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RMERF counts, October 7 and 8

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Sunday, October 07 Mount Lorette [Day 16] 0710-1920 (Bill Wilson, assisted by Lori Anderson and Patrick Farley). The temperature at 0800 was -7C, the high was 7C at 1600 and 1700 and it was 1C at 1920. Ground winds were SW all day 5-8 km/h which probably also reflected the ridge winds. There was a trace of altostratus at the start which expanded to 40% at 0900 and was 0-20% for the rest of the day with a trace of cumulus developing at the end of observation. There was a fairly strong raptor migration with 105 birds of 7 species moving between 1046 and 1829 comprising 8 Bald Eagles (1a, 1sa, 6j), 5u Sharp-shinned Hawks, 2 adult Northern Goshawks, 1 small unidentified Accipiter, 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk, 86 Golden Eagles (41a, 5sa, 29j, 11u), 1u Merlin and 1 adult Peregrine Falcon which was the first for the season. Most of the birds used the eastern route but about 20 of the Golden Eagles were seen to the west. There was much soaring and flapping and gliding flight in the light winds. The highest hourly counts were 23 from 1200 to 1300 and again from 1300 to 1400 and there was a late peak of 14 birds (1 Bald Eagle and 13 Golden Eagles) between 1800 and 1829. Other birds included the Sora that was first reported on October 3, 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 2 Clark’s Nutcrackers, 1 American Dipper and 3 American Pipits. Twenty-six visitors enjoyed both the weather and the birds.

12.16 hours (160, 2) BAEA 8 (38), SSHA 5 (50), NOGO 2 (18), UA 1 (5), RLHA 1 (9), GOEA 86 (1000), MERL 1 (3), PEFA 1 (1) TOTAL 105 (1176)

 

Monday, October 08 Mount Lorette [NO OBSERVATION]. (George Halmazna, assisted by Dan Parliament 0745-1200). The temperature was -2C to -1C, wind was WNW 5-10 km/h and low stratus cloud obscured all the ridges and produced steady snow. Birds seen around the Hay Meadow and at Lorette Ponds included the now apparently “resident” Sora, 1 Varied Thrush, 1 American Dipper, 1 Song Sparrow, 1 Savannah Sparrow, 4 Rusty Blackbirds (3 males, 1 female) and 1 Palm Warbler.

 

Sunday, October 07 Vicki Ridge [Day 13] 0900-1815 (Peter Sherrington to 1415; Doug and Teresa Dolmen after 1415, observing from the Waterton 61 wellsite). The temperature at 0900 was 0C the high was 9C at 1300 and 1400 and it was 6C at 1815. Winds were NW 3-10 gusting 15 km/h to 1200, and W in the afternoon to 10 km/h. Cloud cover was 0-10% in the morning with trace amounts of altocumulus and cirrus, 30-80% cirrus, cumulus and altocumulus to 1700 and it became almost cloudless again at the end of observation. There was another fairly strong and varied raptor movement of 150 birds of 11 species between 1036 and 1810 that comprised 7 Bald Eagles (5a, 2sa), 15 Sharp-shinned Hawks (3a, 1j, 11u), 5 Cooper’s Hawks (1a, 4u), 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 1 unidentified small Accipiter, 3 light morph Broad-winged Hawks (1a, 2u), 11 Red-tailed Hawks (calurus 9 : 4a, 1j light, 4a dark, and 2 dark harlani: 1a, 1j), 3 Ferruginous Hawks (1j light morph and 2a dark morphs), 2 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 7 unidentified Buteos (1 light, 4 dark, 2u), 94 Golden Eagles (38a, 13sa, 30j, 13u) and 1u columbarius Merlin. The busiest hours were 47 including 31 Golden Eagles (1100-1200) and 33 including 19 Golden Eagles (1200-1300) Other birds seen were 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 1 Blue Jay, 5 Clark’s Nutcrackers, 1 Black-billed Magpie, 30 Common Ravens, 2 Mountain Bluebirds, 2 American Robins, 2 Red Crossbills, 15 Pine Grosbeaks (the first for the season), 6 Pine Siskins and 1 Yellow-rumped Warbler.

9.25 hours (115.8) BAEA 7 (41), SSHA 15 (464), COHA 5 (64), NOGO 1 (27), UA 1 (4), BWHA 3 (18), RTHA 11 (122), FEHA 3 (6), RLHA 2 (32), UB 7 (19), GOEA 94 (646), MERL 1 (16) TOTAL 150 (1508)

 

Monday, October 08 Vicki Ridge [NO OBSERVATION]. Ridges obscured all day by low cloud to 1100 and dense fog with light rain thereafter.

