none ever cruised by. We did however see three Bald Eagles. We also had three Red-shouldered Hawks fly by, including 2 adults and one immature bird. It was also nice to see two Northern Harriers fly by! Check out our complete eBird list. Our total migrant raptor count for the day was 159.

Chuck, Alex, and Josh scanning the sky for raptors (Photo By Anna Fasoli)

Black Vulture (Photo By Anna Fasoli)

Bald Eagle – subadult II (Photo By Anna Fasoli)

Red-tailed Hawk – juvenile (Photo By Anna Fasoli)

Red-shouldered Hawk – adult (Photo By Anna Fasoli)

Northern Harrier – juvenile (Photo By Anna Fasoli)