subscribe: Posts | Comments

RMERF counts, October 11 and 12

0 comments

Wednesday, October 11 [Day 20] (Caroline Lambert) 0800-1200. The temperature was -2C at 0800 and rose to 0C at 1200. Winds were light NE and cloud cover was 100% low stratus. The west was 100% obscured throughout but the east was 30% clear to 1000 after which all ridges were obscured. Snow began to fall at 1030 and when a heavy snowfall warning was issued at 1200 the count was abandoned for the day. Birds seen were 1 Black-billed Magpie, 4 Common Ravens, 22 Mountain Chickadees, 3 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 1 American Dipper and 2 Dark-eyed Juncos of the race hyemalis.

4 hours (227.8) TOTAL 0 (1757)

[Addendum to October 10: Forty-five visitors were at the site today, one for every migrant raptor seen!]

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 21] (Peter Sherrington) 0910-1420 (Observation from the ridge top). The temperature was 4C to 1100, rose to a high of 6C at 1200 and was 4C again at 1400, Winds were WSW-SW 25-30 gusting 40 km/h, and cloud cover was 100% altostratus and cumulus to 1300 after which it rapidly thinned and was 20% and sunny after 1330. There was a slow but steady raptor movement throughout with 23 migrants of 6 species seen between 0941 and 1401 comprising 2 Bald Eagles (1a, 1j), 4 adult Sharp-shinned Hawks, 1u Cooper’s Hawk, 3 Red-tailed Hawks (2a calurus (1 light, 1 dark) and 1 silhouetted bird of unknown race, morph or age), 8 Light morph Rough-legged Hawks and 5 Golden Eagles (1a, 1sa, 3j). The 5 Golden Eagles glided to the south above Kyllo Ridge between 1031 and 1057, while the rest of the movement was above Vicki Ridge. A juvenile Northern Shrike was on the ridge, and the only migrant songbirds were a flock of 40 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches that flew low to the south overhead at 1352. I left at 1420 to drive to Calgary.

5.16 hours (173.3) BAEA 2 (42), COHA 1 (78), RTHA 3 (189), RLHA 8 (85), GOEA 5 (851) TOTAL 23 (2014)

 

Steeples (Vance Mattson) NO OBSERVATION

 

Thursday, October 12 [Day 21] (Joel Duncan, assisted by Rick Robb) 1000-1915. There was 8 cm of fresh snow on the ground and the temperature was -3C at 1000 which rose to a high of 1C between 1300 and 1700 before falling to -1C at 1900. Ground winds were SW 5-10 occasionally gusting to 20 km/h in mid-afternoon, while ridge winds were moderate to strong SW all day. Cloud cover was initially 70-80% cumulus and stratocumulus that slowly diminished to 60% between 1400 and 1600, and 10% cumulus at 1700-1800, that increased to 30% for the last hour. A total of 35 raptors of 4 species moved between 1051 and 1830 comprising 1u light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk, 1u dark morph Buteo, 30 Golden Eagles (15a, 5sa, 4j, 6u), 1 unidentified eagle and 1 unidentified small falcon. Movement was slow up to 1400 after which the rate steadily increased and peaked at 8 birds between 1700 and 1800. Only 2 eagles were initially located over Mount Lorette, the rest appearing at the northern end of the Fisher Range from where they slowly glided and flapped to the SE at ridge level. Other birds seen included 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 1 Lapland Longspur, 2 Dark-eyed Juncos, 3 White-winged Crossbills and 1 Pine Siskin. A total of 41 visitors included a party of 32 students and staff of the grade 11 science class from Father Lacombe School in Calgary.

