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Rare Raptors

Brian Fitch
 

In the last 30 minutes, I've had Broad-winged and Ferruginous Hawks moving south on vectors east of Buena Vista and Corona, and just now another Prairie Falcon soaring SW over Corona.  All were apparent juvs.  Back to the watch...

Brian Fitch

Brian Fitch
 

From late morning onward I'd been checking the sky east and west of my home (no N or S view here), and finally, a little before 1 PM, a TV soared past.  So I stopped my tasks and sat down to watch westward over BV and Corona just as the light morph juvenile Broad-winged popped up from the back of trees in the Davies Med Center and swept south, low, and well east of Corona.  A short while later, a very pale Ferruginous Hawk (therefore likely a juv) blasted by above me, right over the intersection of 14th & Noe.  Before 1:30, a big-appearing falcon came into view, soaring in broad circles over the east side of BV, lazily working south at a greater distance than the others.  It took a while to confirm the brown dorsal color and messy ventral markings, but eventually, I got decent views of the pale underwings and dark axillaries.  It also harassed a local Red-tailed for good size comps, as I was still uncertain of exactly how big it was until then.  The brown (vs. tan) upperparts and streaky belly again point to a juvenile.

I watched from around 12:55 to 2:30, when most birds stopped flying except ravens and local R-t's.  The count by that time included the above mentioned, 13 migrant Red-taileds, 6 Cooper's, a distant likely Sharpie, 2 TV's, an Osprey, and a juv Northern Harrier, adding up to one of the best short hawkwatches I've had from the house.  The Ferrug was new for the city year list and a house lifer, while the Prairie was (ridiculously) only new for the house.

While I'm at it, I'll report late on yesterday's strange watch at Battery Godfrey.  Not a single goose appeared, which shouldn't be possible on a clear October day with easterlies, and several other normal migrants were sparse as well.  But ducks made up for the lack, with Lucas Stephenson spotting an adult male White-winged Scoter and a female Black Scoter, each in separate Surf flocks, put an ID on the Long-tailed Duck I found but couldn't see clearly, and tossed in a fly-away Lewis's Woodpecker for good measure.  I'd never met Lucas and Mark before, so it was a fun intro.  It's been fascinating to finally meet and work with a number of the local teen birders these past three active weeks (Oscar, Joachim, Max's B & L, Lucas S, and of course Jonah, who I'd already met several years ago).  If they keep at it, the future of local birding is in good hands, and good eyes, with the type of acuity I miss from my youth.

Brian Fitch


On Sat, Oct 12, 2019 at 1:34 PM Brian Fitch <fogeggs@...> wrote:
In the last 30 minutes, I've had Broad-winged and Ferruginous Hawks moving south on vectors east of Buena Vista and Corona, and just now another Prairie Falcon soaring SW over Corona.  All were apparent juvs.  Back to the watch...

Brian Fitch