Beaver Mines and Steeples, November 15

Sunday, November 15 Vicki Ridge [Day 52] 0715-1725 (Peter Sherrington and Hilary Atkinson observing from the Waterton 61 wellsite on the western flank of the ridge, and Gord Petersen (1237-1650) at the western edge of Kyllo Ridge at the Waterton 68 wellsite). It was a suitably horrible day to end the fall 2020 count with a temperature of -2C at 0715, a brief high of 2C at 1400 and 0C at 1725 when the count ended. Winds were strong WSW all day 40-50 gusting on occasion to 80-90 km/h. Cloud cover was initially 20% cumulus but after 0840 it was mainly 100% stratus and cumulus that occasionally and briefly reduced to 70% cumulus at 1315 and 1600. Light to moderate snow persisted throughout the day that occasionally became heavy and obscured both ridges. At Waterton 61 only 4 migrants of 3 species were seen between 0759 and 1352 that comprised 1j Bald Eagle, 1a Northern Goshawk, and 2a Golden Eagles. The count at Waterton 68 was more sustained with 11 migrants of 3 species moving between 1259 and 1630, with 6 of the birds seen between 1616 and 1630. The count was 5a Bald Eagles, 1a Northern Goshawk and 5 Rough-legged Hawks (3 light, 1 dark, 1u). The combined sites count of 15 migrants of 4 species between 0759 and 1630 comprised 6 Bald Eagles (5a, 1j), 2a Northern Goshawks, 5 Rough-legged Hawks (3 light, 1 dark, 1u) and 2a Golden Eagles. Other birds were 3 Black-billed Magpies, 280 Common Ravens (144 at Waterton 68 and 136 at Waterton 61) that took full feeding advantage of the Sunday slaughter of ungulates, and 4 Pine Grosbeaks.

10.16 hours (515) BAEA 6 (355), NOGO 2 (106), RLHA 5 (300), GOEA 2 (2569) TOTAL 15 (4823)

November summary with variance compared to the 2017-2019 three-year average. (New high counts for the month in bold). 12 days (-14.3%), 106.5 hours (+9.3%) TUVU 0,  OSPR 0, BAEA 84 (-43.6%), NOHA 0, SSHA 9 (+237.5%), COHA 3 (first November records), NOGO 20 (+17.6%), BWHA 0, SWHA 0, RTHA 4 (+300%), FEHA 0, RLHA 66 (+70.7%), GOEA 116 (-44.2%), AMKE 0, MERL 0, GYRF 0, PEFA 3 (+200%), PRFA 2 (=), UA 0, UB 0, UE 3 (-43.8%), UF 0, UU 0  TOTAL 310 (-27.4%).

 

 

Sunday, November 15 Mount Lorette [Day 54] 0800-1530 (Lori Anderson assisted by Caroline Lambert). Observation was initially at the Hay Meadow site until steady snow obscured the ridges at 1000 at which time the observers moved to the Lusk Creek site where it was clear until 1530 when snow arrived and ended the count. No migrants were seen at Hay Meadow but 9 birds of 4 species moved between 1125 and 1500 at Lusk Creek that comprised 2a Bald Eagles, 2u Northern Goshawks, 1 unidentified Buteo and 4 Golden Eagles (2a, 1sa, 1u).

7.5 hours (556.6) BAEA 2 (207), NOGO 2 (69), UB 1 (6), GOEA 4 (2819) TOTAL 9 (3216)

November summary with variance compared to the 1993-2019 (excluding 1997, 2002, 2006, 2007 and 2008) 22-year average. (New high counts for the month in bold). 14 days (-1.3%). 120.2 hours (-6.7%) TUVU 0, OSPR 0, BAEA 55 (-22.9%), NOHA 1 (+200%), SSHA 0, COHA 0, NOGO 6 (-64.6%), BWHA 0, SWHA 0, RTHA 2 (+200%), FEHA 0, RLHA 0, GOEA 77 (-22%), AMKE 0, MERL 0, GYRF 0, PEFA 0, PRFA 0, UA 0, UB 3 (+950%), UE 4 (+250%), UF 0, UU 0 TOTAL 148 (-65.8%).

