Saturday 12 September 2020

Backyard Broad-wingeds

 Today was a pretty good day to be around home.

I started off the day on a short shorebird tour. The first stop was a random storm water pond near the airport. Here I quickly found the reported Sanderling, a new one for me in Middlesex County.

Next up was the sod farms. Not much has been seen here as of late, other than a couple of Black-bellied Plovers, which I saw today.

When I got home I intended to sit out and watch for hawks, however I quickly noted that the winds were from the southeast. I figured this wasn't ideal so I went back inside. Then the notifications of numbers of Broad-winged Hawks began to come through. I figured I may as well take a peek. I went out around 10:30 and after a few minutes I saw one. Not very exciting. I went inside to make some breakfast, and when I came back out I was greeted by a whole kettle of over 20 circling overhead, as well as a Cooper's Hawk and a Northern Harrier. Something was happening.

For the next 15 or so minutes, the hawks were almost constant, and I ended up with well over 300, which included several large kettles, one tallying about 130.

I spent the next five or so hours sitting outside and watching the sky, and managed to tally a total of 657 Broad-winged Hawks, as well as some Cooper's, Sharp-shinned, harriers, a couple Red-tailed, and of course Turkey Vultures. Things really got slow near the end, but I was happy with my result.

The London Airshow is this weekend, and as usual, I occasionally see planes over my house. I snapped a couple photos (they didn't really turn out, but they're better than nothing). Not pictured is the CF-18s. Apparently the airshow had some F-22 Raptors as well, which are quite cool. I thought I may have seen one, but I didn't get a great look.

A-10 Thunderbolt

F-16 Viper

KC-10 Extender

Totally overexposed C-17 Globemaster (I think)

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