[Tweeters] 27 Broad-winged Hawks in Kelowna, BC (and therefor
josh.n.glant at gmail.com
Sun Sep 6 10:27:42 PDT 2015
I would have sent this as soon as I heard of this (late last night), but I didn't want to wake any Tweeters up from their dreams of finding Blackburnian Warblers in their birdbaths. However, I did compose the message at night so I could send it off in the morning. Here goes:
Fresh off the presses of eBird and the BC Birding forum, I bring to you this breaking hawk news: At 9:30 yesterday morning, Chris Charlesworth and Cindy Lawrence were birding atop Kelowna Mountain (in eponymous Kelowna, BC) when they saw 27 Broad-winged Hawks fly in from the over Okanagan Lake. The loose "kettle" of Broad-wings (with "groups of 4, 5 and 10 birds") were apparently composed of 26 light-morphs and a single dark-morph, many of whom allowed for fantastic eye-level views.
50 minutes later, Ted Hillary saw one lone adult light-morph Broad-wing in Salmon Arm (an hour north of Kelowna). Obviously, there is an unprecedented (as far as we know) number of Broad-winged Hawks making its way down the Okanagan Valley, and therefore soon into Okanagan County and eastern Washington. It's too bad that the normal Chelan Hawkwatch site is inaccessible, because it might offer a chance at spotting these birds, at least if they follow the ridge on the west side of the "valley" (although, judging by the location of Kelowna Mountain on the east side of the valley, I would say rather that they're following the eastern edge).
Otherwise I'm not entirely sure of the other good places for hawk-watching in eastern Washington, but the Sentinel Bluffs, Vantage or Table Mountain (not so sure about that one, but you never know) sound like good places to start looking. Of course, this is only speculation, and the flock can migrate any way it chooses. The hawks could already have slept somewhere in Washington last night. Or, indeed, as some Hawks can travel at 30-40 mph on days with wind on their good side, they might be almost or already south of here! But this is the idle guessing of a bird enthusiast on the other side of the mountains.
Who knows, maybe they'll veer a bit east over the Columbia Plateau and migrate over Washtucna. What a sight that would be! Of course, seeing a single juvenile Broad-winged Hawk in Washtucna, as happened yesterday, would be exciting enough.
Just the messenger (perhaps getting a bit too excited about one of my most highly-anticipated birds, and hoping that any errors didn't slip through my best fact-checking research efforts), Joshua Glant
Mercer Island, WA
Josh.n.glant at gmail.com
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