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RMERF counts September 21

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Friday, September 21 Mount Lorette [Day 2] 0800-1430 (Caroline Lambert, assisted by Patrick Farley). The temperature at 0800 was 1C and reached a high of 5C at 1400; winds were calm to light to 1200 and then N gusting to 15 km/h for the rest of the observation period; ridge winds were probably similar. Cloud cover was 100% stratus with some fog throughout, with a few brief breaks that gave faint but unfulfilled hopes of improvement. The northern end of the Fisher Range was visible between 1100 and 1300, however, but no migrant raptors were seen. Drizzle fell to 0900 and light rain at 1400. Two non-migratory male American Kestrels interacted above the Hay Meadow and an adult Sharp-shinned Hawk hunted near the meadow. Other birds were more numerous and comprised a flock of 60 Canada Geese flying south just below the cloud base, 1 female Common Merganser, 1 Belted Kingfisher, 5 Canada Jays, only 3 Common Ravens, 5 Mountain Bluebirds, 1 Common Yellowthroat, 1 Wilson’s Warbler, 20 American Pipits, 2 Savannah Sparrows, 5 White-crowned Sparrows, 4 Dark-eyed [Oregon] Juncos, 20 White-winged Crossbills and 40 Pine Siskins. Five visitors made it to the site today.

6.5 hours (16.25) TOTAL 0 (1)

 

Friday, September 21 Vicki Ridge [Day 2] 1000-1815 (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Denise Cocciolone-Amatto, Raymond Toal and Shirley Enzol). Because of the bears on the ridge yesterday I watched from the wellsite, and Denise et al. spent 1215 to 1400 on the western ridge of Kyllo Ridge before returning to assist me. The temperature at 1000 was 9C, the high at 1500 and 1600 was 13C which fell to 12C at the end of observation. Winds were WSW-W 20-40 gusting up to 60 km/h in the mid-afternoon before moderating to WNW 20 km/h at 1800. Cloud cover was 80-100% altostratus, cumulus, cirrostratus and cirrus for most of the day that decreased to 60-70% between 1500 and 1600 and gave period of sunshine. Observing conditions were excellent throughout despite periods of drizzle or very light rain in the morning. A season-high total of 79 raptors of 10 species moved between 1028 and 1731 comprising the season’s first Osprey, 1 juvenile Bald Eagle, 3 male Northern Harriers (1a, 1sa, 1j), 41 Sharp-shinned Hawks (8a, 3j, 30u), 5 Cooper’s Hawks (1a, 1j, 3u), 5 Northern Goshawks (2a, 1j, 2u), 12 adult Red-tailed Hawks (10 light and 1 dark calurus, and 1 dark harlani), 8 Golden Eagles (5a, 3j), 2 columbarius Merlins (1 male, 1 female) and 1u Peregrine Falcon. The total includes 7u Sharp-shinned Hawks, 2u Cooper’s Hawks and 1 adult Golden Eagle counted between 1215 and 1400 on Kyllo Ridge. Other birds included 124 Mountain Bluebirds, 168 American Robins, 50 Cedar Waxwings, 3 Yellow-rumped Warblers, 19 Red Crossbills, 1 White-winged Crossbill and 14 Pine Siskins. No bears were seen today.

8.25 hours (19.0) OSPR 1 (1), BAEA 1 (3), NOHA 3 (6), SSHA 41 (51), COHA 5 (13), NOGO 5 (6), RTHA 12 (15), GOEA 8 (17), MERL 2 (3), PEFA 1 (3) TOTAL 79 (123)

 

Friday, September 21 Steeples [Day 2] 1430-1800 (Vance Mattson). The weather was similar to that of yesterday with rain falling until the early afternoon and 100% stratus, cumulus and altostratus cloud cover throughout. The temperature was 12C and winds were moderate S that became calm after 1600. The main migration ridge was clear from 1400 onwards. A total of 14 migrant raptors of 5 species were counted between 1434 and 1654 comprising the first Turkey Vulture of the count, 6 Sharp-shinned Hawks (3a, 1j, 2u), 1 juvenile Cooper’s Hawk, 5 calurus Red-tailed Hawks (4 light morphs: 3a, 1j, and 1 dark adult), and 1 adult Golden Eagle. Light rain began again at 1800 and ended observation for the day.

3.5 hours (7.5) TUVU 1 (1), SSHA 6 (15), COHA 1 (2), RTHA 5 (28), GOEA 1 (3) TOTAL 14 (56)

 

 

 

 

SUMMARY COUNTS, FALL 2018
MOUNT LORETTE September 20-November 15 BEAVER MINES September 20-November 15 STEEPLES September 20-November 15
DAYS 2 2 2
HOURS 16.25 19 7.5
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0 0 1
OSPREY (OSPR) 0 1 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 0 3 3
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 0 6 1
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 0 51 15
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0 13 2
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 0 6 0
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0 0 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0 2 2
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0 2 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 0 15 28
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 1 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 0 0 0
Buteo sp. (UB) 1 0 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 0 17 3
Eagle sp. (UE) 0 0 0
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0 0 1
MERLIN (MERL) 0 3 0
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0 0 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0 3 0
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0 0 0
Falco sp. (UF) 0 0 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 0 0 0
TOTALS 1 123 42

 


RMERF counts September 20

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MOUNT LORETTE, BEAVER MINES and STEEPLES RAPTOR COUNTS

FALL 2018

www.eaglewatch.ca

PETER SHERRINGTON

 

 

Introduction This is the 27th consecutive year that RMERF has conducted at least one fall count in the Front Ranges of the Alberta Rocky Mountains. In 1992 an extensive reconnaissance count of 33 days was made at Mount Lorette that produced 2661 migrant raptors of which 2044 were Golden Eagles and demonstrated that the Alberta Front Ranges were a significant flyway for the species. Between 1993 and 2005 full-season counts of 75-101 days were conducted there with the exceptions of 1997 when a full count was conducted at Plateau Mountain about 90 km to the SSE and 2002 when circumstances limited observations at Mount Lorette to only 14 days.

