Monday, 25 September 2017

Bruce Mines Hawk Watch

Yesterday was a Sault Naturalists outing to the Bruce Mines area to look for some migrating raptors.  12 members of the club, including myself, made it out, despite the hot temperatures that were coming later in the day.

The first stop was just up Centre Line Road from Highway 17.  This open field area provided a great vantage point to see migrating birds.  The group leader, Mark Olivier, had apparently had great success here in previous years.  I arrived first and was able to pick up 11 species before anyone else arrived, but only one raptor, a Northern Harrier that was cruising over the field.  Not too long after everyone else arrived, a Turkey Vulture and two Common Loons flew over.  Mark then spotted our first of seven Sharp-shinned Hawks fly by.  The Northern Harrier, which appeared to be a juvenile, made a return appearance so that everyone could see it.  Two falcons flew by as well, a Peregrine Falcon followed by an American Kestrel.  The last new raptor was a Red-shouldered Hawk that flew right overhead of the group.  

We went to have lunch at the Bruce Mines Marina.  There we added a few more species for the day, but no raptors. 

The last stop of the day was the the Bruce Mines arena.  A Northern Harrier, Red-tailed Hawks and two Sharp-shinned Hawks greeted us right away.  A Bald Eagle, another Peregrine Falcon and another Sharp-shinned Hawk rounded out the raptors for the day. 

While we did not get the large numbers of raptors that we were looking for, we did manage 8 species.

The non-raptor species of the day were:

Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Mallard, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, Common Loon, Great Blue Heron, Sandhill Crane, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Downy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Common Raven, Black-capped Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, American Robin, European Starling, American Pipit, Palm Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, White-crowned Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Common Grackle, and American Goldfinch.

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