Yes! We saw 3,759 Broad-winged Hawks, 23 Northern Harriers, 169 American Kestrel, and 293 Sharp-Shinned Hawks at Hawk Cliff on September 14th, 2016. Bald Eagles are also a common sight but because there are resident Bald Eagles it is hard to tell which ones are actually migrating.
Wednesday brought clouds and north-west winds to the north shore of Lake Erie, making conditions that were favorable for seeing a large number of migrating raptors. Our day began in Port Stanley with a quick stop at the Village Square Coffee Shop for a delicious coffee and some sweets. The official Hawk Cliff counters were set up on a small knoll and they were all hopeful for a good day based on the weather forecast, as the previous one had been dismal for numbers of birds. They weren’t disappointed (and neither were we), as literally thousands of birds passed over our field of view over the course of the day.
Click on an image below to enter the photo gallery of some of the raptors we ‘captured’ during our latest visit to Hawk Cliff.
The Hawk Cliff venue has been significantly improved over previous years; with a new parking area created on the Thames-Talbot property and the widening of the road in several spots to provide room for angle parking. An additional portable toilet has been brought in to ensure birders have access to facilities. The Thames Talbot Land Trust (TTLT) has also been working on a nature trail through their recently acquired property, and have included signage to educate people about invasive species. Twelve species of Warblers were sighted along the trail.
Anyone who enjoys birds and hasn’t made an outing to Hawk Cliff should definitely give it a try. This weekend, September 17th and 18th, will be the final one for seeing banded raptors up close, and for Monarch Butterfly presentations too. Please refer to our earlier post for details about getting to Hawk Cliff. But don’t worry if you cannot make it out this weekend, counting of migrating birds will continue daily into December and Hawk Cliff is far less crowded on weekdays. Finally, don’t forget your binoculars!