RMERF counts, April 21

Sunday, April 21 Mount Lorette [Day 50] 0615-2115 (Bill Wilson, assisted by Lori Anderson). The temperature at 0615 was -3C, the high from 1600 to 1800 was 13C and it was 4C at 2115. Ground winds were SW-SSE all day, 0-6 km/h to 1000, 5-10 gusting to 28 km/h to 1800 and then 2-5 km/h for the rest of the day; ridge winds were SW all day, light to moderate to 1100 and then then moderate to the end of observation. It was cloudless to 1300 when 40-100% thin to moderate altostratus developed that gave excellent viewing conditions for the rest of the day. The ridges were completely clear. There was a strong raptor movement for so late in the season with a total of 56 birds of 6 species moving between 1053 and 2032 that comprised 4 Bald Eagles (2a, 1 late subadult and 1 undifferentiated immature bird), a season-high 4 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1j, 3u), 1u Cooper’s Hawk that was the first of the season, 3 Northern Goshawks (1a, 2u), 3 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks and 41 Golden Eagles (5a, 2sa, 11j, 23u). Both the combined species and the Golden Eagle counts are the highest since April 8. The first Golden Eagle was not seen until 1423, 15 moved between 1500 and 1600, 11 between 1900 and 2000 and 4 between 2000 and 2032.Most movement was on the western route to 1800 after which the birds glided high from the Fisher range to Mount Lorette. Four non-migrant Bald Eagles (2a, 2sa) moved to the south, single adult Northern Goshawks were seen on 2 occasions, at least 2 resident Red-tailed hawks were present and there were 4 sightings of single resident Golden Eagles including 3 display flights between 1700 and 1900, and the pair performed a talon-clasping fall to the south of Olympic Summit at 1830. Other birds recorded in the area were 3 Canada Geese on the river and a flock of 25 that flew high to the NE at 1740, 6 Mallards, a pair of Common Goldeneyes, 1 male Common Merganser, 5 Ruffed Grouse of which 4 were drumming, 1 Great Horned Owl that called east of the site at 0755, 1 female American Three-toed Woodpecker, 1 Northern Flicker, 1 American Crow, 40 Common Ravens, 1 Tree Swallow, 2 Violet-green Swallows, 4 unidentified swallows, 1 Red-breasted Nuthatch, 2 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 1 singing  Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 1 Mountain Bluebird, 2 singing Varied Thrushes, 4 American Robins, 2 Pine Siskins, 1 singing Fox Sparrow, 1 singing Song Sparrow, 2 Dark-eyed Juncos, 1 of which was cismontanus, and 1 male Rusty Blackbird. Six White-tailed Deer fed in the meadow late in the evening, and there were 45 visitors to the site today including 10 from the Edmonton Nature Club that unfortunately left just before the influx of Golden Eagles.

15 hours (581.2) BAEA 4 (209), SSHA 4 (9), COHA 1 (1), NOGO 3 (18), RTHA 3 (16), GOEA 41 (2132) TOTAL 56 (2452)

 

Sunday, April 21 Beaver Mines [Day 50] 0630-2100 (Peter Sherrington assisted by Hilary Atkinson).  The temperature at 0630 was 0C the high at 1500 and again at 1700 and 1800 was 15C and it was still 10C at 2100. Winds were W 5-15 km/h to 0830, ESE-SSE 10-15 km/h to 1630 and then SSW-WSW 15-20 gusting 30 km/h for the rest of the day. It was cloudless to 1000, and then variably 20-50% cumulus to 1815 after which it was again cloudless for the rest of the day. There was a persistent and varied raptor movement involving 38 birds of 12 species between 1019 and 1955 that comprised 6 Bald Eagles (2a, 4j), 1 adult female Northern Harrier, 3u Sharp-shinned Hawks, 1a Cooper’s Hawk, 1a Northern Goshawk, 2u light morph Swainson’s Hawks that were the first for the season, 6 calurus Red-tailed Hawks (5 light morphs: 4a, 1j, and 1 adult dark morph), 1 adult light morph Ferruginous Hawk, 3 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 1 unidentified Buteo, 11 Golden Eagles (1a, 2sa, 6j, 2u), 1 female American Kestrel and 1 male columbarius Merlin. Maximum hourly passage was 7 between 1300 and 1400. The resident male Northern Harrier displayed at 1131 and there were numerous sightings of up to 6 resident Red-tailed Hawks between 0941 and 1967. Other birds seen were a pair of Canada Geese, 1 pair of Wood Ducks, 5 Mallards, 10 Rock Pigeons, 1 pair of Downy Woodpeckers, 1 Hairy Woodpecker, 1 male Northern Flicker, 2 Blue Jays, 5 Black-billed Magpies,  12 American Crows, 25 Common Ravens, 10 Tree Swallows, 1 Red-breasted Nuthatch, 4 American Robins, 40 European Starlings, 21 Evening Grosbeaks, 1 female Cassin’s Finch, 10 Pine Siskins and 5 Red-winged Blackbirds (3 males and 2 females).

