Mount Lorette and Beaver Mines, April 16

April 16 [Day 45] (Bill Wilson, assisted by Caroline Lambert) 0620-2050. The temperature reached a high of 9C at 1700 and 1800 from a starting low of -3C and it was 3C when observation ceased at 2050. Ground winds were variable 0-3 km/h to 1000, SW 5-10 gusting 28 km/h to 1800 after which they were again variable 2-5 km/h for the rest of the day; ridge winds were moderate to strong W for most of the day. Cloud cover was 30% cirrus and altostratus to 0800, 5-10% altocumulus to 1700 and 90% cirrus for the rest of the day. There was a fairly strong raptor movement of 51 birds of 5 species dominated by 39 Golden Eagles which is the highest count for the species here since March 31. Birds were seen between 1048 and 1953, 23 of which (1 Bald Eagle, 1 Red-tailed Hawk and 21 Golden Eagles) moved between 1700 and 1800 and all but one of these birds used the western route. Overall, very few birds were seen above the Fisher Range and most birds that were not located to the west were first seen over Mount Lorette. The count was 1 juvenile Bald Eagle, 3u Sharp-shinned Hawks, 3u Northern Goshawks, 5 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks and 39 Golden Eagles (14a, 1sa, 17j, 7u). This is the first day that juveniles have dominated the Golden Eagle count. Resident birds were 1 adult Northern Goshawk, a pair of Red-tailed Hawks and a pair of Golden Eagles seen just south of Olympic Summit where the male displayed. Other birds near the site included a Great Horned Owl heard shortly after arrival, 1 Northern Pygmy-Owl singing in the morning, 1 male Belted Kingfisher, a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers, 1 Northern Shrike, 3 Tree Swallows, 2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 5 Mountain Bluebirds, 1 singing Song Sparrow and 4 Common Redpolls. Six Bighorn Sheep were on Olympic Summit, and 33 visitors enjoyed both the weather and the birds,

14.5 hours (519.1) BAEA 1 (209), SSHA 3 (10), NOGO 3 (22), RTHA 5 (42), GOEA 39 (2192), TOTAL 51 (2541)

 

Beaver Mines [Day 50] (Peter Sherrington) 0800-1800. The temperature at 0800 was -3C under a blanket of thick fog; by 0900 the fog had lifted above the valley floor and the ridge finally emerged at 1025 revealing a cloudless sky. The temperature rose to a high of 11C at 1500 and was 7C at 1800 when observation ended. Winds were light E-SE to 1400 after which they were E-ESE 20-35 km/h, and cloud cover after 1130 was 30-60% cumulus except at 1800 when it increased to 80% cumulus, altocumulus and cirrus. Observing conditions after 1130 were excellent but, as usual, the easterly winds were not conducive to raptor movement and the day only produced 4 migrants: 1subadult Golden Eagle at 1042, 1 adult female Northern Harrier at 1121, 1 adult Sharp-shinned Hawk at 1152 and 1 unaged light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk at 1707. The resident Red-tailed Hawks often soared to considerable heights in the afternoon but were only seen to the NE of the ridge. The day did have one highlight, however, as a Whooping Crane flew low and slowly to the NE above the centre of the valley below the base of the fog bank at 0913. Brown feathering on its scapulars and wing coverts of an otherwise all-white bird with conspicuous black wing tips showed it to be in its second year. This is only the second record of the species for the area, the first being last year on April 12 when an adult bird migrated over the site to the NNW.

10 hours (446.3) NOHA 1 (32), SSHA 1 (49), RTHA 1 (165), GOEA 1 (1028) TOTAL 4 (1783)

 

Steeples (Vance Mattson) No observation.

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

 

DAYS 45

HOURS 519.1

 

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 0

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 209

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 3

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 10

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 4

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 22

Accipiter sp. (UA) 0

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 3

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 42

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 22

Buteo sp. (UB) 3

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2192

Eagle sp. (UE) 13

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 3

MERLIN (MERL) 4

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 2

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 4

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 1

Falco sp. (UF) 2

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

 

TOTAL 2541