Mount Lorette and Beaver Mines, March 21

March 21 [Day 20] (Brian McBride, assisted by Fred Bowen) 0735-1935. The starting temperature was -5C and reached a high of 4C at 1400 where it stayed for the rest of the day. Ground winds were variable and light and briefly reached a maximum of 15 km/h at 1500, while ridge winds were moderate SW all day. Cloud cover was 90-100% stratus and cumulus all day that brought snow to 0900 and obscured the ridges to 1000, but also provided an excellent backdrop for locating birds. After the previous two-day movement of 685 Golden Eagles the observers were looking forward to another good day but were disappointed with a count of only 11 migrants between 1142 and 1732. The flight was 1 subadult Bald Eagle, 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 8 Golden Eagles (6a, 2u) and 1 adult female columbarius Merlin. All the Golden Eagles moved singly from the northern end of the Fisher Range to the north above the valley and none crossed to Mount Lorette. Other birds located were 1 drumming Ruffed Grouse, 1 Northern Pygmy-Owl that was seen carrying a mouse to a perch, and 1 male Common Redpoll, a rarity this winter, that fed on a gravel bar in the river. Five visitors came to the site today.

12 hours (208.9) BAEA 1 (100), NOGO 1 (2), GOEA 8 (1305), MERL 1 (2) TOTAL 11 (1446)

 

Beaver Mines [Day 24] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Hilary Atkinson) 0900-1845. After early morning snow, the ridge was clear by 0900 when the temperature was -2C, and it rose to a high of 6C at 1600 where it stayed for the rest of the day. Winds were very variable and light all day, and cloud cover was 70-100% mainly stratocumulus and cumulus to 1400 with altocumulus and lenticular after 1400 indicating a strong W flow aloft. After 0900 all ridges were clear and observing conditions were excellent throughout. The light winds made for a slow day of migration with a total of 30 birds of 5 species moving between 1108 and 1724, comprising 2 adult Bald Eagles, 1u Cooper’s Hawk, 2 adult Northern Goshawks, 1 adult light morph Swainson’s Hawk and 24 Golden Eagles (22a, 2sa). Eighteen of the birds moved after 1600 including 12 between 1700 and 1724. The most surprising bird was the earliest ever and first March record of a Swainson’s Hawk that soared high with 2 Golden Eagles at 1700 for 4 minutes and allowed detailed inspection of all the salient field marks in excellent light. I tried hard to turn it into a more usual species but failed: it was indeed a light morph adult Swainson’s Hawk! Four Trumpeter and 1 Tundra Swan flew to the north in a small mixed flock at 1109, and at 1353 a flock of 50 Tundra Swans flew very high to the north. One or two Greater Sandhill Cranes were in the valley for much of the day.

9.75 hours (191.8) BAEA 2 (150), COHA 1 (2), NOGO 2 (32), SWHA 1 (1), GOEA 24 (737) TOTAL 30 (1002)

 

Steeples (Vance Mattson) No observation.

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

 

DAYS 20

HOURS 208.9

 

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 0

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 10

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 0

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 2

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 2

Accipiter sp. (UA) 0

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 3

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 20

Buteo sp. (UB) 1

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1305

Eagle sp. (UE) 9

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0

MERLIN (MERL) 2

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0

Falco sp. (UF) 1

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 0

 

TOTAL 1446