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Mount Lorette Raptor Count, 2015 FALL

PETER SHERRINGTON

Introduction This is the 24th consecutive season that RMERF has conducted at least one fall count in the Front Ranges of the Alberta Rocky Mountains. In 1992 an extensive reconnaissance count of 33 days was made at Mount Lorette that produced 2661 migrant raptors of which 2044 were Golden Eagles. Between 1993 and 2005 full-season counts of 75-101 days were conducted there with the exceptions of 1997 when a full count was conducted at Plateau Mountain, and 2002 when circumstances limited observations at Mount Lorette of only 14 days.

From 2006 to 2009 the principal observation site was moved to the Piitaistakis-South Livingstone ridge near the Crowsnest Pass, during which time daily comparative counts of between 40 and 45 days were conducted at Mount Lorette which coincided with the main movement of Golden Eagles. Since 2010 the principal count has returned to Mount Lorette and is conducted for a standard period of September 20 to November 15. Cliff Hansen is again organizing the count this season and if you are interested in visiting the site or volunteering as a “Skysweeper” (no previous experience needed: just good eyes, enthusiasm and a pair of binoculars) or as an Observer please contact Cliff at 403-673-2422. Information on how to get to the site can be found on our website www.eaglewatch.ca.

 

September 20 [Day 1] (Bill Wilson, assisted by Ruth Morrow) It was a warm start to the count with a temperature of 12.5C at 0800 that rose to a high of 17C and was 4C at the end of observation at 1830. Ground winds were mostly SW 5-15 km/h with gusts to 50 km/h that diminished later in the afternoon, while ridge winds were strong WSW to SW all day. Cloud cover was initially 100% cumulus and altostratus that thinned to 10-30% for the rest of the morning before increasing again to 60-80% cumulus to 1500 after which it was 100% stratus for the rest of the day. The eastern ridges began to be obscured by very light rain after 1600 and were 20% obscured by 1800. The first migrant of the season was a male American Kestrel at 0923, and the first migrant Golden Eagle was not seen until 1217, although a resident adult bird was seen a few times earlier in the day. The last migrant was a Merlin at 1615 after which the migration was halted by the deteriorating weather. The first day’s count was 1 juvenile Northern Harrier, 2 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1j, 1u), 3 Golden Eagles of undetermined age, 1 male American Kestrel and 1 columbarius Merlin of unknown age or sex. Other birds recorded included 3 Red-naped Sapsuckers, 5 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 51 American Robins, 1 Savannah Sparrow, 67 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches, 2 White-winged Crossbills and 226 Pine Siskins.

11.25 hours NOHA 1, SSHA 2, GOEA 3, AMKE 1, MERL 1 TOTAL 8

 

September 21 [Day 2] (Terry Waters, assisted by Jennifer Waters) It was a cool day with an initial temperature of 0C and a high of only 7C. Ground winds were NE all day 10 km/h with gusts to 30 km/h in the afternoon, while ridge winds were NW-W, initially light but becoming strong after 1300. Cloud cover averaged 20% scattered cumulus to 1300 after which it averaged 80% stratocumulus for the rest of the day. The eastern ridges were obscured until 1000 and the western ridges were 50% obscured for much of the day. The first bird of the day was a Cooper’s Hawk at 0930 and the first Golden Eagle was not recorded until 1350, after which Golden Eagle movement was fairly steady with a total of 15 birds recorded, 8 of which moved between 1700 and 1720. All the eagles were first located above the Fisher Range and none were seen over Mount Lorette, while the Accipiters were generally seen moving low to the south above the valley. The count of 28 birds was 9 Sharp-shinned Hawks (4a, 2j, 3u), 2 Cooper’s Hawks (1a, 1u), 2 adult Northern Goshawks and 15 Golden Eagles (6a, 2sa, 3j, 4u). Flocks of passerines were reported moving south above the valley all day.

10.5 hours (21.75) SSHA 9 (11), COHA 2 (2), NOGO 2 (2), GOEA 15 (18) TOTAL 28 (36)

 

September 22 [Day 3] (Brian McBride, assisted by Cliff Hansen) The temperature at 0715 was -5C but rose to a high of 14C at 1600 where it remained until the end of observation at 1930. Ground winds were light (3-10 km/h) all day, SW to noon, NE to 1500 and NW for the rest of the day, while ridge winds were strong S-SW all day, and it was essentially cloudless all day with only occasional traces of cloud which made detection of birds challenging. Despite this the observers counted a season-high 35 migrants between 0827 and 1920 with a peak movement of 8 birds between 1200 and 1300. The count was 1 unaged Northern Harrier, a season-high count of 14 Sharp-shinned Hawks (5a, 9u), 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 1 small unidentified Accipiter, the first Broad-winged Hawk of the season: a light morph adult, 2 juvenile calurus Red-tailed Hawks (1 light and 1 dark morph) and 15 Golden Eagles (5a, 3sa, 3j, 4u). All the eagles moved to the SE along the Fisher Range. Other migrant birds included 1 Red-naped Sapsucker, a late Eastern Kingbird that was catching insects from a nearby tree top for several hours, 40 American Robins, 8 Dark-eyed Juncos, 66 White-winged Crossbills and 110 Pine Siskins.

12.25 hours (34) NOHA 1 (2), SSHA 14 (25), NOGO 1 (3), UA 1 (1), BWHA 1 (1), RTHA 2 (2), GOEA 15 (33) TOTAL 35 (71)

 

September 23 [Day 4] (George Halmazna, assisted by Cliff Hansen and Kevin Barker) At 0645 the temperature was -4C but rose to a high of 15.5 C at 1600 and was 12C at 1900 when observation ceased. Ground winds were SW all day, very light to 1100 after which they were 5-10 gusting to 35 km/h for the rest of the day, while ridge winds were probably light to moderate SW all day. Cloud cover at 0700 was 80% altostratus and cirrus that dissipated leaving cloudless skies between 1000 and 1300, after which it gradually increased to 80% cirrus and cumulus by the end of the day. The first migrant was a Golden Eagle at 0722 and raptor movement was generally slow but steady until the last bird, a Sharp-shinned Hawk, was seen at 1645. The highest hourly count was 5 birds between 1000 and 1100, and between 1500 and 1600, and no birds were seen between 1300 and 1400. Only 3 raptors migrated on the western route, the rest were over the Fisher Range or eastern part of the valley. The count was 11 Sharp-shinned Hawks (5a, 3j, 3u), 3 adult Northern Goshawks, 1 unaged dark morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 12 Golden Eagles (5a, 4j, 3u) and 1 juvenile columbarius Merlin. The morning saw strong passerine migration which ceased in the afternoon as the wind increased. Birds seen included 89 American Robins, 7 Cedar Waxwings, 2 White-crowned Sparrows, 2 Dark-eyed Juncos, 3 White-winged Crossbills and 276 Pine Siskins, while mammals seen included 1 Black Bear and 10 Elk.

12.5 hours (46.5) SSHA 11 936), NOGO 3 (6), RTHA 1 (3), GOEA 12 (45), MERL 1 (2) TOTAL 28 (99)

 

September 24 [Day 5] (Joel Duncan) The temperature at 0900 was 6C, reached a high at 1700 and 1800 of 18C and was 15C at 2000 at the end of observation. Ground winds were SW 10-15 gusting to 30 km/h in the afternoon, while ridge winds were moderate to strong SW all day. Cloud cover was20-30% lenticular and cirrus with a classic Chinook Arch to the east for most of the day. Despite excellent observing conditions only 10 migrants were recorded including 9 Golden Eagles (4a, 2sa, 3j) that moved along the Fisher Range between 1236 and 1717, and 1 adult light calurus Red-tailed Hawk that moved south above the western ridges. Other birds recorded were a drumming Ruffed Grouse, 2 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 2 Yellow-rumped Warblers and notably late records of single Tennessee Warbler and female Western Tanager.

11 hours (57.5) RTHA 1 (4), GOEA 9 (54) TOTAL 10 (109)

 

September 25 [Day 6] (Cliff Hansen, assisted by Dan Parliament) It was another warm day with a temperature of 7C at 0720, a high of 18.5C at 1500 and 12C at 1920 when observation ended. Ground winds were S-SW 20-25 gusting 40 km/h to 1000, then SW 5-20 gusting 25 km/h to 1900 after which they were light, while ridge winds were very strong all day, SW to 1300 then SSW for the rest of the day. Cloud cover was 20-50% cumulus and cirrus to 1600 and then 100% cumulus and stratus for the rest of the day, with steady rain falling after 1700. Despite the high winds there was a reasonable raptor movement of 32 birds of 7 species between 0949 and 1817 most of which moved above the Fisher Range. The count was 2 adult Bald Eagles, 7 Sharp-shinned Hawks (3a, 1j, 3u), 1 unaged Cooper’s Hawk, 1 unidentified large Accipiter, 1 adult dark calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 2 unidentified Buteos (which may have been Broad-winged Hawks), 14 Golden Eagles (2a, 1sa, 3j, 8u), 3 unaged Peregrine Falcons and 1 Prairie Falcon both of which were firsts for the season. The busiest hour was 10-11 when 6 migrants passed. Other birds included 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 206 American Robins, 100 White-winged Crossbills and 245 Pine Siskins.

12 hours (69.5) BAEA 2 (2), SSHA 7 (43), COHA 1 (3), UA 1 (2), RTHA 1 (5), UB 2 (2), GOEA 14 (68), PEFA 3 (3), PRFA 1 (1) TOTAL 32 (141)

 

September 26 [Day 7] (Jim Davis, assisted by Ruth Morrow) Steady rain fell for most of the morning so observation didn’t start until 1100 when it was 4C and the ridges began to clear. The temperature rose to 11C at 1600 and was 8C at 1930. It was calm to 1300 and subsequently ground winds increased to 20 gusting 36 km/h, variable to 1600 then consistently SW, while ridge winds were SW all day, assessed as light to 1400, moderate to 1800 and then strong for the rest of the day. Cloud cover was 100% stratus to 1200, 50% cumulus at 1300 then 30% cumulus for the rest of the day. The ridges finally cleared after 1300. The day’s first migrant was a Northern Goshawk at 1226 and the second was the season’s first Gyrfalcon, a dark morph) at 1242 which flew south down the centre of the valley at tree top height. The first Golden Eagle was seen at 1340 and was followed by a steady stream of migrants dominated by Golden Eagles that peaked between 1600 and 1700 at 27 birds (2 Bald and 25 Golden Eagles). When the final Golden Eagle was seen at 1903 a season-high total of 99 migrants of 7 species had been counted including a season-high 82 Golden Eagles. No birds were located over Mount Lorette and most were picked up for the first time over the northern end of the Fisher Range where about 30% of them soared before moving high and fast down the range. The count comprised a season-high 6 Bald Eagles (4a, 2sa), 1 adult female Northern Harrier, 4 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 3u), 3 adult Northern Goshawks, 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk (the first of the season), 1 dark morph unidentified Buteo, 82 Golden Eagles (54a, 1sa, 6j, 21u) and 1 dark morph Gyrfalcon. Other bird species noted included 5 Yellow-rumped Warblers, 10 Dark-eyed Juncos, 40 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches, 6 Pine Grosbeaks, 2 juvenile Red Crossbills and a total of 77 crossbills flying south in four mixed flocks of Red and White-winged birds. The 37 visitors to the site was also a new high for the season.