14.5 hours (616.3) BAEA 6 (220), NOHA 1 (29), SSHA 3 (37), COHA 1 (5), NOGO 1 (29), SWHA 2 (2), RTHA 6 (116), FEHA 1 (5), RLHA 3 (29), UB 1 (7), GOEA 11 (610), AMKE 1 (6), MERL 1 (15) TOTAL 38 (1137)

 

Sunday, April 21 Steeples [Day 41] 1300-1730 (Vance Mattson). The temperature was 15C, conditions were calm and cloud cover of 10-20% cumulus and cirrus gave continuous sunshine. Only two migrants were seen: 1 juvenile Bald Eagle at 1528, and 1 juvenile Golden Eagle at 1423 that was the first migrant bird of the species seen at the site since April 6. Non-migrants were 20 Turkey Vultures that included a kettle of 7 birds, 1 adult Bald Eagle, 1u Northern Goshawk and 3 sightings of single Red-tailed Hawks.

4.5 hours (200) BAEA 1 (218), GOEA 1 (454) TOTAL 2 (697)

 

[NOTE: tomorrow will be the last day of the spring 2019 count at all three sites.]

 

SUMMARY  COUNTS, SPRING 2019
  MOUNT LORETTE March 1-April 22 BEAVER MINES   March 1-April 22 STEEPLES      March 1-April 22
DAYS  50  50  41
HOURS 581.2 613.3  200
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU)  1 2 3
OSPREY (OSPR) 2  1  0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 209  220  218
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 5  29  1
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA)  9 37 2
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA)  1 5 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 18 29 0
Accipiter sp. (UA) 1 0 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0 2 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0 2 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 16 116 8
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 5 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 15 29 3
Buteo sp. (UB) 3 7 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2132 610 454
Eagle sp. (UE) 26 2 7
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0 6 1
MERLIN (MERL) 6 15 0
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1 6 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0 5 0
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2 8 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1 0 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 4 1 0
       
TOTALS 2452 1137 697

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


RMERF counts, April 20

Saturday, April 20 Mount Lorette [Day 49] 0705-2015 (Blake Weis, assisted by Ruth Morrow). The starting temperature was 0C, the high was 8C at 1700 and 1800 and it was 6C at the end of observation. Ground winds were SW 0-5 km/h to 1000, N-NW 0-5 gusting 20 km/h to 1900 and N-NW 0-10 km/h for the rest of the day, while ridge winds were moderate SW all day. Cloud cover was 100% low stratus and fog that obscured all ridges to 1000 when it began to break to 90% stratocumulus, cumulus, cirrus and stratus and further reduced to 70% at 1500,, and was then 70-80% cumulus, cirrus, altocumulus and cirrocumulus for the rest of the day. The eastern ridges did not fully clear until 1700 and the west not until 1800, but the only precipitation was light snow flurries between 1100 and 1200. Locating conditions were excellent after 1000 and resulted in the highest count since April 12 that comprised 33 migrants of 6 species seen between 1117 and 1952. The count was 2 Ospreys that were the first of the season. 3 Bald Eagles (1a, 2sa), a season-high 4 adult Northern Harriers (3 males, 1 female), 2 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks, 4 Rough-legged Hawks (3 light, 1 dark), 2 unidentified Buteos, 15 Golden Eagles (3a, 2sa, 9j, 1u) and 1 unidentified eagle. Birds moved fairly steadily throughout and peaked between 1800 and 1900 when 1 Osprey and 8 Golden Eagles were seen. Most birds were seen over the western part of the valley to 1400 after which they were mainly located above the Fisher Range although some eagles seen over Mount Lorette later in the day may have originated from Wasootch Creek north of the Fisher Range. Resident birds were 1 adult Bald Eagle that flew south from Mount Old Baldy at 1400, 3 sightings of single adult Northern Goshawks and 1 calling from the nest site, three sightings of single soaring Red-tailed Hawks and 1 adult Golden Eagle that soared high above the Fisher Range at 1555 before gliding high to the south. Other birds in the area were 4 Canada Geese, 5 Mallards, 3 drumming Ruffed Grouse, 1 Killdeer, 1 Wilson’s Snipe that performed its winnowing display flight for the first time this season early in the morning, 1 Hairy Woodpecker, 4 Northern Flickers, 12 Common Ravens, 3 Tree Swallows, 2 Black-capped Chickadees, 6 Mountain Chickadees, 2 Boreal Chickadees, 6 Red-breasted Nuthatches, 3 American Dippers 2 of which were seen at Troll Falls, 10 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 3 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 2 male and 1 female Mountain Bluebirds, 6 singing Varied Thrushes, 39 American Robins including a single flock of 13, 2 American Pipits, 1 White winged Crossbill, 2 Red Crossbills, 7 Pine Siskins, 1 singing Fox Sparrow, 4 Song Sparrows, 16 Dark-eyed Juncos, 1 of which was hyemalis and 3 montanus, and 1 male Red-winged Blackbird. Three White-tailed Deer fed in the meadow late in the evening, 3 Bighorn Sheep were seen on Olympic Summit and there were fresh tracks of Canada Lynx and Black Bear in the 2cm of snow that had fallen overnight. There were 15 visitors to the site today.

