It was a sunny and clear day.  Actually, it was hot and steamy, but a breeze came up about an hour in, which eased the pain somewhat..  The bird numbers and variety were both a bit down from past years, but we had a good selection of warblers, flycatchers and raptors for the three youth birders and the accompanying adults.  Josie, Daniel and Matthew did excellent work in spotting and identifying the often-extremely-active birds among the foliage and falling leaves, and we ended up with a trip list of 40 species, posted on eBird.   The best bird was probably the Merlin, which posed very nicely for us on top of a spruce, before heading off past the hawkwatch post, but we had a number of other very nice moments, including a Red-tailed Hawk repeatedly dive-bombing a Turkey Vulture (was it something he said?) and a number of Hummingbirds buzzing past us along the Limekiln/Minebranch trail.  The fall warblers and flycatchers were as challenging as usual, but the Rose-breasted Grosbeaks were a welcome relief in that regard.  It’s hard to mistake them for anything else..  No trip  photographs this time, but here’s a picture of a Merlin from the Cornell website!https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/merlin/id

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