 

Sunday, October 07 Steeples [Day 15] 1145-1845 (Vance Mattson, assisted by Joe Rothermund, Dianne Cooper and Virginia Rasch). The temperature was 10C, winds were calm to light variable, and cloud cover was 10% cumulus. A total of 22 migrants of 4 species were counted between 1258 and 1801 comprising 4 Bald Eagles (3a, 1j), 11 Sharp-shinned Hawks (6a, 5u), 4 Red-tailed Hawks (2j light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks and 2 (1a, 1j) dark morph harlani (1a, 1j)), and 3 Golden Eagles (2a, 1sa). Many migrants appeared from behind the main ridge and were difficult to spot in the blue sky and the presence of 3 other observers was a great help. Resident Golden Eagles were seen on 2 occasions, and 13 non-migrant Bald Eagles (8a, 4j, 1u), 11 of which moved to the north along the ridge including a group of 6 at 1641.

7 hours (65.5) BAEA 4 (53), SSHA 11 (54), RTHA 4 (72), GOEA 3 (102) TOTAL 22 (309)

 

Sunday, October 08 Steeples [Day 16] 1245-1745 (Vance Mattson, assisted by Pam Power and Knut Finstad). The temperature was 8C, conditions were calm and cloud cover was 90-100% altostratus and cumulus. Eight migrants of 4 species were seen comprising 5 Sharp-shinned Hawks (2a, 3u), 1 adult dark morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 1 dark morph Rough-legged Hawk and 1 juvenile Golden Eagle. I resident Golden Eagle was seen, and 2 non-migrant juvenile Bald Eagles flew to the north along the ridge.

5 hours (70.5) SSHA 5 (59), RTHA 1 (73), RLHA 1 (3), GOEA 1 (103) TOTAL 8 (317)

 

 

SUMMARY COUNTS, FALL 2018
MOUNT LORETTE September 20-November 15 VICKI RIDGE September 20-November 15 STEEPLES September 20-November 15
DAYS 16 13 16
HOURS 160.2 115.8 70.5
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0 0 1
OSPREY (OSPR) 3 8 2
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 38 41 53
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 6 12 8
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 50 464 59
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 4 64 4
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 18 27 1
Accipiter sp. (UA) 5 4 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1 18 3
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1 2 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 14 122 73
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 6 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 9 32 3
Buteo sp. (UB) 1 19 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1000 646 103
Eagle sp. (UE) 11 1 2
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0 11 3
MERLIN (MERL) 3 16 1
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1 0 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1 7 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 3 2 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1 2 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 3 4 0
TOTALS 1176 1508 317

 


RMERF counts, October 6

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Saturday, October 06 Mount Lorette [Day 15] 0800-1900 (Blake Weis, assisted by Ruth Morrow and Patrick Farley). The temperature was -8C at 0800, the high was 6C from 1600 to 1800 and it was -1C at 1900. Ground winds were light all day, variable 0-3 km/h to 1000, SSW 0-5 gusting 10 km/h to 1300, SSW and occasionally E to 1800 and SSW 0-5 km/h for the last hour; ridge winds were probably light to moderate SSW. It was essentially cloudless all day with only traces of cirrus and altocumulus cloud. There was another strong raptor movement again dominated by Golden Eagles with 209 birds of 7 species migrating between 1055 and 1907. The flight comprised a season-high 13 Bald Eagles (6a, 2sa, 5j), 5u Sharp-shinned Hawks, 1a Northern Goshawk, 2 small unidentified Accipiters, 1a light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 1 dark morph Rough-legged Hawk, 182 Golden Eagles (91a, 6sa, 69j 16u), 1 unidentified eagle, the season’s first Gyrfalcon, a probable female grey morph that briefly harassed a juvenile Golden Eagle as it flew south, and 2 small unidentified raptors. With the exception of one Sharp-shinned Hawk, all birds were seen on the eastern route with most migrants flapping low in front of the face of the Fisher Range. Peak movement was 53 raptors between 1300 and 1400 that included 46 Golden Eagles. Non-migrants were a Sharp-shinned Hawk that hunted American Pipits along the river in the morning and a Merlin that perched near the site at 1815. Other birds near the site were 1 American Dipper, 1 Varied Thrush, 1 American Robin, 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 4 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 25 American Pipits, 5 White-winged Crossbills, 1 Lincoln’s Sparrow, 1 Song Sparrow, 1 White-crowned Sparrow of the race gambelii which was found dead, having probably perished in the recent snow storm, 7 Dark-eyed Juncos, 2 Yellow Warblers and a late migrating Common Yellowthroat. A Mountain Goat spent some time high on the ridge at the northern end of the Fisher Range, and there were 24 visitors at the site today.

11.58 hours (148.1) BAEA 13 (30), SSHA 5 (45), NOGO 1 (16), UA 2 (4), RTHA 1 (14), RLHA 1 (8), GOEA 182 (914), UE 1 (11), GYRF 1 (1), UU 2 (3) TOTAL 209 (1071)

 

