Mount Lorette and Beaver Mines, April 3

April 2 [Day 32] (Bill Wilson, assisted by Lori Anderson) 0630-1925. It was the coolest day for a while with a starting temperature of 0C, a high between 1400 and 1600 of 3C and 1C at the end of observation. Ground winds were SW 2-5 km/h to 1100, then very variable 5-15 gusting to 33 km/h, while ridge winds appeared to be light to moderate SW all day. Cloud cover was 90-100% stratus all day that produced periods of light snow to 1800 generally lasting for 30-60 minutes that obscured the ridges, which were otherwise clear. Around 1800 continuous moderate snow began to fall that persisted to the end of the day. There was 3 cm of fresh snow on the ground early in the morning and a further 1 cm had fallen by 1925. Despite the conditions there was a fairly steady stream of migrating eagles with 12 Bald Eagles (7a, 3j, 1u) and 16 Golden Eagles (10a, 1sa, 4j, 1u) moving between 1255 and 1737. Two birds used the western route but the rest glided along the Fisher Range and across to Mount Lorette. Towards the end of the day there was some soaring above the Fisher Range and most birds also mixed flapping flight with the gliding that attested to the relatively light winds at ridge level. Maximum hourly movement was 10 birds between 1300 and 1400 and again from 1500 to 1600. Resident or non-migrant raptors were 5 Bald Eagles (3a, 2j), 1u Northern Goshawk and 1 or 2 adult Golden Eagles. Nineteen other bird species were recorded including 1 drumming Ruffed Grouse, 19 unidentified gulls that flew high to the north, 1 singing Northern Pygmy-Owl, 1 calling Pileated Woodpecker, 4 male Mountain Bluebirds, 74 American Robins migrating to the north, 1 singing Varied Thrush, 1 calling Song Sparrow, 83 Dark-eyed Juncos feeding in the meadow (about 60% cismontanus and 40% montanus), 60 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches in flying flocks of 40 and 20 and 12 Common Redpolls. Only 2 visitors made it to the site today.

12.92 hours (352.6) BAEA 12 (168), GOEA 16 (2037) TOTAL 28 (2286)

 

Beaver Mines [Day 36] (Peter Sherrington) 0800-1830. It was warmer down south with a starting temperature of 5C that rose to a high at 1400 of 10C and was 4C at 1830. Winds were initially light W but quickly picked up around 0900 and were WSW-W 35-45 gusting 60 km/h to 1720 when the winds suddenly shifted to NE 25-50 km/h before becoming light again at the end of observation. Cloud cover was variably 10-50% cumulus, altocumulus and altostratus that gave excellent viewing conditions to 1745 when a thick bank of 100% stratocumulus cloud, that had been slowly advancing from the NE for the previous hour, finally arrived bringing steady snow that quickly obscured the ridge. It was another disappointing day of raptor migration with only 13 birds of 5 species moving between 0840 and 1713. Only 3 birds were recorded before 1300 and the highest hourly count was only 4 between 1300 and 1400. The count was 3 Bald Eagles (2a, 1sa), 1 adult male Northern Harrier, that was the first migrant of the day, 2 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks, 6 Golden Eagles (5a, 1j) and 1 male American Kestrel. The 2 resident pairs of Red-tailed Hawks were joined occasionally by an interloping fifth bird that resulted in some spectacular “sky-battles” between presumably competing males. The last sighting of a resident Red-tail was at 1810 when a bird made a vertical hunting stoop in the middle of the valley in steady falling snow.

10.5 hours (319.3) BAEA 3 (238), NOHA 1 (17), RTHA 2 (101), GOEA 6 (964), AMKE 1 (2) TOTAL 13 (1487)

 

Steeples [Day 14] (Vance Mattson) 1100-1630. Observation was from the Bull Mountain site where the temperature was 9C, winds were strong W and cloud cover was 60-100% altostratus, cumulus and cirrus. There were snow flurries and/or rain from 1215 to 1245 and again from 1550 to 1630 that finally obscured the ridges for the rest of the day. The only migrant raptors seen were 2 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks, the first at 1310, the second at 1450. Two non-migrant adult Bald Eagles were seen on arrival, and the resident Golden Eagle pair were seen several times including three long display flights one of which culminated in the first copulation seen this season at 1500.

5.5 hours (64.5) RTHA 2 (3) TOTAL 2 (503)

 

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

 

DAYS 32

HOURS 352.6

 

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 0

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 168

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 1

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 3

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 13

Accipiter sp. (UA) 0

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 3

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 18

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 21

Buteo sp. (UB) 3

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2037

Eagle sp. (UE) 11

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0

MERLIN (MERL) 2

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 2

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 1

Falco sp. (UF) 1

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 1

 

TOTAL 2286