13.16 hours (566.2) OSPR 2 (2), BAEA 3 (205), NOHA 4 (5), RTHA 2 (13), RLHA 4 (15), GOEA 15 (2091), UB 2 (3), UE 1 (26) TOTAL 33 (2396)

 

Saturday, April 20 Beaver Mines [Day 49] 0630-2030 (Peter Sherrington assisted by Hilary Atkinson). The temperature at 0630 was 2C, the high was 7C at 1700 and it was 5C at 2030. Winds were calm or light (<5 km/h) to 1400, then NE 10 km/h and finally SW-W 10-15 km/h after 1900. Cloud cover was 100% stratus almost throughout the day that began to break at 2015 and reduced to 80% cumulus at 2030. Steady light and occasionally moderate rain started falling at 0840 and persisted to 1550 after which there were further periods of rain to 1820, and the ridge was obscured between 0930 and 1200. There was a compressed raptor movement of 12 birds of 7 species between 1503 and 1752 that comprised 3 Bald Eagles (1a, 2j), 2 adult Northern Harriers (1 female and 1 male), 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, 2 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks, 1 light morph juvenile Ferruginous Hawk, 1 subadult Golden Eagle and 2 female columbarius Merlins (1a, 1u). Six of the birds were seen between 1503 and 1600 and 4 between 1711 and 1752. Resident birds were a pair of Northern Harriers and 2 pairs of Red-tailed Hawks that hunted low above the bottom of the valley, a non-migrant juvenile Northern Goshawk that made three low hunting passes at a group of Mallards on the creek, the third of which was presumably successful as it failed to re-appear from the willow shrub behind which it dived at 1943, and a male Prairie Falcon hunted songbirds in the rain near the site at 1215. Other birds were 1 Greater White-fronted Goose that flew to the NE above the valley at 1910, a pair of  Canada Geese, 2 pairs of Wood Ducks, 12 Mallards, 1 pair of Green-winged Teal, a pair of Common Mergansers that flew high to the north at 1732, 9 Rock Pigeons, a pair of Sandhill Cranes that fed by the creek at 1518, 2 pairs of Downy Woodpeckers, 1 pair of Hairy Woodpeckers, 1 pair of  Northern Flickers, 4 Blue Jays, 1 Clark’s Nutcracker, 5 American Crows, 11 Common Ravens, 14 Tree Swallows most of which flew high towards the SW, 2 Black-capped Chickadees, 2 Mountain Chickadees, 2 Red-breasted Nuthatches, 1 American Dipper that flew high to the NE above the creek at 2028, 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 5 American Robins, 88 European Starlings, 32 Evening Grosbeaks, 2 female Cassin’s Finches, 10 Pine Siskins and 11 male Red-winged Blackbirds that included 5 females which were the first seen here this year.

14 hours (601.8) BAEA 3 (214), NOHA 2 (28), SSHA 1 (34), RTHA 2 (110), FEHA 1 (4), GOEA 1 (599), MERL 2 (14) TOTAL 12 (1099)

 

Saturday, April 20 Steeples [Day 40] 1300-1800 (Vance Mattson). The temperature was 15C, winds were moderate N and cloud cover was 100% thin altostratus and cumulus that reduced to 40% cumulus and produced mainly sunny conditions. The 6 migrants seen comprised 5 Bald Eagles (3a, 2j) and 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, with 3 of the Bald Eagles moving between 1545 and 1600. Non-migrants were 11 Turkey Vultures, 4 Bald Eagles (1a, 3j), 1 adult Northern Goshawk, three sightings of single Red-tailed Hawks including one that displayed, and 1 juvenile Golden Eagle that was intensely harried by a Red-tailed Hawk but remained entirely aloof throughout a series of bombing flights.