Saturday, October 06 Vicki Ridge [Day 12] 0900-1730 (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Hilary Atkinson observing from the Waterton 61 wellsite). The temperature at 0900 was -2C the high at 1200 was 7C and it was 5C at 1730. Winds were light all day (< 8 km/h), variable to 1200 then E for the rest of the day, but there was probably a light westerly flow above Kyllo Ridge to the west of Vicki Ridge. Cloud cover was 0-10% cirrostratus to 1200 after which scattered cumulus developed that reached 20% at 1400 and 1500 after which it was again cloudless with trace cumulus and cirrus cloud. The only raptor seen in the morning was a female columbarius Merlin at 1013 which briefly perched on a snag on the flank of Vicki Ridge before flying low to the south. This proved to be the only bird seen on Vicki Ridge all day with the remaining 233 migrant raptors soaring high and gliding high to the south between 1223 and 1706 on a broad front between the centre of the valley and the western edge of Kyllo Ridge. The final count of a season-high 234 birds of 9 species was 6 Bald Eagles (2a, 2sa, 2j), 11u Sharp-shinned Hawks, 2 Cooper’s Hawks (1a, 1u), 2 Northern Goshawks (1a, 1u), 1u dark morph Broad-winged Hawk, 19 Red-tailed Hawks (16 calurus: 7a, 5u light morphs, 3a, 1u dark morphs; 1a dark harlani, and 2 undifferentiated dark morphs), 7 Rough-legged Hawks (5 light, 1 dark, 1u), 8 unidentified Buteos (7 dark, 1u), a season-high 175 Golden Eagles (78a, 14sa, 46j, 37u), 1 female columbarius Merlin and 2 small unidentified raptors. There was much high soaring flight with the largest kettles of Golden Eagles being 14 at 1409 and 16 at 1519. The busiest hour was 1500-1600 with 70 migrants including 63 Golden Eagles and 1400-1500 saw 60 birds move of which 46 were Golden Eagles. Other birds were scarce and included 1 male Pileated Woodpecker, 2 Blue Jays, 3 Clark’s Nutcrackers, 3 American Robins, 5 Red Crossbills and 16 Pine Siskins.

8.5 hours (106.5) BAEA 6 (34), SSHA 11 (449), COHA 2 (59), NOGO 2 (26), BWHA 1 (15), RTHA 19 (111), RLHA 7 (30), UB 8 (12), GOEA 175 (552), MERL 1 (15), UU 2 (4) TOTAL 234 (1358)

 

Saturday, October 06 Steeples [Day 14] 1200-1900 (Vance Mattson). The temperature was 9C at 1200, reached a high of 10C before dropping to 7C at 1900, winds were light to moderate N-NW and cloud cover was 20-40% cumulus which provided both sunshine and excellent observing conditions. The mountains finally cleared and there was a strong raptor movement of 104 birds of 6 species between 1229 and 1840 that comprised 14 Bald Eagles (9a, 3sa, 2j), 2 Northern Harriers (1a female, 1u), 9 Sharp-shinned Hawks (4a, 5u), 1a Northern Goshawk which was the first for the season, 3 calurus Red-tailed Hawks (2a light, 1u dark) and a season-high 75 Golden Eagles (55a, 20j). Both the total and the Golden Eagle count were site records for fall counts. The highest hourly counts were 29 (including 23 Golden Eagles) between 1400 and 1500, 24 (18 Golden Eagles 1500-1600 and 19 (18 Golden Eagles) 1700-1800. Most migrants moved close to the ridges and the flight was initially very fast but became slower as the day progressed. Resident Golden Eagles were seen on 3 occasions and 14 non-migratory Bald Eagles were seen including many that moved along the ridges towards the north.

7 hours (58.5) BAEA 14 (49), NOHA 2 (8), SSHA 9 (43), NOGO 1 (1), RTHA 3 (68), GOEA 75 (99) TOTAL 104 (287)

 

 

 

 

SUMMARY COUNTS, FALL 2018
MOUNT LORETTE September 20-November 15 VICKI RIDGE September 20-November 15 STEEPLES September 20-November 15
DAYS 15 12 14
HOURS 148.1 106.5 58.5
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0 0 1
OSPREY (OSPR) 3 8 2
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 30 34 49
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 6 12 8
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 45 449 43
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 4 59 4
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 16 26 1
Accipiter sp. (UA) 4 3 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1 15 3
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1 2 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 14 111 68
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 3 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 8 30 2
Buteo sp. (UB) 1 12 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 914 552 99
Eagle sp. (UE) 11 1 2
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0 11 3
MERLIN (MERL) 2 15 1
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1 0 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0 7 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 3 2 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1 2 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 3 4 0
   
TOTALS 1071 1358 287

 


