Sunday, October 9, 2011

That's a Fine Kettle of Hawks, That Is!

Sunday morning, Claremont, Oak Park Cemetery.  So far, this has been a dismal fall migration. Very few passerine migrants, not a single Swainsons Hawk.  Got to the cemetery, and the place was full of Audubon's Warblers, White-crowned Sparrows, and 6 Black-throated Gray Warblers. Even got my First-of-Fall Ruby-crowned Kinglet: proof that autumn is upon us. At 09:15 a.m., an unusually shaped hawk flew behind the eucalypti at the north end of the cemetery, so I ran around to the open, undeveloped part of the cemetery. Cool! Eighteen Swainson's Hawks on their way to Argentina! first there were 18 of them, but more and more rose up from the trees in the neighborhood north of the cemetery, and eventully I had over 70 Swainson's Hawks!  The kettle circled overhead for an hour, but I didn't have my car (I had walked the Basset Hound to the cemetery from my house) and I feared that if I ran home for my 35 mm SLR, the flock would be gone, so I called a bunch of local Claremont birders. No one was home except or Rick, who has an ankle injury, and can't walk. Dang it! I took the picture, above, by holding my Android Droid X cell phone up to the left lens of my Swarowski 10 X 42 Habicht (how appropriate!) binoculars.
I took the picture, below, by pointing the cell phone at theat part of the sky had had most of the 70 hawks in one area.  My apologies for the low image quality:

Each one of the black dots in the blue sky is a Swainson's Hawk.

1 comment:

Lost in America said...

Hi Tom. Do you know about the plans to expand the cemetery northward into the fallow zone? The Architectural Commission will meet to discuss and hear public input on Wed. Nov 9 at 7 pm. Hopefully they don't destroy the oak trees with maniacal low-bid "trimming".

Wish I had been home when the Swainson's were there!