8.5 hours (78) BAEA 6 (8), NOHA 1 (3), SSHA 4 (47), NOGO 3 (9), RLHA 1 (1), UB 1 (3), GOEA 82 (150), GYRF 1 (1) TOTAL 99 (240)

 

September 27 [Day 8] (Bill Wilson) The temperature at 0650 was -4C but fell to-5C at 0800 before rising to the day’s high of 11C at 1630 and was 7C at 1945 when observation ended. Ground winds were variable 0-5 km/h to 0900 and subsequently WSW 2-10 gusting 30 km/h for the rest of the day; ridge winds were moderate WSW to 1000 and then WNW moderate to strong to 1100 and WNW light to moderate for the rest of the day. The sky was cloudless to 1300 after which 60-80 cumulus developed for the rest of the day. The first migrant was a Merlin at 0908 and the first Golden Eagle occurred at 0940 followed by a fairly steady migration of 48 birds of which 44 were Golden Eagles. All birds moved on the eastern route although none were seen over Mount Lorette and a few were picked up for the first time over Mount McDougall at the southern end of the Fisher Range. The last bird moved at 1854 and the busiest hours were 1000-1100 (1 Northern Goshawk and 8 Golden Eagles) and 1100-1200 (8 Golden Eagles). The flight was 1 subadult Bald Eagle, 1 unaged Northern Goshawk, 44 Golden Eagles (24a, 1sa, 7j, 12u), 1 unaged and unsexed columbarius Merlin and I unidentified raptor. Two Great Horned Owls were duetting in the early morning, and other birds recorded were 1 Belted Kingfisher, 36 American Robins, 1 Varied Thrush, 37 Common Ravens, 5 Yellow-rumped Warblers, 27 Red Crossbills and 110 Pine Siskins. Two Mountain Goats were located on Mount McDougall, and the only other mammals recorded were the 26 visitors to the site.

12.92 hours (90.92) BAEA 1 (9), NOGO 1 (10), GOEA 44 (194), MERL 1 (3) UU 1 (1) TOTAL 48 (288)

 

September 28 [Day 9] (Terry Waters, assisted by Diane Stinson and Jennifer Waters) The temperature was -5C at 0745, reached a high of 15C at 1700 and was still 13C at the end of observation at 1845. Ground winds were SW to variable 5-10 km/h all day, and because of the complete lack of cloud ridge winds could not be assessed. It was again a steady day of migration with 36 birds of 6 species moving steadily between 0904 and 1805, the flight comprising 1 juvenile Bald Eagle, 1 adult female Northern Harrier, 6 Sharp-shinned Hawks (3a, 1j, 2u), 2 Northern Goshawks (1a, 1u), 1 unidentified small Accipiter, 24 Golden Eagles (7a, 2sa, 3j, 12u) and 1 adult male columbarius Merlin. Once again the Golden Eagles were all initially located above the Fisher Range and none were seen at Mount Lorette. Other birds seen included 6 Boreal Chickadees, 1 American Dipper, 3 Mountain Bluebirds, 100 American Robins, 1 Savannah Sparrow, 12 Dark-eyed Juncos, 100 Red Crossbills, 300 White-winged Crossbills and 80 Pine Siskins.

11 hours (101.9) BAEA 1 (10), NOHA 1 (4), SSHA 6 (53), NOGO 2 (12), UA 1 (3), GOEA 24 (218), MERL 1 (4) TOTAL 36 (324)

 

September 29 [Day 10] (Brian McBride, assisted by Cliff Hansen) A cool start to the day with a temperature of -5C at 0730, which rose to a pleasant 17C from 1500 to 1700 and was 11C at 2000. Ground winds were variable 0-5 km/h all day and ridge winds could not be assessed but appeared to also be light. The sky was cloudless to 1000 when a trace of altocumulus developed and by noon there was 30% lenticular, altocumulus and altostratus which gradually increased to 70 % by 1800 before reducing to 50% at the end of the day. An unidentified eagle was seen at 0750 but the first Golden Eagle was not identified until 1230. When the last Golden Eagle was noted at 1940, however, a remarkable total of 305 raptors had been counted which included 282 Golden Eagles both totals being records for a September count at the site. The previous high Golden Eagle counts were 244 on September 27, 2004 and 197 on September 29, 1993. Movement in the afternoon was steady with the hourly counts being 12-1300 (26), 13-1400 (49), 14-1500 (37), 15-1600 (44), 16-1700 (44), 17-1800 (39), 18-1900 (50) and 19-1940 (25). All the eagles were first located at the northern end of the Fisher Range where they usually soared with up to 10 birds in a kettle, before gliding high to the SE above the Fisher Range. The total count was 4 Bald Eagles (3a, 1j), 14 Sharp-shinned Hawks (3a, 11u), which equals the highest count so far this season, 1 unaged Cooper’s Hawk, 2 small unidentified Accipiters, 1 unidentified dark Buteo, 282 Golden Eagles (126a, 23sa, 65j, 68u) and 1 unidentified eagle. Other birds recorded included 10 Grey Jays, 30 American Robins, 30 Bohemian Waxwings, 75 White-winged Crossbills, 8 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches and 37 Pine Siskins. Between 1915 and 1945 a Barred Owl sang persistently to the east of the river.

12.5 hours (114.4) BAEA 4 (14), SSHA 14 (67), COHA 1 (4), UA 2 (5), UB 1 (4) GOEA 282 (500), UE 1 (1)

 

September 30 [Day 11] (Cliff Hansen, assisted by Kevin Barker) The temperature at 0800 was -4C but rose to a high of 19C at 1600 and was 12C at the end of observation at 1930. Ground winds were variable 0-5 km/h all day, while ridge winds were probably light to moderate W after 1600. It was essentially cloudless all day except between 1600 and 1800 when a trace of cumulus developed over Mount Lorette. The first migrant was a small Accipiter at 0801 and the first Golden Eagle was seen at 0804. Thirteen birds moved before noon and the pace quickened in the afternoon with 81 birds (77 Golden Eagles) recorded between 1400 and 1700, and the last Golden Eagle moved at 1905. The flight of 124 migrant raptors comprised 6 Sharp-shinned Hawks (3a, 3u), 2 adult Northern Goshawks, 1 small unidentified Accipiter, 1 adult light morph Ferruginous Hawk (the first for the season), 111 Golden Eagles (39a, 4sa, 38j, 30u), 2 unidentified eagles and 1 Prairie Falcon. Up to 1600 the eagles moved from Lorette to the Fisher Range, but between 1600 and 1800 when traces of cloud developed over Lorette the birds soared very high there and moved south over the centre of the valley; when the cloud disappeared they resumed moving from Lorette to the Fisher Range. A resident goshawk was conspicuous on several occasions in the morning and a non-migratory Merlin hunted migrant passerines near the site. These birds included 2 Red-breasted Nuthatches, 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 32 White-winged Crossbills and 78 Pine Siskins.

12 hours (126.4) SSHA 6 (73), NOGO 2 (14), UA 2 (6), FEHA 1 (1), GOEA 111 (611), UE 2 (2), PR 1 (2)

 

September summary A total of 11 days (126.4 hours) were spent at the site between September 20 and 30, the days and hours being 2.2% and 6.3% above average respectively [NOTE the average is for counts at the site between 1993 and 2014 excluding 1997 (count at Plateau Mountain), 2002 (short count), and 2006-8 (anomalously low counts)]. The combined species total of 753 is 55.7% above average and is the third highest September count for the period at the site, the highest being 1241 in 1993 and the second highest 1149 in 2004. The Golden Eagle count of 611 is also the third highest and 75.4% above average, the highest being 1004 in 1993 and the second highest 954 in 2004. Other species occurring in above average numbers were Sharp-shinned Hawk 73 (+33.7%), Northern Goshawk 14 (+112.5%), Ferruginous Hawk 1 (+325%), Merlin 4 (+38.8%), Gyrfalcon 1 (+466.7%), Peregrine Falcon 3 (+82.1%) and Prairie Falcon 2 (+277.8%). Species occurring in below average numbers were Turkey Vulture 0 (-100%), Osprey 0 (-100%), Bald Eagle 14 (-24.2%), Northern Harrier 4 (-20.9%), Cooper’s Hawk 4 (-67%), Broad-winged Hawk 1 (-56.4%), Swainson’s Hawk 0 (-100%), Red-tailed Hawk 5 (-73.6%), Rough-legged Hawk 1 (-45.2%) and American Kestrel 1 (-34.6%).

SUMMARY, MOUNT LORETTE, FALL 2015
DAYS 11
HOURS 126.4

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 14
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 4
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 73
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 4
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 14
Unidentified Accipiter (UA) 5
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 5
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 1
Unidentified Buteo (UB) 5
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 611
Unidentified eagle (UE) 3
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 1
MERLIN (MERL) 4
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 3
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2
Unidentified Falco (UF) 0
Unidentified raptor (UU) 1

TOTAL 753

 

October 1 [Day 12] (George Halmazna, assisted By Dan and Cindy Parliament) It was another warm day with a low of -2 at 0715 rising to 17.5C at 1600 and it was still 14C at 1900. Ground winds were very light SW in the morning and N-NE 15 gusting to 25 km/h in the afternoon, while ridge winds were probably light to moderate SW. Cloud cover was 10% cirrostratus at 0700 that gradually increased to 90% cirrus, cirrostratus and altostratus between 1700 and 1900. It was another good day of raptor movement with 228 birds of 10 species migrating between 0817 and 1737: 1 adult Bald Eagle, 2 Northern Harriers (1 adult female and 1 juvenile), 98 Sharp-shinned Hawks (18a, 2j, 78u) (which is by far the highest ever single-day count at the site, the previous high being 47 on October 1, 1993), 2 Cooper’s hawks (1j, 1u), 4 Northern Goshawks (3a, 1j), 7 dark morph Red-tailed Hawks (calurus 2a, 1j; harlani 1j; and 3u of unknown subspecies), 110 Golden Eagles (66a, 11sa, 33j), 2u columbarius Merlins, 1u Peregrine Falcon and 1juvenile Prairie Falcon. The first Golden Eagle was not seen until 1114 and by noon only 15 migrants had been recorded. Until 1300 birds moved on the western route and subsequently all movement was on the eastern route from Mount Lorette to the Fisher Range with most birds moving near the ridge top. Peak movement was between 1300 and 1500. Most of the Sharp-shinned Hawks were seen flying with or close to Golden Eagles along the Fisher Range, often in groups of 3 or 4 birds, and one group of 3 had 2 birds that interacted with each other, including talon-grabbing, as they flew. Other birds seen included 2 Clark’s Nutcrackers, 1 Golden-crowned Kinglet, 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 14 American Robins, 1 Varied Thrush, 4 Dark-eyed Juncos, 83 White-winged Crossbills and 256 Pine Siskins. The mammal highlight was 2 beavers seen in the river at 1817.

12 hours (138.4) BAEA 1 (15), NOHA 2 (6), SSHA 98 (171), COHA 2 (6), NOGO 4 (18), RTHA 7 (12), GOEA 110 (721), MERL 2 (6), PEFA 1 (4), PRFA 1 (3) TOTAL 228 (981)

SUMMARY, MOUNT LORETTE, FALL 2015
DAYS 12
HOURS 138.4

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 15
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 6
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 171
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 6
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 18
Unidentified Accipiter (UA) 5
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 12
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 1
Unidentified Buteo (UB) 5
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 721
Unidentified eagle (UE) 3
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 1
MERLIN (MERL) 6
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 4
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 3
Unidentified Falco (UF) 0
Unidentified raptor (UU) 1

TOTAL 981

 

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) The Steeples Range is situated west of the Hamlet of Wasa in the Rocky Mountain Trench. The site monitors the movement of raptor species migrating along the western flanks of the Rocky Mountains. If you are interested in helping at this count call Vance at 250-422-3048.

September 20 [Day 1] (Vance Mattson) 1300-1500 It was a warm day with a high of 21C, but almost 100% altostratus and cumulus cloud cover partially obscured the ridges. Winds were strong S and light rain began at 1500. Not surprisingly no migrants were seen, but a resident Golden Eagle was seen flying north.

2 hours No migrants TOTAL = 0

September 21 No observation

September 22 [Day 2] (Vance Mattson) The weather was calm and sunny, but no migrants were seen.

