Mount Lorette, Beaver Mines and Steeples, April 8

April 8 [Day 38] (Jim Davis, assisted by Diane Stinson and Sid Andrews) 0730-2000. The temperature high was 9C from 1500 to 1700 and the starting and finishing temperatures were both 2C. Ground winds were W 4-15 gusting 21 km/h, while ridge winds were moderate SW to 1100, strong W to 1300 and moderate west between 1400 and 1700 becoming light late in the day. Cloud cover was 40-50% cumulus and altostratus except around 1600 when it increased to 80%; observing conditions were excellent throughout. Apart from Mount Bogart being obscured until 1300, the other ridges and peaks were clear all day. A total of 69 migrant raptors of 6 species moved between 1007 and 1919 which is the highest count here since March 31. The flight comprised a season-high 25 Bald Eagles (20a, 4sa, 1j), 1j Cooper’s Hawk, 2a Northern Goshawks, 12 Red-tailed Hawks (10 calurus: light 8a, 1j, dark 1a; 1 adult “krideri” and 1 adult dark morph harlani), 27 Golden Eagles (12a, 3sa, 8j, 4u), 1u Peregrine Falcon and 1 large unidentified raptor. Most of the movement was in the west until 1500 (28 birds), with birds soaring above Olympic Summit and moving to the NW over Skogan Pass; after 1500 most birds moved high from the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette and there was extensive soaring over the Fisher Range late in the day as the ridge winds became light. The busiest hour was 1800-1900 when 19 birds, all eagles, were counted. Other birds recorded included 1 singing Great Horned Owl heard on the walk to the site in the early morning, 1 Northern Pygmy-Owl that sang from the western side of the Hay Meadow at 1030, 1 female Pileated Woodpecker that perched close to the site, 1 male Mountain Bluebird, 5 singing Varied Thrushes, and 10 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches. A Mountain Goat high on the southern flank of Olympic Summit was unusual as most animals are located to the east on the Fisher Range ridge. A total of 37 visitors to the site enjoyed both the weather and excellent views of migrating raptors and other birds.

12.5 hours (428.6) BAEA 25 (196), COHA 1 (2), NOGO 2 (16), RTHA 12 (32), GOEA 27 (2114), PEFA 1 (4), UU 1 (2) TOTAL 69 (2417)

[Addition to April 7. Because of the weather raptor movement was limited to 7 birds that moved along the eastern route between 1522 and 1621 comprising 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1u Northern Goshawk and 4 Golden Eagles (3a, 1sa) and 1a male American Kestrel that flew low above the Hay Meadow towards Skogan Pass at 1501 for the first record this season.  12.75 hours (416.1) SSHA 1 (5), NOGO 1 (14), GOEA 4 (2087), AMKE 1 (1) TOTAL 7 (2348)]

 

Beaver Mines [Day 42] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Hilary Atkinson) 0800-1800. The temperature at 0800 was 6C, rose to a high of 11C at 1300 and was 8C at the end of observation at 1800. Winds were WSW-W all day, 30-40 gusting 65 km/h to 1400 when they moderated slightly to 25-35 gusting 40 km/h for the rest of the day. It was cloudless with only occasional traces of cumulus and altocumulus to 1200 when 30% altostratus developed which quickly became 100% uniform altostratus that persisted for the rest of the day. Once again early movement was slow and sporadic and by 1300 only 3 migrants had passed, but the pace then quickened and the final total by 1754 was 30 birds of a season-high 9 species. All the birds soared and glided very high to the NW or NNW and it was a challenge to find them against the uniform altostratus cloud blanket. The count was 3 adult Bald Eagles, 4 adult Northern Harriers (3 male, 1 female), 2u Sharp-shinned Hawks, 2 Cooper’s Hawks (1a, 1u), 1 dark morph adult Broad-winged Hawk, 6 Red-tailed Hawks (3a, 2u calurus light morphs and 1a dark harlani), 1 light morph adult Ferruginous Hawk, 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk, 2 unidentified Buteos (1 light, 1 dark), 7 Golden Eagles (4a, 2sa, 1j) and 1 unidentified eagle. The year’s first Tree Swallow was seen at 0926.

10 hours (373) BAEA 3 (269), NOHA 4 (24), SSHA 2 (29), COHA 2 (5), BWHA 1 (5), RTHA 6 (132), FEHA 1 (3), RLHA 1 (60), UB 2 (11), GOEA 7 (986), UE 1 (3) TOTAL 30 (1609)

 

Steeples [Day 15] (Vance Mattson) 1230-1730. Observation was from the Bill Nye site where the temperature reached 10C, winds were moderate, and initially SE but then became mainly SW, and cloud cover was initially 40% cumulus and cirrus which became 100% altostratus and cumulus after 1500. A total of 12 migrants were counted comprising 7 Bald Eagles (2a, 1sa, 4j), 1 undifferentiated Red-tailed Hawk, 3 juvenile Golden Eagles and 1u American Kestrel, which was the first for the season. Six birds moved before 1300 after which movement was slow to 1653 when the last bird, a Golden Eagle, soared and glided to the north. Non-migrants were Turkey Vultures (12 sightings), 7 Bald Eagles (4a, 3j), 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, at least 3 Red-tailed Hawks and 1 adult Golden Eagle.

5 hours (69.5) BAEA 7 (110), RTHA 1 (4), GOEA 3 (386), AMKE 1 (1) TOTAL 12 (515)

 

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

 

DAYS 38

HOURS 428.6

 

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 0

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 196

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 1

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 5

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 2

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 16

Accipiter sp. (UA) 0

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 3

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 32

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 21

Buteo sp. (UB) 3

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2114

Eagle sp. (UE) 12

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 1

MERLIN (MERL) 2

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 4

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 1

Falco sp. (UF) 1

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

 

TOTAL 2417