5 hours (195.5) BAEA 5 (217), SSHA 1 (2) TOTAL 6 (695)

 

SUMMARY  COUNTS, SPRING 2019
  MOUNT LORETTE March 1-April 22 BEAVER MINES   March 1-April 22 STEEPLES      March 1-April 22
DAYS  49  49  40
HOURS 566.2 601.8  195.5
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU)  1 2 3
OSPREY (OSPR) 2  1  0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 205  214  217
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 5  28  1
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA)  5 34 2
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA)  0 4 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 15 28 0
Accipiter sp. (UA) 1 0 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0 2 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0 0 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 13 110 8
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 4 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 15 26 3
Buteo sp. (UB) 3 6 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2091 599 453
Eagle sp. (UE) 26 2 7
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0 5 1
MERLIN (MERL) 6 14 0
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1 6 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0 5 0
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2 8 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1 0 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 4 1 0
       
TOTALS 2396 1099 695

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


RMERF counts, April 19

Friday, April 19 Mount Lorette [Day 48] 0715-1600 (Cliff Hansen, assisted by Rick Robb). The temperature at 0715 was 7C, the high was 9C between 1000 and 1200 and it was 4C when the count was abandoned for the day in the rain at 1600. Winds were light (<5 km/h) at the Hay Meadow site, where the 100% stratus cloud cover produced light rain and descended to substantially cover the ridges by 0900 when the observers decided to relocated to the Lusk Creek site. There winds were NW 5-10 gusting 25 km/h, cloud cover was 100% stratus and cumulus and the ridges were clear, but rain started at 1200 and by 1300 all ridges were obscured. One resident adult calurus Red-tailed Hawk was seen, but there were no migrants. Other birds at the Hay Meadow were 6 Canada Geese, a pair of Mallards, 1 drumming Ruffed Grouse, 1 Northern Flicker, 2 Common Ravens, 1 male Mountain Bluebird, 6 American Robins, 2 Black-capped Chickadees, 2 Mountain Chickadees, 1 Red-breasted Nuthatch and 1u Dark-eyed Junco. At Lusk Creek other birds were 1 Downy Woodpecker, 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 1 singing Townsend’s Solitaire, 1 American Robin and 6 singing Dark-eyed Juncos. One visitor stopped by the Lusk Creek site.

8.75 hours (553) TOTAL 0 (2363)

 

Friday, April 19 Beaver Mines [Day 48] 0630-2030 (Peter Sherrington assisted by Hilary Atkinson). The temperature at 0630 was 12C that rose to a season-high 19C at 1330 before quickly dropping down to 9C at 2030. Winds were strong W-WSW 45-55 gusting 80 km/h to 1700 after which they moderated to 20-30 gusting 40 km/h. Cloud cover was 0-20% cumulus to 1200 when it thickened to 60% altocumulus, altostratus, cirrus and cumulus and throughout the afternoon it was 90-100% altostratus, stratus and cumulus that brought light to moderate rain between 1500 and 1830 and then occasional showers for the rest of the day. There was a fairly varied raptor movement involving 20 birds of 7 species between 0932 and 1456 when rain stopped migration which did not restart despite seemingly ideal migration conditions after 1830. The count was 1 adult Turkey Vulture, 1 adult female Northern Harrier, 3 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 2u), the first 2 light morph Broad-winged Hawks (1a, 1u) of the season that soared high above the centre of the valley with a Golden Eagle at 1248, 5 Red-tailed Hawks (2a and 2u calurus light, and 1 dark adult harlani), 7 Golden Eagles (3a, 2sa, 1j, 1u) and 1u columbarius Merlin. The resident Northern Harrier pair hunted throughout the day and up to 4 resident Red-tailed Hawks were seen hunting before the rain started. Other birds seen in the area were a pair of  Canada Geese and 8 that flew high to the SW in 2 flocks, 2 pairs of Wood Ducks, 3 pairs of  Mallards and 3 pairs of Green-winged Teal, 12 Rock Pigeons, 1 pair of Downy Woodpeckers, 1 pair of  Northern Flickers, 4 Blue Jays, 2 Black-billed Magpies, 6 American Crows, 8 Common Ravens, 1 pair of Tree Swallows, 8 American Robins, 5 European Starlings, 15 Evening Grosbeaks, 10 Pine Siskins and 4 male Red-winged Blackbirds.

14 hours (587.8) TUVU 1 (2), NOHA 1 (26), SSHA 3 (33), BWHA 2 (2), RTHA 5 (108), GOEA 7 (598) MERL 1 (12) TOTAL 20 (1087)

 

Friday, April 19 Steeples (Vance Mattson) NO OBSERVATION (weather). It was a rainy and overcast day. The mountains partially cleared by 1700 but there was little prospect of raptor movement so Vance decided not to visit the site.

