2014 Hawk Watch at Lighthouse Point, New Haven

Lighthouse Point Park Hawk Watch, August to December

The hawk flight schedule seemed to have “moved to the right”, this year. We had a record slow August, with no real cold fronts, and then the worst September since full coverage began in 1980. October totals rebounded, although the traditional peak Columbus Day weekend failed to bring huge numbers. Our peak season day was later; 1159 hawks on October 19. November’s totals were well-within the 10-year averages and we had a record breaking December.

But it’s not just about the numbers. Everyone who visited has a memory of the afternoon “falcon follies” or an occasional Golden Eagle, or even the Goshawk which barreled, low, past onlookers from the south, and just a few feet above ground.

And, it’s not just about the hawks. Although there seemed to be fewer neotropical migrants, Gnatcatchers, hummingbirds, Dickcissels, thousands of Tree Swallows and even Purple Finch flew past, in September. October brought late Nighthawks, a good flight of nuthatches, woodpeckers (including a Red-Headed on 10/10), Siskins and Purple Finch as well as those ubiquitous Blue Jays. A Sandhill Crane was seen on 10/11, 2 more were spotted on 11/2, and an amazing 23 were seen on 11/28! November brings Robins, Bluebirds and Grackles – a lot of Grackles. On 11/8, an estimated 3-5 million blackbirds flew over in clouds that lasted for minutes. This far surpasses the previous record estimate of 1.5 million on 11/9/2013.

Additional information including detailed daily notes and trend analysis can be found on Hawkcount.org.

 

YR HRS BV TV OS BE NH SS CH NG RS SW
2014 730 17 373 1190 290 403 3706 1548 7 259 0
2013 681 39 416 715 173 282 3077 843 6 209 0
2012 593 3 297 1055 226 383 4105 1440 9 154 0
2011 569 13 713 844 114 258 4721 1544 4 154 2
2010 655 1 388 1039 99 549 6528 1580 13 365 0

 

YR BW RT RL RL GE AK ML PG Unid. Total
2014 475 518 0 0 4 1046 389 232 566 11025
2013 2676 486 3 3 10 906 393 147 469 10840
2012 1724 449 2 2 4 1267 286 244 328 11936
2011 3365 550 3 3 5 1235 216 212 369 14322
2010 831 740 1 1 7 1790 374 191 617 15113
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