Vicki Ridge and Steeples, November 15 and final counts and variances for all 3 RMERF counts

Friday, November 15 Vicki Ridge [Day 54] 0720-1720 (Peter Sherrington and Hilary Atkinson observing from the Waterton 61 wellsite on the western flank of Vicki Ridge). The temperature at 0720 was 4C, the high at 1300 was 8.5C and it was 4C at 1720. Winds were strong W all day 40-50 gusting 60 and occasionally 70 km/h, and cloud cover was Chinook types initially comprising 100% altostratus, altocumulus and cirrostratus that gradually reduced to 70% at 1300 as the arch moved slowly to the east. At 1400 80% dark cumulus cloud moved from the west and brought periods of light rain and showers to 1540 after which cloud cover was 60-70% cumulus and altocumulus for the rest of the day. Observing conditions were very good throughout but there was only a slow and sporadic raptor movement of 14 birds of 4 species between 0752 and 1457 that comprised 5a Bald Eagles, 3a Northern Goshawks, 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk and 5 Golden Eagles (3a, 1sa, 1j). The highest hourly count was only 3 birds between 1400 and 1500, and 5 other hourly counts had 2 birds each. Other birds seen were 1 Clark’s Nutcracker, 4 Black-billed Magpies, 63 Common Ravens and 20 Bohemian Waxwings.

10 hours (482.1) BAEA 5 (427), NOGO 3 (102), RLHA 1 (458), GOEA 5 (2778) TOTAL 14 (4642)

 

Friday, November 15 Steeples (Vance Mattson). No observation: the clouds did not lift until 1630 and even then the mountains remained 60% obscured.

 

FINAL SUMMARY  COUNTS, FALL 2019
(NOTE: all numbers provisional pending final reports)
  MOUNT LORETTE  September 20-November 15

Variance cf. average 83-96, 98-01, 03-05, 09-18 (21 years)

VICKI RIDGE September 20-November 15

Variance cf. average 2017-2018 (2 years of complete counts)

STEEPLES September 20-November 15

Variance cf. average 2009-2018 (10 years partial counts)

DAYS  54 (-0.7%) 54 (+5.9%) 34 (+4.3)
HOURS  537 (-4.1%) 482.1 (+12.9%) 143.5 (+14.3)
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU)  0 (-100%)  3  1 (+66.7%)
OSPREY (OSPR) 1 (-63.2%)  4 (-57.9%)  2 (-20%)
BALD EAGLE (BAEA)  148 (-37.2%)  427 (+7.4%)  155 (+1.04%)
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA)  7 (-31%)  14 (-17.6%)  13 (+141%)
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA)  56 (-57.5%)  513 (-25.5%)  38 (-5.9%)
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA)  8 (-63.2%)  80 (-4.8%)  0 (-100%)
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO)  41 (5.4%)  102 (-3.8%)  4 (-20%)
Accipiter sp. (UA)  8 (+18.3%)  5 (-38.5%)  1
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)  0 (-100%)  20 (-29.8%)  0 (-100%)
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA)  0 (-100%)  2 (+33.3%)  0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA)  11 (-66.7%)  137 (-33.2%)  25 (-5.7%)
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA)  1 (+162.5%)  7 (=)  0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA)  14 (-71.9%)  458 (-3.7%)  3 (-53.1%)
Buteo sp. (UB)  4 (+3.7%)  6 (-72.7%)  1 (+100%)
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2395 (-29.4%)  2778 (+17.3%)  191 (+47.2%)
Eagle sp. (UE)  24 (+350%)  28 (+124%)  6 (+445%)
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE)  0 (-100%)  18 (+9.1%)  5 (+108%)
MERLIN (MERL)  5 (-33.1%)  18 (-12.2%)  1 (+25%)
GYRFALCON (GYRF)  0 (-100%)  4 (-20%)  0 (-100%)
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA)  1 (-82.8%)  13 (=)  2 (+233%)
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA)  2 (10.6%)  3 (-60%)  0 (-100%)
Falco sp. (UF)  3 (+80%)  2 (=)  0
Unidentified Raptor (UU)  2 (-49.4%)  1 (-50%)  0 (-100%)
  13 species 18 species 12 species
TOTALS  2731 (-31.2%) 4642 (+3.2%)  448 (+18.6%)

