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%)