9.25 hours (237.5) RTHA 1 (27), RLHA 1 (14), UB 1 (8), GOEA 30 (1565), UE 1 (3) UF 1 (2) TOTAL 35 (1792)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 22] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Raymond Toal) 1200-1815 (Observation from the Waterton 61 wellsite on the western flank of the ridge). There was extensive fog and low cloud to mid-morning but the Livingstone Range was already clear as I was driving back from Calgary in the late morning. The temperature at 1200 was 2C, rose to a high of 6C at 1400 and was 1C at 1800. Winds were WSW-WNW 20-35 gusting to 50 km/h and cloud cover was 40-80% cumulus to 1500 that reduced to 10-30% until 1800 when it quickly increased to 80% as a snow squall swept down from the west. There was a slow but steady stream of 42 migrant raptors of 8 species that moved between 1217 and 1808 and comprised 2 adult Bald Eagles, 7 Sharp-shinned Hawks (5a, 2u), 2 adult Northern Goshawks, 4 Red-tailed Hawks (3a calurus (2 light, 1 dark) and 1 dark adult harlani), 16 Rough-legged Hawks (14 light, 2 dark), 9 Golden Eagles (4a, 3j, 2u), 1 adult female columbarius Merlin and 1 juvenile female Peregrine Falcon. Peak movement was 11 between 1200 and 1300) and 9 birds were seen during two other hours (1400-1500 and 1700-1800). An adult Northern Shrike that perched at the site was the only other bird of note.

6.25 hours (179.6) BAEA 2 (44), SSHA 7 (596), NOGO 2 (56), RTHA 4 (193), RLHA 16 (101), GOEA 9 (860), MERL 1 (16), PEFA 1 (12) TOTAL 42 (2056)

 

Steeples [Day 16] (Vance Mattson) 1330-1730. The temperature was 8C that dropped to 6C at 1730, winds were moderate to strong S that became almost calm after 1600, and cloud cover was 50-90% altostratus and cumulus that produced wet snow flurries between 1430 and 1435. A total of 11 eagles, 8 Bald Eagles (3a, 5j) and 3 adult Golden Eagles, migrated up to 1601 with 8 of the birds recorded between 1530 and 1555. The only non-migrant was an adult Golden Eagle seen at 1702

4 hours (75) BAEA 8 (74), GOEA 3 (42) TOTAL 11 (266)

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

 

DAYS 21

HOURS 237.3

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 1

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 51

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 5

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 66

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 14

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 16

Accipiter sp. (UA) 3

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 27

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 14

Buteo sp. (UB) 8

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1565

Eagle sp. (UE) 3

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 1

MERLIN (MERL) 4

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 5

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2

Falco sp. (UF) 2

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

 

TOTAL 1792


RMERF counts October 10

0 comments

Tuesday, October 10 [Day 19] (Jim Davis, assisted by Chris Hunt) 0800-1900. The starting temperature was -3C which rose to a high of 11C at 1500 and was 4C when observation ended at 1900. Ground winds were E 1-5 km/h until 1200 and were subsequently SW 10-15 km/h, while ridge winds were SW, light to noon and after 1800 but otherwise moderate. Cloud cover was altostratus with cirrostratus in the morning, initially 100% that diminished to 20% by late morning, but was 80-100% throughout the afternoon. Viewing conditions were excellent all day. After 5 days of strong raptor movement today’s count of 45 birds was a bit of a disappointment but probably resulted from deterioration of weather conditions to the north with snow forecasted to arrive at the site tomorrow. The count involving 6 species, however, did include first seasonal ocurrences of American Kestrel and Gyrfalcon in addition to 2 Peregrine Falcons. Raptors moved between 1032 and 1821 and comprised 3 Bald Eagles (2a, 1j), 1 adult Sharp-shinned Hawk, 37 Golden Eagles (11a, 1sa, 10j, 15u), 1 adult male American Kestrel, 1 dark morph Gyrfalcon and 2 Peregrine Falcons (1a, 1u). With the exception of the Sharp-shinned Hawk and American Kestrel which flew low above the centre of the valley, all birds were located at the northern end of the Fisher Range and apart from 3 high-flying birds moved south close to the ridge top. With the exception of 1400-1500 when no birds were seen there was a steady movement all day with maximum hourly counts of 9 between 1100 and 1200, and again between 1300 and1400. A Boreal Owl called fom the NW corner of the Hay Meadow at 1600, and songbird migrants were 2 American Robins, 1 American Pipit and 1 Pine Siskin.