 

 


Vicki Ridge and Steeples, November 14

Thursday, November 14 Vicki Ridge [Day 53] 0730-1720 (Peter Sherrington and Hilary Atkinson,  observing from the Waterton 61 wellsite on the western flank of Vicki Ridge, and Gord Petersen  (1203-1701) observing at the western edge of Kyllo Ridge at the Waterton 68 wellsite). The temperature at 0730 was 0C, the high at 1300 was 5C and it was 2C when observation ceased. Winds were W all day 30-40 gusting 50-65km/h to 1300 after which they strengthened to 40-50 gusting 60-70 and occasionally 80 km/h for the rest of the day. Cloud cover was initially 30% altocumulus at 0730, between 0800 and 0930 it was 70-80% cirrostratus, altocumulus and altostratus, between 0930 and 1300 it was 100% cirrostratus, cirrus and altocumulus that allowed hazy sunshine, and after 1300 the cloud thickened to 100% altostratus and altocumulus that produced gloomy conditions for the rest of the day. At the Waterton 61 site the count began strongly with 2 Bald Eagles, 1 Northern Goshawk, 1 Rough-legged Hawk and 1 Golden Eagle moving between 0808 and 0844, that probably represented the tail-end of the previous day’s late movement of 27 birds that was seen after 1500. The sixth bird was not seen until 1103 and subsequent movement was slow and very sporadic. The final count of 20 birds of 4 species between 0808 and 1701 comprised 7 Bald Eagles (6a, 1j), 5a Northern Goshawks, 2 light morph Rough-legged Hawks and 6 Golden Eagles (5a, 1sa). At the western edge of Kyllo Ridge Gord counted 21 birds of 3 species between 1214 and 1653 that comprised 5 Bald Eagles (4a, 1u), 3 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 10 Golden Eagles (5a, 1sa, 1j, 3u) and 3 unidentified eagles. The total movement observed across the ridge system between 0808 and 1701 was 41 migrants of 4 species that comprised 12 Bald Eagles (10a, 1j, 1u), 5a Northern Goshawks, 5 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 16 Golden Eagles (10a, 2sa, 1j, 3u) and 3 unidentified eagles. The highest combined-site hourly count was 8 between 1400 and 1500. Other birds noted was a fresh track of a Dusky Grouse, 2 Clark’s Nutcrackers, 75 Common Ravens, 52 Bohemian Waxwings, 120 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches and 10 Common Redpolls/Pine Siskins.

9.83 hours (472.1) BAEA 12 (422), NOGO 5 (99), RLHA 5 (457), GOEA 16 (2773), UE 3 (28) TOTAL 41 (4628)

 

Thursday, November 14 Steeples (Vance Mattson). No observation: it was another heavily overcast day with cloud reaching the base of the mountains. The valley was slightly clearer but periodic observation between 1200 and 1600 from Vance’s home in Wasa saw no raptor activity.

 

Tomorrow will be the last day of the fall 2019 count at all three sites.

 

 

SUMMARY  COUNTS, FALL 2019
  MOUNT LORETTE September 20-November 15  VICKI RIDGE September 20-November 15 STEEPLES September 20-November 15
DAYS  53 53 34
HOURS  529.5 472.1 143.5
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU)  0  3  1
OSPREY (OSPR) 1  4  2
BALD EAGLE (BAEA)  147  422  155
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA)  7  14  13
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA)  56  513  38
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA)  8  80  0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO)  41  99  4
Accipiter sp. (UA)  8  5  1
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)  0  20  0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA)  0  2  0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA)  11  137  25
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA)  1  7  0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA)  14  457  3
Buteo sp. (UB)  4  6  1
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2393  2773  191
Eagle sp. (UE)  24  28  6
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE)  0  18  5
MERLIN (MERL)  5  18  1
GYRFALCON (GYRF)  0  4  0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA)  1  13  2
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA)  2  3  0
Falco sp. (UF)  3  2  0
Unidentified Raptor (UU)  2  1  0
       