From 2006 to 2009 the principal observation site moved to the Piitaistakis-South Livingstone ridge, which is the southern culmination of the Alberta Front Ranges, near the Crowsnest Pass during which time daily comparative counts of between 40 and 45 days were conducted at Mount Lorette coinciding with the main movement of Golden Eagles. In 2010 Mount Lorette again became the principal observation site with counts conducted over a standard period of September 20 to November 15.

Rosemary Power is organizing the Mount Lorette count and welcomes visitors to the site. If you are interested in volunteering as a “Sky-sweeper” (no previous experience needed: just good eyes and binoculars) or as an Observer or Assistant please contact Rosemary at 403-707-6117 (rosemarypower1010@gmail.com). Details of how to find the site and other useful information can be found on our website, www.eaglewatch.ca

Peter Sherrington will also be conducting a count on Vicki Ridge located 4.5 km WNW of the Hamlet of Beaver Mines in SW Alberta, and Vance Mattson will again be watching at his Steeples site which is located on the east side of the Kootenay Valley (Rocky Mountain Trench) 25 km NE of Cranbrook, British Columbia. Information on all the RMERF sites and reports of previous years’ spring and fall counts may be found on our website www.eaglewatch.ca.

 

Thursday, September 20 Mount Lorette [Day 1] 0735-1720 (Rick Robb and Cliff Hansen). The starting temperature was -1C, the high was 5C at 1300 and it was 4C at the end of observation. It was calm to 1000 and then NE winds 2-5 that occasionally gusted to 15 km/h prevailed for the rest of the day; ridge winds probably reflected this pattern. Cloud cover was 50% stratocumulus and cirrus to 1000 but was subsequently 90-100% stratocumulus and cumulus for the rest of the day that produced light rain and drizzle after 1500 and steady rain and fog after 1700. Conditions were not favourable for raptor migration and the only migrant seen was an indeterminate Buteo over the Fisher Range. Two adult Bald Eagles and 2 American Kestrels, that frequented the Hay Meadow, were considered to be non-migrants. Other birds seen included 1 Belted Kingfisher, 1 Mountain Chickadee, 6 Boreal Chickadees, 6 Yellow-rumped Warblers and 6 White-winged Crossbills, but the highlight of the day was 2 or 3 Grey Wolves heard howling from the adjacent forest at 1130.

9.75 hours UB 1 TOTAL 1

 

Thursday, September 20 Vicki Ridge [Day 1] 0800-1845 (Peter Sherrington) Observation from the ridge top to 1520 and from the Waterton 61 wellsite on the western flank of the ridge after 1545. The temperature at 0800 was 3C the high was 9.5C at 1100 and 1200, fell to 5C at 1500, rose again to 8C at 1700 and was 6C at the end of observation. Wind was mainly W all day, light to 0930, then 8-16 gusting 25 km/h to 1130. Between 1130 and 1230 it was moderate NNW-NW that brought thunder-showers and was the essentially calm to 1540 while moderate rain and hail fell during a series of thunderstorms. Winds were then again W 10-20 gusting 25 km/h for the rest of the day. Initial cloud cover was 70% altostratus, cirrostratus and cumulus that gave pleasant hazy sunshine to start the count, but between 0900 and 1540 it was 90-100% mainly stratocumulus cover and subsequently 70-80% cumulus that produced periods of sunshine for the last 3 hours although some light drizzle persisted. A total of 44 migrants of 12 species were counted between 0827 and 1843 that comprised 2 Bald Eagles (1a, 1j), 3 Northern Harriers (1 adult male, 1 juvenile male and 1u), 10 Sharp-shinned Hawks (4a, 4j, 2u), 8 Cooper’s Hawks (2a, 5j, 1u), 1 juvenile Northern Goshawk, 2 adult Broad-winged Hawks (1 light, 1 dark), 2 light morph Swainson’s Hawks (1a, 1u), 3 adult calurus Red-tailed Hawks (2 light, 1 dark), 1 juvenile light morph Ferruginous Hawk, 9 Golden Eagles (5a, 3sa, 1j), 1 male columbarius Merlin and 2 adult Peregrine Falcons (1 male, 1 female). Fifteen of the birds moved between 1000 and 1100 just ahead of the onset of the first thunder-shower. Songbirds were abundant and conspicuous all day and migrants included 4 Mountain Bluebirds, 2 Townsend’s Solitaires, 453 American Robins, 18 Cedar Waxwings, 3 Yellow-rumped Warblers, 1 White-crowned Sparrow, 42 Dark-eyed [Oregon] Juncos, 20 Red Crossbills, 513 Pine Siskins and 2 American Goldfinches. Two Black Bears (1 large adult male and a smaller probable subadult animal) were on the ridge and single Western White and Clouded Sulphur butterflies were seen. Because of the presence of the bears I shall probably watch from the wellsite tomorrow.