3 hours (5) No migrants TOTAL = 0

September 23 No observation

September 24 No observation

September 25 No observation

September 26 [Day 3] (Vance Mattson) 1400-1700 It was a pleasant sunny day with a temperature of 18C, moderate W winds and 40% cumulus cloud cover. A total of 17 migrants were seen: 1 Osprey, 6 Bald Eagles (4a, 2j), 2 Northern Harriers (1a female, 1j), 6 Sharp-shinned Hawks (2a, 2j, 2u), 1a light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk and 1a Golden Eagle.

3 hours (8) OSPR 1, BAEA 6, NOHA 2, SSHA 6, RTHA 1, GOEA 1 TOTAL 17

September 27 [Day4] (Vance Mattson) 1300-1700 It was a sunny cloudless day with a temperature of 16C and calm to light W winds. Eight migrants were seen: 2 Ospreys, 5 Bald Eagles (1a, 3sa, 1j) and 1 adult Sharp-shinned Hawk.

4 hours (12) OSPR 2 (3), BAEA 5 (11), SSHA 1 (7) TOTAL 8 (25)

September 28 No observation

September 29 [Day5] (Vance Mattson) 1400-1600 It was again a sunny cloudless day with a temperature of 21 C and calm to light W winds. No migrants were seen.

2 hours (14) No migrants TOTAL = 25

September 30 No observation

Steeples, October 1 No observation

October 2 [Day 13] (Joel Duncan, assisted by Dan Parliament and Cliff Hansen) It was another pleasant day with the temperature rising to a high of 17C at 1500 from a low of -4C at 0730, and it was still 16C at 1800 at the end of observation. Ground winds were very light SW to 1300, then NE 2-5 gusting to 14 km/h, while ridge winds appeared to be generally light and mirrored the lower wind directions. It was cloudless to 1000 after which cirrus cloud developed to 1500, which was then replaced by 30% cumulus that gradually thickened to 100% stratocumulus at 1730 producing rain that became heavy at 1800. The ridges remained clear but after 1730 the clouds hovered just above the ridge lines. The first migrant was a Golden Eagle at 0915 and the last bird was an unidentified eagle at 1659. The day’s count of 83 birds comprised 2 Bald Eagles (1sa, 1j), 4 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 3u), 1 unidentified small Accipiter, 4 Red-tailed Hawks (3 a light morph calurus and 1 adult dark morph harlani), 1 dark unidentified Buteo, 68 Golden Eagles (42a, 5sa, 6j, 15u), 2 unidentified eagles and 1 unidentified large falcon that flew fast to the SE above the Fisher Range ridge. Fifty-one of the migrants moved between 1000 and 1300 after which the flow gradually diminished with most birds moving from Lorette to the Fisher Range with much soaring and flapping flight in the light winds. Other birds recorded included 2 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 38 American Robins, 15 Bohemian Waxwings, the season’s first Lapland Longspur, 1 Yellow-rumped Warbler, 14 White-winged Crossbills and 2 Pine Siskins. A Mountain Goat spent some time at the northern end of the Fisher Range, and 17 people visited the site during the day. 10.5 hours (148.9) BAEA 2 (17), SSHA 4 (175), US 1 (7), RTHA 4 (16), UB 1 (5), GOEA 68 (789), UF 1 (1), TOTAL 83 (1064)

Steeples, October 2 [Day 6] (Vance Mattson, assisted by Virginia Rasch and Peter Davidson of the Rocky Mountain Naturalists) 1400-1730 The temperature high was 21C, winds were calm or light W and it was initially cloudless but by 1730 cloud cover was 90% altostratus, cumulus and cirrus. A total of 18 birds were counted as migrants comprising 16 Bald Eagles (5a, 3sa, 8j), 1 adult Sharp-shinned Hawk and 1 adult Golden Eagle, with 14 of the birds occurring before 1500. The picture was confused by the presence of 11 apparently non-migrating Bald Eagles (5a, 1sa, 5j) that headed north at various times during the observation period. Kokanee Salmon are spawning at the moment and the movement may reflect birds moving to feeding areas. Only southward-bound birds were considered to be migrants. A non-migrant Sharp-shinned Hawk was seen hunting the area on three occasions and an American Kestrel flew low near the site.

3.5 hours (17.5) BAEA 16 (27), SSHA 1 (8), GOEA 1 (2) TOTAL 18 (43)

 

October 3 [Day 14] (Jim Davis) Fog, drizzle and snow prevented observation until 1900, although the snow persisted to 1130, the drizzle to 1320 and the fog remained all day revealing only the lowest quarter of the ridges at best. The starting temperature was -2C which “rose” to -1C at 1200 and remained there for the rest of the day. It was calm to 1300 after which the wind was N 10 km/h and for obvious reasons the ridge winds could not be assessed. Remarkably, considering the conditions, Jim saw 9 migrant raptors between 0948 and 1341: 2 adult female Northern Harriers, 2 juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawks, 1 juvenile Golden Eagle, 3a columbarius Merlins (1 male and 2 females) and 1 juvenile Prairie Falcon. All the birds flew low to the south near the river with the exception of the Golden Eagle which soared low and drifted to the south above the western side of the valley. Other birds recorded were 1 Canada Goose, 2 drumming Ruffed Grouse, 1 Belted Kingfisher, 5 Common Ravens, 6 Black-capped Chickadees, 3 male Mountain Bluebirds, 10 American Robins, 2 Varied Thrushes, 1 Orange-crowned Warbler, 3 Yellow-rumped Warblers, 1 Dark-eyed [cismontanus] Junco, 8 Pine Grosbeaks and 115 crossbills of both species that flew to the south in 4 mixed flocks. Despite the conditions a total of 24 visitors came to the site during the day.

7 hours (155.9) NOHA 2 (8), SSHA 2 (177), GOEA 1 (790), MERL 3 (9), PRFA 1 (4) TOTAL 9 (1073)

 

Steeples, October 3 [Day 7] (Vance Mattson) 1300-1700 It was a cloudy and calm day with 70-100% cumulus and dark altostratus that partially obscured the ridges for most of the day, and the temperature was 12-14C. The conditions resulted in the birds moving low with slow soaring flight and a fair amount of flapping, but the day produced a season-high total of 21 migrants although the dark clouds made aging of the birds difficult. The flight was 8 Bald Eagles (4a, 1sa, 3j), 5u Sharp-shinned Hawks, 2 Red-tailed Hawks (1a light morph calurus and 1u) and 6 Golden Eagles (5a, 1u) which is also the highest count so far this season. All the birds moved before 1530, and unlike yesterday only 1 non-migrant bird, an adult Bald Eagle, moved to the north.

4 hours (21.5) BAEA 8 (35), SSHA 5 (13), RTHA 2 (3), GOEA 6 (8) TOTAL 21 (64)

SUMMARY, MOUNT LORETTE, FALL 2015
DAYS 14
HOURS 155.9

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 17
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 8
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 177
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 6
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 18
Unidentified Accipiter (UA) 7
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 16
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 1
Unidentified Buteo (UB) 5
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 790
Unidentified eagle (UE) 5
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 1
MERLIN (MERL) 9
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 4
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 4
Unidentified Falco (UF) 1
Unidentified raptor (UU) 1

TOTAL 1073

 

October 4 [Day 15] (Bill Wilson, assisted by Ruth Morrow) The temperature was -3C at 0800, rose to a high of 5C at 1600 and fell to -2C when observation ended at 1935. Ground winds were variable and generally light apart from around 1700 when they gusted to 16 km/h, and ridge winds were unknown until 1300 after which they were mainly light W. All ridges were completely obscured to 1300 under low stratus cloud which gradually lifted into the afternoon. The eastern route was 80-100% obscured to 1700, 10% at 1800, 70% at 1900 and was again 100% obscured at the end of observation, while the western ridges followed a similar pattern. Despite the weather conditions a total of 26 migrants were counted between 1236 and 1847 comprising 4 Bald Eagles (2a, 1sa, 1j), 2 adult Sharp-shinned Hawks, 2 Northern Goshawks (1j, 1u), 1 unidentified small Accipiter, 2 Rough-legged Hawks (1 light, 1 dark) and 15 Golden Eagles (7a, 2sa, 4j, 2u). Peak hourly movement was 6 birds from 1400 to 1500 and again from 1500 to 1600. Most birds initially moved fairly low above the valley below the cloud, and when the eastern route began to clear birds moving along the Fisher Range ridge often flew into cloud and were lost. Other birds recorded included a migrating flock of Tundra Swans at 0732, 123 Canada Geese in several flocks, 13 Common Mergansers, 1 unidentified white-headed gull, 2 Great Horned Owls duetting at 0720, 1 Belted Kingfisher, 83 American Robins, 1 Varied Thrush, 4 Dark-eyed Juncos and 1 White-winged Crossbill.

12.16 hours (168.1) BAEA 4 (21), SSHA 2 (179), NOGO 2 (20), UA 1 (8), RLHA 2 (3), GOEA 15 (805) TOTAL 26 (1099)

Steeples, October 4 [Day 8] (Vance Mattson, assisted by Virginia Rasch) 1230-1730 It was a sunny day with the temperature reaching 16C, and conditions were mainly calm with a sky of 10-80% altocumulus cloud. Conditions were favourable both for migration and observation with many birds soaring high for prolonged periods before moving south. A season-high total of 30 migrants were counted with season-high counts recorded for both Bald and Golden Eagles. The count was 15 Bald Eagle (5a, 2sa, 8j), 3 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1j, 2u), 1 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 10 Golden Eagles (9a, 1j) and the season’s first American Kestrel, a female. Twenty of the birds moved before 1430 and the last bird, a Bald Eagle, occurred at 1545. Once again non-migratory Bald Eagles (1a, 8j) moved to the N or E throughout the period, and 2 resident adult Golden Eagles were also present.

5 hours (26.5) BAEA 15 (50), SSHA 3 (16), RTHA 1 (4), GOEA 10 (18), AMKE 1 (1) TOTAL 30 (94)

October 5
[Day 16] (Terry Waters, assisted by Jennifer Waters) The starting temperature at 0815 was -4C, rose to a high of 9C at 1500 and was still 8C at 1845. Ground winds were NE all day, light to 1300 then 5-15 gusting 20 km/h for the rest of the day, while ridge winds were probably NW moderate to strong all day. It was cloudless to 1800 after which cirrus developed that reached 80% from 1500 to the end of the day. The ridges were mainly clear all day except for a brief minor shrouding of the western route around noon. All of the 109 migrants that moved between 1005 and 1745 used the eastern route with most birds being initially detected over the northern end of the Fisher Range where most soared high before gliding high to the SE. The exceptions were 6 Bald Eagles that were located over Mount Lorette and moved south above the valley, and a single Golden Eagle Eagle that followed the same route. The flight comprised 6 Bald Eagles (3a, 3j), 6 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 5u), 1 adult Cooper’s Hawk, 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 2 adult calurus Red-tailed Hawks (1 light, 1 rufous) and 93 Golden Eagles (68a, 16sa, 9j, 6u). Only four migrants were seen before 1300 but each subsequent hourly count involved between 26 and 15 birds. Other birds seen included a large white-headed Gull (possibly a Herring Gull), 2 Boreal Chickadees 1 Red-breasted Nuthatch and 6 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches.

10.5 hours (178.6) BAEA 6 (27), SSHA 6 (185), COHA 1 (7), NOGO 1 (21), RTHA 2 (18), GOEA 93 (898) TOTAL 109 (1208)

Steeples, October 5 No observation

October 6
[Day 17] (Brian McBride, assisted by Cliff Hansen) It was a much warmer day than the last few with the temperature rising to a high of 16C at 1600 from a low of -2, and was 10C at 1900 when observation ceased. Ground winds were mainly W less than 5 km/h all day, while ridge winds could not be determined but were probably mainly light. Cloud cover was 60-70% altostratus and altocumulus all day that became 100% after 1700. As yesterday all migrants used the eastern route with most birds being detected at the northern end of the Fisher Range; unlike yesterday birds moved either in the face of the ridge or just above the ridge. Only 3 birds were initially detected over Mount Lorette. The total of 166 migrants recorded between 0840 and 1846 was the 3rd highest count of the season and comprised 1 adult Bald Eagle, 1 adult female Northern Harrier, 1 juvenile Cooper’s Hawk, 1 dark adult calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 157 Golden Eagles (74a, 13sa, 29j, 41u), which is the second highest count of the season, and 1 unidentified eagle. The busiest hour was 1400-1500 with 45 migrants, 42 of which were Golden Eagles and both 1100-1200 and 1700-1800 saw the passage of 24 raptors. Other birds recorded included 8 Black-capped Chickadees, 8 Mountain Chickadees, 3 American Robins and 13 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches.

