Broad-winged Hawk, adult.
This large kettle was right over the mountain producing "ooohs" and "aahhs" from all. It is very hard to capture the numbers and feeling of a large kettle in a photo. This photo however captures what it was like to see a distant kettle through binoculars, or even a scope. How do we count them? Quickly and often one at a time. See how fast you can count the Broadwings in this photo, go!
When the Broadwings reach the top of the thermal, they "peel off", i.e. glide until they find a new thermal to rise on, an energy efficient means of getting to their wintering grounds in Central and South America. This peel can often make it easier to count the hawks, as they're gliding by one at a time.
The hawks kept pouring through. Spotting scopes were necessary to see the distant kettles. I showed a number of novice hawk watchers kettles in my scope. It's so cool when they say "oh, wow, now I see what you're all looking at!"
Official hawk counter for this site which is run by NH Audubon, is Katrina Fenton, above, aided by the of many other hawk watchers and sometimes enthusiastic school kids on a class outing.
The numbers are turned in to hawkcount.org, the official website of Hawk Migration Association of North America, where all the numbers are recorded.
Other New England hawk watch sites also have had large numbers. So heads up to hawk watching sites south of us the hawks are coming to you!!!!