11 hours (223.8) BAEA 3 (51), SSHA 1 (66), GOEA 37 (1535), AMKE 1 (1), GYRF 1 (1), PEFA 2 (5) TOTAL 45 (1757)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 20] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Denise Cocciolone-Amatto and Raymond Toal) 0900-1830 (Observation from the ridge top). The temperature at 0900 was 3C, rose to a high of 11.5C at 1500 and was 8C at 1800. Winds were mainly WSW all day, 15-30 gusting 40 and occasionally 50 km/h, and cloud cover was 100-80 % altostratus to 1230 and again after 1600, but in between it was 70-20% cirrus, altocumulus and lenticular which produced a pleasant sunny afternoon. Observing conditions were excellent all day. There was a fairly strong raptor movement of 119 birds of 10 species that migrated between 1021 and 1807 that consisted of 3 adult Bald Eagles, 1 adult male Northern Harrier, 36 Sharp-shinned Hawks (19a, 1j, 16u), 1u Cooper’s Hawk, 2 Northern Goshawks (1a, 1j), 9 Red-tailed Hawks (6 calurus: 3a light, 3 dark (2a, 1j); and 2 harlani: 1a light, 1j dark), 18 Rough-legged Hawks (16 light, 2 dark), 46 Golden Eagles (14a, 8sa, 21j, 3u), 1 juvenile female columbarius Merlin and 2 adult Peregrine Falcons (1male, 1 female). Sixty-six of the birds were seen before 1400 but movement then became more sporadic for the rest of the afternoon. There was, however, a late flurry of 16 birds between 1708 and 1807 of which 12 were light morph Rough-legged Hawks. Other birds noted on the ridge included 4 Ruffed Grouse, 1 Northern Flicker, 2 Northern Shrikes (1a, 1j), 2 Grey Jays, 5 Clark’s Nutcrackers, 2 Red-breasted Nuthatches, 2 Mountain Bluebirds (a female and a male) and 6 American Robins. Three visitors also made it up the hill today.

9.5 hours (168.2) BAEA 3 (40), NOHA 1 (14), SSHA 36 (585), COHA 1 (77), NOGO 2 (54), RTHA 9 (186), RLHA 18 (77), GOEA 46 (846), MERL 1 (15), PEFA 2 (11) TOTAL 119 (1991)

 

Steeples [Day 14] (Vance Mattson) 1300-1700 (observation from Bull Mountain). The temperature was 13C, it was calm and 100% altostratus cloud blanketed the sky with the exception of 1530-1630 when some sun broke through. Only a single resident adult Golden Eagle was seen on two occasions, which did however include long periods of soaring beneath Vance’s vantage point on the SE flank of the mountain. The great views of the bird partially redeemed the absence of migrants today.

4 hours (71) TOTAL 0 (255)

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

 

DAYS 19

HOURS 223.8

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 1

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 51

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 5

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 66

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 14

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 16

Accipiter sp. (UA) 3

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 26

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 13

Buteo sp. (UB) 7

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1535

Eagle sp. (UE) 2

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 1

MERLIN (MERL) 4

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 5

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2

Falco sp. (UF) 1

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

 

TOTAL 1757


RMERF counts, October 9

0 comments

Monday, October 9 [Day 18] (George Halmazna, assisted by Dan and Cindy Parliament, and Rebeca and Max from Calgary who spent half the day at the site.) 0720-1900. The morning low temperature was 1.5C, the high was 9C at 1500 and it was 6.5C when observation ended. Ground winds were SW all day light at the beginning and end of the day but otherwise 5-15 gusting to 35 km/h, while ridge winds were mostly strong SW all day. Cloud cover was 80-100% cirrostratus, altostratus and cumulus all day and the ridges were clear. There was again a strong Golden Eagle migration with 178 birds (100a, 4sa, 50j, 24u) recorded between 0812 and 1756, all but three of which moved along the Fisher Range. About one-third of the birds glided very high above the ridge making their aging a challenge. Movement was fairly slow in the morning but peaked at 48 birds between 1400 and 1500. The only other migrants seen were 2 adult Sharp-shinned Hawks, and a resident adult Northern Goshawk was also present. The last 5 days have now seen the passage of 1147 Golden Eagles at the site. Other birds reported include 4 American Robins, 1 American Pipit and 3 Pine Siskins, and there were 84 visitors at the site today.