RMERF counts, October 4 with revised Lorette report, and October 5

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Thursday, October 04 Mount Lorette [Day 13] 0745-1930 (Rick Robb and Cliff Hansen). The initial temperature was -5C, the high at 1600 and 1700 was 3C and it was 0C at the end of observation. Ground winds were light (<5 km/h) and variable all day, and ridge winds appeared to be light W. Cloud cover was 60% altocumulus and cirrus that became cumulus and cirrus at 1400 and reduced to 20% after 1500. The ridges were clear all day. There was a fairly strong raptor movement of 125 migrants of 5 species between 1125 and 1923 that included the highest Golden Eagle count of the season. The count was 2 Bald Eagles (1a, 1j), 7 Sharp-shinned Hawks (5a, 2u), the first Swainson’s Hawk of the season, a light morph adult, 1 adult rufous morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, and 124 Golden Eagles (16a, 2sa, 71j, 35u). Golden Eagle movement was increasingly strong from mid-afternoon with hourly counts of 21 (15-1600), 18 (16-1700), 25 (17-1800), 32 (18-1900) and 12 (19-1923). Only a few Golden Eagles were located over Mount Lorette and they appeared originate from Heart Mountain farther to the north, from where they crossed Wasootch Creek and flapped low to the SE in front of the Fisher Range, although there was some soaring flight between 1400 and 1700. [NOTE: the low adult and subadult counts and the high count of juvenile birds are anomalous compared to the Vicki Ridge count of October 5 and the Lorette count of October 6]. Other birds seen were 1 Hairy Woodpecker, 4 Common Ravens, 2 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 3 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 1 Swainson’s Thrush, 1 Varied Thrush, 2 American Robins, 2 American Pipits, 1 Song Sparrow and 6 White-winged Crossbills. Many of the birds were seen feeding at the river’s edge on newly emerged stoneflies. Looking distinctly out of place in the snowy landscape was a single Mourning Cloak butterfly on the wing. There were 5 visitors to the site today.

11.75 (125.5) BAEA 2 (14), SSHA 7 (39), SWHA 1 (1), RTHA 1 (12), GOEA 124 (405) TOTAL 135 (523)

Thursday, October 04 Vicki Ridge [Day 10] 0930-1745 (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Hilary Atkinson observing from the Lynx Creek road). The starting temperature was -5C, the high was 1C at 1600 and it was -2C at 1745. Winds were light all day, WSW to 1030 and subsequently E 4-10 km/h. Cloud cover was 100% stratus that became 100% altostratus, cirrostratus, altocumulus and cumulus after 1500 that produced hazy sunshine all day. There was another fairly strong and varied raptor migration with 107 birds of 12 species moving between 1044 and 1733. The flight comprised 2 Ospreys, 4 Bald Eagles (2sa, 2j), 1 adult male Northern Harrier, 61 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 60u), 10u Cooper’s Hawks, 3 Northern Goshawks (1a, 2u), 3 small unidentified Accipiters, 3 Red-tailed Hawks (2 calurus: 1u light, 1 dark adult, and 1 adult dark harlani), 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk, 1 unidentified dark Buteo, 12 Golden Eagles (9a, 3j), 1u American Kestrel, 2 columbarius Merlins (1 female, 1u), 1u Peregrine Falcon, 1 large unidentified falcon and 1 small unidentified raptor. Fifty of the birds moved between 1300 and 1500.

8.25 hours (89) OSPR 2 (8), BAEA 4 (26), NOHA 1 (12), SSHA 61 (389), COHA 10 (54), NOGO 3 (21), UA 3, RTHA 3 (78), RLHA 1 (16), UB 1 (4), GOEA 12 (251), AMKE 1 (11), MERL 2 (14), PEFA 1 (6), UF 1 (2), UU 1 (2) TOTAL 107 (919)

 

Thursday, October 04 Steeples [Day 12] 1300-1900 (Vance Mattson). The entire valley was enshrouded in low cloud which began to clear at 1300 but the mountains remained enveloped so Vance conducted the count from the balcony of his house in Wasa. The temperature was 6C, winds were calm or light W and cloud cover was 100-70% altocumulus, cumulus and altostratus; the mountains remained 90-100% obscured throughout. A season high total of 66 raptors of 10 species migrated between 1332 and 1812 comprising 2 Ospreys, 11 Bald Eagles (5a, 5j), 2 Northern Harriers (1 adult female, 1 juvenile), 11 Sharp-shinned Hawks (3a, 1j, 7u), 2 Cooper’s Hawks (1a, 1j), a season-high 28 Red-tailed Hawks (24 calurus: 20a (19 light, 1 dark), 1 light juvenile, 1 rufous juvenile and 2 unaged; 1j dark morph harlani and 3 birds of unknown race, morph or age), 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk, 6 Golden Eagles (3a, 3j) 1 unidentified eagle, 1 female American Kestrel and 1u columbarius Merlin. About 90% of the birds moved over or just east of Wasa Lake and the highest hourly counts were 17 from 1600 to1700 and again from 1700-1800. There was also a strong movement of 147 American Crows including flocks of 28 and 40 birds, and 5 California Gulls also moved to the south.

