Thursday, August 14, 2014

Leftovers 2013

Golden Snow VIDEO

Annual Christmas POEM

(Just Below The Above)

Comparative Data for the Last Nine YEARS

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

2013 Summary, etc.

The Year in Review:

2013 was indeed a year to remember: We had the highest total yearly count in the history of the Hawkwatch; the highest single day count of hawks; the highest hourly total; and, the highest total number of Bald Eagles for a year.

The highest total number of hawks for a year prior to this year was 15,398 in 2010. This year the total was 21,221 more than 37% above that total.

The highest single day count prior to this year was 7344 (7313 BW) in 2010. This year was 8449 (8430 BW) on September 18. Rockfish had their fourth highest count on September 17 with 8244 (8202 BW).

The Bald Eagle recovery continued to a new high of 121 this year – the previous high was 104 in 2011.

Baron Gibson's exuberance on 9/18/13 was as straightforward and energetic as he is:

PHENOMENAL, WOW, once in a lifetime maybe, is how I would describe today's daily record setting count at the watch. With the late flight last night, Tina & myself decided to get to the watch an hour early in hopes of seeing lift off & lift off we saw. Dave Brunstetter was there when we arrived & had already counted 27 BW's. Hawks were observed low in the valley on the west side getting up and streaming out. After an hour of counting (721 counted) the skies cleared just enough for us to see a huge flight come right over the watch sometimes 10-15 wide streaming & kettling, Kettling & streaming with 5,527 BW's counted.

BW's by hr (7:45-8) 27 (8-9) 721 (9-10) 5,527 (10-11) 268 (11-12) 996 (12-1) 583 (1-2) 62 (2-3) 237 (3-4) 2 (4-5) 7
2 Bald Eagles, Imm @ 12:38, AEBE @ 15:48

Special thanks to Dave Brunstetter for helping me count the multitudes.”

The regular Counters this year were: Joyce Holt, Bill and Katie James, Baron Gibson, Dillard Childress, David Kirk, and Carl Christianson. Somewhat irregular, but very important, counters were David Brunstetter, Matt Hosmer, Allen and Robin Austin, Barry Kinzie, Mike Crowder and Liz Williams.

Regular Observers this year included, but were not limited to: Darryl Martin, Andy Biggs, Eunice Hudgins, Phillip Ferguson, Tina Gibson, Kathy Brett, Jen, Randy Doss, Teresa Kinzie, Al Miller, and Norris Ford. We continue to appreciate assistance from Hollins University and Virginia Western during Broadwing season as well as many other Broadwing week regulars.

On 9/15/13, we had the earliest Golden Eagle on record, an immature.

Eye-balling the current (9 year) record, it looks like many species were below average this year including: Ospreys, Harriers, Sharpies, Kestrels, Merlins and Red Shoulders. Does anyone wonder if the melting permafrost enhances the food supply differentially to the Broadwings?

Is this a graph of BW migration? Click and see:

Nice Redtail-Squirrel Video From Richard E

Let's try wind farming for 30 years and see if there any Eagles left. NOT!

What those Amazon DRONES will be in for (check out the Osprey!)

You don't want to be a young OSPREY!

Harvey's Knob Current


If the National Park Service, Blue Ridge Parkway, Dept. of the Interior, etc., would let us, we could block off the Overlook and install a pond just for these migrating BIRDS!

Thanksgiving Turkeys HERE!

David B. and the SE OWL

Joyce's Unusual DAY!

Photos of Harvey HERE!

Some Leftovers

Darryl's World Part ONE (Page Down)

Sausage Gravy DAY!
Thanks Barry!!

Immature Golden Eagle at the Knob September 15th, 2013!
Pictures HERE! (Then Page Down)

Also including Carl's Big Day, Mature and Immature Broadwings, a local Redtail, and more!

What scientific measure is used to determine the end of Broadwing


Late 9/16/13 flight - See CATMAN (or Baron on the throne) HERE!
(Then Page Down)

9/17/13 - A Cloudy Day Here!

The Biggest Day EVER!
(Then Page Down)

These high numbers are likely a Result of a new incantation by the small group of Dave and Bill

Jim Hylton's daughter and granddaughter were special visitors to the Knob on this big day.

See if you believe this Osprey's migration with two days and
nights of non-stop FLIGHT!

On to Cuba and then to Venezuela!! Look HERE!

More HERE!