11.67 hours (212.8) SSHA 2 (65), GOEA 178 (1498) TOTAL 180 (1712)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 19] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Mark Sherrington, Doug and Teresa Dolman and Trevor Lewis) 0900-1800 (Observation from the Waterton 61 wellsite on the western flank of the ridge). The starting temperature was 3C which rose to a high of 9C at 1300 where it stayed until observation ceased at 1800. Winds were strong W-WSW all day 25-40 gusting up to 70-80 km/h, and cloud cover was 80-100% altostratus, cirrus, lenticular with occasional cumulus that allowed hazy sunshine for most of the day and provided excellent observing conditions. Most birds moved high along the western side of Vicki Ridge between 0914 and 1748 and the count of 144 raptors of 7 species comprised 3 adult Bald Eagles, 35 Sharp-shinned Hawks (12a, 23u), 1 adult Cooper’s Hawk, 3 adult Northern Goshawks, 5 calurus Red-tailed Hawks (3a, 1u light morphs, and 1 adult dark morph), 13 Rough-legged Hawks (11 light, 2 dark) and 84 Golden Eagles (43a, 12sa, 23j, 6u). By 1400 120 migrants had been seen. with a high hourly count of 36 between 1100 and 1200, but movement subsequently slowed and the last 4 hours only yielded 23 more birds. The only migrating song birds moving south were 6 American Robins, and a flock of 70 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches that moved high above the ridge at 1636.

BAEA 3 (37), SSHA 35 (549), COHA 1 (76), NOGO 3 (52), RTHA 5 (177), RLHA 13 (59), GOEA 84 (800) TOTAL 144 (1872)

 

Steeples [Day 14] (Vance Mattson) 1200-1730. The temperature was 7C on arrival but warmed to a high of 14C. Winds were moderate SW with periods of calm and cloud cover was 50% cirrus that increased to 70% altostratus and cumulus by the end of the day. A total of 11 eagles migrated between 1346 and 1702 comprising 10 Bald Eagles (6a, 1sa, 3j) and 1 adult Golden Eagle, but the only real activity occurred between 1530 and 1550 when 8 Bald Eagles were counted. Non-migrants consisted of 4 adult Bald Eagles and 2 resident adult Golden Eagles.

5.5 hours (67) BAEA 10 (61), GOEA 1 (39) TOTAL 11 (255)

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

 

DAYS 18

HOURS 212.8

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 1

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 48

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 5

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 65

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 14

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 16

Accipiter sp. (UA) 3

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 26

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 13

Buteo sp. (UB) 7

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1498

Eagle sp. (UE) 2

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0

MERLIN (MERL) 4

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 3

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2

Falco sp. (UF) 1

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

 

TOTAL 1712


RMERF counts October 8 + Steeples October 7

0 comments

Saturday, October 7, Steeples [Day 12] (Vance Mattson) 1130-1730 (Observation from the Bull Mountain site). The temperature reached a high of 15C from 10C at the start of observation, winds were moderate to strong W and cloud cover was 50-70% altostratus, altocumulus and cumulus that produced brief periods of light rain and partially sunny conditions. It was another disappointing raptor movement with only 7 migrants recorded: 4 Bald Eagles (2sa, 2j) and 3 Golden Eagles (1a, 2j). Six of the 7 eagles moved together at 1337. Non-migrants were single adult Bald Eagle, Red-tailed Hawk and Golden Eagle.

