Friday, October 21, 2011

2011 Fall Hawk Migration Alabama Gulf Coast:: Oct. 21 Hawk Watch

Ok...a beautiful day, abundant sunshine, light winds...the Chamber of Commerce loves it, but man does it make for a difficult day watching hawks!  Some of these guys were flying higher than a weather balloon!  The birds seemed more scattered than on the 16th, definitely higher, and not nearly as abundant.  Watched for 135 minutes (from 11:45 a.m. until 2:00 pm) at Fort Morgan, and only counted 36 migratory raptors (7 species).  We'll try again in a few days, but I did manage a couple of good shots.  Even with the comparatively low numbers and generally difficult conditions, Fort Morgan is still a great place to watch hawks.  The view of the Gulf, the Fort, Mobile Bay and all the unique ships and vessels keep it interesting, even during the lulls.  And, there are quite a few resident birds (raptors, sea birds, shorebirds, etc.) that are fun to watch, in the meantime!

 Just thought this was a cool pic--always enjoy seeing the white pelicans!

This is the view looking east.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

2011 Fall Hawk Migration Alabama Gulf Coast:: Oct. 16 (Fort Morgan, AL)

Hello from the Alabama Gulf Coast!  Been a while since we've posted any blogs about hawks, friends, but we're ready to get to hawkwatching, again!  Had a decent few hours on Sunday, and got to the Fort at around 9:15 a.m.  Even though the 9-am hour started a bit slow with only 17 birds, things started picking up the next hour with 54 birds.  11-12 a.m. saw 60 birds, when I ended the "official" count.  Counted 11 species (left the data sheet at home--sorry can't break down the numbers, right this sec) that included Cooper's hawks (the most abundant), kestrels, sharp-shins, red-tail, broad-winged hawks, Mississippi kites, Northern harriers, osprey, bald eagles, merlins and even a couple of peregrine falcons.  Need a good videographer/photographer to stand out there with me, but I did manage a couple of decent pics.