11.5 hours (190.1) BAEA 1 (28), NOHA 1 (9), SSHA 4 (189), COHA 1 (8), RTHA 1 (19) GOEA 157 (1055), UE 1 (6) TOTAL 166 (1374)

Steeples, October 6 [Day 9] (Vance Mattson) 1400-1700 It was also warm at Steeples where the temperature reached 18C, conditions were either clam or light E and cloud cover was 30-100% altocumulus and altostratus. Movement was already underway when Vance arrived but it was not sustained and only 9 migrants were recorded, all of which soared low for extended periods before flapping to the south. The count was 3 Bald Eagles (1a, 2sa), 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk and 5 Golden Eagles (2a, 2j, 1u). The last bird, a subadult Bald Eagle, moved south at 1633.

3 hours (29.5) BAEA 3 (53), SSHA 1 (17), GOEA 5 (23) TOTAL 9 (103)

SUMMARY, MOUNT LORETTE, FALL 2015
DAYS 17
HOURS 190.1

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 28
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 9
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 189
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 8
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 21
Unidentified Accipiter (UA) 8
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 19
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 3
Unidentified Buteo (UB) 5
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1055
Unidentified eagle (UE) 6
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 1
MERLIN (MERL) 9
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 4
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 4
Unidentified Falco (UF) 1
Unidentified raptor (UU) 1

TOTAL 1374

 

October 6 [Day 17] (Brian McBride, assisted by Cliff Hansen) It was a much warmer day than the last few with the temperature rising to a high of 16C at 1600 from a low of -2, and was 10C at 1900 when observation ceased. Ground winds were mainly W less than 5 km/h all day, while ridge winds could not be determined but were probably mainly light. Cloud cover was 60-70% altostratus and altocumulus all day that became 100% after 1700. As yesterday all migrants used the eastern route with most birds being detected at the northern end of the Fisher Range; unlike yesterday birds moved either in the face of the ridge or just above the ridge. Only 3 birds were initially detected over Mount Lorette. The total of 167 migrants recorded between 0840 and 1846 was the 3rd highest count of the season and comprised 1 adult Bald Eagle, 1 adult female Northern Harrier, 1 juvenile Cooper’s Hawk, 1 dark adult calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 158 Golden Eagles (75a, 13sa, 29j, 41u), which is the second highest count of the season, and 1 unidentified eagle. The busiest hour was 1400-1500 with 45 migrants, 42 of which were Golden Eagles and both 1100-1200 and 1700-1800 saw the passage of 24 raptors. Other birds recorded included 8 Black-capped Chickadees, 8 Mountain Chickadees, 3 American Robins and 13 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches.

11.5 hours (190.1) BAEA 1 (28), NOHA 1 (9), SSHA 4 (189), COHA 1 (8), RTHA 1 (19) GOEA 158 (1056), UE 1 (6) TOTAL 166 (1375)

SUMMARY, MOUNT LORETTE, FALL 2015
DAYS 17
HOURS 190.1

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 28
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 9
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 189
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 8
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 21
Unidentified Accipiter (UA) 8
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 19
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 3
Unidentified Buteo (UB) 5
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1056
Unidentified eagle (UE) 6
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 1
MERLIN (MERL) 9
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 4
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 4
Unidentified Falco (UF) 1
Unidentified raptor (UU) 1

TOTAL 1375

 

October 7 [Day 18] (Cliff Hansen, assisted by Kevin Barker) Warm conditions continued with a temperature of 4C at 0730 rising to a high at 1300 and 1400 of 13C and it was 11C at 1930. Ground winds were light S all day while ridge winds were W light to moderate. Cloud cover was cumulus and cirrostratus all day: 70% at 0730 and 80-90% after 1100, giving good observing conditions. Movement started early with 7 adult Golden Eagles appearing at 0759 and continued to be steady until 1922 when the last Golden Eagle was noted. The count was 13 Sharp-shinned Hawks (6a, 7u), 1 adult Cooper’s Hawk, 2 light calurus Red-tailed Hawks (1a, 1j), 111 Golden Eagles (53a, 2sa, 10j, 46u) and 1 adult Peregrine Falcon. All birds used the eastern route with movement becoming increasingly high towards evening. The hourly high count was1700-1800 with 20 migrants, 19 of which were Golden Eagles. At 1624 an adult Golden Eagle was persistently attacked by 2 Sharp-shinned Hawks as it moved above the northern end of the Fisher Range with the hawks striking the eagle’s wings on several occasions. Probably as an evasive action the eagle moved to the west across the valley, but continued to be pursued and harried by the hawks all the way to Hummingbird Plume Hill. There was a dearth of songbirds, but a single flock of 50 American Robins flying south and 1 Varied Thrush were noted. The day was shared by 40 visitors to the site from 2 schools.

12 hours (202.1) SSHA 13 (202), COHA 1 (9), RTHA 2 (21) GOEA 111 (1166), PEFA 1 (5) TOTAL 128 (1502)

Steeples, October 7 No observation

Vicki Ridge, October 7 (Peter Sherrington) On October 5 Gord Petersen observed between 1415 and 1435 on the ridge to the west of Vicki Ridge near the Shell Waterton 68 well site and noted 10 Golden Eagles moving south. The following day between 1415 and 1600 at the same site he recorded 40 Golden Eagles along with 1 Rough-legged Hawk, 2 American Kestrels and 8 unidentified raptors. On October 7 I was on Vicki Ridge between 1245 and 1630 where it was 16C with a W wind 15-20 gusting 30 km/h with a cloud cover of 90-100% altostratus, altocumulus and lenticular. Movement was fairly steady and 3.75 hours of observation produced 72 migrants: 2 Bald Eagles (1a, 1u), 15 Sharp-shinned Hawks (11a, 4u), 3u Cooper’s Hawks, 6 Northern Goshawks (3a, 1j, 1u), 8 calurus Red-tailed Hawks (7 light: 6a, 1u and 1 dark adult), 36 Golden Eagles (14a, 9sa, 11j, 2u), 2 American Kestrels (1 male, 1u) and 1u columbarius Merlin.

October 8 [Day 19] (Joel Duncan) The temperature at 0800 was -3C, rose to a high of 15C at 1300 and was still 13C when observation ended at 1930. Ground winds were light SW to 1700 after which they increased to 5-10 gusting to 23 km/h, while ridge winds were SW moderate to 1700 after which they became strong. Initial cloud cover was 10% cumulus which slowly increased to 70% at noon and after 1700 was 70-100% altostratus, stratocumulus and cirrus. The summits of the western peaks were periodically obscured, but all the raptor movement was on the eastern route. It was another steady day of movement with a total of 130 raptors seen between 0801 and 1837: 5 Bald Eagles (1a, 3sa, 1j), 4 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1j, 3u), 1 adult Cooper’s Hawk and 120 Golden Eagles (82a, 11sa, 3j, 24u). Only 10 birds were seen over Mount Lorette and most of the birds were initially located at the northern end of the Fisher Range. There was no soaring and the gliding flight again became increasingly higher towards evening. The peak hourly movement was 36 between 1700 and 1800 which included 34 Golden Eagles. Just after 0800 a flock of 40 Common Ravens soared high at the northern end of the Fisher Range before flying south, and other birds noted included 1 Wilson’s Snipe, 7 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 5 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, the season’s first Pacific Wren, 1 Yellow-rumped Warbler, 14 Red Crossbills and 5 White-winged Crossbills.

11.5 hours (213.6) BAEA 5 (33), SSHA 4 (206), COHA 1 (10), GOEA 120 (1286) TOTAL 130 (1632)

Steeples, October 8 [Day 10] (Vance Mattson) 1400-1700 The temperature was 18C with moderate SE winds becoming calm after 1600 and 100% altostratus and cumulus cloud cover. A total of 19 migrants were seen comprising 15 Bald Eagles (10a, 1sa, 3j, 1u), 2u Sharp-shinned Hawks, the season’s first Northern Goshawk (an adult), and 1a Golden Eagle at 1540. Ten of the Bald Eagles moved between 1500 and 1515.

3 hours (32.5) BAEA 15 (68), SSHA 2 (19), NOGO 1 (1), GOEA 1 (24) TOTAL 19 (122)

Piitaistakis-South Livingstone, October 8 (Doug and Teresa Dolman) 1100-1800 Doug and Teresa made their first visit of the season to the site where it was 10-12C, winds of 25 gusting 50 km/h from the W with a mix of sun and cloud that became more overcast towards the end of the day. They were rewarded with a movement of 188 raptors: 3 Bald Eagles, 10 Sharp-shinned Hawks, 2 Cooper’s Hawks, 1 Northern Goshawk, 3 Red-tailed Hawks, 1 Rough-legged Hawk and 168 Golden Eagles. Golden Eagle movement was very steady with hourly counts ranging from 19 to 29 birds throughout the count period.

Vicki Ridge, October 8 (Peter Sherrington) 1245-1545 It was a warm day with temperatures of 15-16C, strong W winds generally 30-40 gusting 50+ km/h and 90-100% cirrostratus, altostratus, altocumulus and cumulus cloud cover that progressively thickened. Movement was sporadic and became increasingly slower with only 40 birds seen: 1 adult female Northern Harrier, 20 adult Sharp-shinned Hawks, 1 adult Cooper’s Hawk, 2 Northern Goshawks (1a, 1j), 3 light morph Rough-legged Hawks and only 13 Golden Eagles 96a, 1sa, 6u). The Golden Eagle count included 5 birds soaring very distantly to the W of the ridges at 1405, and it appears that the stream of birds seen at Piitaistakis-South Livingstone to the north were moving well to the west of Vicky Ridge, probably in the vicinity of the Carbondale Ridge. By way of compensation the birds moving above Vicky Ridge were relatively low and good lighting conditions made age-identification easy.

SUMMARY, MOUNT LORETTE, FALL 2015
DAYS 19
HOURS 213.6

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 33
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 9
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 206
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 10
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 21
Unidentified Accipiter (UA) 8
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 21
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 3
Unidentified Buteo (UB) 5
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1286
Unidentified eagle (UE) 6
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 1
MERLIN (MERL) 9
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 5
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 4
Unidentified Falco (UF) 1
Unidentified raptor (UU) 1

TOTAL 1632

 

Vicki Ridge, October 8 (Peter Sherrington) 1245-1545 It was a warm day with temperatures of 15-16C, strong W winds generally 30-40 gusting 50+ km/h and 90-100% cirrostratus, altostratus, altocumulus and cumulus cloud cover that progressively thickened. Movement was sporadic and became increasingly slower with only 40 birds seen: 1 adult female Northern Harrier, 20 adult Sharp-shinned Hawks, 1 adult Cooper’s Hawk, 2 Northern Goshawks (1a, 1j), 3 light morph Rough-legged Hawks and only 13 Golden Eagles 96a, 1sa, 6u). The Golden Eagle count included 5 birds soaring very distantly to the W of the ridges at 1405, and it appears that the stream of birds seen at Piitaistakis-South Livingstone to the north were moving well to the west of Vicky Ridge, probably in the vicinity of the Carbondale Ridge. By way of compensation the birds moving above Vicky Ridge were relatively low and good lighting conditions made age-identification easy.