6 hours (56.5) BAEA 4 (49), GOEA 3 (36) TOTAL 7 (233)

 

Sunday, October 8 [Day 17] (Bill Wilson, assisted by Lori Anderson) 0650-1930. The temperature was -3C at 0700, rose to a high of 6C at 1600 and 1700 and was 0C at the end of the day. Ground winds were variable but mainly N 0-3 gusting 10 km/h to 1000, NE 5-15 gusting 20 km/h to 1800 and finally SW 2-5 gusting 10 km/h for the rest of the day; ridge winds were moderate WNW all day. Cloud cover was 60-100% cumulus to 0900 that reduced to 10% cumulus at 1000 and 1100, thickened again to 60-100% stratus and cumulus to 1800 that finally dwindled to 5% cumulus at the end of the day. Between 0900 and 1500 the west was 20% obscured and the east was sporadically draped to 10%. Very light snow flurries occurred during this period, but observation conditions were fairly good all day. A total of 202 migrant raptors of 9 species (although 5 of these were represented by single birds) were recorded between 0958 and 1855 that comprised 1 adult Bald Eagle, 2 Northern Harriers (1a male, 1u juvenile), 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1u Cooper’s Hawk, 5u, a season high 5u Northern Goshawks, 1 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, a season high 6 Rough-legged Hawks (4 light, 2 dark), 202 Golden Eagles (105a, 7sa, 40j, 50u) and 1u columbarius Merlin. Movement was steady after 1000 with high hourly counts of 58 from 1200 to 1300 and 45 between 1300 and 1400. Almost all birds were seen on the eastern route with some located over Mount Lorette but most being initially located as the rose above the ridge at the northern end of the Fisher Range. Birds moved fairly low above the ridge or to the west of it and soaring was fairly common. Other birds were scarce but included 15 American Robins, 2 American Pipits and 14 Pine Siskins, and the cool weather combined with the prospect of Thanksgiving dinners reduced the number of visitors to 18 today.

12.67 hours (201.1) BAEA 1 (48), NOHA 2 (5), SSHA 1 (63), COHA 1 (14), NOGO 5 (16), UA 1 (3), RTHA 1 (26), RLHA 6 (13), GOEA 202 (1320), MERL 1 (4) TOTAL 221 (1532)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 18] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Mark Sherrington and Trevor Lewis) 0900-1815. (Observation from the ridge top). The temperature was -2C at 0900 with an E wind of 5-7 gusting 20 km/h and 20% altocumulus cloud cover. The temperature reached a high of 4C at 1300, and E-SE winds 8-15 gusting 20 km/h persisted to1654. Cloud cover quickly thickened to 70-80% cumulus that gave generally gloomy conditions to 1700. At 1654 the wind switched to light WSW, the temperature quickly rose from 1C to 3C and 30-40% cumulus cloud cover finally produced sunshine and excellent observing conditions. At 1800 the winds became E-SE again that instantly reduced the temperature to 1C. Movement was slow until 1630 with many birds gliding to the south well to the east of the ridge, but as WSW winds established themselves above the ridge around 1600 raptors started moving in significant numbers above and to the west and east of the site and 60 of the day’s 103 migrants occurred after 1600. The final count involving 7 species was 4 Bald Eagles (1a, 2sa, 1j), 6 Sharp-shinned Hawks (5a, 1u), 1 adult Cooper’s Hawk, 2 Northern Goshawks, 11 Red-tailed Hawks (5 light calurus: 3a, 1j, 1u, 2a dark calurus, 3 dark harlani: 1a, 2j, and 1 undifferentiated dark morph Red-tailed Hawk), a season high 28 Rough-legged Hawks (25 light, 3 dark), 2 unidentified Buteos and 49 Golden Eagles (16a, 6sa, 23j, 4u). There was a fair variety of other bird species on the ridge in small numbers including 4 Ruffed Grouse, 1 Hairy Woodpecker, 4 Grey Jays, 6 Clark’s Nutcrackers, 2 Horned Larks, 1 Mountain Bluebird, 6 American Robins, 2 Red-breasted Nuthatches and 2 American Pipits. The forecast for tomorrow is for strong W winds so I plan to watch from the well site on the western flank of the ridge.