 

SUMMARY  COUNTS, SPRING 2019
  MOUNT LORETTE March 1-April 22 BEAVER MINES   March 1-April 22 STEEPLES      March 1-April 22
DAYS  48  48  39
HOURS 553 587.8  190.5
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU)  1 2 3
OSPREY (OSPR) 0  1  0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 202  211  212
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 1  26  1
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA)  5 33 1
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA)  0 4 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 15 28 0
Accipiter sp. (UA) 1 0 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0 2 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0 0 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 11 108 8
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 3 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 11 26 3
Buteo sp. (UB) 1 6 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2076 598 453
Eagle sp. (UE) 25 2 7
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0 5 1
MERLIN (MERL) 6 12 0
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1 6 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0 5 0
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2 8 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1 0 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 4 1 0
       
TOTALS 2363 1087 689

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


RMERF counts, April 18

Thursday, April 18 Mount Lorette [Day 47] 0715-2010 (Blake Weis, assisted by Rachel MacKay). The temperature at 0715 was 5C, the high was 14C from 1700 to 1900 and it was 12C at 2010. Ground winds were W-SW all day, 2-5 gusting 15 km/h to 0900 and then 5-10 gusting to 32 km/h for the rest of the day, while ridge winds were moderate to strong NW all day. Cloud cover was initially 40% altocumulus, lenticular cirrus and altostratus that gradually spread to 70% at 1100; between 1100 and 1300 it was 80-90% cumulus, altocumulus, altostratus, cirrus, cirrocumulus and cirrostratus, at 1300 and 1400 it was 100% altostratus and cumulus and for the rest of the day it was variable 50-80% cumulus, altocumulus, altostratus and cirrus with minor stratocumulus developed to the west. The variety of cloud forms was not matched by the number of raptor migrants as again only two were seen: 1 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk that flew north from the Fisher Range at 1458 and an immature Bald Eagle that flew from the south face of Mount Lorette to Mount McGillivray and on to the NW at 1844. Resident birds were a pair of Red-tailed Hawks soaring over Hummingbird Plume Hill and single birds, probably of the same pair, that hunted north of the site, and an adult Golden Eagle that flew low from Mount Lorette to the Fisher Range at 1140. Other birds noted in the area were 3 Canada Geese and a pair of Mallards on the river, 3 drumming Ruffed Grouse, 1 Hairy Woodpecker, 3 Northern Flickers, 1 Canada Jay, 1 American Crow, 7 Common Ravens, 3 Black-capped Chickadees, 2 Mountain Chickadees, 2 Boreal Chickadees, 2 Red-breasted Nuthatches, 1 American Dipper seen at Troll Falls, 1 Golden-crowned Kinglet, 1 singing Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 1 male and 2 female Mountain Bluebirds, 2 singing Varied Thrushes, 15 American Robins, 2 American Pipits, 12 White winged Crossbill, 2 Pine Siskins, 1 Fox Sparrow that sang only in the morning, 1 singing Song Sparrow, 10 Dark-eyed Juncos, 3 of which were montanus, the first Western Meadowlark of the season and 1 male Red-winged Blackbird. Three White-tailed Deer fed in the meadow early in the morning and again late in the evening, a single Bighorn Sheep was seen on Olympic Summit, and there were 5 visitors to the site today.

13.92 hours (544.2) BAEA 1 (202), RTHA 1 (11) TOTAL 2 (2363)

[Addenda to April 17 report: while driving to the site, at 0945 Cliff saw an adult light morph Ferruginous Hawk soaring low at the confluence of the Kananaskis and Bow Rivers, 18 km NNE of the Hay Meadow site. Three Mountain Bluebirds, 2 males and 1 female, were also seen in the Hay Meadow.]

 

Thursday, April 18 Beaver Mines [Day 47] 0630-2045 (Peter Sherrington assisted by Hilary Atkinson). The temperature at 0630 was already 7C, the high at 1200 and again at 1600 was 14C and it was still 10.5C at 2045. Winds were again strong WSW-W all day, 40 to 50 gusting 70 km/h and to 90 km/h at 1400 and 2045. Cloud cover was 60-100% altostratus, cumulus, cirrus, cirrocumulus, altocumulus and lenticular to 1530, 20-70% cumulus to 1900 and then 100-30% thin cirrostratus and cumulus for the rest of the day. Observing conditions were very good all day and produced a varied if sporadic movement of 22 raptors of 11 species between 0926 and 1821. The flight was 1u Turkey Vulture at 1703, 1 Osprey at 1640, both of which were the first of the season, 1 subadult Bald Eagle, 3u Sharp-shinned Hawks, 2 Cooper’s Hawks (1a, 1u), 2 Northern Goshawks (1j, 1u), 1 adult light morph Ferruginous Hawk, 1 dark morph Rough-legged Hawk, 7 Golden Eagles (3a, 4j), 2 columbarius Merlins (1 male, 1 female) and 1 male Prairie Falcon. Resident birds were 1 male Northern Harrier and sporadic sightings of hunting Red-tailed Hawks. Other birds seen were 1 Canada Goose, 2 male and 1 female Wood Ducks, 5 Mallards and 2 pairs of Green-winged Teal on the creek, a lek of 8 Wild Turkeys that comprised 5 very aggressive displaying males that fought amongst themselves and 3 females that completely ignored them and calmly fed close by, 17 Rock Pigeons, single Sandhill Cranes that flew high to the SW at 0913 and 1801, 1 Wilson’s Snipe, 1 Downy Woodpecker, 2 male Northern Flickers, 6 Blue Jays, 2 Black-billed Magpies, 4 American Crows, 32 Common Ravens, 1 Tree Swallow, 4 American Robins, 65 European Starlings, 30 Evening Grosbeaks, 1 female Cassin’s Finch, 15 Pine Siskins and 7 male Red-winged Blackbirds.