10.75 hours BAEA 2, NOHA 3, SSHA 10. COHA 8, NOGO 1, BWHA 2, SWHA 2, RTHA 3, FEHA 1, GOEA 9, MERL 1, PEFA 2 TOTAL 44

 

Thursday, September 20 Steeples [Day 1] 1415-1615 (Vance Mattson). It was a rainy and overcast day with a temperature of 9C to 1330 when the rain ceased. Winds were moderate S to 1715 after which it was calm and cloud cover was 100% stratus, altostratus and cumulus to 1715 after which it reduced to 70% although the ridges continued to be draped with cloud. Despite the conditions there was a good movement of 42 raptors of 8 species between 1428 and 1745, 31 of which were seen before 1530. The count was 3 Bald Eagles (1a, 2j), 1 adult female Northern Harrier, 9u Sharp-shinned Hawks, 1u Cooper’s Hawk, 2 light morph Broad-winged Hawks (1a, 1j), 23 calurus Red-tailed Hawks (22 light morphs: 13a, 3j, 6u, and 1 adult dark morph, 2 Golden Eagles (1sa, 1j) and 1 adult female American Kestrel. Movement was mainly gliding with some flapping flight into the wind, and there was very little soaring. The day’s last bird, a subadult Golden Eagle at 1745, had a full crop.

4 hours BAEA 3, NOHA 1, SSHA 9, COHA 1, BWHA 2, RTHA 23, GOEA 2, AMKE 1 TOTAL 42

 

 

 

 

SUMMARY COUNTS, FALL 2018
MOUNT LORETTE September 20-November 15 BEAVER MINES September 20-November 15 STEEPLES September 20-November 15
DAYS 1 1 1
HOURS 9.75 10.75 4
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0 0 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0 0 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 0 2 3
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 0 3 1
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 0 10 9
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0 8 1
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 0 1 0
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0 0 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0 2 2
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0 2 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 0 3 23
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 1 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 0 0 0
Buteo sp. (UB) 1 0 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 0 9 2
Eagle sp. (UE) 0 0 0
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0 0 1
MERLIN (MERL) 0 1 0
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0 0 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0 2 0
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0 0 0
Falco sp. (UF) 0 0 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 0 0 0
   
TOTALS 1 44 42

 


RMERF counts, April 22 with April and final count summaries.

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Sunday, April 22 Mount Lorette [Day 48] 0555-2030 (Bill Wilson, assisted by Cliff Hansen and Chris Hunt). The temperature was -2C at 0600, the high was 8C from 1600 to 1800 and it was 7C at 2030. Ground winds were SW 2-10 gusting to 28 km/h to 1700, then NE 3-10 km/h for the rest of the day; ridge winds were SW light to moderate to 0800, moderate SW to 1700 and then NE moderate for the rest of the day. Cloud cover was altostratus and cumulus with occasional cirrus all day, initially 10% increasing to 60-90% between 1100 and 1300 after which it was 100% to the end of the count. The only precipitation was snow flurries at the end of the day, and the ridges were completely clear all day. The last day of the count produced a total of 25 migrant raptors of 5 species between 1150 and 1947 that comprised 4 Bald Eagles (2a, 1sa, 1j), 1 adult Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1 small undifferentiated Accipiter, 1 juvenile light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk and 17 Golden Eagles (2sa, 12j, 3u). All the birds traveled on the eastern route with birds being located over the Fisher Range, above the valley to the north or over Mount Lorette, with the exception of 2 Golden Eagles that glided to the north from the northern end of the Fisher Range. By 1600 only 4 migrants had been seen but the next 3 hours produced 7, 5 and 8 birds respectively and the last bird of the count was an adult Bald Eagle at 1947. Non-migrant raptors were 2 adult Bald Eagles that flew to the south, 1 adult resident Northern Goshawk, several sightings of up to 3 resident Red-tailed Hawks and 2 sightings of resident adult Golden Eagles. Other birds seen were 8 Canada Geese, 9 Mallard, 2 Common Mergansers, 4 Northern Flickers, 2 American Crow, 12 Common Ravens, 6 Tree Swallows, 2 Black-capped Chickadees, 2 Mountain Chickadees, 1 Red-breasted Nuthatch, 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 9 Mountain Bluebirds, 7 Varied Thrushes, 14 American Robins, 1 European Starling, 2 American Pipits, 54 Bohemian Waxwings, 27 Dark-eyed Juncos of which 15 were “slate-coloured” morphs of the race cismontanus, and 1 Song Sparrow. There were 23 visitors at the site today.

14.58 hours (549.5) BAEA 4 (182), SSHA 1 (25), COHA 1 (2), UA 1 (4), RTHA 1 (30), GOEA 17 (2390) TOTAL 25 (2714)

 

Mount Lorette April 1-22 summary (With percentage variance from long-term 21 year average 1993-2017, that excludes the anomalously low counts in 2008-2010 and 2012 which are considered invalid). 21 days (-0.7%), 242.3 hours (-0.6%), TUVU 0, OSPR 3 (+65.8%), BAEA 57 (-20.5%), NOHA 1 (-75.3%), SSHA 18 (-17.8%), COHA 2 (-67.4%), NOGO 2 (-83.2%), UA 4 (+171%), BWHA 1 (+250%), SWHA 0, RTHA 23 (-11%), FEHA 0, RLHA 7 (-51.3%), UB 3 (+142%), GOEA 596 (+20.4%) which is the highest April count since 2014 and the second highest since 2002, UE 5 (+275%), AMKE 2 (+82.6%), MERL 3 (-33.7%), GYRF 0, PEFA 0, PRFA 0, UF 0, UU 4 (+236%) TOTAL 731 (+9.5%) of 12 species.

