Winter Arrivals

Thirty observations brings the total observation count over 800. For mid-November, this is good news for me but we shouldn't let up. Let's continue heading towards that thousand observation goal. And if it helps with motivation, we're only 90 away from breaking last year's record.

It was difficult to chose the Observation of the Week. We have a very nice Rough-legged Hawk posting, I had a sleeping Great Horned, and I had my first encounter with a dark morph Ferruginous Hawk. But out of all of that, I think the prize goes to @nmrveji for a photo of a Black Merlin. To the best of knowledge, this does not only mark our very first Black Merlin in the three years I've been doing this project, but also our first non-Taiga Merlin. They can be discerned by the much more common and expected race of Merlin by the lack of white bands on the tails (some can have up to at least 3 incomplete bands), dark head that obscures the teardrop stripes below the eye, and underparts more heavily marked. You can see the photo here:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/101069976

Not only has this been a good week for raptors, it's also looking to be a good year for finches. It is only mid-November and we are seeing numbers of redpolls and White-winged Crossbills that haven't been seen in Washington or Oregon since the 2012-2013 winter. This "irruption" is looking to be quite spectacular and it might also be a good sign for us raptor watchers. These high counts of winter species might also mean we'll see an unusual increase and southward migration of the Arctic 3; Rough-legged Hawk, Snowy Owl and Gyrfalcon. I can feel it, this winter is going to be good.

Lähettänyt birdwhisperer birdwhisperer, 21. marraskuuta 2021 07:22

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