14.25 (573.8) TUVU 1 (1), OSPR 1 (1), BAEA 1 (211), SSHA 3 (30), COHA 2 (4), NOGO 2 (28), FEHA 1 (3), RLHA 1 (26), GOEA 7 (591), MERL 2 (11), PRFA 1 (8) TOTAL 22 (1067)

 

Thursday, April 18 Steeples [Day 39] 1300-1730 (Vance Mattson). The temperature was 14C, winds were moderate to strong S and cloud cover was 100% altostratus and cumulus that slightly obscured the ridges at 1700 and brought light rain. It was another slow day with no migrant raptors and just one non-migrant juvenile Bald Eagle seen.

4.5 hours (190.5) TOTAL 0 (689)

 

SUMMARY  COUNTS, SPRING 2019
  MOUNT LORETTE March 1-April 22 BEAVER MINES   March 1-April 22 STEEPLES      March 1-April 22
DAYS  47  47  39
HOURS 544.2 573.8  190.5
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU)  1 1 3
OSPREY (OSPR) 0  1  0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 202  211  212
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 1  25  1
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA)  5 30 1
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA)  0 4 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 15 28 0
Accipiter sp. (UA) 1 0 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0 0 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0 0 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 11 103 8
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 3 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 11 26 3
Buteo sp. (UB) 1 6 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2076 591 453
Eagle sp. (UE) 25 2 7
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0 5 1
MERLIN (MERL) 6 11 0
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1 6 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0 5 0
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2 8 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1 0 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 4 1 0
       
TOTALS 2363 1067 689

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


RMERF counts, April 17

Wednesday, April 17 Mount Lorette [Day 46] 0715-2045 (Cliff Hansen, assisted by Rick Robb and Chris Hunt). The starting temperature was 3C, the high at 1700 was 11C and it was 7C at the end of observation. Ground winds were SW all day 0-5 gusting 20 km/h and up to 35 km/h after 1700, while ridge winds were moderate to strong W-NW in the morning that became NW to 1700 after which they were strong NW for the rest of the day. Cloud cover was initially 80% cumulus that brought light snow flurries and was then 90-60% cumulus for the rest of the day. The ridges were clear all day and observing conditions were good throughout, but the only migrants seen were a subadult Golden Eagle that glided high from the Fisher Range to above Mount Lorette at 1618 and an unaged Golden Eagle that glided very high on the same route at 1940. Resident and non-migrant raptors were 4 adult Bald Eagles (probably two pairs) that soared above the Fisher Range at 1645 and interacted vigorously before flying to the east, a Northern Goshawk that called from the nest site at 1000, a pair of Red-tailed Hawks that soared above Hummingbird Plume Hill at 1536 and 1 or 2 adult resident Golden Eagles that were occasionally seen hunting up to 1214. Other birds in the area were also scarce and comprised 3 Canada Geese, 11 Mallards and a pair of Common Mergansers on the river, 2 drumming Ruffed Grouse, 1 pair of Northern Flickers, 6 Common Ravens, 2 Red-breasted Nuthatches, 1 singing Varied Thrush, 4 American Robins, a small flock of perched Red Crossbills, 1 Song Sparrow, 2 Dark-eyed Juncos, 1 of which was cismontanus and 1 male Red-winged Blackbird. Four White-tailed Deer fed in the meadow late in the evening and there were 4 visitors at the site today.

13.5 hours (530.3) GOEA 2 (2076) TOTAL 2 (2361)

 