 

 

Sunday, November 15 Steeples [Day 23] 1400-1630 (Vance Mattson). Observation was from Diorite Creek which is 22 km NW of the usual Mount Bill Nye site. The temperature was 5C, winds were strong SW and cloud cover was 60-80% cumulus which allowed some sunny conditions. No migrants were seen but 2 resident adult Bald Eagles were observed as well as a resident juvenile Golden Eagle that engaged in active “play” for much of the observation period. It maneuvered in the strong winds and planed motionless while scanning the terrain. Most dramatically it broke a branch from the top of a tree which it carried in both talons for over an hour, dropping it and retrieving it with stoops on four occasions. It was a nice end to an abbreviated and mostly uneventful count.

2.5 hours (71.5) TOTAL 0 (125)

November summary. 6 days (18.5 hours) BAEA 2, SSHA 2, NOGO 1, RLHA 1, GOEA 3 TOTAL 9

 

 

 

 FINAL SUMMARY  COUNTS, FALL 2020
(NOTE: all numbers provisional pending final reports)

 

MOUNT LORETTE  September 20-November 15

Variance cf. average 83-96, 98-01, 03-05, 09-19 (22 years)

VICKI RIDGE September 20-November 15

Variance cf. average 2017-2019 (3 years of complete counts)

STEEPLES

October 01-November 15

Variance cf. average 2009-2019 (11 years)

DAYS  54 (-0.6%)  52 (=)  23 (-29.7%)
HOURS  566.6 (-0.4%)  515 (+15.7%)  71.5 (-43.8)
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU)  0 (-100%)  6 (+500%)  0 (-100%)
OSPREY (OSPR)  6 (+127.6%)  6 (-21.7%)  0 (-100%)
BALD EAGLE (BAEA)   207 (-10.7%)   355 (-12.8%)   46 (-68.7%)
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA)   14 (+40%)   26 (+62.5%)   0 (-100%)
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA)  102 (-20.5%)  958 (+52%)  13 (-67.6%)
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA)  22 (+4.3%)  149 (+80%)  0 (-100%)
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO)  69 (+59.6%)  106 (+1.3%)  2 (-59.3%)
Accipiter sp. (UA)   6 (+79.6%)   7 (+23.5%)   0 (-100%)
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)  4 (-27.3%)  19 (-26%)  0 (-100%)
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA)  2 (+450%)  3 (+80%)  0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA)   68 (+112.5%)   215 (+17.9%)   4 (-84.8%)
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA)  0 (-100%)  2 (-71.4%)  0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA)  26 (-46.1%)  300 (-36.1%)  1 (-83.6%)
Buteo sp. (UB)  6 (+55.3%)  8 (-52%)  0 (-100%)
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA)  2619 (-21.8%)  2569 (+2.6%)  54 (-60.1%)
Eagle sp. (UE)  29 (+369.1%)  34 (+92.5%)  2 (+29.4%)
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE)  2 (-13.7%)  16 (-5.9%)  1 (-62.1%)
MERLIN (MERL)  11 (+49.4%)  25 (+27.1%)  0 (-100%)
GYRFALCON (GYRF)  2 (-25.4%)  1 (-78.6%)  0 (-100%)
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA)  6 (+7.3%)  10 (-23.1%)  0 (-100%)
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA)  4 (+79.6%)  6 (=)  0 (-100%)
Falco sp. (UF)  8 (+363.2%)  1 (-50%)  0
Unidentified Raptor (UU)  3 (-22.4%)  1 (-40%)  0 (-100%)
  16 species 18 species 7 species
TOTALS  3216 (-17.8%)  4823 (+6.1%) 125 (-43.2%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Beaver Mines and Steeples, November 14

