For some unknown reason the Pilot Mountain Hawk Watch was poorly attended by PBC members, but five or six folks did show up and were handsomely rewarded. While there was not a great influx early-on, soon after mid afternoon the raptors put on a truly spectacular appearance.
The general public was streaming through Little Pinnacle in great numbers and were rewarded with a special educational opportunity delivered by Phil Dickinson and Scott, " the hubble " Depue as we spotted one kettle after another of Broad Wing Hawks on their way to Central and South America for the winter. On several occasions the flocks numbered in the hundreds and “kettled up” before bailing out for a fast glide South. We were also rewarded with great sightings of Bald Eagles, Peregrine Falcons, Kestrels, Ospreys, Sharp Shinned Hawks, Black Vultures, Turkey Vultures, Red Tailed Hawks, Red Shouldered Hawks as well as a good list of warblers.
There really is little to compare to the sudden appearance of a thousand Broad Wing Hawks in a huge kettle swirling ever upward to gain altitude for a release at the top at thousands of feet of altitude, then glide at high speeds for many miles before repeating the process. We witnessed this several times on Saturday. Wow, this was truly a spectacular phenomenon! Don't miss the show next year!
Final tally of migrants : 2345 Broad-winged Hawks, 4 Osprey, 4 Bald Eagles, 10 Sharp-shinned (apparent migrants), 2 Red-shouldered (apparent migrants) and a Peregrine Falcon.