Monday, September 17, 2012

Hawkfest 2012 @ Lake Erie Metropark, Michigan

Got my new Audubon magazine last week and read about Hawkfest at the Detroit River in Michigan. 

This is the time of year when all the hawks and eagles from Canada migrate south, and be cause there are no thermal currents over the Great Lakes, they migrate around the lakes. One of those places happens to be about a hour north of where I now live, along the Detroit river. The hawks arrive in Windsor Canada and when the winds and weather are right, they rise up into the air by the tens of thousands (yes 10,000 hawks).  These kettles as they are called, circle high into the air and when they reach the desired altitude they cross over the river and into the United States and continue their journey south. 

Having read about the possibility of seeing thousands of Sharp Shinned hawks, Coopers hawks, Goshawks, Turkey Vultures, Osprey, Bald Eagles, Golden Eagles, Merlins, and Falcons, I jumped at the chance. This past weekend was supposed to be the peak migration based on last years numbers. So, Jill and I headed up on Saturday and Sunday only to be disappointed. This weekend, as beautiful as the weather was, was not to be the peak migration this year. We spent two days staring up at beautiful blue skies only to witness a few Bald Eagles, Red Tail Hawks, Osprey, and some Coopers hawks. Granted, it's never disappointing to see a wild Bald Eagle, but when you are expecting the skies to be blotted out by hawks and only get a handful, I'm sure you can understand. We did get our fill of Gulls, to be sure, and swallows as well. We also met some very interesting birders, and saw lots of boats. Sometimes people watching can be just as fun.

I did manage to take some pictures that I will share with you. The last few are of a juvenile Bald Eagle that buzzed the truck as we were leaving. I managed to pull over and get my camera out just as he flew over the top of us. It was a nice way to end the weekend!