Saturday, November 14 Vicki Ridge [Day 51] 0725-1730 (Peter Sherrington and Hilary Atkinson observing from the Waterton 61 wellsite on the western flank of the ridge, and Gord Petersen assisted by Cathy Scrimshaw (1212-1655) at the western edge of Kyllo Ridge at the Waterton 68 wellsite). The temperature at 0725 was -2C the high at 1000, 1200 and 1300 was 1C and it was -3C at 1730. Winds were WSW-W all day 25-40 gusting 50-60 km/h, and cloud cover was 100-70% stratocumulus, cumulus and altostratus to 1400 that produced flurries or periods of light snow that then gave way to 40-10% cumulus for the rest of the day. Observing conditions were very good all day. At Waterton 61 a total of 34 migrants of 5 species were seen between 0757 and 1652 that comprised 11 Bald Eagles (5a, 1 transitional sa2/3, 2sa2, 3j), 1a Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1a Northern Goshawk, 4 Rough-legged Hawks (2 light, 1 dark, 1u) and 17 Golden Eagles (13a, 1sa, 3j). Twenty-eight birds moved before 1300 and the highest hourly count was 9 between 0900 and 1000.  At Waterton 68 the count was 22 birds of 5 species between 1218 and 1644 that comprised 9 Bald Eagles (5a, 1sa, 3j), 2 Northern Goshawks (1a, 1u), 1a dark morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 4 Rough-legged Hawks (3 light, 1 dark) and 6 Golden Eagles (4a, 2j). Ten of the birds moved between 1300 and 1400. The combined sites count of 56 birds of 6 species between 0757 and 1652 was the highest since November 01 and comprised 20 Bald Eagles (10a, 1 transitional sa2/3, 2sa2, 1 undifferentiated sa, 6j), 1a Sharp-shinned Hawk, 3 Northern Goshawks (2a, 1u), 1a dark morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 8 Rough-legged Hawks (5 light, 2 dark, 1u) and 23 Golden Eagles (17a, 1sa, 5j). The combined species count to date of 4808 is a new high total for the site exceeding the previous high of 4755 in 2018. Other birds seen were 2 Canada Jays, 2 Clark’s Nutcrackers, 2 Black-billed Magpies, 231 Common Ravens (127 at Waterton 68 and 104 at Waterton 61), 25 Bohemian Waxwings and 82 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches.

10.08 hours (504.9) BAEA 20 (349), SSHA 1 (958), NOGO 3 (104), RTHA 1 (215), RLHA 8 (295), GOEA 23 (2567) TOTAL 56 (4808)

 

Saturday, November 14 Mount Lorette [Day 53] 0815-1640 (Blake Weis assisted by Cliff Hansen). Despite mainly clear ridges and favourable observing conditions only 5 Golden Eagles (4a, 1sa) were seen between 1014 and 1540.

8.42 hours (549.1) GOEA 5 (2615), TOTAL 5 (3207)

 

Saturday, November 14 Steeples [Day 22] 1300-1630 (Vance Mattson). The temperature was 2C, winds were moderate SW and cloud cover was 60-80% cumulus. Despite finally getting a clear sunny day no migrant raptors were seen and only the resident pair of Golden Eagles were present.

3.5 hours (69) TOTAL 0 (125)

 

 

 SUMMARY  COUNTS, FALL 2020
(NOTE: all numbers provisional pending final reports)

 

MOUNT LORETTE  September 20-November 15

 

VICKI RIDGE September 20-November 15

 

STEEPLES September 20-November 15

 

DAYS  53  51  21
HOURS  549.1  504.9  65.5
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU)  0  6  0
OSPREY (OSPR)  6  6  0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA)   205   349   46
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA)   14   26   0
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA)  102  958  13
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA)  22  149  0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO)  67  104  2
Accipiter sp. (UA)   6   7   0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)  4  19  0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA)  2  3  0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA)   68   215   4
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA)  0  2  0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA)  26  295  1
Buteo sp. (UB)  5  8  0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA)  2615  2567  54
Eagle sp. (UE)  29  34  2
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE)  2  16  1
MERLIN (MERL)  11  25  0
GYRFALCON (GYRF)  2  1  0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA)  6  10  0
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA)  4  6  0
Falco sp. (UF)  8  1  0
Unidentified Raptor (UU)  3  1  0
       
TOTALS  3207  4808 125

 

 


Beaver Mines and Steeples, November 13

Friday, November 13 Vicki Ridge [Day 50] 0720-1720 (Peter Sherrington and Hilary Atkinson observing from the Waterton 61 wellsite on the western flank of the ridge. The temperature was -3C at 0730, the high was -0.5C at 1300 and it was then -1C for the rest of the day. Winds were strong W 30-50 gusting 60-70 km/h all day except at 1400 when they reached 90 km/h. Cloud cover was mainly 100% stratus that periodically and briefly reduced to 80-90% in the afternoon. Light snow fell for most of the day and became increasingly heavy after 1430 with both ridges becoming obscured at times. Only 4 migrants were seen between 1318 and 1522: 1u Northern Goshawk, 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk, 1 unidentified eagle and 1u Peregrine Falcon. The only other birds seen were 38 Common Ravens and the flock of 22 Grey-crowned Rosy Finches (including 2 littoralis) that again fed close to the Waterton 61 site.

10 hours (494.8) NOGO 1 (101), RLHA 1 (287), UE 1 (34), PEFA 1 (10) TOTAL 4 (4752)

 

Friday, November 13 Mount Lorette [Day 52] 0800-1630 (Blake Weis assisted by Rick Robb). Ridge winds were generally over 100 km/h, but the Fisher Range was completely clear and light snow only fell to noon and at the end of observation. Only one migrant was seen, however, an adult Bald Eagle that flew south high above the river at 1314.

