Mount Lorette, Beaver Mines and Steeples, March 26

March 26 [Day 25] (Blake Weis, assisted by Lori Anderson) 0720-2020. The temperature reached a high of 6C from 1600 to 1800 from a morning low of -2C, and was 3C at the end of observation. Ground winds were calm or very light to 0900 then SW 5-10 gusting up to 20 km/h for the rest of the day, while ridge winds were moderate to strong SW that became light after 1800. Cloud cover was initially 80% cumulus, altocumulus and altostratus that gradually diminished to 10% cumulus at 1500 that then slowly increased to 30% cumulus and altostratus at the end of observation. The ridges remained clear all day and observation conditions were good. There was a fairly strong and persistent raptor movement of 93 birds between 1107 and 1920 involving 9 Bald Eagles (8a, 1sa), the season’s first Northern Harrier, an adult male, 1 adult Northern Goshawk and 82 Golden Eagles (59a, 2sa, 5j, 16u). About half the day’s movement was on the western route with birds gliding high from Mount Kidd to Mount Allen and on to Mount Lorette, while the rest were initially located over Mount Lorette. Only 3 birds were seen over the Fisher Range so they were either gliding high overhead to Lorette or originating in the Wasootch Creek area. In either case they proved to be invisible against the mainly cloudless sky of the afternoon. Forty of the migrants, 3 Bald Eagles, 1 Northern Harrier and 36 Golden Eagles, moved between 1700 and 1900. Other birds seen included 13 unidentified swans that flew high to the north above Mount Lorette, 40 migrating Canada Geese, 1 Northern Pygmy-Owl, 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 7 Mountain Bluebirds, 20 American Robins, 4 Varied Thrushes, 2 Red-winged Blackbirds (male and female) and 5 Common Redpolls. A great Horned Owl was seen flying at 2020 as the observers left. The 35 visitors to the site today all enjoyed good views of the migrating eagles.

13 hours (271) BAEA 9 (133), NOHA 1 (1), NOGO 1 (6), GOEA 82 (1858) TOTAL 93 (2040)

 

Beaver Mines [Day 29] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Doug and Teresa Dolman) 0800-1900. The temperature at 0800 was 1C, rose to a high of 9C from 1500 to 1700 and was 7C at 1900. Winds were WSW-W all day, 20-30 gusting to 43 km/h to 1700 after which they dropped to below 20 km/h. Cloud cover was 0-10% cumulus to 1300 after which 60-70% cirrostratus, cumulus, altocumulus and lenticular cloud quickly developed which became 100% thick altostratus and cumulus after 1600. The ridges to the SW were clear all day and may have seen most of the raptor movement because at Beaver Mines migration was very slow and sporadic and ceased completely after 1536. The count was 21 birds of 8 species comprising a season high 3 Northern Harriers (all adult males), 2 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 1u), 1 adult Northern Goshawk that was the first migrant of the day at 0837, 8 Red-tailed Hawks (calurus 7: 5 light, 3a, 2u), 2 dark, 1a, 1u; and 1 adult dark harlani), 1 adult light morph Ferruginous Hawk, 1 light Rough-legged Hawk, only 4 Golden Eagles (2a, 1sa, 1j) and 1 Prairie Falcon. A Sandhill Crane soared very high above the valley at 1452, and at 1536 an adult Northern Harrier, which proved to be the last migrant of the day, put up a cloud of 60 American Crows and 300 European Starlings that had been feeding in the fields of the valley bottom. Two pairs of resident Red-tailed Hawks were conspicuous in the air for most of the day, but even they vanished after 1630.

11 hours (242.3) NOHA 3 (7), SSHA 2 (12), NOGO 1 (38), RTHA 8 (36), FEHA 1 (2), RLHA 1 (47), GOEA 4 (872), PRFA 1 (5) TOTAL 21 (1234)

 

Steeples (Vance Mattson) [Day 11] 1200-1830. Observation today was from the Bull Mountain site where the temperature reached 8C, cloud cover was 60-100% altostratus, cumulus and lenticular and light winds became calm after 1600 which resulted in slow high eagle flight. There was a fairly strong movement of 46 raptors of 3 species between 1312 and 1731 comprising 12 Bald Eagles (8a, 1sa, 3j), 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, which was the first migrant of the day, 31 Golden Eagles (28a, 2sa, 1j) and 2 unidentified eagles. Twelve migrants moved between 1300 and 1400, none between 1400 and 1500 and 16 in each of the following two hours. Non-migrant birds present were 8 Bald Eagles (6a, 2j), 1 adult Sharp-shinned Hawk, and displaying resident Red-tailed Hawks and 2 adult Golden Eagles, one of which displayed high in the middle a soaring kettle of 4 migrating eagles.

6.5 hours (51) BAEA 12 (86), SSHA 1 (3), GOEA 31 (347), UE 2 (6) TOTAL 46 (445)

 

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

 

DAYS 25

HOURS 271

 

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 0

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 133

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 1

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 2

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 6

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) 21

Buteo sp. (UB) 2

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1858

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) 1

 

TOTAL 2040