Master's of the Air
Raptor Migration at
Braddock Bay, NY & Derby Hill, NY
April 21 - 25, 2004
Experience the majesty of migrating birds of prey at the premier spring hawkwatching sites in Eastern North America! You will have the chance to view hundreds or even thousands of raptors, with over ten species possible in a single day! These two sites, located where raptors are concentrated along the shores of Lake Ontario, each average over 40,000 raptors each year. This tour is timed to capture the spectacle of thousands of Broad-winged Hawks “kettling” past, as well as the peak movements of Ospreys, Sharp-shinned Hawks, Red-tailed Hawks, Rough-legged Hawks, Golden Eagles, Merlins, Peregrine Falcons, and more. Braddock Bay has had several seasons with 100,000+ raptors counted, and single-day totals of 300+ Northern Harriers, 5,000+ Sharp-shinned Hawks,1,000+ Red-tailed Hawks, 100+ Rough-legged Hawks, 10+ Golden Eagles, and 20,000+ Broad-winged Hawks have been recorded at this time of the season. Derby Hill is known for having incredible flights of Red-tailed Hawks, often surpassing 1,000 individuals in a day, and concerted movements of Golden Eagles and more. Species uncommon in the Northeast, such as Black Vulture and Swainson’s Hawk, are also possible. Learn the dynamics of these amazing flights and skills needed to identify the many species passing through. As is typical at hawkwatching sites throughout the country, weather plays a large role in the concentration and movement of raptors,and we will hope for patterns conducive for the large numbers often seen at these sites. We will get an up-close view of some hawks at a raptor banding station, with the possibility of a morning stop at a passerine banding station, as well. We will also look for roosting Northern Saw-whet Owls and Long-eared Owls in the Braddock Bay area, as well as enjoying many of the seabirds, waterfowl, and songbirds that comprise the extensive regional list.
Day One: Arrive in Rochester in the early afternoon for transfer to the hotel and check-in. Meet at 4:00 p.m. and proceed to Braddock Bay Park and an introduction to raptor migration in the Great Lakes. A late-afternoon Northern Harrier, Osprey, or uncommon Merlin are always a possibility. Afterwards, dinner will give us all a chance to get acquainted and discuss the possibilities and dynamics of the migration at Braddock Bay and Derby Hill. Overnight in Rochester.
Day Two: We’ll spend the day enjoying the raptor migration in the Braddock Bay area. We will enjoy the spectacle of raptors moving along the lakeshore, while discussing the “tricks of the trade” in raptor identification, like plumage, wing shape, flight style, and behavior. We will also discuss the weather conditions and topography associated with the flights. Depending on flight conditions, we may observe the movement from several different sites to maximize our viewing and appreciation of the flight. Braddock Bay itself may hold a number of waterfowl and seabird species, while the skies around Braddock Bay often host an assortment of passerine migrants. The afternoon will find us checking out the birds from a different perspective - a raptor banding blind. This will present an opportunity to observe and discuss some of the finer identification points and some of the techniques used to study raptors. Overnight in Rochester.
Day Three: Our birding this day will take us to the bluff on the east end of Lake Ontario known as Derby Hill. Migrants may be evident on our ninety minute drive to this site, where we’ll spend our time studying the passing raptors and overlooking the lake. Excellent views of hawks are often obtained from this raised vantage point, as well as a variety of waterbirds concentrated in this corner of the lake and passerines following its shores. Late afternoon will find us returning to the Braddock Bay area. Overnight in Rochester.
Day Four: We’ll start the morning with a stop at a local passerine banding station to sample up-close some of the exceptional landbird migration. Sparrows, kinglets, gnatcatchers, and early warblers are just some of the birds that can be expected. The remainder of the day will be a return to the wonders of the raptor migration at Braddock Bay, enjoying the flight lines and views provided by the region’s topography. Overnight in Rochester.
Day Five: After check-out, we will head back to the bay for our final morning of majestic raptors. We will concentrate our efforts on species that may have eluded us thus far or searching for that unexpected rarity. A stop for lunch will afford an opportunity to review our sightings, before heading to the airport for the conclusion of the tour and departing flights.
Tour Pricing: $699.00 per person, based on double occupancy. Single occupancy supplement is $150.00.
Tour Services: This tour includes four nights of accomodations at a comfortable hotel. Rooms are furnished with either one or two beds. All meals, from dinner on Day One to Lunch on Day Five, are included, excluding any alcoholic beverages. Ground transportation throughout the tour, starting at and returning to the Rochester Airport, will be provided, as well as any entrance fees. This tour does not include airfare to/from Rochester, special gratuities, or items of a personal nature.
Also included are professional guide services for the duration of the tour. Brett M. Ewald will be the tour leader on this exciting tour. As well as being an accomplished birder, naturalist, and biologist, Brett possesses an intimate understanding of raptor migration. He has extensive raptor research experience, including conducting counts in New Mexico, New Jersey, and at Braddock Bay for over 6 seasons. He is a former regional editor for the Hawk Migration Association and the organizer/chair of three Great Lakes Raptor Migration Conferences. He looks forward to sharing the wonders of raptors and migration with you!
Terms and Conditions
A $100.00 deposit is required at time of booking. Any balance due is required January 31, 2004. Confirmation and an informational packet, including details and directions, will be sent upon receipt of deposit. Make your check or money order payable to Lakeshore Nature Tours. If the tour is full, a waiting list will be taken, and filled according to the date of registration. A $35 service fee will apply to cancellations before January 31, 2004. Cancellations after January 31, 2004 will forfeit the entire $100.00 deposit.
For more information, call, email or write:
12398 Platten Road
Lyndonville, NY 14098
Lyndonville, NY 14098