TOTALS  2728 4628  448

Vicki Ridge and Steeples, November 13

Wednesday, November 13 Vicki Ridge [Day 52] 0730-1730 (Peter Sherrington and Hilary Atkinson,  observing from the Waterton 61 wellsite on the western flank of Vicki Ridge, and Gord Petersen  (1235-1703) observing at the western edge of Kyllo Ridge at the Waterton 68 wellsite). The temperature at 0730 was 0.5C the high at 1300 and 1400 was 5.5C and it was 1C at the end of observation. Winds were W all day, 25-35 gusting 45 km/h and cloud cover was 70-50%  altocumulus to 0900 that reduced to 10% at 0930 and was subsequently cloudless for the rest of the day with trace amounts of cirrus to the west after 1600. The count from the Waterton 61 wellsite was 23 birds of 4 species between 1116 and 1700 that comprised 11 Bald Eagles (8a, 2sa2, 1j), 1 juvenile Northern Goshawk, 7 light morph Rough-legged Hawks and 4a Golden Eagles. At the western edge of Kyllo Ridge Gord counted 20 birds of 5 species between 1237 and 1659 that comprised 6 Bald Eagles (4a, 1sa, 1u), 2 Northern Goshawks (1a, 1u), 5 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 5 Golden Eagles (2a, 3u), 1 unidentified eagle and 1a female Peregrine Falcon. The total movement observed across the ridge system between 1116 and 1700 was 43 migrants of 5 species that comprised 17 Bald Eagles (12a, 2sa2, 1sa, 1j, 1u), 3 Northern Goshawks (1a, 1j, 1u), 12 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 9 Golden Eagles (6a, 3u), 1 unidentified eagle and 1a female Peregrine Falcon. The highest combined-site hourly count was 16 between 1400 and 1500. Other birds were 1u Northern [Red-shafted] Flicker that flew south at 1120, 2 Canada Jays, 1 Clark’s Nutcracker, 87 Common Ravens, 60 Bohemian Waxwings, 130 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches, 10 Common Redpolls or Pine Siskins and 2 Pine Siskins.

10 hours (462.5) BAEA 17 (410), NOGO 3 (94), RLHA 12 (452), GOEA 9 (2757), UE 1 (25), PEFA 1 (13) TOTAL 43 (4587)

 

Wednesday, November 13 Steeples No observation: it was another heavily overcast day with all ridges obscured.

 

 

SUMMARY  COUNTS, FALL 2019
  MOUNT LORETTE September 20-November 15  VICKI RIDGE September 20-November 15 STEEPLES September 20-November 15
DAYS  52 52 34
HOURS  520.5 462.5 143.5
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU)  0  3  1
OSPREY (OSPR) 1  4  2
BALD EAGLE (BAEA)  146  410  155
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA)  7  14  13
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA)  56  513  38
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA)  8  80  0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO)  41  94  4
Accipiter sp. (UA)  8  5  1
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)  0  20  0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA)  0  2  0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA)  11  137  25
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA)  1  7  0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA)  13  452  3
Buteo sp. (UB)  4  6  1
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2388  2757  191
Eagle sp. (UE)  24  25  6
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE)  0  18  5
MERLIN (MERL)  5  18  1
GYRFALCON (GYRF)  0  4  0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA)  1  13  2
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA)  2  3  0
Falco sp. (UF)  3  2  0
Unidentified Raptor (UU)  2  1  0
       
