[CT Birds] Boothe Park HW Golden Eagle/Goshawk/record-breaking day

Scott Kruitbosch skruitbosch at ctaudubon.org
Sun Sep 26 18:22:19 EDT 2010

I spent 7.75 hours at the Boothe Park Hawk Watch in Stratford today, with Charlie Barnard joining me for most of it (and for all of the goodies) and Frank Mantlik stopping in for a bit. We had many visitors as this was an event for the Great Stratford Bird Festival. Thanks to everyone who came and helped find some raptors. It was remarkable in several ways, the first being that we had many more Cooper's Hawks than usuall. Our previous record for a day was 27, which occurred 3 times, and we ended with 43. Right around 2PM we had an adult Golden Eagle come in low right over our heads. It was an easy ID, and we even had a few minutes to admire it as it soared up before heading out. A bit before 3:30 Charlie and I had a juvenile Northern Goshawk come in, once again, low and directly over us, also making for a relatively easy ID. The oddest part of the day was the parade of Merlins that started soon after. We had 17 of them from 3:00-4:45 alone. We were shocked and laughed at how many went by, and kept trying to make them into Kestrels. However, they were all low, going north to south, and quite obviously Merlins in every way, from size to color to flight. We shattered our previous daily record Merlin high of 5 with 21 today, and broke our Peregrine high of 3 as we tallied 5. It was also the second best Sharp-shinned Hawk day ever, the second best Osprey day ever, and tied for the second best Norther Harrier day ever. Bear in mind that "ever" is only the 2009 season and so far in 2010, but it was a great day. What an odd confluence of events after an odd cold front.

Raptor migrants:
35 Osprey
3 Bald Eagle
5 Northern Harrier
126 Sharp-shinned Hawk
43 Cooper's Hawk
5 Broad-winged Hawk
1 Red-tailed Hawk
1 GOLDEN EAGLE (adult)
12 American Kestrel
21 Merlin
5 Peregrine Falcon
1 Unknown accipiter
1 Unknown falcon
2 Unknown raptor
TOTAL - 262

And even more "local" Osprey, Red-tail, Turkey Vulture, and Peregrine.

Other migrants:
47 Blue Jay (definitely migrants in small groups plus many more in the park)
28 Chimney Swift
56 Tree Swallow (plus many more "swallow sp.")
14 Cedar Waxwing
2 White-throated Sparrow
2 Golden-crowned Kinglet
1 Chipping Sparrow
1 Eastern Phoebe
1 Ruby-throated Hummingbird
1 Gray Catbird

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation Technician
Connecticut Audubon Society
2325 Burr St.
Fairfield, CT 06824
CAS blog: ctaudubon.blogspot.com
Email: skruitbosch at ctaudubon.org

More information about the CTBirds mailing list