Mount Lorette, Beaver Mines, Steeples March 12

NOTE: CHANGE TO DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME

 

March 12 [Day 11] (Bill Wilson, assisted by Lori Anderson) 0735-2005. The starting temperature was -17C, rose to a high of -3C and was 8C when observation ceased at 2005. Ground winds were NNE 2-5 gusting 13km/h all day and ridge winds were moderate SW creating some snow pluming. Initial cloud cover was 100% stratus that diminished to 60-70% between 0900 and 1100 and was thereafter 80-100% cumulus and stratus for the rest of the day. The only precipitation was occasional light to very light snow flurries. The east ridges were clear all day and the west was only obscured up to 10%. These favourable conditions produced the highest count so far this season with 104 migrants of 3 species moving between 0952 and 1833. The count was 11 Bald Eagles (7a, 2sa, 1j and 1 undifferentiated immature bird), the season’s first Red-tailed Hawk, an adult dark morph calurus, and a season high 92 Golden Eagles (65a, 4sa, 2j, 21u). Apart from the Red-tailed Hawk and a few Bald Eagles all birds glided high from the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette, although the 3 Golden Eagles seen before noon were first located over Mount Lorette. A few birds soared at the northern end of the Fisher Range late in the day before gliding to Lorette. Maximum movement was 1300-1400 when 31 raptors were seen: 2 Bald Eagles and 29 Golden Eagles. Twenty-two moved between 1400 and 1500 and 23 between 1500 and 1600 but only 14 birds were recorded between 1600 and 1833. A resident adult Golden Eagle displayed briefly over Mount Lorette at 1600. Few other birds were seen, but an American Dipper flew fairly high to the west from the river to Troll Falls at 1922.

13.67 hours (107.1) BAEA 11 (43), RTHA 1 (1), GOEA 92 (176) TOTAL 104 (230)

 

Beaver Mines [Day 15] (Peter Sherrington) 0800-1830. The weather forecast called for a high of 1C and moderate west winds but the reality was not exactly as advertised. The temperature at 0800 was -18C, the high was -10C at 1200 and at 1830 it had fallen to -13.5C. Winds were light westerly 0-8 km/h to 1100, but were E for the rest of the day 5-15 km/h, although there was a light W flow above the ridge in the late afternoon. Cloud cover was stratus, altocumulus and cumulus to 1000 after which it thinned to 70% to 1230 and was then 100% mainly uniform stratus for the rest of the day. There were brief light snow flurries in the late afternoon but the ridge was clear all day, as were the mountain ridges to the west until late afternoon. Although the day’s total of 26 was the first significant movement since March 6 and the second highest total of the season, it was disappointing in the light of the counts today at Mount Lorette and Steeples. All the birds flapped continuously as the migrated low to the NW and rare attempts to soar or kite to gain altitude were thwarted by the weather conditions. The flight comprised a season high 13 Bald Eagles (7a, 6j), 1 dark morph Rough-legged Hawk and 12 Golden Eagles (11a, 1sa). The day was neatly summed up by the last bird, a juvenile Bald Eagle at 1745 that moved low from the SE, unsuccessfully tried for 5 minutes to soar before flapping heavily to a Douglas Fir near the crest of the ridge where it perched for the rest of the day. The highlight of the day, however, came at 1807 when a Greater White-fronted Goose flew to the SW over the valley in the company of 2 Canada Geese to provide the first March record of the species for the area.

10.5 hours (98.58) BAEA 13 (40), RLHA 1 (9) GOEA 12 (96) TOTAL 26 (155)

 

Steeples [Day 4] (Vance Mattson) 1200-1830. Observation was again from the Bull Mountain site where the temperature was 8C, winds were light to moderate SW and cloud cover was 90-100% stratus that draped the highest peaks to 1600 after which the mountains were completely clear. The day saw a significant movement of 94 raptors comprising 30 Bald Eagles (17a, 2sa, 11j), 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk, 61 Golden Eagles (55a, 3sa, 3j) and 2 unidentified eagles. After 9 Golden Eagles were seen between 1200 and 1300, 36 birds (16 Bald Eagles, 1 Rough-legged Hawk and 19 Golden Eagles) moved between 1300 and 1400. The pace slowed over the next two hours with 12 and 9 eagles counted respectively before increasing to 18 between 1600 and 1700. The last 1.5 hours saw movement of 10 more eagles with the last, an adult Golden Eagle, flying high above Bull Mountain at 1820. The eagles generally moved at a slow pace at medium altitude across the face of Bull Mountain, often soaring over the NW flank of the mountain; a kettle of 11 birds was seen there at 1330. After 1630 when the ridges were clear and the wind increased from light to moderate, the movement was higher. Resident birds of both eagle species were seen on occasion, and one of the resident Golden Eagles performed a brief display flight. The first American Robins of the year were also seen.

6.5 hours (16) BAEA 30 (31), RLHA 1 (1), GOEA 61 (66), UE 2 (2) TOTAL 94 (100)

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

 

DAYS 11

HOURS 107.1

 

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 0

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 43

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 0

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 0

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 0

Accipiter sp. (UA) 0

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 1

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 4

Buteo sp. (UB) 1

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 176

Eagle sp. (UE) 4

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0

MERLIN (MERL) 1

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0

Falco sp. (UF) 0

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 0

 

TOTAL 230