 

Mount Lorette spring 2018 summary March 1-April 22 (With percentage variance from long-term 21 year average 1993-2017, that excludes the anomalously low counts in 2008-2010 and 2012 which are considered invalid). 48 days (-3.7%), 549.5 hours (-1.1%), TUVU 0, OSPR 3 (+65.8%), BAEA 182 (-0.3%), NOHA 1 (-79.2%), SSHA 25 (+2.5%), COHA 2 (-70.8%), NOGO 11 (-52.6%), UA 4 (+104.9%), BWHA 3 (+950%), SWHA 0, RTHA 30 (-1.7%), FEHA 0, RLHA 16 (-18%), UB 3 (+46.5%), GOEA 2390 (-18.4%), UE 25 (+540.2%), AMKE 2 (+82.6%), MERL 3 (-56.6%), GYRF 7 (+444.4%), PEFA 1 (-22.2%), PRFA 2 (-4.5%), UF 0, UU 4 (+121.1%) TOTAL 2714 (-16.4%) of 15 species.

 

Sunday, April 22 Beaver Mines [Day 55] 0700-1845 (Peter Sherrington). The temperature at 0700 was 3C, the high was 10C (1100-1400) and it was 7C at 1845. Winds were mainly SW-WSW 25-35 gusting 40 km/h to 1300, after which they were E-NE 20-30 km/h and light after 1600. Cloud cover was 0-30% altostratus to 0930 after which it was 100% altostratus and cumulus for the rest of the day which produced very hazy sunshine and poor observing conditions. The last day of the count produced 16 migrants of 6 species between 0940 and 1646 that comprised 2 juvenile Bald Eagles, 1 adult female Northern Harrier, 4u Sharp-shinned Hawks, 2 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks, 4 Golden Eagles (1sa, 2j, 1u) and 3 American Kestrels (1 male, 2 females). The maximum hourly count was 4 between 1100 and 1200 and again between 1600 and 1700, and the last bird seen on the count was a female American Kestrel at 1646. No migrants were seen in the last two hours and the 2018 spring count mercifully ended at 1845.

11.75 hours (581.2) BAEA 2 (355), NOHA 1 (24), SSHA 4 (46), RTHA 2 (155), GOEA 4 (1533), AMKE 3 (10) TOTAL 16 (2340)

 

Beaver Mines April 1-22 summary (With percentage variance from the 3-year average 2015-2017). 20 days (-3.2%), 241.5 hours (+42.3%), TUVU 1 (+200%), OSPR 3 (-18.2%), BAEA 159 (+104.7%), NOHA 24 (-47.8%), SSHA 39 (-36.1%), COHA 4 (-72.1%), NOGO 13 (-35%), UA 0, BWHA 13 (+77.3%), SWHA 2 (-25%), RTHA 120 (-26.1%), FEHA 3 (+12.5%), RLHA 30 (+25%), UB 11 (+26.9%), GOEA 428 (+265.8%), UE 0, AMKE 9 (+22.7%), MERL 9 (+22.7%), GYRF 3 (+200%), PEFA 9 (+42.1%), PRFA 3 (+28.6%), UF 1, UU 1 (-40%) TOTAL 885 (+53.5%) of 18 species.

 

Beaver Mines spring 2018 summary February 25-April 22 (With percentage variance from the 3-year average 2015-2017). 55 days (+12.2%), 581.2 hours (+55.7%), TUVU 1 (-25%), OSPR 3 (-18.2%), BAEA 355 (+39.2%), NOHA 24 (-60%), SSHA 46 (-39.7%), COHA 6 (-61.7%), NOGO 27 (-56.7%), UA 0, BWHA 13 (+56%), SWHA 2 (-33.3%), RTHA 155 (-31.2%), FEHA 6 (+12.5%), RLHA 101 (+13.5%), UB 15 (+2.3%), GOEA 1533 (+43.7%), UE 3 (+28.6%), AMKE 10 (-6.3%), MERL 14 (-10.6%), GYRF 9 (+80%), PEFA 10 (+25%), PRFA 3 (-60.9%), UF 1 (+200%), UU 3 (-10%) TOTAL 2340 (+20.5%) of 18 species.

 

 

Sunday, April 22 Steeples [Day 40] 1130-1930 (Vance Mattson). The initial temperature was 10C that increased to 12C after 1500, winds were mainly calm alternating with light to moderate NE and then W winds after 1500, and cloud cover of 40-60% altocumulus and cumulus provided excellent observing conditions. There was a steady, leisurely flow of migrants between 1341 and 1845 involving 46 birds of a season-high 10 species that comprised 7 Turkey Vultures, 3 Ospreys, 9 Bald Eagles (2a, 2sa, 5j), 5 Sharp-shinned Hawks (3a, 1j, 1u), 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 4 light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks (3a, 1j), 1 dark morph Rough-legged Hawk, 13 Golden Eagles (4a, 1sa, 8j), 1 adult female American Kestrel and 2 adult Peregrine Falcons. Maximum hourly movement was 14 between 1600 and 1700 and the last bird of the count was an adult Golden Eagle that moved to the north at 1845. Two inter-species interactions were observed: an Osprey “bombing” a juvenile Bald Eagle that barrel-rolled away to avoid impact, and a subadult Golden Eagle doing the same thing to an adult Bald Eagle that resulted in the Bald Eagle chasing the Golden Eagle away. Non-migrants were plentiful Turkey Vultures, 2 adult Sharp-shinned Hawks, 3 adult Red-tailed Hawks and 2 Golden Eagles (1a and 1 juvenile which was the first sighting of a non-migratory juvenile bird at the site since March 31).

