Hawksaloft.com | Peregrine Projects | N.E.Mac | nra
WELCOME TO OUR VIEW OF THE SPRING HAWK MIGRATION
ALONG THE BARRIER BEACH ON PLUM ISLAND MASSACHUSETTS.

Above is a 270 degree panorama taken from in front of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Visitor Information Center in Parking Lot #1 at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. The camera was digital [Agfa ePhoto 307] and LivePicture's PhotoVista stitched over 20 pictures into one seamless image. The pan above can be seen in a larger format.

There are more photographs online at our Spring '97 page.

Below is the Spring hawk migration at Plum Island. Well, it's a written account posted just after it happens. It would way better if you came out and caught the flight firsthand...

Here's the final total for Spring '98:
BV
TV
OS
BE
NH
SS
CH
BW
RS
RT
AK
ML
PG
TOTAL
1
41
42
6
144
476
7
10
4
46
1096
47
7
1929

This count is conducted by the Natural Raptor Association [nra], a dis-organization of hawk watchers.

Go to main Plum Island Hawk Watch page.

Each month's link will take you to the first report, then scroll up to follow the migration of the hawks:
March, April, May


May '98:
Subject:     Plum Island Hawk Migration 5/20-24/98
Date:        5/24/98 2:22 PM
To:          massbird listserv, massbird@world.std.com
The Plum Island Hawk Watch is more specifically Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
near Newburyport MA on the Atlantic Ocean at the MA/NH state border. This
count is conducted from Parking Lot #1.
This week, between May 18th and the 24th, there have been 101 migrating hawks on 
limited coverage. Below are the "weekend" numbers... Thursday, plus 
Saturday and Sunday. The season total has crossed the 1,900 mark.	

This is the time for Bald Eagles -- now, into June. A sub-adult Bald Eagle
flew north up the road Saturday morning as two field trip groups were around.
Thirty feet off the deck, it was a great look for all present with its dark eye
line on an otherwise white head and a black band on the end of the tail.

Gerry Bertand, a trip leader on Saturday: "Hey Tom, did ya see that 
Bald Eagle?" [smiles and laughter from the birders in the parking lot] 

Me: "Is THAT what that was??" [MOTS] 

So often, birders take the word of trip leaders that the distant dark thing 
was an eagle... not the case for this one! It was in view for quite a while 
courtesy of a stiff northwest wind. 

Over twenty hummingbirds zipped passed this week. Clouds of shorebirds over the 
marsh all weekend. Common Loons on the move high up. 

Weather, for the period: 70 something degrees daily; NW winds at 12 to 16, 
with gusts to 22 mph. 

The following were deemed to be migrating: 
  (1) Black Vulture [flying south early Saturday morning] 
   8  Turkey Vultures 
   4  Ospreys
   3  Bald Eagles [plus a 4th reported to the hawk watch by refuge staff] 
  14  Northern Harriers [all immatures] 
  10  Broad-winged Hawks [all immatures]
   1  Red-shouldered Hawk [an immature, Sunday, visible over Pine Island for hours]
   5  Red-tailed Hawks [2 residents present on and off]
  10  American Kestrels
   2  Merlins
=============

Subject:     Plum Island MA: 5/18/98
Date:        5/18/98 10:06 PM
To:          HMANA Mailing List, BIRDHAWK@LISTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU
The Plum Island Hawk Watch is more specifically Parker River National Wildlife Refuge 
near Newburyport MA on the Atlantic Ocean at the MA/NH state border. This 
count is conducted from Parking Lot #1.
After fifteen days of rain and/or east winds -- a record-setting stalled low -- 
the Plum Island hawk watch is back online. Last report, a two-hour shift to SW winds 
on May 2nd. 
5/18/98: 80 degrees; NW12, Gusts to 16. Selected hawk food: 12 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds 
and a Common Nighthawk.
  5/18
TV   3
OS   3
BE   1
NH   5
SS  17
AK  13
PG   1
   ___
    43
=============

Subject:  Plum Island Hawk Watch [unposted]
Date:     5/2/98
To:       HawksAloft.com
SS 2
AK 2
ML 3
PG 1
  __
   8
=============

April '98:
Subject:     Plum Island MA: 4/30/98
Date:        4/30/98 10:16 PM
To:          HMANA Mailing List, BIRDHAWK@LISTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU
The Plum Island Hawk Watch is more specifically Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
near Newburyport MA on the Atlantic Ocean at the MA/NH state border. This
count is conducted from Parking Lot #1.
Sea breeze before noon killed the flight.
4/30/98: 76 degrees; NW6 to E4.
  4/30
TV   1
OS   3
NH  11
SS  48
CH   1
AK  41
   ___
   105
=============

Subject:     Plum Island MA: 4/29/98
Date:        4/29/98 8:27 PM
To:          HMANA Mailing List, BIRDHAWK@LISTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU
The Plum Island Hawk Watch is more specifically Parker River National Wildlife Refuge 
near Newburyport MA on the Atlantic Ocean at the MA/NH state border. This 
count is conducted from Parking Lot #1.
West winds freshening ahead of approaching low. 
4/29/98: 72 degrees; W6 to 14mph.
   4/29
TV   2
OS   7
NH   3
SS 131
RT   1
AK  91
ML   8
   ___
   243
=============

