Re-joining the Kettle

On Sunday, September 30th  2012, chase team Cheryl and Lynn started tracking Lakota from above her Kirby Cove roost site even before the hawkwatchers were in position on the hill.  The other teams in place were James on Mt Hamilton and Phil with Richard on Grizzly Peak. 

Cheryl and Lynn could see a few roosting birds in the direction of their bearings towards Kirby Cove.  Soon they saw a bird to their left, circling. It was a Broadwing hawk.  Seen first at eye level, the bird increased in altitude as it circled, until Lynn could see the sun sparkling off of an antennae.  It was Lakota.  “She was the first bird up”, Lynn reported.  Lakota circled higher and higher while drifting to the north toward Slacker Ridge.  Lynn and Cheryl moved to the roundabout on Conzelman Road.  They found Lakota there.  Signals vanished when Lakota went behind the hill toward Battery Spencer.  Lynn and Cheryl did some docent work with tourists in between taking bearings.  Their signals were always to the north and were of varying strengths with the rise and fall in Lakota’s altitude. 

Later in the day bearings were to the east, so the team headed to Twin Peaks in San Francisco.  On Twin Peaks, Cheryl and Lynn met with literally busloads of tourists so once again they were docents of GGRO.  They received bearings from Kirby Cove to Alcatraz, swinging back and forth multiple times.  Signals were mostly circling and at times erratic.  At that same time, hawkwatchers on the hill watched kettles form, move south towards San Francisco and then return!  Before heading out to the hill, Allen had told the hawkwatchers “kettles are about getting altitude” and “the birds peel off from the top”.  How many were peeling off and crossing over the gate, even though most seemed to return to Marin?    The hawkwatchers counted 103 Broadwing sightings, one of which was Lakota. 

At 1523 hours, the signal was lost from Twin Peaks.  Phil and Richard, who had moved to Point Richmond, had a signal pointing toward Ayala Cove on Angel Island.  That was the location of Lakota’s roost site for the night.

How many new Broadwings arriving from the north will join the kettle? How many Broadwings will cross the gate tomorrow?  Will Lakota be among them?   Stay tuned! 
     Lakota, seen by Hawkwatchers Sept 30 

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