8 hours (178.5) TUVU 7 (19), OSPR 3 (3), BAEA 9 (181), SSHA 5 (19), NOGO 1 (3), RTHA 4 (31), RLHA 1 (7), GOEA 13 (620), AMKE 1 (3), PEFA 2 (3) TOTAL 46 (891)

 

Steeples April summary (With percentage variance from the 8-year average 2010-2017). 17 days (+54.5%), 75 hours (+81.8%), TUVU 19 (+166.7%), OSPR 3 (+140%), BAEA 62 (+155.7%), NOHA 0, SSHA 19 (+700%), COHA 0, NOGO 2 (+128.6%), UA 0, BWHA 0, SWHA 0, RTHA 31 (+451.1%), FEHA 0, RLHA 7 (+700%), UB 0, GOEA 97 (+241.9%), UE 2 (+0.13%), AMKE 3 (+242.9%), MERL 0, GYRF 0, PEFA 3 (+1100%), PRFA 0, UF 0, UU 0 TOTAL 829 (+241.5%) of 10 species.

 

Steeples spring 2018 summary (With percentage variance from the 8-year average 2010-2017). 40 days (+26%), 178.5 hours (+41.8%), TUVU 19 (+137.5%), OSPR 3 (+140%), BAEA 181 (+39.5%), NOHA 0, SSHA 19 (+347.1%), COHA 0, NOGO 3 (+50%), UA 0, BWHA 0, SWHA 0, RTHA 31 (+230.7%), FEHA 0, RLHA 7 (+124%), UB 0, GOEA 620 (+99.3%), UE 2 (+2.4%), AMKE 3 (+200%), MERL 0, GYRF 0, PEFA 3 (+380%), PRFA 0, UF 0, UU 0 TOTAL 891 (+87.9%) of 10 species.

 

 

 

SUMMARY COUNTS, SPRING 2018
MOUNT LORETTE March 1-April 22 BEAVER MINES   Feb. 25-April 22       STEEPLES         March 1-April 22
DAYS 48 55 40
HOURS 549.5 581.2 178.5
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0 1 19
OSPREY (OSPR) 3 3 3
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 182 355 181
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 1 24 0
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 25 46 19
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 2 6 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 11 27 3
Accipiter sp. (UA) 4 0 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 3 13 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0 2 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 30 155 31
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 6 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 16 101 7
Buteo sp. (UB) 3 15 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2390 1533 620
Eagle sp. (UE) 24 3 2
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 2 10 3
MERLIN (MERL) 3 14 0
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 7 9 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1 10 3
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2 3 0
Falco sp. (UF) 0 1 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 4 3 0
   
TOTALS 2714 2340 891

 


RMERF counts, April 21

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Saturday, April 21 Mount Lorette [Day 47] 0715-1330 (Jim Davis, assisted by Cliff Hansen). The temperature at 0715 was 5C the high was 7C between 1000 and 1300 and it was 6C when the count was abandoned for the day in heavy rain at 1330. Ground winds were SW 10-15 gusting 23 km/h and ridge winds were moderate to 0900 and then strong. Cloud cover was 60-70% cumulus to 1030 and 100% stratus with heavy rain and fog developing at 1300. The east ridges were clear to 1200 but were completely obscured by 1300, and the west was 40% obscured at 0900 and 100% obscured at 1300. A total of 8 migrants of a remarkable 7 species were recorded between 0720 and 1146 which comprised 1 adult Bald Eagle, 1 adult Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1 adult light morph Broad-winged Hawk, 2 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks, 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk, 1 adult Golden Eagle and 1u columbarius Merlin. Most birds soared above the centre of the valley or were located soaring over Mount Lorette. A resident adult Northern Goshawk flew south above the meadow at 0929. Other birds seen were 3 Canada Geese, a pair of Mallard, 1 female Northern Shoveler, 2 Killdeer, 6 Northern Flickers, 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 1 American Crow, 6 Common Ravens, 1 female Mountain Bluebird, 1 Townsend’s Solitaire, 4 Varied Thrushes, 58 American Robins, 73 Dark-eyed Juncos of which 72 were “slate-coloured” morphs of the race cismontanus, 1 male Evening Grosbeak and 2 Common Redpolls. There were 9 visitors to the site today, and if you are planning a visit please note that tomorrow will be the final day of the spring 2018 count at all three sites.