6 hours (47) OSPR 2 (2), BAEA 11 (27), NOHA 2 (6), SSHA 11 (34), COHA 2 (4), RTHA 28 (64), RLHA 1 (1), GOEA 6 (20), UE 1 (1), AMKE 1 (3), MERL 1 (1) TOTAL 66 (168)

 

Friday, October 05 Mount Lorette [Day 14] 0800-1900 (Caroline Lambert, assisted by Rosemary Power). The temperature at 0800 was -11C but reached a high of 3C at 1600 and 1700 and was -1C at the end of observation. Ground winds were SW 0-5 km/h all day, and ridge winds were moderate, SW to 1700 then W. Cloud cover was 60% cirrus and cirrostratus to 1000 then 60-100% altostratus with minor cumulus for the rest of the day; the ridges were completely clear. There was a strong raptor movement dominated by Golden Eagles with a season high 349 birds of 6 species moving between 0904 and 1846. The count was 3 Bald Eagles (2sa, 1j), 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1u Northern Goshawk, 1u light morph Red-tailed Hawk, 1 unidentified Buteo, a season high 337 Golden Eagles (207a, 29sa, 51j, 50u), 3 unidentified eagles, 1 female columbarius Merlin and 1 unidentified raptor. All the eagles moved mainly close the Fisher Range ridge, but as relatively few birds were seen leaving Mount Lorette it is probable that most of the birds, as yesterday, originated from Heart Mountain. Golden Eagle movement was strong all day and peaked at 62 birds between 1400 and 1500 and 6 other hours produced over 30 migrants, Other birds included 1 Sora, presumably the bird reported a couple of days ago, 6 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 10 American Robins, 1 American Pipit, the first Pine Grosbeak of the season, 50 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches, 6 White-winged Crossbills, 2 Pine Siskins, 1 Song Sparrow, 1 Lincoln’s Sparrow, 1 Orange-crowned Warbler and 1 Yellow-rumped Warbler. Seventeen visitors to the site enjoyed the spectacular eagle movement.

11 hours (136.5) BAEA 3 (17), SSHA 1 (40), NOGO 1 (15), RTHA 1 (13), UB 1 (4), GOEA 337 (732), UE 3 (10), MERL 1 (2), UU 1 (1) TOTAL 349 (862)

 

Friday, October 05 Vicki Ridge [Day 11] 0900-1800 (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Hilary Atkinson, Denise Cocciolone-Amatto, Pat Lucas and Trevor Lewis, observing from the Waterton 61 wellsite). The temperature at 0900 was -1C, the high was 6C at 1500 and it was 4.5C at 1800. Winds were WNW 20-25 km/h to 1000 and were then W 20-35 gusting 55 km/h that dropped to 15-20 km/h after 1630. It was initially cloudless but cirrus and altocumulus cloud rapidly developed after 1000 and was 100% mainly altostratus and altocumulus cloud after 1200 which produced gloomy conditions for much of the afternoon. A season high 205 raptors of 8 species were seen between 0908 and 1744 that comprised 2a Bald Eagles, 49 Sharp-shinned Hawks (9a, 40u), 3 Cooper’s Hawks (1a, 2u), 3a Northern Goshawks, 14 a Red-tailed Hawks (12 calurus: 10 light, 2 dark and 2 dark harlani), 7 Rough-legged Hawks (6 light, 1 dark), a season-high 126 Golden Eagles (78a, 14sa, 34j) and 1 adult male Peregrine Falcon. Peak moment was 53 raptors between 1400 and 1500 and the maximum Golden Eagle passage was 36 between 1300 and 1400. Only 3 birds moved after 1700. Other birds seen included 5 Clark’s Nutcrackers, 11 Mountain Bluebirds, 10 American Robins, 40 Bohemian Waxwings, 25 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches, 5 Red Crossbills and 27 Pine Siskins.

9 hours (98) BAEA 2 (28), SSHA 49 (438), COHA 3 (24), NOGO 3 (24), RTHA 14 (92), RLHA 7 (23), GOEA 126 (377), PEFA 1 (7) TOTAL 205 (1124)

 

Friday, October 05 Steeples [Day 13] 1330-1800 (Vance Mattson). Weather conditions were similar to those of yesterday with the mountains completely obscured, a temperature of 7C, calm and 100% stratus, altostratus and dark cumulus. Observation was again from the balcony of Vance’s house in Wasa from where he counted 15 migrants of 4 species between 1342 and 1548. The count was 8 Bald Eagles 6a, 1sa, 1j), 1a light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 1 dark morph Rough-legged Hawk, 4a Golden Eagles and 1 unidentified eagle. Movement was similar to yesterday but with less soaring flight.

4.5 hours (51.5) BAEA 8 (35), RTHA 1 (65), GOEA 4 (24), RLHA 1 (2), UE 1 (2) TOTAL 15 (183)

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUMMARY COUNTS, FALL 2018
MOUNT LORETTE September 20-November 15 BEAVER MINES September 20-November 15 STEEPLES September 20-November 15
DAYS 14 11 13
HOURS 136.5 98 51.5
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0 0 1
OSPREY (OSPR) 3 8 2
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 17 28 35
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 6 12 6
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 40 438 34
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 4 57 4
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 15 24 0
Accipiter sp. (UA) 2 3 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1 14 3
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1 2 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 13 92 65
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 3 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 4 23 2
Buteo sp. (UB) 1 4 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 732 251 24
Eagle sp. (UE) 10 1 2
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0 11 3
MERLIN (MERL) 2 14 1
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0 0 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0 7 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 3 2 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1 2 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 1 2 0
   
TOTALS 862 1124 183

 


