Sunday, September 13, 2009

Putney Mountain Hawk Watch report 9-13-09

Down in southern Vt the Putney Mountain Hawk Watch Group has worked hard to keep records of the hawks passing by and establish Putney Mountain as one of the better places to view the hawk migration. It is something very unique here in Vermont. Everyone is welcome to come and enjoy a day of hawk watching.

Cooper's Hawk top image. Some of the Putney Mt Hawk Watch Group below.The mountain top event is well known to the area people and at one point there were about 25 people watching/counting hawks, families with children, 3 or 4 people walking their dogs and still others that just came up to get out in the sunshine. The top of Putney Mt is also a popular place to hike. A couple from Saratoga N.Y. asked me what are we doing.

Broad-winged Hawk right"Hawk watching," I answered. With that someone yells out "two in the wispy white clouds" and I looked up pointing to the two hawks going by overhead for the couple to see. They stuck around for a while as the pace of hawk sightings increased. Everyone was very busy looking, counting, double checking and confirming ID's and keeping track of the day's sighting.

(pictured below Sharp-shinned upper and Cooper's lower) "I have a kettle of 18 over here," someone yells and instantly everyone focuses on that, counting hawks and confirming ID's. Kettles are quite a sight to be hold. They are a group of hawks all rising up on a warm air thermal. When they reach the end of the warm air(the top), they glide off heading south in search of the next thermal to get a lift from. Hawks also ride on wind currents when it favors their movement south.

A Broad-winged Hawk from the side

The excitement of watching hawks glide by is not for everyone, but those of you interested in finding out more can go to this link for a brief history of Putney Mt hawk watch and for info about the daily count totals and direction to Putney Mountain Putney VT. Click here then click on the site profile for directions.

Another Cooper's Hawk belowFor me this is all new and very exciting, getting a chance to see so many hawks heading south on their annual migration. And, yes, some are what they call eye birds. They are birds so close that you don't need binoculars to view them. Who doesn't love that?

Broad-wing viewOn this day the Putney Mountain Hawk Watch group counted a total of 689 hawks spread over 8 different species and entered this count into the permanent record for Putney Mt Hawk Watch for future scientific comparison.

I would like to thank Don Clark for showing me how to get to Putney Mountain and introducing me to hawk watching there. I'm already planning a return trip!


Peter Manship

Images and story © 2009 Peter Manship


Ronald said...

Wow, I love the inverted Sharpie!

Hilke Breder said...

Fantastic shots! Really enjoyed your post.

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