Wednesday, April 17 Beaver Mines [Day 46] 0645-2045 (Peter Sherrington assisted by Hilary Atkinson). The temperature at 0645 was 4C, reached a high of 12C at 1500 and 1600 and was still 8.5C at 2045. Winds were strong W-WSW all day, 30-45 gusting to 80 km/h, and it was initially cloudless with 30% cumulus developing at 0800 after which cloud cover was variable 30-80% cumulus, cirrus and cirrocumulus to late in the day when it was again cloudless. There was sporadic very light flurries or light rain to 1100, but observing conditions were excellent all day. A total of 25 migrant raptors of 6 species moved between 0755 and 1629 comprising 3 Bald Eagles (1a, 1sa, 1u), 4 Northern Harriers (2a females, 1j male, 1u), 5 Sharp-shinned Hawks (2a, 3u), 5 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks, 5 Golden Eagles (2a, 3j) and 3 American Kestrels (2 females, 1 male). Movement was slow but steady to 1629 with a maximum hourly count of 5 between 1200 and 1300 and again between 1600 and 1629 after which no further migrants were seen although there was no change in the weather conditions. Resident birds were a pair of Northern Harriers, and 2 pairs of Red-tailed Hawks that were seen regularly to 1651 when they also disappeared until 2015 when a single bird was seen hunting high above the valley and at 2032 a single bird soared high above the centre of the valley just below the full moon before flying north, presumably to roost. Other birds seen were a pair of Canada Geese on the creek and 2 that flew very high to the north, 2 male and 1 female Wood Ducks on a flooded pasture adjacent to the creek at 1956 which were the first ever seen here, a pair of Mallards, 1 Ruffed Grouse, 16 Rock Pigeons, 1 Sandhill Crane that fed briefly in the valley at 1003 before flying low to the SW, and 3 single birds that flew high above the ridge at 1008, 1325 and 1328, 3 Downy Woodpeckers, 1 Northern Flicker, 5 Blue Jays, 2 Black-billed Magpies, 19 Common Ravens, 3 Black-capped Chickadees, the first Ruby-crowned Kinglet of the year, 4 American Robins, 252 European Starlings, 31 Evening Grosbeaks, 12 Pine Siskins and 8 male Red-winged Blackbirds.

14 hours (559.5) BAEA 3 (210), NOHA 4 (25), SSHA 5 (27), RTHA 5 (103), GOEA 5 (584), AMKE 3 (5) TOTAL 25 (1045)

 

Wednesday, April 17 Steeples (Vance Mattson) NO OBSERVATION. It was a clear day but unfortunately work commitments prevented Vance from observing.

 

SUMMARY  COUNTS, SPRING 2019
  MOUNT LORETTE March 1-April 22 BEAVER MINES   March 1-April 22 STEEPLES      March 1-April 22
DAYS  46  46  38
HOURS 530.3 559.5  186
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU)  1 0 3
OSPREY (OSPR) 0  0  0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 201  210  212
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 1  25  1
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA)  5 27 1
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA)  0 2 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 15 26 0
Accipiter sp. (UA) 1 0 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0 0 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0 0 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 10 103 8
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 2 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 11 25 3
Buteo sp. (UB) 1 6 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2076 584 453
Eagle sp. (UE) 25 2 7
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0 5 1
MERLIN (MERL) 6 9 0
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1 6 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0 5 0
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2 7 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1 0 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 4 1 0
       
TOTALS 2361 1045 689

 

 

 


RMERF counts, April 16

Tuesday, April 16 Mount Lorette [Day 45] 0715-2015 (Blake Weis, assisted by Brian McBride). The temperature at 0715 was -5C, the high was 8C between 1600 and 1900 and it was 6C at 2015. Ground winds were S-SW 0-5 gusting 15 km/h to 1300, variable SW-W-NW 0-5 gusting 20 km/h between 1300 and 1500, and then W-SW 0-5 gusting 25 km/h for the rest of the day. Ridge winds were SW all day, light to moderate to 1300, moderate to 1900 then light to moderate for the rest of the day. Cloud cover was 80-90% cirrus and cirrostratus to 1100 that reduced to 70% altocumulus and cirrus at 1300, and 20% altocumulus at 1600 after which it increased again to 90% altostratus, altocumulus, cirrus and cirrostratus for the rest of the day. All ridges were clear. A total of 18 migrant raptors of 3 species moved between 1120 and 1830 comprising 2 adult Northern Goshawks, 1 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk and 15 Golden Eagles (8j, 7u). Movement was slow and steady throughout with a maximum hourly count of only 4 Golden Eagles between 1500 and 1600. The two goshawks and 2 Golden Eagles were initially located at the northern end of the Fisher range, 3 Golden Eagles were first seen over Mount Lorette and probably came from Wasootch Creek, while the rest moved on the western route with most birds soaring over Olympic Summit before gliding high to the NW behind the summit of Mount Allan. Non-migrant birds were 1 resident adult Northern Goshawk that hunted north of the site and displayed above the southern end of Hummingbird Plume Hill, 1 adult Red-tailed Hawk that soared over Hummingbird Plume Hill and the resident pair that was seen in a spectacular talon-gripping free-fall display just south of Olympic Summit at 1740 after the male was seen displaying there earlier at 1458. Yet another flock of Snow Geese, this time 50 birds, flew high across the valley and over the Fisher Range to the east at 1900, and other birds noted were 3 Canada Geese, 3 Mallards and a pair of Bufflehead (new for the year) on the river, 4 Ruffed Grouse, one of which 3 drummed, 1 female American Three-toed Woodpecker on Stoney Trail west of the site, 1 Hairy Woodpecker, a pair of Northern Flickers, 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 3 Canada Jays, 1 Black-billed Magpie, 1 American Crow, 10 Common Ravens, the first Northern Rough-winged Swallow of the season at 1430, 5 Black-capped Chickadees, 5 Mountain Chickadees, 1 Boreal Chickadee, 3 Red-breasted Nuthatches, 1 Brown Creeper, 1 Golden-crowned Kinglet, 1 singing Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 2 pairs of Mountain Bluebirds, 2 singing Varied Thrushes, 20 American Robins, 2 European Starlings, 3 American Pipits, 1 White winged Crossbill, 2 Pine Siskins, 2 American Tree Sparrows, 1 Fox Sparrow that sang at 0930, 1 Song Sparrow and 10 Dark-eyed Juncos, 3 of which were montanus. Eight White-tailed Deer fed in the meadow in the evening and there was only 1 visitor at the site today.