After returning to my house in Beaver Mines I checked out The “Big Hill’ across the valley to the SE which is often where raptors head after leaving Vicki Ridge. I didn’t see any eagles but at 1645 I was surprised to see 2 unaged Turkey Vultures soaring low on the NE flank of the hill. They then flew low to the SW where I lost them against the face of the hill. These are the first fall migrant Turkey Vultures that I have seen in the area, as well as being a very late record of the species in the province.

October 9 [Day 20] (George Halmazna, assisted by Dan Parliament) The temperature at 0700 was already13C, it rose to a high of 18C at 1400 and was still 16C at 1900. Ground winds were SW all day 10-20 gusting to 40 km/h in the afternoon, while ridge winds were strong SW all day. Cloud cover was initially 70% altostratus and altocumulus which increased to 100% after 1000 for the rest of the day. It was an excellent day of raptor movement with a total of 296 birds moving between 0745 and 1827, which is the second highest total count for the season so far. The total was dominated by 286 Golden Eagles (163a, 7sa, 63j, 53u) which is the highest count so far this season. The busiest hour was 55 Golden Eagles between 0800 and 0900 and strong movement persisted throughout the day. The birds were flying high to very high above the Fisher Range, but only 2 were seen to move from Mount Lorette. The conditions were very challenging for spotting and aging the birds, and some were so high that they disappeared into the base of the clouds. As is usual with high winds days other raptors were scarce and comprised 4 Bald Eagles (1a, 2sa, 1j), 1 juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 1 juvenile dark morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk and 3 Rough-legged Hawks (2 light and 1 dark). Passerine movement was dominated by 240 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches, and other birds noted included 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 1 American Robin, 1 Evening Grosbeak, 25 White-winged Crossbills, 4 Red Crossbills and 20 Pine Siskins. The 21 visitors to the site chose a good day to be there.

12 hours (225.6) BAEA 4 (37), SSHA 1 (207), NOGO 1 (22) RTHA 1 (22) RLHA 3 (6), GOEA 286 (1572) TOTAL 296 (1928)

Steeples, October 9 [Day 11] (Vance Mattson) 1230-1630 It was a warm day with the temperature reaching 21C, strong S-SE winds and a 100% altostratus and altocumulus cloud cover. There was only a meagre migration, however, involving 5 birds between 1235 and 1520: 2 Bald Eagles (1a, 1j), 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk and 2 juvenile Golden Eagles. A resident adult Red-tailed Hawk also hunted the area throughout the afternoon.

4 hours (36.5) BAEA 2 (70), SSHA 1 (20), GOEA 2 (26) TOTAL 5 (127)

Vicki Ridge, October 9 (Peter Sherrington) 1305-1625 Even on the ridge the temperature was 20C as the result of strong W winds that were steady 40-50 km/h and regularly gusted above 70 km/h. Overhead a huge dramatic Chinook Arch of altostratus cloud occupied most of the sky and made location of the few migrant raptors seem rather easy. Movement was sporadic with most birds migrating to the south high above the ridge or just to the west of it, and most were visibly buffeted by the strong winds. The bird of the day was a late Osprey that glided high to the south at 1427 with a small fish in its talons, presumably to eat when the bird went to roost for the night. Other birds were 2 adult Bald Eagles, 1 adult Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1 dark morph adult calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 3 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 8 Golden Eagles (4a, 1sa, 2j, 1u) and 1 adult male columbarius Merlin. As yesterday the main Golden Eagle movement was probably well to the west. A total of 287 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches in several flocks flew to the south, often passing through similar “flocks” of yellow aspen leaves that were moving fast to the east high above the ridge.

SUMMARY, MOUNT LORETTE, FALL 2015
DAYS 20
HOURS 225.6

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 37
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 9
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 207
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 10
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 22
Unidentified Accipiter (UA) 8
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 22
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 6
Unidentified Buteo (UB) 5
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1572
Unidentified eagle (UE) 6
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 1
MERLIN (MERL) 9
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 5
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 4
Unidentified Falco (UF) 1
Unidentified raptor (UU) 1

TOTAL 1928

 

October 10 [Day 21] (Jim Davis, assisted by Ruth Morrow) The temperature at 0800 was 15C, it fell to 14C at 1000, rose to a high of 16 at 1400 and was 15C when the count was ended because of heavy rain at 1610. Ground winds were 2-18 km/h; SW to 1000 and W for the rest of the day, while ridge winds were moderate and reflected the ground wind directions. Cloud cover was70-90% cumulus for much of the day except around noon when it dropped to 30-50%, and after 1600 when 100% stratus developed bringing heavy rain. Light rain also fell in the morning to 0900. All ridges were clear to 1500, the west was 100% obscured by 1600 when the east was 50% obscured. There was a fairly steady raptor migration between 0910 and 1515 with birds moving from Mount Lorette to the Fisher Range up to 1107, after which all birds were initially located above the northern end of the Fisher Range, from where they generally glided to the SE close to the ridge line. The count of 66 birds of 10 species comprised 4 Bald Eagles (1sa, 3j), 1 juvenile Northern Harrier, 5u Sharp-shinned Hawks, a season high 5 Cooper’s Hawks (3a, 1j, 1u), 4 Northern Goshawks (3a, 1j), 2 adult Broad-winged Hawks (1 light and 1 dark morph), 2 dark morph Rough-legged Hawks, 40 Golden Eagles (21a, 3sa, 7j, 9u), 1 undifferentiated Merlin and 2 adult Peregrine Falcons. The busiest hours were 19 birds between 1000 and 1100 and 14 between 1400 and 1500. Other birds recorded included a Common Loon flying to the SW, a Northern Pygmy-Owl calling south of the site, 1 American Robin, 1 Varied Thrush, 50 Bohemian Waxwings, 5 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches, 20 White-winged Crossbills, 4 Red Crossbills and 3 mixed flocks of crossbills totaling 123 birds, and a single flock of 35 Pine Grosbeaks. Sixty visitors came to the site today.

8.42 hours (234), BAEA 4 (41), NOHA 1 (10), SSHA 5 (212), COHA 5 (15), NOGO 4 (26), BWHA 2 (3), RLHA 2 (8), GOEA 40 (1612), MERL 1 (10), PEFA 2 (7) TOTAL 66 (1994)

Steeples, October 10 [Day 12] (Vance Mattson) 1230-1630 It was a warm day with a temperature of 20C, strong W-SW winds and a 60-100% cumulus and altocumulus cloud cover that produced gloomy conditions. Only 6 migrants were seen between 1255 and 1540 comprising 2 Bald Eagles (1a, 1u), the season’s first light morph Rough-legged Hawk and 3 Golden Eagles (1a, 2u). A juvenile Golden Eagle also moved low to the north over the site at the end of the day.

4 hours (40.5) BAEA 2 (72), RLHA 1 (1), GOEA 3 (29) TOTAL 6 (133)

Vicki Ridge, October 10 (Peter Sherrington and Raymond Toal) 1000-1630 It was another warm and windy day with a temperature of 18C, W winds 40-50 gusting to 70 km/h and 40-60% cumulus cloud cover which gave excellent observing conditions. There was a fairly persistent raptor movement along the ridge with only a few birds moving W of the ridge. The flight comprised 2 adult Bald Eagles, 28 Sharp-shinned Hawks (25a, 1j, 2u), 2 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks, 5 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 82 Golden Eagles (49a, 15sa, 18j), 1 undifferentiated eagle and 2 adult male Merlins (1 columbarius and 1 richardsoni). We were joined by 7 visitors who all enjoyed the spectacle, if not the wind.

Count to date: 6 days (18.66 hours) TUVU 2, OSPR 1, BAEA 6, NOHA 1, SSHA 64, COHA 4, NOGO 7, RTHA 11, RLHA 12, GOEA 189, UE 1, AMKE 4, MERL 4, UU 8 TOTAL 314

SUMMARY, MOUNT LORETTE, FALL 2015
DAYS 21
HOURS 234

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 41
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 10
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 212
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 15
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 26
Unidentified Accipiter (UA) 8
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 3
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 22
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 8
Unidentified Buteo (UB) 5
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1612
Unidentified eagle (UE) 6
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 1
MERLIN (MERL) 10
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 7
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 4
Unidentified Falco (UF) 1
Unidentified raptor (UU) 1

TOTAL 1994

 

October 11 [Day 22] (Bill Wilson) The temperature at 0650 was 6C, rose to a high at 1600 and 1700 of 10C and fell again to 6C at 1920 when observation ceased. Ground winds were SW 5-15 gusting 40 km/h to 1100, 10-20 gusting 40 km/h to 1500 and 5-15 gusting 30 km/h for the rest of the day, while ridge winds were strong W all day. Cloud cover was 100% stratus and cumulus to 0900, then 10-40% cumulus to 1400, briefly reaching 80% around 1300, then the rest of the day was essentially cloudless with traces of cumulus. The E route was clear all day except to 0900 when light to moderate rain produced 10% occlusion, while the W ridges were 60-100% obscured to 0900. 30% at 1000 and clear for the rest of the day. It was another fairly strong day of Golden Eagle movement with 106 birds (60a, 15j, 31u) moving between 0818 and 1841. Other raptors, however, were scarce and comprised 2u Sharp-shinned Hawks and 3 Northern Goshawks (1a, 2u). Movement was steady with each hour producing between 5 and 10 migrants with the exception of 1400-1500 when only 2 birds passed. All birds passed along the Fisher Range with most birds being initially located at the northern end of the Range, although on occasion birds were not seen until they passed over Mount McGillivray at the southern end of the range. Gliding flight became higher as the afternoon progressed. At 0938 mutually agonistic behaviour was observed between an adult Golden Eagle and a Common Raven over the northern end of the Fisher Range which lasted for about 2 minutes during which time they moved west to the east-central part of the valley. Hostilities then ceased and the eagle continued flying to the south. Other birds were also scarce and included 2 Common Loons that flew high to the SW at 1126, 7 white-headed gulls that flew south at 1811 and 27 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches in 2 flocks. The site received 32 visitors today.

12.5 hours (246.5) SSHA 2 (214), NOGO 3 (29), GOEA 106 (1718) TOTAL 111 (2105)

Steeples, October 11 [Day 13] (Vance Mattson) 1230-1830 It was a partly sunny day with a temperature of 16C, moderate to strong N-NE winds which later became S and W before becoming calm by the end, and 40-80% cumulus and altocumulus cloud cover. Six hours of observation produced a fall count high for the site with a total of 93 raptors moving between 1245 and 1820. The flight was a single-day site record 67 Bald Eagles (38a, 10sa, 16j, 3u), 9 Sharp-shinned Hawks (2a, 7u), 1a Cooper’s Hawk (which is considered to be a rare bird west of the Rockies), 7 calurus Red-tailed Hawks: 6 light morphs (5a, 1j) and 1j rufous morph, 1 light Rough-legged Hawk and 8a Golden Eagles. The highest hourly total were 27 between 1300 and 1400 and again between 1700 and 1800. The Cooper’s Hawk was aggressively mobbed by a resident Sharp-shinned Hawk as it flew to the south. It is interesting to note that October 11 last year also produced the highest daily total (67) and the highest daily Bald Eagle count (53).

6 hours (46.5) BAEA 67 (139), SSHA 9 (29) COHA 1 (1), RTHA 7 (11), RLHA 1 (2), GOEA 8 (37) TOTAL 93 (226)

Vicki Ridge, October 11 (Peter Sherrington) 1030-1500 Because of the very strong W winds I decided to watch from the Waterton 21 well site immediately west of the ridge. The temperature ranged from 10 to 15C, winds were west initially 40-50 gusting 100 km/h, but gusts subsequently diminished to 60-80 km/h, and cloud cover was 20-60% cumulus which produced excellent viewing conditions. Gord Petersen also observed from 1345-1445 near the Waterton 68 well site about 3km to the west where he saw 10 Golden Eagles (6a, 1sa, 3j) and 12u Sharp-shinned Hawks. I observed 73 migrants between 1045 and 1458 about half of which left Vicki Ridge just short of its southern end to glide high to the W or SW. The timing of these birds suggested, however, that they were not subsequently recorded by Gord. Because of the high winds all birds travelling down the ridge “crabbed” rather than glided, facing the west as they moved high to the south at impressive speeds. My count was 3 Bald Eagles (2a, 1j), 22 Sharp-shinned Hawks (16a, 6u), 6a calurus Red-tailed Hawks (5 light, 1 dark), a season high 24 Rough-legged Hawks (23 light, 1 dark), 16 Golden Eagles (6a, 4sa, 6j), 1 male American Kestrel and 1 adult male columbarius Merlin.