RMERF counts October 4

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Thursday, October 04 Mount Lorette [Day 13] 0745-1930 (Rick Robb and Cliff Hansen). The initial temperature was -5C, the high at 1600 and 1700 was 3C and it was 0C at the end of observation. Ground winds were light (<5 km/h) and variable all day, and ridge winds appeared to be light W. Cloud cover was 60% altocumulus and cirrus that became cumulus and cirrus at 1400 and reduced to 20% after 1500. The ridges were clear all day. There was a fairly strong raptor movement of 125 migrants of 5 species between 1125 and 1923 that included the highest Golden Eagle count of the season. The count was 2 Bald Eagles (1a, 1j), 7 Sharp-shinned Hawks (5a, 2u), the first Swainson’s Hawk of the season, a light morph adult, 1 adult rufous morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, and 114 Golden Eagles (15a, 2sa, 63j, 34u). Golden Eagle movement was increasingly strong from mid-afternoon with hourly counts of 21 (15-1600), 18 (16-1700), 25 (17-1800), 32 (18-1900) and 12 (19-1923). Only a few Golden Eagles were located over Mount Lorette and they appeared originate from Heart Mountain farther to the north, from where they crossed Wasootch Creek and flapped low to the SE in front of the Fisher Range, although there was some soaring flight between 1400 and 1700. Other birds seen were 1 Hairy Woodpecker, 4 Common Ravens, 2 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 3 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 1 Swainson’s Thrush, 1 Varied Thrush, 2 American Robins, 2 American Pipits, 1 Song Sparrow and 6 White-winged Crossbills. Many of the birds were seen feeding at the river’s edge on newly emerged stoneflies. Looking distinctly out of place in the snowy landscape was a single Mourning Cloak butterfly on the wing. There were 5 visitors to the site today.

11.75 (125.5) BAEA 2 (14), SSHA 7 (39), SWHA 1 (1), RTHA 1 (12), GOEA 114 (395) TOTAL 125 (513)

Thursday, October 04 Vicki Ridge [Day 10] 0930-1745 (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Hilary Atkinson observing from the Lynx Creek road). The starting temperature was -5C, the high was 1C at 1600 and it was -2C at 1745. Winds were light all day, WSW to 1030 and subsequently E 4-10 km/h. Cloud cover was 100% stratus that became 100% altostratus, cirrostratus, altocumulus and cumulus after 1500 that produced hazy sunshine all day. There was another fairly strong and varied raptor migration with 107 birds of 12 species moving between 1044 and 1733. The flight comprised 2 Ospreys, 4 Bald Eagles (2sa, 2j), 1 adult male Northern Harrier, 61 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 60u), 10u Cooper’s Hawks, 3 Northern Goshawks (1a, 2u), 3 small unidentified Accipiters, 3 Red-tailed Hawks (2 calurus: 1u light, 1 dark adult, and 1 adult dark harlani), 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk, 1 unidentified dark Buteo, 12 Golden Eagles (9a, 3j), 1u American Kestrel, 2 columbarius Merlins (1 female, 1u), 1u Peregrine Falcon, 1 large unidentified falcon and 1 small unidentified raptor. Fifty of the birds moved between 1300 and 1500.

8.25 hours (89) OSPR 2 (8), BAEA 4 (26), NOHA 1 (12), SSHA 61 (389), COHA 10 (54), NOGO 3 (21), UA 3, RTHA 3 (78), RLHA 1 (16), UB 1 (4), GOEA 12 (251), AMKE 1 (11), MERL 2 (14), PEFA 1 (6), UF 1 (2), UU 1 (2) TOTAL 107 (919)

 

Thursday, October 04 Steeples [Day 12] 1300-1900 (Vance Mattson). The entire valley was enshrouded in low cloud which began to clear at 1300 but the mountains remained enveloped so Vance conducted the count from the balcony of his house in Wasa. The temperature was 6C, winds were calm or light W and cloud cover was 100-70% altocumulus, cumulus and altostratus; the mountains remained 90-100% obscured throughout. A season high total of 66 raptors of 10 species migrated between 1332 and 1812 comprising 2 Ospreys, 11 Bald Eagles (5a, 5j), 2 Northern Harriers (1 adult female, 1 juvenile), 11 Sharp-shinned Hawks (3a, 1j, 7u), 2 Cooper’s Hawks (1a, 1j), a season-high 28 Red-tailed Hawks (24 calurus: 20a (19 light, 1 dark), 1 light juvenile, 1 rufous juvenile and 2 unaged; 1j dark morph harlani and 3 birds of unknown race, morph or age), 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk, 6 Golden Eagles (3a, 3j) 1 unidentified eagle, 1 female American Kestrel and 1u columbarius Merlin. About 90% of the birds moved over or just east of Wasa Lake and the highest hourly counts were 17 from 1600 to1700 and again from 1700-1800. There was also a strong movement of 147 American Crows including flocks of 28 and 40 birds, and 5 California Gulls also moved to the south.