The Osprey has settled in HERE

Some Osprey Behavior

A Flying SONG

Late on November 5th, Katie and I had 99 birds - waiting for one more when these two birds appeared flapping across the sky:
Enlarge (X2) and note the top bird's legs.



And then they were gone:

September 19, 2012 was the third highest total at Harvey's

since records were begun - 5245!

Hard work for Baron who did an

incredible job! Some saw a BE chasing a PG - a first for many

of us!!!

People kettling up that day:

Barry cordially invites you to a Sausage Gravy Breakfast on

Sunday September 22rd, 2013 at 9-10AM on Harvey's Knob.

Last Year's RESULTS:

The chef prepares:

The Birds arrive:

The Chef's reward:

And we all miss JOHN......

Dillard sharing his knowledge with a through hiker:

(or trying to sell his Jeep.....)

New Revision of a Standard Hawk Book!

A review is HERE!

Another HERE!

The Grand Old Hawkwatch of the South is HERE!

Marriage under the.......BROADWINGS?

Dragonfly RECIPES!

Baron Retires to the Mountain!

Read this very nice ARTICLE about his retirement!

And this ONE!

We will miss Virginia Shields this year, a frequent visitor to, and friend of, Harvey's Knob Hawkwatch and birding in the Roanoke Valley.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Poem

Twas the night before Christmas, when all across the mountain
Not a raptor was stirring and no one was a-countin’!
The Vultures were hanging on the rails without care
In hopes that a Hawkwatcher soon would be there.
The Red Tails were nestled all snug in their trees
While visions of meadow voles danced in the breeze
(Which was a Beaufort of three or possibly four
And out of the Northwest – Who could ask for more!)
The ravens were flying, barrel rolling with jive!
The moon was full, with visibility a five……
When out of the Northeast there arose such a clatter
Every creature looked up to see what was the matter.
When what to their wondering eyes should appear
But a miniature sleigh and eight Hawkwatchers in gear.
With a little old driver, so lively a knave,
It was clear in a moment it must be Saint Dave!
As rapid as Eagles, his coursers they came
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now, Gibsons! Now Kirk! Now David B. and Katie!
On Dillard! On Carl! On Joyce, Milady!
On Leader, On Founder, You have to carry ‘em,
They’re a heavy load, but - On Myriam!
To the top of the mountain! To Harvey’s, Heed the call!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
“As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So do the hawks” said Saint Dave, “in migration.
They grace this spot, depending on precipitation,
Thermals, dew point and other weather factors.
They all contribute to the counter seeing raptors.”
The sleigh came to rest on the Overlook floor,
And from the Southwest came another great roar:
A bus appeared and from the moon-lit sky fell,
With sleepy-eyed Hawkwatchers, saying: “What the Hell?”
“Here is your Christmas present” said Old Saint Dave
And to each a gold and silver counter he gave.
“But this counter is incredible” said all the counting crew
“It goes all the way up into the millions or two!”
“You can’t count that many hawks!” said Deadeye Mike Crowder
“I can! I can” said Matt and Phillip both getting louder.
Teresa said: “There must be more to this story”
“Indeed!” said the Goffs, “Indeed” echoed Cory.
The Wefels starting counting, Kathy B. and Eunice too,
Quinns, Austins, Williams, Tuckers – their thumbs turning blue.
Mike Purdy, Allen Miller – they were clicking like mad
But counting nothing and Darryl said: “This is sad.”
And says Andy to them all: ”This is very, very crazy!”
Adds Barry to the clicking: “Anyone want gravy?”
Said Saint Dave to the crowd: “I’m glad I’ve brought you joy
With this little trinket – this little counting toy.
But what do you do here? What’s the good of your eye?”
And with that cue, they one and all looked up high
And beheld a river of raptors in lines through the sky:
Every hawk that did or would ever fly.
No clickers were clicking, open each mouth
As the river ran from the North and the South.
“This is the circle of migration that you all will make”
Said the Saint to them all “And now you must awake!”
On Christmas morning, each one awoke with awe
At the dream they had had, the river they saw.
Each had a memory of resounding words that night:
“Happy Christmas to all and to all a good flight!”

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Blustery November

November 10, 2013, a blustery day:

The immature Bald Eagle coming in for a landing.  He failed at the pine tree to the west and then went North.  This is our local Bald Eagle.  We shall call him Harvey!

Another view of Harvey:

A Golden over the valley at a distance:

Lots of these:

And some HobKnobbers:

A good day on the mountain!