Subject:     Plum Island MA: 4/27-28/98
Date:        4/28/98 7:13 PM
To:          HMANA Mailing List, BIRDHAWK@LISTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU
The Plum Island Hawk Watch is more specifically Parker River National Wildlife Refuge 
near Newburyport MA on the Atlantic Ocean at the MA/NH state border. This 
count is conducted from Parking Lot #1.
4/27/98: 42 degrees; E6, a sea breeze held all day.
4/28/98: 55 degrees; NW8G14 generated by a backdoor cold front [not a good member of the
NW wind family at Plum]
  4/27 4/28
NH  0    3
SS  0    3
RT  0    1
AK  2   17
ML  1    1
PG  1    1
   ___ ___
    4   26
=============

Subject:     Plum Island MA: 4/26/98
Date:        4/26/98 1:25 PM
To:          HMANA Mailing List, BIRDHAWK@LISTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU
The Plum Island Hawk Watch is more specifically Parker River National Wildlife Refuge 
near Newburyport MA on the Atlantic Ocean at the MA/NH state border. This 
count is conducted from Parking Lot #1.
There was a window between yesterday afternoon's switch to NW winds and today's shift 
back to an easterly flow, then rain again. The urgency of the day was not lost on the 
birds: a kettle of 10 NH opened the day along with a burst of 25 SS in under 5 minutes.
4/26/98: 42 degrees; NW4 to ESE4 ahead of approaching coastal system.
  4/26
OS  3
NH 11
SS 70
AK 14
   ___
   98
=============

Subject:     Plum Island MA: 4/25/98
Date:        4/25/98 8:09 PM
To:          HMANA Mailing List, BIRDHAWK@LISTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU
The Plum Island Hawk Watch is more specifically Parker River National Wildlife Refuge 
near Newburyport MA on the Atlantic Ocean at the MA/NH state border. This 
count is conducted from Parking Lot #1.
One harrier on a sea breeze [not good migratory winds at Plum] barely preceeded the 
rain shield. Twelve migrating hawks however during the rain: Osprey under the 
heaviest rains -- low, about six inches off the marsh; Kestrel, Sharpie, and 
Harrier too while the rain came down. Right on the backside of the system, 
a small AK/ML flight.
4/25/98: 52 degrees; NNE2, then rain, and clearing to NNW15.
   4/25
TV  5
OS  2
NH 12
SS  2
AK 27
ML  4
   ___
   53
=============

Subject:     Plum Island MA: 4/21/98
Date:        4/21/98 8:33 PM
To:          HMANA Mailing List, BIRDHAWK@LISTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU
The Plum Island Hawk Watch is more specifically Parker River National Wildlife Refuge 
near Newburyport MA on the Atlantic Ocean at the MA/NH state border. This 
count is conducted from Parking Lot #1.
Early Sharpies, then the Kestrel floodgate opened. Single Monarch Butterfly on the move too.
4/21/98: 63 degrees; NW 10.
    4/21
OS   5
NH   7
SS  85
RT   2
AK 197
ML  12
PG   1
   ___
   309
The '98 Plum count is online with running totals at:
http://www.hawksaloft.com/nra/spring98.html
The '97 Plum count is online for nostalgia at:
http://www.hawksaloft.com/nra/spring97.html
=============

Subject:     Plum Island MA: 4/19/98
Date:        4/19/98 4:03 PM				
To:          HMANA Mailing List, BIRDHAWK@LISTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU
The Plum Island Hawk Watch is more specifically Parker River National Wildlife Refuge 
near Newburyport MA on the Atlantic Ocean at the MA/NH state border. This 
count is conducted from Parking Lot #1.
The flight went ballistic early. By 8am, the Sharpies were optics-only. But it's fun 
to anticipate and be granted a little echo following a big day [yes, for those of us who 
watch from the sand dunes, this 300+ Kestrels is a big day].
4/19/98: 65 degrees; overcast; WNW 4.
    4/19				
TV   1				
OS   3				
NH  12				
SS  79				
CH   1				
RT   1				
AK  43				
   ___				
   140				
				
The '98 Plum count is online with running totals at:				
http://www.hawksaloft.com/nra/spring98.html								
The '97 Plum count is online for nostalgia at:				
http://www.hawksaloft.com/nra/spring97.html
=============