6 hours (47) OSPR 2 (2), BAEA 11 (27), NOHA 2 (6), SSHA 11 (34), COHA 2 (4), RTHA 28 (64), RLHA 1 (1), GOEA 6 (20), UE 1 (1), AMKE 1 (3), MERL 1 (1) TOTAL 66 (168)

 

 

 

 

 

SUMMARY COUNTS, FALL 2018
MOUNT LORETTE September 20-November 15 BEAVER MINES September 20-November 15 STEEPLES September 20-November 15
DAYS 13 10 12
HOURS 125.5 89 47
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0 0 1
OSPREY (OSPR) 3 8 2
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 14 26 27
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 6 12 6
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 39 389 34
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 4 54 4
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 14 21 0
Accipiter sp. (UA) 2 3 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1 14 3
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1 2 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 12 78 64
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 3 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 4 16 1
Buteo sp. (UB) 3 4 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 395 251 20
Eagle sp. (UE) 7 1 1
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0 11 3
MERLIN (MERL) 1 14 1
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0 0 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0 6 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 3 2 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1 2 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 0 2 0
   
TOTALS 513 919 168

 


RMERF counts, October 3

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Wednesday, October 03 Mount Lorette [Day 12] 1045-1915 (Caroline Lambert, assisted by Heinz Unger). Because of the poor state of the roads the observers did not arrive at the site until 1045, where they found 40 cm of fresh snow. The temperature was -7C but reached a high at 1500-1800 of 1C and was 0C at the end of observation. Ground winds were 0-5 km/h all day with the exception of 1500 when they were briefly S-SW gusting to 15 km/h, and ridge winds were S-SW light to moderate all day. Initial cloud cover was 10% cumulus that gradually increased throughout the day and reached 90% cumulus and cirrostratus at 1700. The Fisher Range was clear all day but Mount Lorette and Mount McGillivray were periodically shrouded in cloud for 20% of the day; the west was 80% obscured at the start and gradually cleared to 20% by the end of observation. The only migrant raptors seen were 8 Golden Eagles (4a, 2j, 2u) that moved between 1348 and 1825 with 4 moving between 1700 and 1800. One juvenile was seen to the west and the rest migrated high above the Fisher Range. Because of the thick snow cover most of the other birds species were seen along the river, the most unusual being a late-migrating Sora. Other birds were 1 Wilson’s Snipe, 1 Barred Owl heard at the end of the day, 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 1 Northern Shrike, 5 Common Ravens, 1 Black-capped Chickadee, 3 Hermit Thrushes, 8 Varied Thrushes, 4 American Robins, 2 White-winged Crossbills, 2 Pine Siskins, 1 Song Sparrow, 2 Lincoln’s Sparrows, 1 Savannah Sparrow, 1 Palm Warbler and 1 Yellow-rumped Warbler. Two visitors made it to the site today.

8.5 hours (113.7) GOEA 8 (281) TOTAL 8 (388)

 

Wednesday, October 03 Vicki Ridge [Day 9] 0815-1745 (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Hilary Atkinson). The heavy snow stopped overnight and I measured 54 cm of fresh snow at my house in Beaver Mines. Access to the usual observation sites at the southern end of Vicki Ridge was impossible so we watched from Township Road 6-5, the road to Lynx Creek and Carbondale, about 3 km west of Highway 507 where we could observe birds flying from the north to the southern end of Vicki Ridge. The location is about 4 km due north of the regular viewing sites on the ridge. Fortunately one vehicle had been along the road ahead of us, and much digging was required to get our car safely parked at the edge of the road. The starting temperature was -13C but under the influence of light W winds it rose to -6C by 0900. At noon the west winds ceased and light E winds prevailed for the rest of the day, although the W winds continued at ridge level. The temperature high was -1 C at 1600 and it was -2C at the end of observation. It was cloudless until 1200 when cumulus cloud began to form which gradually increased throughout the afternoon to 80-90% cumulus and cirrostratus by the end of the day that provided excellent viewing conditions. A total of 86 migrant raptors of 8 species were seen between 1005 and 1734 comprising 1 Osprey, 3 Bald Eagles (1sa, 2j), 39 Sharp-shinned Hawks (7a, 32u), 7 Cooper’s Hawk (1a, 6u), 1u Northern Goshawk, 21 Red-tailed Hawks (calurus 15: 10 light (8a, 2j), 4a dark; harlani 4a dark, and 2u dark morph birds of unknown race or age), 2 Rough-legged Hawks (1 light, 1 dark), 2 unidentified Buteos (1 light, 1 dark) and 10 Golden Eagles (3a, 2sa, 5j).

9.5 hours (80.75) OSPR 1 (6), BAEA 3 (22), SSHA 39 (328), COHA 7 (44), NOGO 1 (11), RTHA 21 (75), RLHA 2 (15), UB 2 (3), GOEA 10 (239) TOTAL 86 (812)

 

Wednesday, October 03 Steeples [Day 11] 1545-1745 (Vance Mattson). There was fresh snow on the ground, the temperature was 6C, conditions were calm and cloud cover was 100% stratus and low cumulus that partially obscured the ridges and stretched across the valley to the west. Only one migrant was seen, a female American Kestrel that flapped south at 1639.

