Thursday, October 4, 2012

Raptor Migration Continues.....Barely!

Did another three hour stint at Vesper Point today. It was slow raptor monitoring, but I didn't get skunked, and the massive number of Pacific Loons feeding just off the point kept me entertained.

At 10:32 the first raptor of the day, an adult western type Red-tailed Hawk, appeared over West Ballenas Island. I do not know how this bird got to the island, or even where it went. It spent 38 minutes alternating between hard flapping and rising by making tight circles in a thermal, until it got so incredibly high, that I could no longer keep track of it with the scope. It isn't very often that I loose track of a migrating raptor because of extreme elevation.

At 11:49 a lone Turkey Vulture island-hopped from Texada to Vancouver Island, pausing to gain altitude at South Ballenas, Gerald Island, and finally, Amelia Island. This bird came shore on Vancouver Island in the vicinity of Garry Oaks drive, in Nanoose.

Those were the only two raptors I saw today from Vesper Point. Passerine migration was very evident this morning, as the numbers of Varied Thrush, Pacific Wrens, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Spotted Towhees, Song Sparrows, and Purple Finches around the park, rose dramatically from earlier in the week.

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