[CT Birds] Amazing sight in Canaan today.

Mntncougar at aol.com Mntncougar at aol.com
Wed Sep 21 21:01:21 EDT 2011

I was driving west bound on Rt 44 in East Canaan today about 10  am when I 
saw a Red-tail and 2 Black Vultures flying very purposefully south  across 
the road. BV are often seen in Canaan, and I see 2 in the same area  almost 
every time I go through there. When I looked out to the corn  fields in the 
valley I saw a very large kettle of raptors. There was no wind and  it was 
very tight, going all the way from just above the ground up to a misty  cloud 
over the valley. (Sky was mostly sunny with fog patches then).I was able  to 
pull over quickly in a good spot and had a good but somewhat distant look 
at  the birds. 
When I did I realized that many of them were Black  Vultures. I counted 61 
birds in the kettle but there were more that I couldn't  see at one time. An 
actual count was 26 Black Vultures, but I'm betting there  were more than 
50. I did not spot a single Turkey Vulture, even though there are  many in 
the area. There were a few buteos mixed in, mostly at the top of the  kettle, 
and I counted 6 Common ravens hanging around the outside of the column,  
another bird often seen in Canaan, though more often up on the mountain. I am  
assuming that most of the BV were migrants, since the most I have seen there 
 before at one time is 4. 
I also saw 1 Raven and 2 BV today when on the  west cliffs of Canaan Mtn 
and 1 Peregrine Falcon, heading due south and possibly  migrating. I've never 
seen one in the area before.  

Don  Morgan

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