13 hours (516.8) NOGO 2 (15), RTHA 1 (10), GOEA 15 (2074) TOTAL 18 (2359)

 

Tuesday, April 16 Beaver Mines [Day 44] 0645-2030 (Peter Sherrington assisted by Hilary Atkinson). The temperature was -1C at 0645, the high at 1700 was 11C and it was 6C at 2030 when observation ceased. Winds were generally light NW-SW to 1330 when they significantly increased to WSW-W 20-35 gusting to 45 km/h for the rest of the day. Cloud cover was 100-80% cirrostratus with minor altocumulus and cumulus to 1300, 10-40% cumulus to 1730, 90-100% altostratus, cumulus, cirrus and altocumulus to 2000 that quickly dwindled to 10% altocumulus at 2030. Observing conditions were excellent throughout and a total of 30 migrants of 6 species were seen between 1037 and 2016 that comprised 9 Bald Eagles (5a, 3j, 1u), 3 Northern Harriers (1 adult female, 1 juvenile female and 1 juvenile male), 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, 2 adult Northern Goshawks, 4 Red-tailed Hawks (1a and1u light morph calurus, and 2 birds of unknown race or age) and 11 Golden Eagles (5a, 4j 2u). Movement was fairly steady throughout with a maximum hourly count of 6 birds between 1037 and 1100, and single adult Bald Eagles at 2003 and 2016 were the first migrants seen after 2000 this season. A resident pair of Northern Harriers was seen with the male displaying on a couple of occasions, birds from two pairs of Red-tailed Hawks were conspicuous throughout the day and a male resident Golden Eagle flew from the ridge to the SE at 1106. Other birds seen were a pair of Canada Geese, 5 Mallards, 1 male Common Merganser, 17 Rock Pigeons, at 0830 a pair of Sandhill Cranes unconcernedly fed in the valley close to a family group of three Coyotes, and 3 other birds flew high to the SW above the ridge at 1116, 2 Downy Woodpeckers, 1 Hairy Woodpecker, 1 Northern Flicker, 2 Blue Jays, 21 American Crows, 20 Common Ravens, 1 Black-capped Chickadee, 1 Mountain Chickadee, 1 male Mountain Bluebird, 4 American Robins, 129 European Starlings, 30 Evening Grosbeaks, 1 female Cassin’s Finch, 20 Pine Siskins and 6 male Red-winged Blackbirds.

13.75 hours (545.5) BAEA 9 (207), NOHA 3 (21), SSHA 1 (22), NOGO 2 (26), RTHA 4 (98), GOEA 11 (579) TOTAL 30 (1020)

 

Tuesday, April 16 Steeples [Day 38] 1300-1800 (Vance Mattson). The temperature was 19C, it was calm with intermittent W winds and cloud cover was initially 50% cumulus but quickly became 100% altostratus for most of the day. No migrant raptors were seen, but non-migrant birds were 5 Turkey Vultures, 7 Bald Eagles (4a, 3j) that included 2 pair-flights, and 1 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk that indulged in a spirited aerial duel with a raven.

5 hours (168) TOTAL 0 (689)

 

SUMMARY COUNTS, SPRING 2019
MOUNT LORETTE March 1-April 22 BEAVER MINES   March 1-April 22 STEEPLES     March 1-April 22
DAYS 45 45 38
HOURS 516.8 545.5 186
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 1 0 3
OSPREY (OSPR) 0 0 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 201 207 212
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 1 21 1
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 5 22 1
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0 2 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 15 26 0
Accipiter sp. (UA) 1 0 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0 0 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0 0 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 10 98 8
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 2 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 11 25 3
Buteo sp. (UB) 1 6 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2074 579 453
Eagle sp. (UE) 25 2 7
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0 2 1
MERLIN (MERL) 6 9 0
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1 6 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0 5 0
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2 7 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1 0 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 4 1 0
   
TOTALS 2359 1020 689

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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