TOTALS  2721 4587  448

Vicki Ridge and Steeples, November 12

Tuesday, November 12 Vicki Ridge [Day 51] 0730-1700 (Peter Sherrington and Hilary Atkinson,  observing from the Waterton 61 wellsite on the western flank of Vicki Ridge, and Gord Petersen  (0912-1202) observing at the western edge of Kyllo Ridge at the Waterton 68 wellsite). The temperature at 0730 was 1C, the high was 3C at 1100 and it was 2C at 1700. Winds were steady W-WSW all day 30-40 gusting to 55 km/h, and cloud cover was 100% dark stratus, altostratus and cumulus all day with some cirrostratus to 0910. Very light snow began at 0910 followed by periods of steady light snow between 1000 and 1350 that partially obscured the ridges. There were light flurries after 1350 and steady light snow resumed at 1630. Despite the miserable conditions a total of 9 migrants of 4 species were seen between 0850 and 1620 although 6 of these moved between 1026 and 1058. The flight was 3 Bald Eagles (2a, 1u), 1a Northern Goshawk, 2 light morph Rough-legged Hawks and 3 Golden Eagles (2a, 1j). The count includes 1a Golden Eagle seen by Gord at the WT 68 site at 1045. The only other birds seen were 3 Black-billed Magpies, 78 Common Ravens and a flock of 20 Bohemian Waxwings.

9.5 hours (452.5) BAEA 3 (393), NOGO 1 (91), RLHA 2 (440), GOEA 3 (2748) TOTAL 9 (4544)

 

Tuesday, November 12 Steeples No observation: it snowed all day and the ridges and valley were completely obscured.

 

 

SUMMARY  COUNTS, FALL 2019
  MOUNT LORETTE September 20-November 15  VICKI RIDGE September 20-November 15 STEEPLES September 20-November 15
DAYS  51 51 34
HOURS  510.8 452.5 143.5
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU)  0  3  1
OSPREY (OSPR) 1  4  2
BALD EAGLE (BAEA)  144  393  155
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA)  7  14  13
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA)  56  513  38
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA)  8  80  0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO)  41  91  4
Accipiter sp. (UA)  8  5  1
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)  0  20  0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA)  0  2  0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA)  11  137  25
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA)  1  7  0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA)  13  440  3
Buteo sp. (UB)  4  6  1
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2383  2748  191
Eagle sp. (UE)  24  24  6
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE)  0  18  5
MERLIN (MERL)  5  18  1
GYRFALCON (GYRF)  0  4  0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA)  1  12  2
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA)  2  3  0
Falco sp. (UF)  3  2  0
Unidentified Raptor (UU)  2  1  0
       
TOTALS  2714 4544  448

Vicki Ridge and Steeples, November 11

Monday, November 11 Vicki Ridge [Day 50] 0745-1715 (Peter Sherrington and Hilary Atkinson,  observing from the Waterton 61 wellsite on the western flank of Vicki Ridge, and Gord Petersen  (1242-1650) observing at the western edge of Kyllo Ridge at the Waterton 68 wellsite). The temperature at 0745 was -7C and from 1100 to the end of observation it was 0C with the exceptions of 1300 and 1700 when it reached the day’s highs of 0.5C. Winds were strong WNW all day 30-50 gusting to 70 km/h. It was cloudless to 1000 when 50% thin cirrostratus developed that became 100% between 1100 and 1430, after which the cloud thickened to 100-70% mainly altostratus and altocumulus that gave gloomy late afternoon light but finally a spectacular sunset. The count from the Waterton 61 wellsite was 20 birds of 4 species between 0811 and 1647 that comprised 9 Bald Eagles (8a, 1j), 1a Northern Goshawk, 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk and 9 Golden Eagles (8a, 1j). At the western edge of Kyllo Ridge Gord counted 30 birds of 5 species between 1245 and 1650 that comprised 21 Bald Eagles (16a, 1sa, 2j, 2u), 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, 2a Northern Goshawks, 1 dark morph Rough-legged Hawk, 4 Golden Eagles (1a, 2j, 1u) and 1 unidentified eagle. The total movement observed across the ridge system between 0811 and 1647 was 50 migrants of 5 species that comprised 30 Bald Eagles (24a, 1sa, 3j, 1u), 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, 3a Northern Goshawks, 2 Rough-legged Hawks (1 light, 1 dark), 13 Golden Eagles (9a, 1sa, 2j, 1u) and 1 unidentified eagle. The highest combined-site hourly count was 17, that included 13 Bald Eagles, between 1400 and 1500. The only other birds seen were 1 Black-billed Magpie, 62 Common Ravens and 1 male Dark-eyed [hyemalis] Junco.