5.5 hours (24.16) combined count BAEA 3 (9), SSHA 34 (98), RTHA 6 (17), RLHA 24 (36), GOEA 26 (215), AMKE 1 (5), MERL 1 (5) TOTAL 95 (409)

October 12 [Day 23] (Terry Waters, assisted by Diane Stinson, Jennifer Waters and Patrick Farley) The temperature was 5C at 0730, rose to a high of 10C at 1200 and was 6C at 1830 when observation ceased. Ground winds were SW 10-20 gusting to 40 km/h by noon which diminished to 10 gusting 20 km/h in the afternoon. Cloud cover was initially 20% cirrus which thickened to 90% dark stratocumulus at 1500, later diminishing to 50%. The east was clear all day but the western mountains were 50% obscured after 1500. Observation conditions were excellent but the raptor movement was relatively slow with 48 birds seen between 0910 and 1758: 1 adult Bald Eagle, 1 adult male Northern Harrier, 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1a Cooper’s Hawk and 44 Golden Eagles (26a, 1sa, 2j, 15u). Only 2 birds were seen in the west, and all but 2 of the eagles were located at the northern end of the Fisher Range where they mainly moved to the SE in the face of the mountains. Almost half the movement (23 birds) occurred between 1200 and 1400. In the late afternoon a small group of ravens repeatedly harassed the eagles as they passed over the northern end of the Fisher Range. There was a strong movement of finch flocks low above the centre of the valley in the morning comprising 120 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches, 120 Red Crossbills, 70 White-winged Crossbills, 570 mixed crossbills and 80 Pine Siskins. Other birds included 3 adult Herring Gulls and 4 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, and there were 15 visitors to the site.

12 hours (258.5) BAEA 1 (42), NOHA 1 (11), SSHA 1 (215), COHA 1 (16), GOEA 44 (1762) TOTAL 48 (2153)

Steeples, October 12 [Day 14] (Vance Mattson) 1230-1630 The temperature was 12C, unlike the other side of the mountains it was completely calm, and cloud cover was 100% altostratus. In contrast to yesterday’s record count today produced only 2 migrants: 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk and 1a Golden Eagle, both of which were seen at 1305.

4 hours (50.5) SSHA 1 (30), GOEA 1 (38) TOTAL 2 (228)

Vicki Ridge, October 12 (Peter Sherrington) 1000-1530 Again because of high winds I observed from the Waterton 21 well site to the west of the ridge. Temperatures were 11-14C, winds were W-WSW 40-70 gusting 80-100 km/h, and cloud cover was 30-80% altostratus, altocumulus, lenticular and cirrus often changing rapidly like a kaleidoscope but usually giving excellent observing conditions. Movement was similar to that of yesterday with birds crabbing high above the ridge and about one-third moving off to the W or WSW. The first couple of hours saw steady movement of 20/hour but in the afternoon migration slowed and became increasingly sporadic. The final total of 73 was counted between 1009 and 1524 and comprised 1 adult Bald Eagle, 11 Sharp-shinned Hawks (8a, 3u), 2 Cooper’s Hawks (1a, 1u), 3 adult Northern Goshawks, 3 adult Red-tailed Hawks (2 calurus: 1 light, 1 dark; and 1 dark harlani), 7 light Rough-legged Hawks and 46 Golden Eagles (37a, 2sa, 6j, 1u).

5.5 HOURS (29.7) BAEA 1 (10), SSHA 11 (109), COHA 2 (6), NOGO 3 (10), RTHA 3 (20), RLHA 7 (43), GOEA 46 (261) TOTAL 73 (482)

SUMMARY, MOUNT LORETTE, FALL 2015
DAYS 23
HOURS 258.5

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 42
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 11
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 215
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 16
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 29
Unidentified Accipiter (UA) 8
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 3
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 22
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 8
Unidentified Buteo (UB) 5
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1762
Unidentified eagle (UE) 6
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 1
MERLIN (MERL) 10
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 7
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 4
Unidentified Falco (UF) 1
Unidentified raptor (UU) 1

TOTAL 2153

 

October 13 [Day 24] (Brian McBride, assisted by Cliff Hansen and James and Teresa Bannon) The temperature at 0730 was 5C but the low for the day was 3C at 1000 before a high of 12C was reached at 1600, and it was 7C at 1900 when observation ceased. Ground winds were light SSW to 1300, 5-10 gusting 25 km/h to 1700 and 5-10 km/h for the rest of the day, while ridge winds were W moderate to strong. Cloud cover was initially 30% altostratus and cumulus that increased to a maximum of 50% at 1200 which gradually diminished to cloudless conditions at the end of observation. Raptor movement was again fairly strong and persistent with 178 birds recorded between 0905 and 1852 with the highest hourly count of 40 between 1000 and 1100. The count was 4 Bald Eagles (3a, 1j), 10 Sharp-shinned Hawks (2a, 8u), 3 Cooper’s Hawks (2a, 1u), 1a Northern Goshawk, 2 small unidentified Accipiters, 1u Broad-winged Hawk, 1u Red-tailed Hawk, 1 dark Rough-legged Hawk, 5 unidentified Buteos, 147 Golden Eagles (95a, 7sa, 13j, 33u) and 3 unidentified eagles. Only 6 birds were seen to move from Mount Lorette to the Fisher Range and most birds were initially located at the northern end of the range where they moved either at ridge level or very high. The high nature of the flight and clear skies in the afternoon made identification and identification difficult with the Buteos being particularly tricky. Passerine movement was again dominated by finches comprising 88 crossbills in mixed flocks, 60 Pine Siskins and a total of 200 unidentified finches. Other birds noted included 1 Belted Kingfisher, 1 Blue Jay and 7 American Robins. A total of 15 people visited the site during the day.

11.5 hours (270) BAEA 4 (46), SSHA 10 (225), COHA 3 (19), NOGO 1 (30), UA 2 (10), BWHA 1 (4), RTHA 1 (23) RLHA 1 (9), UB 5 (10), GOEA 147 (1909) UE 3 (9) TOTAL 178 (2331)

Steeples, October 13 [Day 15] (Vance Mattson) 1400-1730 It was a sunny warm day with a temperature of 18C, calm conditions and up to 20% cumulus cloud cover. Only 3 migrants were observed: 1a Bald Eagle, 1a Sharp-shinned Hawk and 1j Golden Eagle.

3.5 hours (54) BAEA 1 (140), SSHA 1 (31), GOEA 1 (39) TOTAL 3 (231)

Vicki Ridge, October 13 (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Denise Cocciolone-Amatto, Raymond Toal and Keith McClary) 1000-1600 The wind appeared to have somewhat abated so we decided to watch from the ridge top, but the wind was still W-WSW 40-50 gusting 60 km/h which occasionally reached 70 km/h in the afternoon. The temperature was 11-15C and cloud cover was mainly 10-20% cumulus and altocumulus only reaching 40% cumulus, altocumulus and cirrus during the last hour of observation. Birds moved high, generally to the south with only a few birds today leaving the ridge to move W or WSW. Observation was easy when the limited cloud was situated to the north, but very challenging when it was elsewhere. Raptor movement was fairly strong, steady and varied with 135 birds of 10 species moving between 1023 and 1556. The count comprised 3 Bald Eagles (2a, 1j), 1j Northern Harrier, 48 Sharp-shinned Hawks (38a, 10u), 1u Cooper’s Hawk, 5 Northern Goshawks (3a, 2j), 1 unidentified small Accipiter, 1 juvenile light Broad-winged Hawk, 4a Red-tailed Hawks (2 calurus: 2 light, 1 dark, and 1 dark harlani), 10 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 57 Golden Eagles (37a, 8sa, 11j, 1u), 2 adult male columbarius Merlins, 1 unidentified eagle and 1 unidentified raptor.

On October 6 Denise Coccioloni-Amatto and Shirley Ensol were on the ridge from 1130 to 1530 where it warm with a 40 km/h SW wind. They observed a total of 93 migrant raptors comprising 7 Bald Eagles (3a, 4j), 11u Sharp-shinned Hawks, 3u Cooper’s Hawks, 2u Red-tailed Hawks and 70 Golden Eagles (48a, 4sa, 18j). These have been added to Gord Petersen’s count at the Waterton 68 site for that day and are included in the cumulative totals below.

6 hours (37.91) BAEA 3 (20), NOHA 1 (2), SSHA 48 (168), COHA 1 (10), NOGO 5 (15), UA 1 (1), BWHA 1 (1), RTHA 4 (26), RLHA 10 (53), GOEA 57 (388), UE 1 (2), MERL 2 (7) UU 1 (9) TOTAL 135 (710)

SUMMARY, MOUNT LORETTE, FALL 2015
DAYS 24
HOURS 270

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 46
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 11
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 225
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 19
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 30
Unidentified Accipiter (UA) 10
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 4
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 23
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 9
Unidentified Buteo (UB) 10
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1909
Unidentified eagle (UE) 9
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 1
MERLIN (MERL) 10
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 7
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 4
Unidentified Falco (UF) 1
Unidentified raptor (UU) 1

TOTAL 2331

 

October 14 [Day 25] (Cliff Hansen, assisted by Kevin Barker and Ed McCullough) The temperature at 0745 was -4C, rose to a high of 11C at 1600 and was 6C at 1930. Ground winds were light and variable all day 0-5 km/h with occasional SW gusts up to 25 km/h between 1200 and 1800, while ridge winds were probably moderate SW all day. It was cloudless to 1330 when thin altocumulus and cirrus cloud began to develop to the W that moved overhead between 1600 and 1800. Despite clear skies that made locating birds difficult a total of 79 migrant raptors were counted between 1006 and the late time of 1920. The flight comprised 3 Bald Eagles (1a, 1sa, 1j), 3 light morph Rough-legged Hawks and 73 Golden Eagles (43a, 3sa, 7j, 20u). Nearly all the birds were initially located high over the northern end of the Fisher Range where they generally soared high before gliding high above the ridge towards the SE, although between 1300 and 1700 several disappeared behind the southern end of the range. Other birds noted were 1 migrating Common Loon, 1 Northern Shrike, 1 Varied Thrush, 35 Horned Larks, 11 American Pipits, 30 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches, 32 White-winged Crossbills, 5 Red Crossbills and 32 Pine Siskins in addition to another 160 small unidentified passerines flying south. A single Clouded Sulphur butterfly was still hanging on to the summer. There were 47 visitors to the site including 36 students and staff from Canmore Collegiate High School, through a cooperation program with RMERF.

11.75 hours (281.8) BAEA 3 (49), RLHA 3 (12), GOEA 73 (1982) TOTAL 79 (1410)

Piitaistakis-South Livingstone, October 14 (Doug and Teresa Dolman) 1000-1500 It was a very windy and cool day with a temperature of 3-5 km/h. Five hours of observation yielded a disappointing total of 42 migrant raptors: 1 Northern Goshawk, 2 unidentified Accipiters, 1 Rough-legged Hawk and 38 Golden Eagles.

