[CT Birds] LHP 9-15-14 + Visitor tips

greg hanisek ctgregh at yahoo.com
Mon Sep 15 18:51:31 EDT 2014

>From Greg Hanisek

9/15 New Haven, Lighthouse Point hawk watch - 126 raptors - 8 expected species including 44 Ospreys, 37 Sharp-shinned Hawks and 10 Bald Eagles. Smaller numbers of Northern Harrier, Cooper's Hawk, Peregrine Falcon, American Kestrel and Merlin were logged. It's worth noting that Lighthouse has a different species profile than the inland sites, which are now getting large numbers of Broad-winged Hawks in their fairly brief season. Lighthouse gets some BWs, occasionally good numbers, but they're less predictable here and sometimes later than at the inland sites. A few are usually seen here into the first week of Nov, a very late date in most places. Today we had one very distant bird that might have been a BW.

Other migrants noted today: 15 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, 1 Chimney Swift, 1 Common Nighthawk, 170 Cedar Waxwings, 200 Bobolinks and 2 Purple Finches. These diurnal migrants are seen mostly in the first 2 hours of the hawk watch 7-9 a.m. These are birds visibly migrating over the point; on many days there are also varying numbers nocturnal migrants (warblers etc.) in the park that can be found by walking the trails.

Also on many days favorable north winds shift locally  to onshore winds from the south, which can cut off the hawk flight abruptly in late morning or early afternoon. Today the peak hour for hawks was 10-11 (49 birds) and by noon the flight had tailed off markedly because of a wind shift. (The stronger the N wind the less likely it will shift). We had just 8 from 12-1 and none from 1-2. The hawk watch is manned by New Haven Bird Club  volunteers daily all fall (weather permitting) and visitors are welcome. Thanks for help today from Bill Banks, Frank Mantlik, Lynn James, Sol Satin and Tony Tortora. 

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