Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Nanoose Hill Hawk Watch

For many years I have been hoping to do some migration monitoring on local hills in the area between Nanaimo and Qualicum Beach. Unfortunately, I am usually away in the NE corner of BC at this time of year doing this type of research for wind energy project proposals. This year, with the economy in the toilet and the Canadian Conservative Party fascists dismantling the environmental assessment process, I find myself unemployed, and thus able to do a bit more hawk watching locally. Today, Donna and I hiked to the top of Nanoose Hill on what is known as the "Notch Trail". It is a quick slog to the top through Douglas Fir, Garry Oak and Arbutus forests, which are broken by rock outcrops near the top, offering great views to all directions but the east. We spent five hours here, starting at 9:00 and ending at 14:00. It was hot and sunny, with only a slight breeze from the north. Migration was slow, but we were thrilled to have as many as 23 Turkey Vultures above us at one point, soaring so close that we could hear them croaking at each other.
Birds recorded from Nanoose Hill Today:
Turkey Vulture: 66
Osprey: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 2
Merlin: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 1
Glaucous-winged Gull: 3
California Gull: 3
Band-tailed Pigeon: 81
Vaux's Swift: 4
Anna's Hummingbird: 3
Hairy Woodpecker: 1
Northern Flicker: 10
Hammond's Flycatcher: 2
Hutton's Vireo: 3
Steller's Jay: 2
Common Raven: 12
Horned Lark: 1
Violet-green Swallow: 5
Chestnut-backed Chickadee: 14
Red-breasted Nuthatch: 27
Brown Creeper: 4
Bewick's Wren: 1
Winter Wren: 3
Golden-crowned Kinglet: 22
Ruby-crowned Kinglet: 5
Hermit Thrush: 1
American Robin: 69
Varied Thrush: 15
American Pipit: 24
Yellow-rumped Warbler: 35
Dark-eyed Junco: 21
Brewer's Blackbird: 2
Purple Finch: 3
Red Crossbill: 28
Pine Siskin: 550
American Goldfinch: 4
Evening Grosbeak: 2

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