6.25 hours (534.9) BAEA 1 (178), SSHA 1 (24), BWHA 1 (3), RTHA 2 (29), RLHA 1 (16), GOEA 1 (2373), MERL 1 (3) TOTAL 8 (2689)

 

Saturday, April 21 Beaver Mines [Day 54] 0700-1900 (Peter Sherrington). The temperature at 0700 was 6C, the high was 10C at 1100 and it was again 6C when observation ceased at 1900. Winds were strong WSW all day 30-50 gusting 70-90 km/h and cloud cover was 50-60% altostratus and cumulus to 1045, 100% stratus and cumulus to 1525 and then mainly 0-20% thin altostratus and trace cumulus for the rest of the day. Light rain fell between 1045 and 1245, moderate to heavy snow fell between 1415 and 1515 that completely obscured the ridge, and light snow flurries occurred between 1740 and 1830. Conditions proved to be unfavourable for raptor migration (and for observation!) and only 7 migrants of 5 species were seen between 0936 and 1736. The count was 1 adult Bald Eagle, 1 adult male Northern Harrier, 1 adult Cooper’s Hawk, 3 Golden Eagles (1sa, 2j) and 1 unidentified large falcon. Mercifully, tomorrow’s forecast calls for just moderate west winds for the last day of the count.

12 hours (569.5) BAEA 1 (353), NOHA 1 (23), COHA 1 (6), GOEA 3 (1529), UF 1 (1) TOTAL 7 (2324)

 

Saturday, April 21 Steeples [Day 39] 1400-1845 (Vance Mattson). Conditions were overcast with strong winds and rain to 1400 when Vance arrived at the site as clearing began. The temperature was 9C, winds were strong NE and cloud cover was 60% cumulus which by 1530 became 100% stratus that produced light rain showers, after which it was 50% cumulus, sunny and mostly calm. Just 6 migrants of 4 species were seen between 1456 and 1717 that comprised 1 adult Bald Eagle, 2u Sharp-Shinned Hawks, 1 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 1 adult Golden Eagle and 1 unidentified eagle that disappeared into high cloud while flying north at 1515. Non-migrants were ubiquitous Turkey Vultures of which there were several sightings, 3 Bald Eagles (1a, 2j), 1 Red-tailed Hawk and 1 adult Golden Eagle. The forecast calls for a mix of sun and cloud for Sunday, so conditions should be good for the last day of the count.

4.75 hours (170.5) BAEA 1 (172), SSHA 2 (14), RTHA 1 (27), GOEA 1 (607), UE 1 (2) TOTAL 6 (845)

 

 

 

SUMMARY COUNTS, SPRING 2018
MOUNT LORETTE March 1- BEAVER MINES   February 25- STEEPLES     March 1-
DAYS 47 54 39
HOURS 534.9 569.5 170.5
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0 1 12
OSPREY (OSPR) 3 3 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 178 353 172
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 1 23 0
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 24 42 14
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 1 6 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 11 27 2
Accipiter sp. (UA) 3 0 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 3 13 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0 2 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 29 153 27
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 6 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 16 101 6
Buteo sp. (UB) 3 15 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2373 1529 607
Eagle sp. (UE) 24 3 2
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 2 7 2
MERLIN (MERL) 3 14 0
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 7 9 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1 10 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2 3 0
Falco sp. (UF) 0 1 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 4 3 0
TOTALS 2689 2324 845

 


RMERF counts, April 20

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Friday, April 20 Mount Lorette [Day 46] 0640-2055 (Caroline Lambert, assisted by Rick Robb). The starting temperature was -1C, the high was 11C (1500-1800) and it was still 9C at the end of observation. Ground winds were SW all day, light to 1000, gusting to 20 km/h to 1300, 10 gusting to 35 km/h to 15 after which the velocity gradually diminished; ridge winds were probably moderate SW all day. Cloud cover was 70-90% cirrostratus, altostratus all day, with some cumulus developing after 1300 with the exception of 1000 when it briefly reduced to 50%. Ridges were clear all day and good migration and observing conditions produced a movement of 26 raptors of 3 species between 1015 and 1955. The count was 2u Sharp-shinned Hawks, 1 adult “Eastern” Red-tailed Hawk (B.j.borealis), 1 dark morph unidentified Buteo and 22 Golden Eagles (1a, 3sa, 12j, 6u). All birds glided high from the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette, or were initially located over Mount Lorette. Movement was slow but steady throughout the day and the maximum hourly count was 6 between 1600 and 1700. Non-migrant birds were 3 Bald Eagles (1a, 1sa, 1j), 3 calurus Red-tailed Hawks (2a, 1j) and a resident adult Golden Eagle that perched on Olympic Summit early in the morning. Other bird species, including birds seen by Blake Weis at the beaver ponds north of the site, were 10 Canada Geese, 2 American Wigeon, 23 Mallard, 2 Common Goldeneye, 2 Barrow’s Goldeneye, 3 Common Mergansers, 1 drumming Ruffed Grouse, 1 Great Blue Heron, 3 Killdeer, 1 American Three-toed Woodpecker, 2 Northern Flickers, 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 10 Common Ravens, 2 Tree Swallows, 1 Black-capped Chickadee, 3 Mountain Chickadees, 4 Boreal Chickadees, 1 Red-breasted Nuthatch, 1 American Dipper, 6 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 8 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 10 Mountain Bluebirds, 1 Townsend’s Solitaire, 9 Varied Thrushes, 50 American Robins, 2 European Starlings, 9 American Pipits, 40 Bohemian Waxwings, 4 Yellow-rumped Warblers, 100 Dark-eyed Juncos, including 37 montanus, 2 hyemalis and 5 cismontanus, and 2 Song Sparrows. A Red Fox was seen near the site, and there were 4 visitors today.