[Correction and clarification. David McIntyre has kindly pointed out that the correct spelling of the name of the ridge immediately west of Vicki Ridge is Kyllo Ridge and not Kylo that I have erroneously used to date. The claim of a “record” movement of 202 Golden Eagles on October 7 refers only to RMERF counts conducted in the fall at the site since 2014. There may well be higher counts seen there by other observers before 2014 or in the spring of which I am not aware.]

9.25 hours (149.7) BAEA 4 (34), SSHA 6 (514), COHA 1 (75), NOGO 2 (49), RTHA 11 (172), RLHA 28 (40), UB 2 (13), GOEA 49 (716) TOTAL 103 (1728)

 

Steeples [Day 13] (Vance Mattson) 1200-1800. The temperature at noon was 7C but rose to a high of 13C, winds were moderate NE for most of the day and cloud cover was 70-90% cumulus and altostratus. A total of 11 migrants of 4 species were counted between 1330 and 1721 that comprised 1 Osprey, that was the first bird of the day, 7 Bald Eagles (5a, 2j), 1 adult Northern Goshawk and 2 Golden Eagles (1a, 1j) that were the last migrants of the day. The migration picture was confused to some extent by 12 non-migrating Bald Eagles (7a, 5j), many of which headed north along the ridge throughout the day. Whether some of the southbound Bald Eagles seen later were the same or not is unknown. This is the first time this year that an abundance of non-migratory Bald Eagles have been observed. The only other non-migrant was a resident adult Golden Eagle that stooped steeply on an adult migrant Golden Eagle that moved south near the end of the day; the migratory bird adjusted to the stoop well before the local eagle, which displayed after the encounter, was in truly threatening range.

 

5 hours (61.5) OSPR 1 (4), BAEA 7 (56), NOGO 1 (7), GOEA 2 (22) TOTAL 11 (244)

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

 

DAYS 17

HOURS 188.4

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 1

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 48

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 5

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 63

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 14

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 16

Accipiter sp. (UA) 3

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 26

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 13

Buteo sp. (UB) 7

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1320

Eagle sp. (UE) 2

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0

MERLIN (MERL) 4

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 3

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2

Falco sp. (UF) 1

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

 

TOTAL 1532


RMERF counts, October 7

0 comments

Saturday, October 7 [Day 16] (Jim Davis, assisted by Ruth Morrow) 0730-1930. The temperature reached a high of 7C at 1600 and 1700 from a morning low of 0C and was 4C at the end of the day. It was calm in the valley to 1000 after which SW winds 1-12 gusting to 28 km/h blew for the rest of the day. Ridge winds were moderate W all day. Cloud cover was mainly 30% cumulus all day with the exception of 1200-1500 when 80-90% stratus cloud brought intermittent periods of snow that 70% obscured the western ridges and draped the eastern route with 10% low cloud around 1500. It was another strong day of raptor movement with 187 birds of 8 species moving between 0739 (which was a Golden Eagle seen leaving a roost tree on the Fisher Range at 0739) to 1837 when the last eagle went south. The count was 5 Bald Eagles (3a, 2sa), 5 Sharp-shinned Hawks (3a, 2u), 2 Cooper’s Hawks (1j, 1u), 1 juvenile Northern Goshawk, 4 adult Red-tailed Hawks (calurus 2 light, and 1 dark and 1 harlani), the season’s first Ferruginous Hawk, a light morph adult, 2 unidentified dark morph Buteos, 165 Golden Eagles (32a, 3sa, 23j, 107u), 1u columbarius Merlin and 1 unidentified small falcon. The Ferruginous Hawk was only the 9th seen on a fall count at the site and it has only occurred on 7 previous counts. All the birds moved along the Fisher Range where they were initially located, some gliding extremely high above the ridge while others flapped low and soared against the face of the ridge. Movement was steady all day and the highest hourly count was 56 between 1000 and 1100. Other birds were scarce and included 1 American Robin, 3 American Pipits and 2 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches, but not scarce were visitors, 76 of whom came to the site today.