Steeples, October 14 No observation

Vicki Ridge, October 14 No observation (I was taking the Canmore High School group to the Mount Lorette site)

October 15 [Day 26] (Joel Duncan, assisted by Dermot Lane for 2 hours) It was a cool start to the day with a temperature at 0830 of -6C which rose to a high of 11C at 1600 and 1700 and was 4C at the end of observation at 1915. Ground winds were light S to 1300, the N 5-10 gusting to 20 km/h for the rest of the day, while ridge winds were probably SW light to moderate. The sky was cloudless to 1000 with a trace of cirrus, which reached 10% at 1100 and then gradually spread to 40% thin diffuse cirrus at 1800 and 1900. A total of 33 migrant raptors were counted between 1204 and 1759 with eagles moving from Mount Lorette to the Fisher Range to 1500, after which they were initially located at the northern end of the Fisher Range. The count of 33 migrant raptors was 5 adult Bald Eagles, 1 adult Sharp-shinned Hawk, 2 Rough-legged Hawks (1 light, 1 dark), 21 Golden Eagles (14a, 3sa, 2j, 2u), 1 unidentified eagle, and 3u columbarius Merlins. Eighteen of the birds moved between 1300 and 1500: 9 in each hour. In the afternoon eagles moved close to the ridge with mainly flapping flight. At 1628 two adult Golden Eagles brought the season’s total for the species to 2001 birds. Other birds noted were 2 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 12 American Robins, 1 Brown Creeper, 2 American Pipits, 33 White-winged Crossbills and 12 Pine Siskins. The 56 visitors to the site included two groups of 25 from the Fifth Dimension Hiking Club.

11.25 hours (293) BAEA 5 (54), SSHA 1 (226), RLHA 2 (14), GOEA 21 (2003), UE 1 (10), MERL 3 (13) TOTAL 33 (2443)

Steeples, October 15 (Vance Mattson) 1400-1800 It was a sunny calm day with a temperature of 12C and a thin 20% altocumulus cloud cover. The four-hour count produced 11 migrants comprising 1 late Osprey, 5 Bald Eagles (4a, 1j), and 5 Golden Eagles (4a, 1j). All but one bird moved after 1600 with the Osprey the last of the day at 1735. All birds soared high for extended periods before gliding south. Four adult Bald Eagles also moved north singly throughout the count period.

4 hours (58) OSPR 1 (4), BAEA 5 (145), GOEA 5 (44) TOTAL 11 (242)

Vicki Ridge, October 15 (Denise Cocciolone-Amatto and Raymond Toal) 1130-1600 Conditions were calm and many birds were moving well to the W of the ridge. The count was a rather disappointing 30 birds comprising 3 Bald Eagles (1a, 1sa, 1j), 1j Northern Harrier, 1j Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1 unidentified small Accipiter, 5 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 14 Golden Eagles (10a, 3sa, 1j) and 5 unidentified eagles which were distant silhouettes far to the west of the ridge.

4.5 hours (42.4) BAEA 3 (23), NOHA 1 (3), SSHA 1 (169), UA 1 (2), RLHA 5 (58), GOEA 14 (402), UE 5 (7) TOTAL 30 (740)

SUMMARY, MOUNT LORETTE, FALL 2015
DAYS 26
HOURS 293

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 54
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 11
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 226
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 19
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 30
Unidentified Accipiter (UA) 10
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 4
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 23
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 14
Unidentified Buteo (UB) 10
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2003
Unidentified eagle (UE) 10
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 1
MERLIN (MERL) 13
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 7
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 4
Unidentified Falco (UF) 1
Unidentified raptor (UU) 1

TOTAL 2443

 

October 16 [Day 27] (George Halmazna, assisted by Dan Parliament) The temperature was -5C to 0800 but rose to a high at 1600 and 1700 of 14C, ground winds were calm to light, SW to 1400 then variable NE-SE for the rest of the day, while there wasn’t any noticeable wind on the ridges. Cloud cover was 100% altostratus and cirrostratus at 0700 that slowly thinned to 50% cirrus between 1100 and 1400 and increased again to 100% by 1800. The eagle movement was very slow with much soaring, the birds quickly returning to ridge level and having to repeatedly soar to make progress. Seven raptors used the western route and 47 were seen mainly in front of the Fisher Range, with only 3 birds seen to come from Mount Lorette. A total of 68 migrants were counted between 0837 and 1742 comprising 6 Bald Eagles (5a, 1j), 2 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 1u), 1a dark morph harlani Red-tailed Hawk, 1 dark morph Rough-legged Hawk, 57 Golden Eagles (46a, 2sa, 7j, 2u) and 1a male columbarius Merlin. Maximum passage was 17, that included 15 Golden Eagles, between 1700 and 1800. Other birds noted included 4 Common Loons flying to the south (2 at 0841 and 2 at 1320), 1 Ruffed Grouse, 1 White-breasted Nuthatch, 1 American Robin, the season’s first American Tree Sparrow and 161 Pine Siskins. There were 25 visitors today.

11.5 (304.5) BAEA 6 (60), SSHA 2 (228), RTHA 1 (24), RLHA 1 (15), GOEA 57 (2060), MERL 1 (14) TOTAL 68 (2511)

Steeples, October 16 (Vance Mattson, assisted by Virginia Rasch) 1300-1800 The weather was similar to yesterday’s with calm, sunny conditions, temperatures of 9C to 14C and 20-60% very thin altostratus cloud cover. The 5 hour count produced only 7 migrants between 1430 and 1730 comprising 1a Bald Eagle, 2u Sharp-shinned Hawks and 4 Golden Eagles (3a, 1sa). Raptor movement was slow but none more so that the adult Bald Eagle that perched on the mountain side for about an hour before resuming its journey.

5 hours (63), BAEA 1 (146), SSHA 2 (33), GOEA 4 (48) TOTAL 7 (249)

Vicki Ridge, October 16 (Peter Sherrington) 1100-1430 It was a very calm day with E-ENE winds rarely exceeding 7 km/h, a temperature of 12-13C and 100% stratocumulus, cirrus and altocumulus cloud cover giving hazy sunshine. Raptor movement was slow with all but 2 birds appearing over the eastern arm of the ridge, soaring high before either gliding high to the south or to the SW. A total of 17 birds were counted between 1148 and 1417 comprising 1j Bald Eagle (which was seen gliding low to the W from the Seven Gates Road at 1300 by Cornell Van Ryk), 1j Northern Harrier, 5 Sharp-shinned Hawks (4a, 1u), 2a Cooper’s Hawks, 1j Northern Goshawk, 1a dark morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, and 6 Rough-legged Hawks (5 light and 1 dark). At 1344 a resident adult Golden Eagle soared for 5 minutes above the ridge before gliding north.

3.5 hours (45.9) BAEA 1 (24), NOHA 1 (4), SSHA 5 (174), COHA 2 (12), NOGO 1 (16), RTHA 1 (27), RLHA 6 (64) TOTAL 17 (757)

SUMMARY, MOUNT LORETTE, FALL 2015
DAYS 27
HOURS 304.5

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 60
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 11
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 228
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 19
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 30
Unidentified Accipiter (UA) 10
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 4
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 24
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 15
Unidentified Buteo (UB) 10
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2060
Unidentified eagle (UE) 10
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 1
MERLIN (MERL) 14
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 7
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 4
Unidentified Falco (UF) 1
Unidentified raptor (UU) 1

TOTAL 2511

 

October 17 [Day 28] (Jim Davis, assisted by Ruth Morrow and Doug Pedersen) The temperature was -3C at 0730, rose to a remarkable high for the date of 21C and was 8C at 1915. It was essentially calm all day with the exception of 1300-1600 when there were occasional variable gusts up to 14 km/h, while ridge winds were impossible to assess but were probably mainly light. Cloud cover was 5% cirrus to 1600 after which it was 30-40% cirrostratus for the rest of the day. It was a good day of raptor movement with 202 birds of a season-high 12 species moving between 0814 and 1859. The count comprised the season’s first Osprey, a season high 18 Bald Eagles (13a, 1sa, 4j), 1 adult male Northern Harrier, 6 Sharp-shinned Hawks (2j, 4u), 3 adult Cooper’s Hawks, 1a Northern Goshawk, 1j light morph Broad-winged Hawk, 1a light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 4 Rough-legged Hawks (3 light, 1dark), 163 Golden Eagles (132a, 8sa, 11j, 12u), 1 dark Gyrfalcon, 1 juvenile Peregrine Falcon and 1 unidentified raptor. Birds were observed gliding slowly along the ridges for most of the day and soaring only occurred during the last 1.5 hours of observation as the air temperature cooled. Nearly all birds today were first seen over mount Lorette, with 8 proceeding to the W route, 2 moving overhead above the valley and the rest moving to the Fisher Range. By 1400 only 9 Golden Eagles had been recorded and the flight up to that time comprised mainly Bald eagles and smaller raptors, but after 1400 the movement increased and was dominated by Golden Eagles. The five hourly counts from 1400 were 31, 31, 30, 45 and 34. The last 2 adult Golden Eagles seen at 1859 displayed at the northern end of the Fisher Range each making three vertical dives from peak height to the base of the mountain before they settled down to roost at the tree line. Other birds seen included 1 Ruffed Grouse, 1 southward migrating Common Loon, 1 Herring Gull, 1 Northern Shrike, 2 Varied Thrushes, 1 American Robin, 10 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches, 1 Red Crossbill, 34 White-winged Crossbills, and 25 Pine Siskins. A Black Bear was seen above the tree line at the northern end of the Fisher Range, and 49 visitors visited the site to share a rather good day.

11.75 hours (316.3), OSPR 1 (1), BAEA 18 (78), NOHA 1 (12), SSHA 6 (234), COHA 3 (22), NOGO 1 (31), BWHA 1 (5), RTHA 1 (25), RLHA 4 (19), GOEA 163 (2223), GYRF 1 (2), PEFA 1 (8), UU 1 (2) TOTAL 202 (2713)

October 17 Canmore Eagle Festival (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Peter Duck, Cliff Hansen and Kevin Barker) 1000-1600 The weather was similar to that at Mount Lorette with a temperature that reached 22C, calm or light winds and cloudless with occasional traces of altocumulus cloud. The observation station was in the centre of the town and less than ideal and the first eagle was not seen until 1315, but subsequently there was a steady but slow movement comprising 3a Bald Eagles and 16 Golden Eagles (10a, 1j, 5u). Birds soared above the western ridge of the Fairholm Range, often for 4 or 5 minutes but generally failed to maintain their altitude and invariably disappeared again behind the ridge. Hundreds of people attended the event and most were able at least glimpse an eagle high on the ridge through the telescopes. A good time was had by all.

6 hours BAEA 3, GOEA 16 TOTAL 19

Steeples, October 17 (Vance Mattson) 1300-1700 The temperature was 9-16C, it was calm and cloud cover was 30% thin altostratus and altocumulus. No migrants were seen although an adult Bald Eagle and an adult Sharp-shinned Hawk soared but did not move south.

4 hours (67) no migrants TOTAL 0 (249)

Vicki Ridge, October 17 (Doug and Teresa Dolman) 1030-1600 The temperature was 18-22C, wind 25 km/h gusting 40 km/h and it was mainly cloudless with occasional traces of cirrus. The count was 2 Bald Eagles (1a, 1sa), 1j Northern Harrier, 6 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 5u), 1u Cooper’s Hawk, 1 undifferentiated Accipiter, 2 Rough-legged Hawks (1 light, 1 dark) and 38 Golden Eagles (24a, 8j, 6u) for a total of 51 migrant raptors. A Sharp-tailed Grouse flushed on the grassy access slope to the ridge was the highest ever seen in the area.

