Northern Goshawk (juvenile) and Common Raven - Putney Mountain Hawkwatch, Windham Co., VT. October 10th, 2016.
October 10th brought a welcome (and steep!) drop in temperatures with a cool air mass bringing stiff north-westerly winds. The conditions seemed ripe for a good movement of geese and raptors, and so we headed north to visit the dedicated hawkwatch at Putney Mountain in southern Vermont. The signs for a good day were already in place as, during the previous evening, I tallied no less than seven Ospreys at Turner's Falls in just 25 minutes, and that included four in the air at the same time! The birds were lifting from the forest edge on clearing weather conditions after a day of solid rain. Such high counts of Ospreys are pretty unusual at Turner's Fall in my experience.
Osprey (juvenile) - Unity Park, Turner's Falls, Franklin Co., MA. October 9th, 2016.
One of the seven seen during a surprising evening flight after a day of rain.
Arrival at Putney Mountain was greeted by a bracing north-westerly and smattering of raptors shooting through at high speed, most of them Sharp-shinned Hawks. However, we hadn't been there too long before a Common Raven began sparring with a juvenile Northern Goshawk just in front the station. I was thrilled. Northern Goshawks are like 'hens teeth' in Massachusetts in my experience and usually I don't get to see them every year. To have a smart hatch-year bird in front of us offering good photo opportunities was a treat indeed. As if that wasn't enough, a crisp adult Goshawk passed steadily over the station followed by another sighting of a young bird, so two or three Northern Goshawks in all leaving me highly satisfied with the morning. But there was more to come......just after 11;25am, Don Clark picked out an odd looking large bird disappearing behind the tree line but he'd seen enough to suggest that it might be a crane. Sure enough, a Sandhill Crane appeared from behind the maples heading west before hitting a thermal and soaring almost directly above the hawkwatch before continuing west once more - just awesome!
Northern Goshawk (juvenile) - Putney Mountain Hawkwatch, Windham Co., VT. October 10th, 2016.
Northern Goshawk (adult) - Putney Mountain Hawkwatch, Windham Co., VT. October 10th, 2016.
Sandhill Crane - Putney Mountain Hawkwatch, Windham Co., VT. October 10th, 2016.
High-flying, westbound migrant.
With some reluctance, we left the station at about 1:15 pm with some nice diversity though not too much in the way of volume; Cooper's Hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Peregrine, American Kestrel, and Turkey Vulture were all recorded in addition to the previously mentioned Goshawks.
Sharp-shinned Hawk - Putney Mountain Hawkwatch, Windham Co., VT. October 10th, 2016.
The most abundant migrant raptor of the day.
Red-shouldered Hawk - Putney Mountain Hawkwatch, Windham Co., VT. October 10th, 2016.
Two seen in the air at the same time, though not quite together - one adult-type, one juvenile.
Black Scoters (males) - Unity Park, Turner's Falls, Franklin Co., MA. October 10th, 2016.
Greater White-fronted Geese (with Canada Goose) - Turner's Falls, Franklin Co., MA. October 11th, 2016.
Found by Eric Houston on October 10th and still present on the 11th when this image was taken.