12 hours (188.4) BAEA 5 (47), SSHA 5 (42), COHA 2 (13), NOGO 1 (11), RTHA 4 (25), FEHA 1 (1), UB 2 (7), GOEA 165 (1118), MERL 1 (3), UF 1 (1) TOTAL 187 (1311)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 17] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Trevor Lewis and Raymond Toal) 0855-1915. (Observation from the Waterton 61 wellsite on the western flank of the ridge). The temperature at 0900 was 4C, reached a high of 9C at 1400 and was 6C at 1800. Winds were WNW-NW all day 10-15 gusting to 30 and occasionally 40 km/h. Cloud cover was very variable ranging from 60-80% cumulus and altocumulus, that produced rain showers in the morning and granular snow flurries in the mid-afternoon, to periods of 10-20% summer-like cumulus. Observing conditions were good throughout and the day and saw the highest ever count at the site and it was only the second time that over 200 migrant raptors had been seen in a day here. A total of 266 migrants of 10 species moved between 0858 and 1751 comprising 5 Bald Eagles (4a, 1j), 1 adult female Northern Harrier (that was the last bird of the day), 35 Sharp-shinned Hawks (19a, 16u), 6 Cooper’s Hawks (5a, 1u), 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 2 unidentified small Accipiters, 6 adult calurus Red-tailed Hawks (5 light and 1 dark), 5 Rough-legged Hawks (3 light, 2 dark), 1 unidentified dark morph Buteo, a site-record 202 Golden Eagles (96a, 12sa, 61j, 33u), 1 male American Kestrel and 1u female Peregrine Falcon. The movement started strongly with hourly counts of 53 and 63 birds between 1000 and 1100 and 1100 and 1200 respectively and the count at noon was 131, but the movement then gradually slowed and became more sporadic throughout the afternoon. Most of the movement today was over Vicki Ridge and relatively few birds travelled above Kylo Ridge to the east. Other birds were scarce but included 119 American Robins 114 of which flew high to the south in flocks of 80 and 34, 1 Pileated Woodpecker and, most remarkably, a Wilson’s Snipe that flew high overhead to the south ahead of a gathering snow shower at 1520. This is the first time I had ever seen a snipe migrating.

9.33 hours (140.4) BAEA 5 (30), NOHA 1 (13), SSHA 35 (508), COHA 6 (74), NOGO 1 (47), UA 2 (5), RTHA 6 (161), RLHA 5 (18), UB 1 (11), GOEA 202 (667), AMKE 1 (20), PEFA 1 (9) TOTAL 266 (1625)

 

Steeples [Day 12] (Vance Mattson) Report not currently available.

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

DAYS 16

HOURS 188.4

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 1

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 47

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 3

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 62

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 13

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 11

Accipiter sp. (UA) 2

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 25

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 7

Buteo sp. (UB) 7

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1118

Eagle sp. (UE) 2

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0

MERLIN (MERL) 3

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 3

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2

Falco sp. (UF) 1

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

 

TOTAL 1311


RMERF counts, October 6

0 comments

Friday, October 6 [Day 15] (Bill Wilson, assisted by Blake Weis and Caroline Lambert) 0700-1840. The temperature high was 13C at 1500 from a starting low of 2C and it remained at 9C at the end of observation. Ground winds were SW all day 10-20 gusting to 40-50km/h and occasionally higher, while ridge winds were strong SW all day. Initial cloud cover was 100% altostratus to 1000, 30-80% altostratus, lenticular and cumulus to 1200 when it was 100% cumulus that dwindled to 10% at 1500; it then thickened again to 100% stratus by the end that brought rain showers in the late afternoon. Ridges were clear until 1700-1840 when the east was 10% cloud-covered and the west 40% . The day produced a season high count of 430 migrants all but 4 of which were Golden Eagles that moved almost exclusively high from Mount Lorette to the Fisher Range between 0740 and 1649. The count was 2 adult Bald Eagles, 1u dark-morph Red-tailed Hawk of undetermined race, 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk and a season-high 426 Golden Eagles (157a, 5sa, 30j, 228u). The height of the movement and the nature of the cloud backdrop resulted in most of the birds being unaged. Eight birds were seen before 0800 and subsequently every hour between 0800 and 1500 saw a passage of between 44 and 75 birds; 30 were seen between 1500 and 1600 and 6 after 1600. Other birds noted on a rather busy day were 1 American Robin and 15 Pine Siskins. There were 12 visitors at the site today.