8.5 hours (540.6) BAEA 1 (205) TOTAL 1 (3202)

 

Friday, November 13 Steeples (Vance Mattson) No observation (weather). It was heavily overcast all day and snowed for most of the day.

 

 SUMMARY  COUNTS, FALL 2020
(NOTE: all numbers provisional pending final reports)

 

MOUNT LORETTE  September 20-November 15

 

VICKI RIDGE September 20-November 15

 

STEEPLES September 20-November 15

 

DAYS  52  50  21
HOURS  540.6  494.8  65.5
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU)  0  6  0
OSPREY (OSPR)  6  6  0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA)   205   329   46
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA)   14   26   0
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA)  102  957  13
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA)  22  149  0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO)  67  101  2
Accipiter sp. (UA)   6   7   0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)  4  19  0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA)  2  3  0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA)   68   214   4
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA)  0  2  0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA)  26  287  1
Buteo sp. (UB)  5  8  0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA)  2610  2544  54
Eagle sp. (UE)  29  34  2
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE)  2  16  1
MERLIN (MERL)  11  25  0
GYRFALCON (GYRF)  2  1  0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA)  6  10  0
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA)  4  6  0
Falco sp. (UF)  8  1  0
Unidentified Raptor (UU)  3  1  0
       
TOTALS  3202  4752 125

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Beaver Mines and Steeples, November 12

Thursday, November 12 Vicki Ridge [Day 49] 0715-1725 (Peter Sherrington and Hilary Atkinson observing from the Waterton 61 wellsite on the western flank of the ridge, and Gord Petersen (1327-1650) at the western edge of Kyllo Ridge at the Waterton 68 wellsite). The temperature at 0715 was -6C, the high at 1300 was -1.5C and it was -4C at 1725. Winds were W 50-60 gusting 70-85 all day and cloud cover was 30-80% cumulus, lenticular, altostratus and cirrus in the morning and 90-100% altostratus, cumulus, lenticular, cirrocumulus and cirrus throughout the afternoon that gave gloomy conditions accentuated by blowing snow and persistent very light snow. At Waterton 61 a total of 16 migrant raptors of 3 species moved between 0752 and 1557 comprising 3 Bald Eagles (2a, 1j), 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk and 12 Golden Eagles (10a, 1sa, 1j) with 4 of the birds moving between 1500 and 1600. Waterton 68 produced 7 migrants of 3 species between 1334 and 1552 that comprised 3 Bald Eagles (2a, 1j), 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk, 2a Golden Eagles and 1 unidentified eagle: 4 of the birds were seen between 1400 and 1500. The combined sites count was 23 migrants of 3 species that moved between 0752 and 1557 and comprised 6 Bald Eagles (4a, 2j), 2 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 14 Golden Eagles (12a, 1sa, 1j) and 1 unidentified eagle. Other birds seen were 1 Black-billed Magpie, 108 Common Ravens (60 at Waterton 61 and 48 at Waterton 68), 26 Bohemian Waxwings, 2 female Pine Grosbeaks and a flock of 22 Grey-crowned Rosy Finches (including 2 littoralis) that fed close to the Waterton 61 site for most of the day.

10.16 hours (484.8) BAEA 6 (329), RLHA 2 (286), GOEA 14 (2544), UE 1 (33) TOTAL 23 (4748)

 

Thursday, November 12 Mount Lorette [Day 51] 0815-1645 (Graeme Dunlop assisted by Glenn Webber). Another windy day produced 10 migrant eagles comprising 5a Bald Eagles and 5 Golden Eagles (3a, 1j, 1u) that were seen between 1030 and 1530.

8.5 hours (532.1) BAEA 5 (204), GOEA 5 (2610) TOTAL 10 (3201)

 

Thursday, November 12 Steeples (Vance Mattson) No observation (weather). When Vance finished work at 1600 the mountains were still mainly shrouded, as they were all day.

