Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A Day Of Broad-wing Heartbreak

 I've made a point of making a visit to at least one hawk watch each year but last year I was surprised when I was able to tally up a few hundred broad-winged Hawks passing over one of my local patches. I still have very little knowledge about the art of hawk-watching but I know that most of the Broad-winged Hawks pass through Connecticut during a 2 week periods starting about the 10th of September. I've learned also that your best chance of seeing large numbers Broad-wings would be on a day that there is a northerly/westerly component to the wind. 

Everything seemed to be set up perfectly on Monday. It was the right time, the wind direction was perfect, and I had the day of from work. I decided to pack a picnic lunch and spend the entire day watching hundreds of  Broad-wings forming kettles over my head before streaming along on their journey. I was all but sure that they would be coming. 
During the first half of the day I saw Bald Eagles, Northern Harriers, Sharp-shinned Hawks, and several Osprey, but only 4 Broad-winged Hawks. I was discouraged but still hopeful that they would come through in the afternoon. 
The clouds were fluffier after lunch which is good and the wind still coming from the northwest. After several hours of hawkless skies, I finally decided to call it a day. I don't know what the problem was. Maybe the wind was too strong or the recent surge in deflated footballs had an effect on the atmospheric pressure. Whatever the reason, it was disappointing. I did take note that things were slow at some of the other hawk-watching sites on that day as well so I'm not ready to give up on my local spot just yet. I plan to give it another shot this weekend. 


warriormom said...

Oh my, your title had me a bit worried about what I might find. Hope you have better luck this weekend.

Larry said...

No worries-just wiffed on the hawks and needed a dramatic title!