Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Good early April hawk flight
A pretty good early April hawk flight was seen at Sandy Hook today, with good overall variety and a particular strong showing of American Kestrel. Several Red-shouldered Hawks, including at least two adults (one of which is pictured above), were noted, although none were seen leaving the Hook. That's good news for those of my readers who want to see Red-shouldered Hawks but weren't able to make it to Sandy Hook today.
The falcons of course did not linger. Most of the falcon flight was made up of American Kestrels, but there were a few Merlins also and even a Peregrine Falcon.
Last year, the peak flight of American Kestrel occurred on April 6, back then with 85. Today, exactly a year later, I got to 67 kestrels. Last year, I had a small wave of first migrant Merlins also around this time, with 13 on the 6th, 8 on the 7th and 21 on the 8th. That was 42 Merlins in three days - a wave that, curiously, no other hawk watch recorded. This year, I had 13 Merlins on the 4th, none during the 2 hours of counting on the 5th, and then today just 3. It will be interesting to see if this wave of kestrels is followed by a smaller wave of Merlins in the days ahead…
Browse last year's Merlin posts here.