[CT Birds] Boothe Park 9/16 - 8,234 raptors

Scott Kruitbosch skruitbosch at ctaudubon.org
Fri Sep 16 20:12:47 EDT 2011

It was a historic day in 9 hours of observations at Boothe Memorial Park in Stratford as we totaled 8,234 hawks. I was joined by Bill Banks for nearly all of the time with significant contributions from Frank Mantlik, Charlie Barnard, and Penny Solum. After getting some emails today let me explain - we don't have a paid crew or a staff, just a few people who like to have fun staring at the sky, and we did as best as we could. When I sent that help message out it was only Bill and me and we were getting tired necks. I imagine plenty escaped us, but who could complain with that sort of total. The site is not manned regularly, and it is mostly me when I know the weather will be great. So you can certainly come over, but we won't be there often, probably only between 100-200 hours this fall.

We had predicted a mega day today since about a week ago and it delivered. Cirrus saved us over and over again as it covered a sizable portion of the sky in the afternoon. It was very quiet through just after 11AM before we had a record of 892 Broads between 12-1. This was broken with 1,278 between 1-2, and broken again with 2887 between 2-3. It looked like we would crack 3K between 3-4 but around 3:45 things dropped off dramatically. We ended that hour with 2,468 and then just 175 from 4-5. We had nearly 200 non-Broads as you can see below with the other birds.

Raptor migrants:
Osprey - 30
Bald Eagle - 11
Northern Harrier - 5
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 122
Cooper's Hawk - 12
Broad-winged Hawk - 8,041
American Kestrel - 12
Un. Buteo - 1
TOTAL - 8,234
Plus local Red-tailed, Red-shouldered, and Turkey Vulture as usual.

Southbound migrants included:
Canada Goose 14
Green Heron  1
Chimney Swift  392* all-time high count more than doubling 09-09-2011's recent record of 183
Ruby-throated Hummingbird  6
Tree Swallow  1
Barn Swallow  2
Cedar Waxwing  34

Migrants in the park included:
Empidonax sp.  1
House Wren  1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  2
Gray Catbird  1
Common Yellowthroat  1
Palm Warbler  1
warbler sp.  3
Rose-breasted Grosbeak  1

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

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