The Audubon Society of Southwest Florida hosts an annual Hawk Watch at the Sanibel Lighthouse each October, which is always lead by master birder Vince McGrath. Lately the event has featured few raptures.
This year was no exception. The only raptor to make an appearance, aside from the local Osprey was a Peregrine Falcon that greeted all of as we approached the parking lot. The early sighting of the falcon was considered a good omen for the day, but apparently the winds would be against us. Other birds seen today included lots of migrating Palm Warbler, several Northern Rough-winged Swallows, a Scarlet Tanager and the usual waders and shore birds.
|Snowy Egret near the fishing pier|
In 2008 we had a very good day. The American Kestrel count exceeded 100, plus several Merlins, Peregrines, Osprey and Sharp-shinned Hawks.
The next year, 2009, we had sixteen American Kestrels, a dozen Sharp-shinned Hawks a pair of Broad-winged hawks, six Merlins and a few Osprey.
|White Ibis near the fishing pier|
The next good event was in 2011 with a pair of American Kestrels, three Merlins, a pair of Sharp-shinned Hawks, a Red-tailed Hawk, a pair of Northern Harriers, a Broad-winged Hawk some Osprey, plus a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, a Pin-tailed Whydah, an Audubon Warbler and Baltimore Oriole.
|Eastern Phoebe seen at the Bailey Tract|
Bob Pelkey elected to visit the Ding Darling NWR Bailey Tract. Here we added a Blue-winged Teal, more Palm Warblers, a FOS Eastern Phoebe and a Red-shouldered Hawk. Maybe next year would be better.
|Marsh Rabbit seen at the Bailey Tract|