Subject:     Plum Island MA: 4/17-18/98
Date:        4/18/98 8:31 PM
To:          HMANA Mailing List, BIRDHAWK@LISTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU
The Plum Island Hawk Watch is more specifically Parker River National Wildlife Refuge 
near Newburyport MA on the Atlantic Ocean at the MA/NH state border. This 
count is conducted from Parking Lot #1.
A nice warm front attached to a significant cold front pushed SW winds ahead and 
brought a backwash of NW-W winds behind: the two ingredients necessary for a good 
flight at Plum Island. The date -- somewhere around the 20th -- brings a big-time 
Kestrel flight... IF the wind equation is complete.
One of the Peregrines was an adult male with a full crop tooling up the 
road at a height of maybe 15'. The other P'bird, an immature, came in off 
the ocean a couple o'hundred feet up casually heading into the teeth of the West 
wind with little effort... full crop #2.
Lots of the ML's and SS with full crops too.
4/17/98: 55 degrees; SW6 with rain early.
4/18/98: 65 degrees; NW to W at 12.
    4/17  4/18
OS   0      7
BE   0      1i
NH   0     16
SS   0     28
CH   1      1
RS   0      1a
RT   0      2
AK   6    334
ML   0      9
PG   0      2
   ___    ___
     7    401
The '98 Plum count is online with running totals at:
http://www.hawksaloft.com/nra/spring98.html
The '97 Plum count is online for nostalgia at:
http://www.hawksaloft.com/nra/spring97.html
=============

Subject:  Plum Island Hawk Watch [unposted]
Date:     4/14/98
To:       HawksAloft.com
TV  1
BE  1 adult
NH  9
SS  2
RT  4
AK  7
  ___
   24
=============

Subject:     Plum Island Hawk Migration 4/11-12/98
Date:        4/12/98 4:08 PM
To:          massbird listserv, massbird@world.std.com
The Plum Island Hawk Watch is conducted from Parking Lot #1 at the 
Parker River National Wildlife Refuge near Newburyport MA.
Not much going on with an easterly flow but just a few hawks in a migratory way... 
enough to put the season total over 400. There was a Sharpie and a Harrier headed 
south on Saturday, and they are not included below.
There was a Purple Martin sitting and calling on the poles where the boxes 
will eventually be.  A nice close adult Northern Gannet was had moving north on Sunday: 
a treat for those who stopped by to lament the sea breeze.
The following species were deemed to be migrating over the weekend:
 1 Turkey Vulture
 3 Northern Harriers
 2 Sharp-shinned Hawks
 2 Red-tailed Hawks
 1 American Kestrel
That's 406 hawks so far for the 1998 season at Plum.
=============

Subject:     Plum Island MA: 4/7/98
Date:        4/7/98 7:41 PM
To:          HMANA Mailing List, BIRDHAWK@LISTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU
The Plum Island Hawk Watch is more specifically Parker River National Wildlife Refuge 
near Newburyport MA on the Atlantic Ocean at the MA/NH state border. This
count is conducted from Parking Lot #1.
There was a small flight on the second day of NW winds following the passage
of a low passing off shore [a nor'easter of sorts].
And: an adult BW was observed cruising low at the intersection of Rts. 95 and 113
[the main exit for downtown Newburyport MA] a few miles west of Plum Island...
well outside the Broadwing-free zone we establish each Spring at the Plum Island Hawk Watch.
4/7/98: 62 degrees; NW12.
    4/7
TV   1
OS   4 all low
NH  12
SS   2 
RS   1i
RT   6
AK  25
ML   1
   ___
    52
=============

Subject:   Plum Island MA: 4/3/98
Date:      4/3/98 6:38 PM
To:        HMANA Mailing List, BIRDHAWK@LISTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU
The Plum Island Hawk Watch is more specifically Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
near Newburyport MA on the Atlantic Ocean at the MA/NH state border. This
count is conducted from Parking Lot #1.
5 straight Harriers, then the first of several squall lines.
4/3/98: 48 degrees; NW6 to NNW10; rains squall lines after 2 pm.
    4/3
TV   5
NH  15
SS   1
CH   1
RT   9
AK  77
   ___
   108
=============

March '98:
Subject:     Plum Island MA: 3/31/98
Date:        4/1/98 5:51 AM
To:          HMANA Mailing List, BIRDHAWK@LISTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU
The Plum Island Hawk Watch is more specifically Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
near Newburyport MA on the Atlantic Ocean at the MA/NH state border. This
count is conducted from Parking Lot #1.
Well, it's still early...
3/31/98: 90 degrees; W12, Gust 16.
    3/31
OS   1
AK  34
ML   2
   ___
    37
=============

Subject:     Plum Island MA: 3/27-29/98
Date:        3/29/98 7:57 PM
To:          HMANA Mailing List, BIRDHAWK@LISTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU
The Plum Island Hawk Watch is more specifically Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
near Newburyport MA on the Atlantic Ocean at the MA/NH state border. This
count is conducted from Parking Lot #1.
A two hundred hawk weekend... not a bad start for '98. Kestrels were hawking insects,
accipts. passing w/full crops, Harriers hunting or soaring out of sight, TV's moving
thru the sand dunes, and a pelagic Merlin.
3/27/97: 76 degrees; SW12.
3/28/97: 70 degrees; SSW to SE 6.
3/29/97: 78 degrees; WSW to WNW 16.
   3/27    3/28    3/29
TV    9       1       2
NH    3       3       4
SS    0       1       1
CH    1       0       1
RS    0       0       1
RT    3       0      10
AK   28       2     126
ML    1       0       3
    ___     ___     ___
     45       7     148