9.5 hours (443) BAEA 30 (390), SSHA 1 (513), NOGO 3 (90), RLHA 2 (438), GOEA 13 (2745), UE 1 (24) TOTAL 50 (4535)

 

Monday, November 11 Steeples [Day 34] 1345-1600 (Vance Mattson). The temperature was -4C, it was calm and cloud cover was 100% thin altostratus, altocumulus and cirrus. The ridges were shrouded until 1400 after which they cleared fairly quickly, but no migrant or resident raptors were seen.

2.25 (143.5) TOTAL 0 (448)

 

 

SUMMARY  COUNTS, FALL 2019
  MOUNT LORETTE September 20-November 15  VICKI RIDGE September 20-November 15 STEEPLES September 20-November 15
DAYS  50 50 34
HOURS  500.8 443 143.5
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU)  0  3  1
OSPREY (OSPR) 1  4  2
BALD EAGLE (BAEA)  144  390  155
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA)  7  14  13
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA)  56  513  38
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA)  8  80  0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO)  41  90  4
Accipiter sp. (UA)  8  5  1
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)  0  20  0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA)  0  2  0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA)  11  137  25
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA)  1  7  0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA)  13  438  3
Buteo sp. (UB)  4  6  1
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2383  2745  191
Eagle sp. (UE)  24  24  6
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE)  0  18  5
MERLIN (MERL)  5  18  1
GYRFALCON (GYRF)  0  4  0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA)  1  12  2
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA)  2  3  0
Falco sp. (UF)  3  2  0
Unidentified Raptor (UU)  2  1  0
       
TOTALS  2714 4535  448

Vicki Ridge and Steeples, November 10

Sunday, November 10 Vicki Ridge [Day 49] 0445-1715 (Peter Sherrington observing from the Waterton 61 wellsite on the western flank of Vicki Ridge). Steady snow fell for most of the day and obscured all ridges, but at 1430 the snow more-or less stopped in Beaver Mines so I arrived at the site at 1445 where the ridges were almost clear, the temperature was -14C, the wind was SE 5-10 km/h and there was 12 cm of fresh snow on the ground. By 1500 the ridges were completely clear and by 1600 the sky was cloudless. Winds remained light and by 1700 it was calm and -17C. No migrant raptors were seen, but other birds recorded were 379 Canada Geese that flew to the W or SW in 7 flocks between 1520 and 1613, 1 hunting Northern Hawk-Owl at 1710, 1u Northern Shrike, 13 Common Ravens and 1 male Pine Grosbeak.

2.5 hours (433.5) TOTAL 0 (4485)

 

Sunday, November 10 Steeples No observation: snow and low cloud all day obscured the ridges and no observation was possible.

 

 

SUMMARY  COUNTS, FALL 2019
  MOUNT LORETTE September 20-November 15  VICKI RIDGE September 20-November 15 STEEPLES September 20-November 15
DAYS  49 49 33
HOURS  492.5 433.5 141.3
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU)  0  3  1
OSPREY (OSPR) 1  4  2
BALD EAGLE (BAEA)  142  360  155
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA)  7  14  13
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA)  56  512  38
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA)  8  80  0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO)  40  87  4
Accipiter sp. (UA)  8  5  1
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)  0  20  0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA)  0  2  0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA)  11  137  25
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA)  1  7  0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA)  13  436  3
Buteo sp. (UB)  4  6  1
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2379  2732  191
Eagle sp. (UE)  24  23  6
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE)  0  18  5
MERLIN (MERL)  5  18  1
GYRFALCON (GYRF)  0  4  0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA)  1  12  2
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA)  2  3  0
Falco sp. (UF)  3  2  0
Unidentified Raptor (UU)  2  1  0
       
TOTALS  2707 4485  448

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