Montclair Hawk Lookout Weekly Report, 9/5 – 9/11/2021

Merlin by Wayne Greenstone

This week started with a washout on Sunday September 5th.  The following day was Labor Day, and apparently this is a holiday also observed by raptors, because almost all of them stayed home and skipped the migration.  A few Bald Eagles defied this tradition, however, and gave good looks traversing the gorge.   The 7th and 8th featured hot temps, southerly/southwesterly winds, and poor raptor numbers, but decent numbers of migrating insects, especially Black Saddlebags dragonflies (with a count of 82 on September 8th).  Thursday the 9th brought cooler temps and, sadly, intermittent rain, so it was a half-day for the watch.  One migrant Osprey and one of the local Bald Eagles came by to say hello before I packed up my wet gear and headed home.  The following day, September 10th, was promising, with some mini-kettles of Broad-winged Hawks, and a battle royale between two Bald Eagles and two Peregrine Falcons passing directly over the watch (would that I had a camera ready for that spectacle!).  Southwest winds returned on September 11th and again made for a slow flight.  Not an impressive migration week, but as always, it was nice to be up on top of Montclair catching some rays and enjoying the company of wonderful people and some beautiful birds.

Season Totals:

Osprey:                               85

Bald Eagle:                         42

Northern Harrier:             8

Sharp-shinned Hawk:      10

Cooper’s Hawk:                20

Broad-winged Hawk:      167

Red-tailed Hawk:             1

American Kestrel:             50

Merlin:                                12

Peregrine Falcon:             10

Unidentified Accipiter:    1

Unidentified Buteo:         2

410 raptors counted


-Cliff Bernzweig