Sullivan County’s Summitville Hawk Watch Milestones

Three of six Black Vultures that passed over the tower

This morning I was going to bird the Bashakill, but upon arriving at Haven Road, I observed four Broad-winged Hawks and a Merlin. I decided to go directly to the hawk watch in hopes of a great day. I wasn’t disappointed. First, let me say that we are now in our tenth year at the Summitville Fire Tower conducting the hawk watch. This is in itself a milestone. Today however would go beyond our greatest expectations. As soon as I arrived, there was a clear movement of Broad-winged Hawks. Wave after wave of these birds, with several other species mixed in here and there, passed by. Lance Verderame arrived at 10 am and we continued to enjoy a major migration event for our site. Some time after Lance departed, at 3:09 PM, for the first time in the history of our site we surpassed 1000 birds for the day. The major flight continued and I remained until nearly 6 PM. At that time we had attained the remarkable number of 1,215 Raptors for the day! This has always been a dream of mine to have a blow-out day like this and it was certainly very exciting and rewarding. Tomorrows forcast is the same as todays, and often a second day of winds that are the same are very productive, lets hope for the best!

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2 Responses to Sullivan County’s Summitville Hawk Watch Milestones

  1. scott says:

    Congrats on a phenomenal day. 1200+ raptors wow!! This has been amazing week of birding in Sullivan County! Starting with those Forster’s Terns last Saturday this fall migration has been as much fun as that amazing spring migration we had the first week of May.

    • Thanks Scott, sounds like you had a great day too! I have long been an advocate of fall birding, It may actually be the best all around birding, if you (I) can keep up. John


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