Thursday, April 27, 2006

Yesterday afternoon here in Tlacotalpan Veracruz in a three hour period, I was able to count 5,675 Broad-winged hawks. There had been a bit of a lull in the movement of Broad-winged hawks here at the count but today they made a good showing.

In the morning yesterday I was able to "digiscope" this cool Yellow-headed Savannah Vulture (lesser)
The Savannah vulture is a resident here in Tlacotalpan, Veracruz. In flight they resemble a Turkey vulture.

-David McCauley

On April 25, 2006 Twenty-three Peregrine falcons flew over the spring hawkwatch in Tlacotalpan Veracruz.

I love to watch Peregrine falcons! Perched or in flight this is one damn impressive raptor! In recent days they have been migrating through in fairly large numbers. We have observed and counted 65 Peregrine falcons in the last seven days. So far this spring we have counted 136 Peregrines.
On April 25, in the afternoon, this beautiful Peregrine falcon landed on a radio antenna (two blocks from the hawkwatch site) I left Rafael and José Luis counting, grabbed my scope and digital camera, and was able to get a few photos of this Peregrine falcon at rest.
David McCauley

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

(photo of a Roadside Hawk that I "digiscoped" yesterday in Veracruz)

Yesterday we passed the 200,000 mark for raptors counted at the spring hawkwatch here in Tlacotalpan, Veracruz. It has been an amazing spring. See HAWKCOUNT
We have logged 207 hours and seen 19 migratory raptor species. Really good stuff!
This year I have had more help scanning and counting and that has made all of the difference. Mississippi kites are still coming through in good numbers.
David McCauley

Friday, April 21, 2006

15,255 Mississippi kites and a Great Black Hawk

Yesterday I was out in the morning before the hawkwatch and was able to "digiscope" this beautiful adult Great black Hawk - Buteo urubitinga ridgwayi
Nikon Coolpix P1 handheld to Nikon Fieldscope 82 ED 30XWA eyepiece - Slik tripod

Once again the raptors here at spring hawkwatch in Tlacotalpan put on a magnificent showing. Today the Mississippi kites were in the spotlight. We counted 15,255 Mississippi kites in a 4 hour span. There were three large groups of 1,500 plus Mississippi kites.
The total count for the day was 16,351
The count for April so far is .......160,114 (133 hours of observation)
The total count this far for the Tlacotalpan Spring hawk watch is...190,832 (186 hours of observation)

Me, on the porch of the house in front of Plaza Doña Marta, sitting in my favourite "hawkwatch rocking chair" Its a tough job...but somebody's got to do it..LOL
Having the time of my life and happy to share it with the world.
Eyes to the sky,
David McCauley

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Greetings from Veracruz - I was out early yesterday and was able to digiscope this adult Roadside hawk.
The winds persisted from the south and there was no apparent raptor movement. At 14:30 the winds shifted from the SSE and the floodgates opened!
For the next three hours the sky was filled with raptor migration! There were no massive groups of raptors, the largest "stream" was about 500 raptors (mississippi kites). Fairly low flight provide excellent views.
Below are some photos that I took through my binocular to give you a sense of what was happening. (click on all of the photos for the enlargement).
David McCauley

Monday, April 17, 2006

It was quite an amazing day here at the hawkwatch in Tlacotalpan. The afternoon brought low flying mixes of Swainson's hawks and Broad-winged hawks.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

I logged a little over 7.5 hours here yesterday in hawkwatch. I observed 16 species of birds of prey (including resident raptors) and counted 2,382 northward bound raptors.
The bulk of the days movement occurred between 3 and 5 pm.
The afternoon sun illuminates the low flying raptors as the gracefully swirl overhead. Broad-winged hawks, Swainson´s hawks, Missippi kites, Peregrine falcons, Osprey, Sharp-shinned hawks, Cooper´s hawks........hawkwatch bliss.
With two weeks of April counting done we have counted 97,093 migrating raptors and the total spring count including some days in March is 127,811.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Spring hawkwatch 2006 Tlacotalpan Veracruz. Here is a brief report of the Tlacotalpan Spring hawkwatch so far. With 149 hours of observation time we have counted 125,429 migrating raptors (18 migrating raptor species observed and 9 species of resident raptors for a total of 27 species of raptors observed.) I don´t know of any other hawkwatch site that can equal this type of raptor diversity.
This year I had more help with the hawkwatch observation and it is reflected in the numbers. I want to thank all those who have helped out so far this season.
I still have two weeks of observation left for the month of April. For a report of this and previous year´s counts here in Tlacotalpan Veracruz, you can visit the HAWKCOUNT site.
I have not made regular posts to my weblog as I have been very occupied with visitors, early morning birding / "digiscoping" and cooking.
For these last two weeks I plan to post on my weblog some of my hawkwatch observations and share with you a little of this marvelous hawkwatch experience.