2 hours (41) AMKE 1 (2) TOTAL 1 (102)

 

 

 

 

 

SUMMARY COUNTS, FALL 2018
MOUNT LORETTE September 20-November 15 BEAVER MINES September 20-November 15 STEEPLES September 20-November 15
DAYS 12 9 11
HOURS 113.7 80.75 41
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0 0 1
OSPREY (OSPR) 3 6 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 12 22 16
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 6 11 4
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 22 328 23
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 4 44 2
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 14 18 0
Accipiter sp. (UA) 2 0 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1 14 3
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0 2 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 11 75 36
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 3 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 4 15 0
Buteo sp. (UB) 3 3 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 281 239 14
Eagle sp. (UE) 7 1 0
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0 10 2
MERLIN (MERL) 1 12 0
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0 0 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0 5 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 3 2 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1 1 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 0 1 0
   
TOTALS 388 812 102

 


RMERF counts, October 1 and 2

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Monday, October 01 Mount Lorette [Day 10] 0700-1130 (George Halmazna, assisted by Dan Parliament). The temperature was -4C to -3C, wind was NW to 0800, then N 5-10 km/h and cloud cover was 100% low stratus that obscured all ridges. Visibility was good in the valley, however, until the snow, that started falling at 0900, became heavy after 1100 and brought the day to a close without any raptors having been seen. Other birds in the area were 1 American Three-toed Woodpecker, 5 Common Ravens, 1 Mountain Chickadee, 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 3 Red-breasted Nuthatches, 1 Varied Thrush, 12 American Robins, 27 White-crowned Sparrows, 8 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches and 29 Pine Siskins. A Grey Wolf howled from the E at 0818 and again from the NE at 0859.

4.5 hours (105.2) TOTAL 0 (380)

Monday, October 01 Vicki Ridge [Day 8] 0845-1600 (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Hilary Atkinson, observing from the Waterton 61 wellsite). The temperature at 0845 was 4C, reached a high of 9C at 1300 was still 7C at 1500 but rapidly fell to 1C at the end of observation. Winds were W 20-30 gusting 40 km/h to 1330 after which they reduced to 10-20 km/h and at 1520 the wind switched to E 30 km/h bringing fog that by 1600 had completely obscured the ridges. Cloud cover was 70% cumulus to 1000 and then 100% stratocumulus for the rest of the day. Migration conditions were favourable for much of the day and a total of 92 migrants of 10 species were counted between 0859 and 1534 comprising 2 Bald Eagles (1a, 1j), 25 Sharp-shinned Hawks (2a, 2j, 21u), 3 Cooper’s Hawks (2a, 1u), 4 Northern Goshawks (3a males, 1u), 1u light morph Broad-winged Hawk, 3 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks, 1 adult dark morph Ferruginous Hawk, 3 Rough-legged Hawks (1 light, 2 dark), 48 Golden Eagles (23a, 10sa, 15j) and 2u American Kestrels. Fifty migrants, including 33 Golden Eagles, were counted before 1100, but movement then slowed and only 11 birds were seen after 1400 and only 5 Golden Eagles were seen after 1300. Songbirds were conspicuous all day and included 43 Mountain Bluebirds, 2 Townsend’s Solitaires, 411 American Robins, 25 Red Crossbills, 150 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches and 158 Pine Siskins. Migrating Accipiters often paused for a while to avail themselves of the easy pickings.

7.25 hours (71.25) BAEA 2 (19), SSHA 25 (289), COHA 3 (37), NOGO 4 (17), BWHA 1 (14), RTHA 3 (54), FEHA 1 (3), RLHA 3 (13), GOEA 48 (229), AMKE 2 (10) TOTAL 92 (726)

 

Monday, October 01 Steeples. NO OBSERVATION. The mountains were again hidden by stratus cloud all day, and although not as low as yesterday the chances of finding migrating raptors were unpromising.

 

Tuesday, October 02 Mount Lorette [NO OBSERVATION]. Heavy snow all day: all mountains obscured.

 

Tuesday, October 02 Vicki Ridge [NO OBSERVATION]. Heavy snow all day; ridge completely obscured.

 

Tuesday, October 02 Steeples [NO OBSERVATION]. Steady rain all day: all mountains obscured.

 

 

 

 

SUMMARY COUNTS, FALL 2018
MOUNT LORETTE September 20-November 15 BEAVER MINES September 20-November 15 STEEPLES September 20-November 15
DAYS 10 8 10
HOURS 105.2 71.25 39
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0 0 1
OSPREY (OSPR) 3 5 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 12 19 16
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 6 11 4
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 22 289 23
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 4 37 2
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 14 17 0
Accipiter sp. (UA) 2 0 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1 14 3
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0 2 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 11 54 36
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 3 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 4 13 0
Buteo sp. (UB) 3 1 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 273 229 14
Eagle sp. (UE) 7 1 0
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0 10 1
MERLIN (MERL) 1 12 0
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0 0 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0 5 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 3 2 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1 1 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 0 1 0
   
TOTALS 380 726 101

 


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