14.25 (528.6) SSHA 2 (23), RTHA 1 (27), UB 1 (3), GOEA 22 (2372) TOTAL 26 (2681)

 

Friday, April 20 Beaver Mines [Day 53] 0700-2015 (Peter Sherrington). It was a warm day with a temperature of 6C at 0700, a high of 15C at 1300 and again at 1600, and at 2015 it was still 11C. Winds were W-WSW all day 20-35 gusting to 45 km/h and cloud cover was 100% altocumulus, cirrostratus and altostratus to 1400, and 50-90% altostratus, altocumulus, cirrus and lenticular that gave some sunny periods for the rest of the day. The wind velocity and direction should have been expected to produce a strong raptor movement but only 20 migrants of 6 species were recorded between 1040 and 1849. The count was 2 Bald Eagles (1a, 1j), 4 adult Northern Harriers (3 males, 1 female), 1 adult light morph Broad-winged Hawk, 4 adult calurus Red-tailed Hawks (2 light, 2 dark), 8 Golden Eagles (4a, 1sa, 3j) and 1 adult male Peregrine Falcon. The highest hourly count was 5 between 1400 and 1500 and that was preceded by a zero hour and followed by an hour that produced only 1 migrant. It was a beautiful spring day that produced the first Mourning Cloak butterfly of the season and another Milbert’s Tortoiseshell, but for much of the day the grass appeared to be growing faster than the raptors were moving!

13.25 hours (557.5) BAEA 2 (352), NOHA 4 (22), BWHA 1 (13), RTHA 4 (152), GOEA 8 (1526), PEFA 1 (10) TOTAL 20 (2317)

 

Friday, April 20 Steeples [Day 38] 1200-1915 (Vance Mattson). The temperature was initially 13C and reached a high of 15C. Winds were moderate SE alternating with calm periods, and cloud cover was initially 80% thin altostratus that thickened to 100% altostratus with some cumulus by 1755. A total of 14 migrants of 3 species were seen between 1336 and 1805 that comprised 6 Bald Eagles (1a, 5j), 3 adult Sharp-shinned Hawks, 4 juvenile Golden Eagles and 1 unidentified eagle. Movement was generally slow and sporadic, and there was almost a two-hour hiatus between the 7th and 8th migrants. The first migrant seen, a juvenile Golden Eagle, was tenaciously mobbed by 2 ravens and the eagle’s fairly serious retaliation was, as usual, treated with contempt by the ravens. Non-migrants were again dominated by Turkey Vultures which were almost continuously in sight and included an impressive kettle of 10 at 1832, 6 Bald Eagles (3a, 1sa, and 2j), 1 Red-tailed Hawk and 1 adult Bald Eagle.

7.25 hours (168.8) BAEA 6 (171), SSHA 3 (12), GOEA 4 (606), UE 1 (1) TOTAL 14 (839)

 

 

 

SUMMARY COUNTS, SPRING 2018
MOUNT LORETTE March 1- BEAVER MINES   February 25- STEEPLES     March 1-
DAYS 46 53 38
HOURS 528.6 557.5 168.8
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0 1 12
OSPREY (OSPR) 3 3 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 177 352 171
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 1 22 0
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 23 42 12
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 1 5 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 11 27 2
Accipiter sp. (UA) 3 0 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 2 13 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0 2 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 27 153 26
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 6 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 15 101 6
Buteo sp. (UB) 3 15 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2372 1526 606
Eagle sp. (UE) 24 3 1
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 2 7 2
MERLIN (MERL) 2 14 0
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 7 9 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1 10 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2 3 0
Falco sp. (UF) 0 0 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 4 3 0
   
TOTALS 2681 2317 839

 


RMERF counts, April 19

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Thursday, April 19 Mount Lorette [Day 45] 0655-2030 (Blake Weis, assisted by Patrick Farley). At 0700 the temperature was -5C, the high was 9C from 1600-1900 and it was 6C at 2030. Ground winds were SW all day, 0-10 km/h to 1300, then 5-10 gusting 15-30 km/h to 1900 and finished the day at 0-10 km/h again, while ridge winds were light to moderate SW to 1300 and then moderate for the rest of the day. Cloud cover was 10% cirrus to 0800 after which it was essentially cloudless all day with traces of cirrus in the morning and of altocumulus in the afternoon. Migration conditions were ideal, but the blank sky made the location of migrants challenging. There was a strong movement of 84 raptors of 5 species, which is the highest April count so far this season, with birds recorded between 0930 and 1930. The count was 4 Bald Eagles (1a, 3 undifferentiated immatures), 4u Sharp-shinned Hawks, 1 small undifferentiated Accipiter, 2 adult calurus Red-tailed Hawks (1 light, 1 dark), 72 Golden Eagles (9a, 4sa, 44j. 15u) which is the highest April count this season, and 1 male columbarius Merlin. The first 2 migrants were seen on the eastern route, but until 1540 all other birds moved on the western ridges with eagles soaring on the southern flank of Olympic Summit and gliding NW over Skogan Pass. After 1540 most birds were initially located as they glided to Mount Lorette and on to Mount McGillivray but only 4 were seen at the northern end of the Fisher Range and many may have originated from the Wasootch Creek area. Forty-one migrants occurred before noon after which movement slowed until 1800 when the final two hours of the day each yielded 11 migrating Golden Eagles. Non-migrant or resident birds were 1 juvenile Bald Eagle, 2 adult Red-tailed Hawks, the resident pair of Golden Eagles one of which displayed above Olympic Summit, and probably the same Prairie Falcon seen yesterday again hunted over Hummingbird Plume Hill. Birds seen for the first time this season were an American Coot on the river, 3 Tree Swallows and a male Brewer’s Blackbird, and other birds were 7 Canada Geese, a pair of Mallard, 1 male Common Merganser, 2 drumming Ruffed Grouse, 2 Killdeer, 6 unidentified white-headed gulls, 5 Northern Flickers, 1 Northern Shrike, 4 Grey Jays, 2 American Crows, 13 Common Ravens, 2 Black-capped Chickadees, 5 Mountain Chickadees, 1 Boreal Chickadee, 1 Red-breasted Nuthatch, 3 singing Golden-crowned Kinglets, 2 singing Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 3 Mountain Bluebirds (1 male, 2 females), 6 singing Varied Thrushes, 2 American Pipits, 40 Bohemian Waxwings, 35 Dark-eyed Juncos, 1 male Red-winged Blackbird and 8 Common Ravens. As Blake was driving across the Kananaskis Bridge on the Nakiska access road last night at 2010, a Cougar was walking across the bridge in the opposite direction. Today 3 White-tailed Deer and 2 male Elk browsed in the meadow late in the day, but there were only 3 human visitors to the site, which is a pity as it was a rather good day.

