Well, not exactly a call for help, nor a British Holiday. But after a few strong days, I assumed this year we’d pass on that big annual flight of Broad-winged Hawk and stretch it out instead. I was pretty convinced at one point that we’d missed that “big day” entirely after being socked in by fog for the first days of the month. But it seems our fine-feathered (predatorial) friends were simply waiting it out: May 9 brought 1313 BWs, May 10 saw 1163, and May 11 topped them both with a 2544 BWs. As of today (May 12), our total raptor count now stands at 12043 birds, with a full month still to go before the survey concludes in June. The juvenile Broad-winged Hawk peak is still ahead of us. That means are still a lot of birds in the pipeline. So don’t feel you’ve missed the show by any means!
And warblers are definitely approaching prime, too. We’re now regularly hearing Black-throated Green Warbler, Ovenbird, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Northern Parula, Palm Warbler, and Blue-headed Vireo from up on the mountain. Today, I also heard Rose-breasted Grosbeak and American Redstart. Things are shaping up, and following my “tradition” last year, I’ll mark my first Northern Waterthrush with a beer (no, not on the mountain!) just as I did for my first migrant Turkey Vulture.
I still have some catching up to do. Among other topics I promised to address were books on cloud identification, and Joseph Youngman’s Raptornet. Also, we had a terrific group of school kids join us atop Brockway on May 4, and I’m reminded of my overseas counting experience when I think of how important the educational component is to any raptor survey and the community it serves. I’ll admit I’m feeling the burn at this point in the season, so I will do what I can do to take all this on one bit at a time. Thanks, as always, for your patience!
Good Hawkwatching to you!