Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Big Sit and Hawk Wach

For the 2009 Cape Henlopen's "Big Sit" I promised myself I'd be a proper "Birder" and arrive on site for the 3:30 AM start.   Or I'd show for the 5:30 AM Dawn Watch. Or.... ? ;-)
  In the middle of the night I turned off my alarm.  I did awake at 8 AM and was at the Hawk Watch/Big Sit platform by 10:00AM! :-) So civilized!!!
I put off "Birding" for decades as I have no interest to be outside at DAWN!  But when I discovered the best Seashore Birding is at low tide..... say show up at noon...... or that Raptors do lift-off at ~ 10 AM....... then a Birder I became! 
Glorious beautiful weather with perfect-for-Raptors NNE winds graced us after the blustery front moved out making all Birders beyond gleeful.
The Hawk Watch platform was lush with glorious and delicious food offerings which added to the celebratory and record day of bird/raptor sightings.
This year, now having lost the opera glass optics and gained Nikon's Monarch 8 x 42,  I had the glass and knew enough "Birds" to appreciate fully the show! 
 I could not have asked for more fun "Birdy" companions! 
I copy below Forrest Rowland's official account which was posted on DE Birds List.


Observation start time: 05:00:00

Observation end   time: 18:00:00

Total observation time: 13 hours

Official Counter: Forrest Rowland

Observers: Bruce Lantz, Jeff Gordon, Sharon Lynn, Susan Gruver


Over 70 visitors out to join in the Big Sit! with many of them staying for much fun today!!! Matt Sarver, Lauren Morgens, and Jeff Gordon were there from the 3:30am start. Sharon Lynn, Sally O'Byrne, and Michael and Diane Kane came up at 5:30am. From 8am on it was a fairly steady stream of people including Colin Campbell, Bruce Peterjohn, Bruze Lantz, Liz and Lew Dumont, Ruth Draper, Jim Leach, Rachel Shapiro, Rob Schroeder, Andy

Urdqhart....too many familiar names to list all, or fit into the observer column. A fantastic crowd, with our friends Melody and Martin from Maryland being the last visitors to close out the day with us.


Clear and Sunny with high cirrus clouds much of the day, the light NNE

winds provided great weather for a hawk flight.

Raptor Observations:

More records broken! Bald Eagle single-day count record now stands at 36.

Single day Cooper's Hawk record is now 166. Another outstanding day, and

with so many people there to enjoy the spectacle! Many birds were right

overhead at varying heights.

Non-raptor Observations:

97 species recorded for the Big Sit! Best birds included Lark Sparrow

(which ended up coming 15 feet from us), White-winged Scoter, and

Orange-crowned Warbler. FOS birds for the platform yesterday were Brant,

Blue-headed Vireo, Orange-crowned Warbler, Lark Sparrow, Yellow-bellied

Sapsaucker, Brown Creeper, Swamp Sparrow, and White-throated Sparrow.>>

Beach Blessings,


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