13.58 hours (514.4) BAEA 4 (177), SSHA 4 (21), UA 1 (3), RTHA 2 (26), GOEA 72 (2350), MERL 1 (2) TOTAL 84 (2655)

 

Thursday, April 19 Beaver Mines [Day 52] 0700-2015 (Peter Sherrington). The temperature at 0700 was -2C, rose to a very pleasant high of 12C at 1300 and 1400 and was still 9C at 2015. Winds were light WNW-NNW to 1100, very light at 1200 and 1300, SE-SSE 15-20 km/h to 1800 and then WSW 10-15 km/h for the rest of the day. Cloud cover was variably 30-80% cirrostratus, cirrus, altostratus and altocumulus to 1400, after which it was 70-80% cumulus that gradually dwindled to 0% at 2000. It was sunny all day and observing conditions were generally very good. Despite the often light and mainly adverse wind directions there was a fairly strong but sporadic migration of 43 raptors of 8 species between 0734 and 1856, with most birds soaring very high above the ridge before gliding to the NNW. The count was 3 subadult Bald Eagles, a season-high 8 Northern Harriers (6 males (5a, 1j), 1a female and 1u), 2u Sharp-shinned Hawks, 3 adult Northern Goshawks, 1 adult light morph Broad-winged Hawk, 6 light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks (5a, 1j), 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk and 19 Golden Eagles (3a, 3sa, 10j, 3u). The highest hourly count was 14 between 1800 and 1856, coincident with the switch to WSW winds. At 1137 a juvenile Golden Eagle was seen soaring very high above the ridge with a Sandhill Crane in opposing gyres. As they came together there were minor agonistic interactions and finally the eagle started to chase the crane, but not to be outdone, the crane then briefly pursued the eagle. With honours even the eagle glided to the north and the crane to the SW. Seasonal first occurrences were a flock of 7 American White Pelicans that soared high NE of the ridge at 1318 before flying high to the north and, on a smaller scale, a male Yellow-rumped [Audubon’s] Warbler that fed in aspens at 1410.

13.25 (544.2) BAEA 3 (350), NOHA 8 (18), SSHA 2 (42), NOGO 3 (27), BWHA 1 (12), RTHA 6 (149), RLHA 1 (101), GOEA 19 (1518) TOTAL 43 (2297)

 

Thursday, April 19 Steeples [Day 37] 1330-1930 (Vance Mattson). The temperature was a season high 15C, winds were calm to light SE and cloud cover was 30-50% cumulus that gave sunny conditions. A total of 14 migrants of 4 species were counted between 1620 and 1829 although 13 of the migrants moved after 1728. The count was 2 Bald Eagles (1a, 1j), 3 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 2u), 1 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk and 8 Golden Eagles (3a, 5j). As yesterday, many eagles moved very high west of the ridges and soared at length before gliding to the north, with the later birds often having to flap in the light winds. Non-migrant Turkey Vultures were seen frequently including a kettle of 4 over Mount Bill Nye that included apparently playful stoops by some individuals on its companions. Other non-migrants were 4 Bald Eagles (2a, 2j) and 2 adult Red-tailed Hawks.

4 hours (158.5) BAEA 2 (165), SSHA 3 (9), RTHA 1 (26), GOEA 8 (602) TOTAL 14 (825)

 

 

 

SUMMARY COUNTS, SPRING 2018
MOUNT LORETTE March 1- BEAVER MINES February 25- STEEPLES     March 1-
DAYS 45 52 37
HOURS 514.4 544.2 158.5
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0 1 12
OSPREY (OSPR) 3 3 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 177 350 165
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 1 18 0
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 21 42 9
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 1 5 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 11 27 2
Accipiter sp. (UA) 3 0 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 2 12 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0 2 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 26 149 26
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 6 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 15 101 6
Buteo sp. (UB) 2 15 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2350 1518 602
Eagle sp. (UE) 24 3 0
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 2 7 2
MERLIN (MERL) 2 14 0
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 7 9 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1 9 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2 3 0
Falco sp. (UF) 0 0 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 4 3 0
   
TOTALS 2655 2297 825

 


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