 

 

 SUMMARY  COUNTS, FALL 2020
(NOTE: all numbers provisional pending final reports)

 

MOUNT LORETTE  September 20-November 15

 

VICKI RIDGE September 20-November 15

 

STEEPLES September 20-November 15

 

DAYS  51  49  21
HOURS  532.1  484.8  65.5
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU)  0  6  0
OSPREY (OSPR)  6  6  0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA)   204   329   46
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA)   14   26   0
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA)  102  957  13
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA)  22  149  0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO)  67  100  2
Accipiter sp. (UA)   6   7   0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)  4  19  0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA)  2  3  0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA)   68   214   4
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA)  0  2  0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA)  26  286  1
Buteo sp. (UB)  5  8  0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA)  2610  2544  54
Eagle sp. (UE)  29  33  2
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE)  2  16  1
MERLIN (MERL)  11  25  0
GYRFALCON (GYRF)  2  1  0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA)  6  9  0
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA)  4  6  0
Falco sp. (UF)  8  1  0
Unidentified Raptor (UU)  3  1  0
       
TOTALS  3201  4748 125

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Beaver Mines and Steeples, November 11

Wednesday, November 11 Vicki Ridge [Day 48] 0730-1730 (Peter Sherrington and Hilary Atkinson observing from the Waterton 61 wellsite on the western flank of the ridge, and Gord Petersen (1230-1655) at the western edge of Kyllo Ridge at the Waterton 68 wellsite). The temperature at 0730 was -11C, the high at 1500 was -6C and it was -12C at 1750. Winds were unhelpful E-ESE 10-20 km/h that switched to light W at 1730 but too late to be useful. Cloud cover was 100% stratus to 1335 when it reduced to 80% cumulus and stratocumulus, and light persistent snow fell to 1355 when there was 3 cm of fresh snow on the ground. The ridges remained clear throughout and by 1400 the sky cleared to 50% cumulus and at 1500 and 1600 10% cumulus gave welcome sunshine before 20-30% cumulus and altocumulus appeared after 1700. The generally light upslope winds proved unfavourable for migration and only 1a Bald Eagle and 2a Northern Goshawks were seen at Waterton 61 between 0908 and 1552, and a single adult Bald Eagle at 1506 at Waterton 68. By way of compensation there was a good variety of other bird species that comprised 144 Canada Geese that were seen moving well west of Waterton 68 in flocks of 60, 24, 11 and 49, 3 Canada Jays, 2 Steller’s Jays, 1 Clark’s Nutcracker, 3 Black-billed Magpies, 62 Common Ravens of which 43 were seen at Waterton 68, 1 Mountain Chickadee, 56 Bohemian Waxwings, 3 Pine Grosbeaks (1 male, 2 females), 63 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches and 8 Common Redpolls.

10 hours (474.6) BAEA 2 (323), NOGO 2 (100) TOTAL 4 (4725)

 

Wednesday, November 11 Mount Lorette [Day 50] (Bill Wilson). Light snow fell to 1000 after which it was clear for the rest of the day. A total of 14 migrant raptors of 3 species were seen between 1217 and 1705 that comprised 4 Bald Eagles (3a, 1j), 1j dark morph harlani Red-tailed Hawk and 9 Golden Eagles (7a, 1j, 1u). Winds were WSW to SW all day, light to 1500 after which they gusted between 30 and 60 km/h. It is interesting to note that only 3 birds were seen before 1458, with the remaining 11 birds migrating after 1458 when the wind velocity increased.

9.16 hours (523.6) BAEA 4 (199), RTHA 1 (68), GOEA 9 (2605) TOTAL 14 (3191)

 

Wednesday, November 11 Steeples (Vance Mattson) No observation (weather). The forecasted sunny skies never appeared and the mountains and valley were shrouded in low cloud all day, with periodic light snow.

 

 

 SUMMARY  COUNTS, FALL 2020
(NOTE: all numbers provisional pending final reports)

 

MOUNT LORETTE  September 20-November 15

 

VICKI RIDGE September 20-November 15

 

STEEPLES September 20-November 15

 

DAYS  50  48  21
HOURS  523.5  474.6  65.5
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU)  0  6  0
OSPREY (OSPR)  6  6  0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA)   199   323   46
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA)   14   26   0
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA)  102  957  13
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA)  22  149  0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO)  67  100  2
Accipiter sp. (UA)   6   7   0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)  4  19  0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA)  2  3  0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA)   68   214   4
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA)  0  2  0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA)  26  284  1
Buteo sp. (UB)  5  8  0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA)  2605  2530  54
Eagle sp. (UE)  29  32  2
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE)  2  16  1
MERLIN (MERL)  11  25  0
GYRFALCON (GYRF)  2  1  0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA)  6  9  0
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA)  4  6  0
Falco sp. (UF)  8  1  0
Unidentified Raptor (UU)  3  1  0
       
TOTALS  3191  4725 125

 

 

 

 

 


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