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Hawk Cliff is recognized as one of the prime fall migration hawk watching destinations in all North America.

 

Every year hundreds of birders (and non-birders!) from Canada, the U.S. and other countries visit Hawk Cliff. Birders can normally expect to see 15 different raptor species, with typical count totals reaching several thousand birds per day. On a few exceptional occasions lucky visitors have witnessed the amazing spectacle of over 100,000 raptors of various species migrating past Hawk Cliff in a single day!

Others come to enjoy the many song birds and Monarchs that also pass Hawk Cliff on their journey to warmer climes, or to walk the beautiful trails of Hawk Cliff Woods. This is a stunning 230 acre property and is one of the most significant deep interior forests in Elgin County. Hawk Cliff Woods is a maple-beech forest with many Carolinian specialties, including the Tulip-tree and Pignut Hickory as well as the Endangered Butternut and American Chestnut.   Rare birds such as Eastern Wood-Pewee, Acadian Flycatcher, Louisiana Waterthrush, and Wood Thrush thrive in the deep woods.

Please Contact Roberta Buchanan at roberta.buchanan@icloud.com or by phone 519-864-1475.

Date:  September 22, 2018

Place:  Lambton Mall parking lot – Carpooling is an option as it is an 80 minute drive.

Time: 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.  (bring your lunch or visit nearby Port Stanley for lunch)

Daily Live-bird Demos at 11a.m. and 2 p.m.

What to Bring:  water, insect repellent, hat, sunscreen, lawn chair, binoculars, lunch

Join the Thames Talbot Land Trust this weekend for their dedication and official opening of Hawk Cliff Woods! This is a free outdoor event taking place on September the 17th and 18th from 10am-3:30pm. The dedication and official opening takes place on September 18th at 12:30pm. The Celebration is hosted by the St Thomas Field Naturalist Club (STFNC), the Hawk Cliff Banders, and volunteers of Monarch Watch.

Highlights include:

  • Dedication and Official Opening of Hawk Cliff Woods
  • Hawk banding demonstrations by STFNC and Hawk Cliff Banders
  • Monarch Butterfly tagging demonstrations by STFNC and volunteers of Monarch Watch
  • Educational programing by Let’s Talk Science
  • Guided hikes led by Thames Talbot Land Trust
  • Tree climbing with Tree Climbing Canada
  • …and more!
Check out the Thames Talbot Land Trust website for the full schedule.

Make sure to bring a pair of binoculars, a raptor field guide, a folding chair, and a spotting scope! And don’t forget something to drink and snack on!

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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. (more…)

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If the allure of migrating raptors isn’t quite enough, Hawk Cliff is also a great place to see Monarch butterflies. These insects follow a similar route to the hawks and eagles when they head south for the winter, which means they also pass through the Hawk Cliff area.

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Regardless of the warm weather we have been enjoying, migratory birds will still head south on schedule. Raptor migration is underway and that means a trip to Hawk Cliff should be on your calendar. Driving to Hawk Cliff takes approximately 1h 30m from the Sarnia area. The site is located only a few kilometers from Port Stanley on the north shore of Lake Erie, and is a prime place to view raptors flying overhead.

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