Friday, June 12, 2009

Franklin's Gull at Jamestown Ferry

A "second summer" Franklin's Gull was at the Jamestown Ferry today, June 12, 2009. Though not perfect images, the pictures show upperwing and underwing patterns and the large white eye crescents which join behind the eye.

Brian Taber

Thursday, June 4, 2009

College Creek Hawkwatch 09 Season Ends

College Creek Hawkwatch has completed its 13th consecutive season. The site, located on the James River, 3 miles east of Williamsburg, is the only regular late winter and spring hawkwatch in Virginia. The four regular volunteers, Tom Armour, Fred Blystone, Bill Williams and I, covered 143.5 hours over 75 days from February 9th to May 26th. We were on pace for a new season record, but the flights really died after early May and we finished with a total of 1620, just short of the record 1666 set in 2007.

We shared information as the season progressed with many visitors and on the VA List Serve and on this General Blog.

Complete daily information is entered on the website of the Hawk Migration Association of North America, though anyone who wants additional details may contact me directly at

Some of the season highlights include a new record 47 Northern Harriers (old record was 41), a record-tying 6 Merlins, a species quite scarce in spring migration, 33 American Kestrels, which is up from the very low totals of 12, 18, 10 and 15 from the past 4 years, a Northern Goshawk on March 21 and a Mississippi Kite on May 7th.

We also recorded our highest-ever daily total, 190, on March 20th.

Some non-hawk highlights, in addition to many great swallow flights, include nearly 1400 Tundra Swans on March 11th, an American White Pelican on March 18th and our first Boat-tailed Grackles onMay 24th.

Brian Taber