Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fall Hawk-Watch

Although I have never participated in a "hawk-watch", several of my friends have recommended it to me.  So, this year (next month) I am planning on participating in my first hawk-watch!  I am really looking forward to it...another adventure under my belt!!  I seriously doubt that they'd ask me, a novice, to become a counter but there's always room for learning on my part.  I've been told that birds clubs from both Roanoke and Lynchburg frequent a spot off the Blue Ridge parkway, an overlook...a place called Harvey's Knob.  Apparently there has been quite an interest here in Virginia for hawk-watching dating back to the 1970's.  

Apparently the Fall hawk migration season usually runs from mid-August through early December, with the greatest number of hawks passing through in September.  So, that's when I plan on making my trek.  Furthermore, there are volunteer hawk "counters" who keep track of both the types as well as the numbers of hawks passing by generally between 9:00 am-5:00 pm.  I was also told that typically after the passage of a cold front, with winds out of the northwest bring "big" flights.  The data for sightings there are incredible.  For instance, in one year, a total of 12,286 birds of prey were seen at the hawk-watch site; 9,994 of these were broad-winged hawks.  On September 21st alone, 5,503 broad-wings were counted!  Their web site gives all sorts of statistical data on sightings and numbers by day.

Doesn't that sound awesome?  I can't wait!!  It must be meant to be because the other day when I was pulling out of the driveway, a hawk (not sure if it was a young red-tail or a broad-wing), who had been at the side of my front creek, took flight.  It was huge and as I drove down the gravel road, it flew almost with me negotiating the curves so smoothly.  As I followed, I could almost feel the freedom.  Gosh, this is going to be fun!  All I have to do is bring a chair, my camera, binoculars, a notebook and food to last the day...:).


varunner said...

Huh. Well, my guess is you should go around Sept. 21st ;-) Sounds like fun - Paul and I have talked about going before but have never gotten around to it.

forestwalk/laura k said...

wow!! how cool!!!! FUN!

i bet you'll be amazed and come away with some awesome shots! and if not...some terrific memories of all those amazing creatures!! :]

Anonymous said...

Very interesting



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