11.67 hours (176.4) BAEA 2 (42), RTHA 1 (21), RLHA 1 (7), GOEA 426 (953) TOTAL 430 (1124)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 16] (Peter Sherrington) 0900-1815 (Observing from the Waterton 61 wellsite on the western flank of the ridge). The weather was as unpleasant as the previous day had been delightful. At 0900 the temperature was 10C, reached a high of 15C at 1500 and was 12C at 1800. Winds were relentlessly strong all day, W to 1100 and NW afterwards, 50-65 gusting 70-90 km/h that made keeping the spotting scope steady and even standing difficult at times. Cloud cover was 100-70% altostratus as a large Chinook Arch perched over the ridges and gradually moved off to the SE. By 1400 cloud had diminished to 30% and between 1630 and 1750 it was essentially cloudless before 60% altocumulus, cirrus and cumulus cloud rapidly re-formed around 1800. A total of 201 migrants of 12 species, a diversity that equals the season’s high, were counted between 0909 and 1754 with birds moving both along Vicki Ridge to the east and Kylo Ridge to the west usually simultaneously: 118 birds moved above Kylo Ridge, 78 over Vicki Ridge and 5 flew south between the ridges. The dark cloud backdrop before 1400 made aging of birds almost impossible as they were silhouetted against the cloud, and again to the west in the late afternoon as they were silhouetted against the glare of the lowering sun. Many birds were obviously also moving unseen to south west of Kylo Ridge. It was hard work but the final count was 1 Osprey, 4 Bald Eagles (2a, 2u), 1u male Northern Harrier, 11 Sharp-shinned Hawks (5a, 6u), 2u Cooper’s Hawks, 2 Northern Goshawks (1a, 1u), 8 Red-tailed Hawks (5 light morph calurus : 4a, 1j; and 2 dark morph harlani: 1a, 1j), 4 Rough-legged Hawks (3 light, 1u), 4 indeterminate Buteos (1 light, 1 dark, 2u), a season-high 159 Golden Eagles (56a, 7sa, 31j, 65u), 1u American Kestrel, 2u male columbarius Merlins, the first Prairie Falcon of the season and 1 unidentified large falcon.

9.25 hours (131.1) OSPR 1 (9), BAEA 4 (25), NOHA 1 (12), SSHA 11 (473), COHA 2 (68), NOGO 2 (46), RTHA 8 (155), RLHA 4 (13), UB 4 (10), GOEA (159), AMKE 1 (19), MERL 2 (14), PRFA 1 (1), UF 1 (1) TOTAL 201 (1359)

 

Steeples [Day 11] (Vance Mattson) 1130-1830. The temperature was 10C at 1130 and rose to a high of 16C . Winds were strong S-SW, and cloud cover was originally 90% cumulus and altostratus but reduced to 50% cumulus and altocumulus for most of the day. A total of 10 migrants sporadically battled the strong winds between 1429 and 1719, comprising 1 juvenile Bald Eagle, 1 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk and 8 Golden Eagles (4a, 4j).

7 hours (50.5) BAEA 1 (45), RTHA 1 (40), GOEA 8 (33) TOTAL 10 (226)

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

 

DAYS 15

HOURS 176.4

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 1

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 42

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 3

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 57

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 11

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 10

Accipiter sp. (UA) 2

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 21

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 7

Buteo sp. (UB) 5

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 953

Eagle sp. (UE) 2

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0

MERLIN (MERL) 2

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 3

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2

Falco sp. (UF) 0

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

 

TOTAL 1124


« Previous Entries Next Entries »