5.5 hours (51.4) BAEA 2 (26), NOHA 1 (5), SSHA 6 (180), COHA 1 (13), UA 1 (3), RLHA2 (66), GOEA 38 (440) TOTAL 51 (808)

October 18 [Day 29] (Bill Wilson, assisted by Doug Pedersen and Cliff Hansen) The temperature was 1C at 0700, rose to a high of 15C at 1600 and was 10C at 1940. Ground winds were SW 2-5 km/h to 1200, then SSE 5-10 gusting 25 km/h to 1700 and finally E 5-10 gusting 23 km/h for the rest of the day, while ridge winds were unknown to 1200 and W moderate to strong in the afternoon. Cloud cover was 90-100% altostratus to 1300 then 90-100% altostratus and cumulus for the rest of the day. It was another good raptor movement but without yesterday’s diversity, with 176 migrants of only 4 species moving between 1055 and 1853. The count was 2 Bald Eagles (1a, 1j), 1a dark morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 5 Rough-legged Hawks (3 light, 2 dark) and 168 Golden Eagles (115a, 4sa, 27j 22u). Movement was along both the E and W routes in the morning, but was exclusively from Mount Lorette to the Fisher Range in the afternoon. There was much soaring flight in the morning, but in the afternoon birds mainly glided to the SE above the ridges. Movement after 1100 was very steady with maximum numbers recorded between 1300 and 1600 with the passage of 108 raptors of which all but one were Golden Eagles. Other birds were relatively scarce but included the season’s first 3 Common Redpolls that perched in a tree with Pine Siskins, and a total of 82 Pine Siskins in several flocks. Visitors numbered 17 including Rod and Jill Behr and Alison Hall who observed for three hours in the afternoon and were of great help to Bill in finding birds.

12.75 hours (329) BAEA 2 (80), RTHA 1 (26) RLHA 5 (24), GOEA 168 (2391) TOTAL 176 (2889)

Steeples, October 18 (Vance Mattson) 1300-1630 It was a cool cloudy day with temperatures of 8-9C, more or less calm with 100% altostratus and cumulus cloud cover and periodic light rain showers. No migrant or resident raptors were seen, but the gloomy damp conditions produced an unexpected sighting of a Long-toed Salamander.

3.5 hours (70.5) no migrants TOTAL 0 (249)

Vicki Ridge, October 18 No observation

SUMMARY, MOUNT LORETTE, FALL 2015
DAYS 29
HOURS 329

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 1
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 80
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 12
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 234
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 22
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 31
Unidentified Accipiter (UA) 10
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 5
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 26
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 24
Unidentified Buteo (UB) 10
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2391
Unidentified eagle (UE) 10
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 1
MERLIN (MERL) 14
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 2
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 8
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 4
Unidentified Falco (UF) 1
Unidentified raptor (UU) 2

TOTAL 2889

 

October 19 [Day 30] (Terry Waters, assisted by Diane Stinson and Patrick Farley) It was again a warm day for the time of year with a temperature of -4C at 0830 that rose to a high at 1300 of 14C and was 10C at 1900. Ground winds were SW all day, generally light but gusting to 20 km/h around 1300, while ridge winds were W light to moderate all day. Cloud cover was scattered altocumulus to 1300 when it increased to 80% before returning to 50% for the rest of the day. A total of 53 migrant raptors were recorded between 0940 and 1820 comprising 2 Bald Eagles (1a, 1j), 1a Northern Goshawk, 4 unidentified Accipiters (2 small, 2 large), 1 unidentified dark Buteo, 44 Golden Eagles (31a, 4sa, 1j, 8u) and 1a Peregrine Falcon. All migrants were initially located at the northern end of the Fisher Range where most soared before gliding to the SE above the ridge. Only 9 birds were seen before 1300, after which movement became steadier with up to 10 birds passing in an hour (1600-1700). Other birds included 1 Northern Shrike, 40 Grey-crowned Rosy Finches, 22 White-crowned Crossbills, 60 crossbill spp. And 75 Pine Siskins. A Mountain Goat fed high at the northern end of the Fisher Range, and a party of 16 hikers visited the site.

10.5 hours (339.5) BAEA 2 (82), NOGO 1 (32), UA 4 (14), UB 1 (11) GOEA 44 (2435) PEFA 1 (9) TOTAL 53 (2942)

Steeples, October 19 No observation

Vicki Ridge, October 19 (Peter Sherrington) 1300-1730 The temperature range was 15C to 18C, winds were WSW 20-30 gusting to 50 km/h and cloud cover was 70-100% altostratus, altocumulus, lenticular and cirrus that produced occasional periods of sunshine. Movement was sporadic with 40 raptors migrating between 1349 and 1709 comprising 2 Bald Eagles (1a, 1j), 10 Sharp-shinned Hawks (8a, 1j, 1u), 1a Cooper’s Hawk, 2a Northern Goshawks, 7 Rough-legged Hawks (6 light, 1 dark), 15 Golden Eagles (8a, 1sa, 1j, 5u) and 3a columbarius Merlins (2 male, 1 female). Most birds moved high along or close to the ridge, but some eagles moved to the south well to the west and presented only silhouettes.

4.5 hours (55.9) BAEA 2 (28), SSHA 10 (190), COHA 1 (14), NOGO 2 (18), RLHA 7 (73), GOEA 15 (455), MERL 3 (10) TOTAL 40 (845)

SUMMARY, MOUNT LORETTE, FALL 2015
DAYS 30
HOURS 339.5

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 1
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 82
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 12
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 234
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 22
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 32
Unidentified Accipiter (UA) 14
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 5
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 26
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 24
Unidentified Buteo (UB) 11
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2435
Unidentified eagle (UE) 10
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 1
MERLIN (MERL) 14
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 2
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 9
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 4
Unidentified Falco (UF) 1
Unidentified raptor (UU) 2

TOTAL 2942

 

October 20 [Day 31] (Brian McBride, assisted by Cliff Hansen) The temperature at 0745 was -2C, rose to a high at 1700 of 13C and fell to 5C at 1900. Ground winds were mostly SE 5 km/h to 1500 then W 5 km/h except 16-18 when it gusted to 10 km/h, while ridge winds were generally light, NW to 1000, S to 1200 then NW again for the rest of the day. Cloud cover was 100% low stratocumulus to 0900 that obscured all ridges, lifting to 50% at 1000 when the mountains were also 50% obscured, after which there was rapid clearing with 10% cirrus to 1500 then cloudless skies for the rest of the day. It was another steady day of raptor migration dominated by Golden Eagles with 115 birds recorded between 0916 and 1853 although the first Golden Eagle was not seen until 1117. The flight was 8 Bald Eagles (7a, 1sa), 3 Sharp-shinned Hawks (2a, 1u), 1a Cooper’s Hawk, 1a Northern Goshawk, 3 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 1 unidentified light Buteo and 98 Golden Eagles (79a, 2sa, 6j, 11u). All birds used the E route with about a quarter of the birds seen first over Mount Lorette. The birds soared over the northern end of the Fisher Range but failed to maintain altitude and generally flew to the SE against the face of the range. Afternoon movement was steady with hourly counts between 1200 and 1800 ranging from 10 to 20 birds. Other birds noted included 2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 2 Dark-eyed Juncos, 25 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches, 1 Pine Grosbeak, 59 White-winged Crossbills and 6 Pine Siskins. Six visitors were at the site today.

11.5 hours (351) BAEA 8 (90), SSHA 3 (237), COHA 1 (23), NOGO 1 (33), RLHA 3 (27), UB 1 (12), GOEA 98 (2533) TOTAL 115 (3057)

Steeples, October 20 (Vance Mattson) 1400-1700 It was again a calm sunny cloudless day with the temperature reaching 17C. Two Bald Eagles moved as Vance arrived, but only 1 followed them and the count was 3 Bald Eagles (1a, 1sa, 1j). A resident Golden Eagle was seen hunting over the ridge.

3 hours (77.5) BAEA 3 (58) TOTAL 3 (262)

ADDENDUM Steeples, October 5 (Peter Davidson of the Rocky Mountain Naturalists) 1300-1700 Vance learned yesterday that Peter spent 4 hours at the South Lakit site on this date, where the weather was sunny, calm to light winds and clear with a few clouds. He observed 10 migrants: 9 Bald Eagles (2a, 4sa, 3j) and 1 Rough-legged Hawk, along with 1a Bald Eagle, 2a Sharp-shinned Hawks, 1a Cooper’s Hawk and 2a Golden Eagles that he considered to be residents on non-migrants. These data are included in the above cumulative totals for the site.

Vicki Ridge, October 20 (Peter Sherrington) 1000-1200 It was a gloomy, cool morning with a temperature of 6C, S-SSE winds 2-6 gusting 15 km/h and 100% stratocumulus cloud. The Livingstone Range to the south was extensively shrouded in cloud. At 1100 an adult Golden Eagle soared above the ridge and glided to the south, and was almost immediately mobbed by an adult Sharp-shinned Hawk; these were the only raptors seen. In the afternoon the cloud quickly dissipated leaving clear skies, but SE winds persisted and cloud remained on the Livingstone Range.

2 hours (57.9) SSHA 1 (191), GOEA 1 (456) TOTAL 2 (850)

SUMMARY, MOUNT LORETTE, FALL 2015
DAYS 31
HOURS 351

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 1
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 90
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 12
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 237
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 23
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 33
Unidentified Accipiter (UA) 14
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 5
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 26
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 27
Unidentified Buteo (UB) 12
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2533
Unidentified eagle (UE) 10
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 1
MERLIN (MERL) 14
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 2
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 9
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 4
Unidentified Falco (UF) 1
Unidentified raptor (UU) 2

TOTAL 3057

 

October 21 [Day 32] (Cliff Hansen, assisted by Gord Petersen and Kevin Barker) The starting temperature at 0745 was -3C, rose to a high of 15C at 1600 and was 12C when observation ceased at 1900. Ground winds were variable 0-5 km/h all day with occasional gusts to 20 km/h in the afternoon, while ridge winds were SW light to moderate all day. Cloud cover was 80-90% cumulus, cirrus and altocumulus, that coalesced into a Chinook arch after 1500, and furnished excellent observation conditions throughout the day. Yet again raptor movement was fairly strong and persistent with 135 birds migrating between 0808 and 0826. The flight comprised 2a Bald Eagles, 2 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1j, 1u), 2 Rough-legged Hawks (1 light, 1u), 2 indeterminate Buteos and 127 Golden Eagles (88a, 3sa, 2j, 34u). Movement was steady throughout the day and peaked between 1400 and 1500 when 36 migrants were tallied of which 34 were Golden Eagles. Most birds were initially located high above Mount Lorette from where they glided high to the Fisher Range and on to the SE. At 0948 2 adult Golden Eagles passed just to the west of the northern end of the Fisher Range. One of the birds had a clod of earth and grass in a talon which it dropped and recovered after a vertical dive, then dropped it again and flew on. Passerines were again dominated by finches including 22 White-winged Crossbills, 1 Red Crossbill identified in a flock of otherwise undifferentiated flying crossbills, 43 Pine Siskins and 80 Common Redpolls, and other bird species included 1 Common Loon flying high to the south, 1 Varied Thrush and 1 American Pipit. The Mountain Goat was feeding lower at the northern end of the Fisher Range and 30 Elk fed on the bare ski slopes to the west. Ten visitors were at the site today.

11.25 hours (362.3) BAEA 2 (92), SSHA 2 (239), RLHA 2 (29), UB 2 (14), GOEA 127 (2660) TOTAL 135 (3192)

Steeples, October 20 No observation

Vicki Ridge, October 21 (Peter Sherrington) 1000-1600 The temperature at 1000 was 12C and rose to a high of 16C at 1400 where it stayed for the count period. Winds were W 30-40 gusting 50-60 km/h and cloud cover was 70-100% fairly thin altocumulus, cirrus and lenticular to around 1530 after which it quickly cleared and was down to 30% at 1600. There was a fairly strong raptor migration between 1034 and 1528 involving 9 species. All birds moved high above the ridge or slightly to the W of the ridge, and the migration noticeably diminished and became sporadic after 1400. The flight comprised 5 Bald Eagles (2a, 1sa, 2j), 10 Sharp-shinned Hawks (6a, 4u), 2a Cooper’s Hawks, 5a Northern Goshawks, 1a light morph Broad-winged Hawk, ), 1 light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 7 Rough-legged Hawks (6 light, 1 dark), 35 Golden Eagles (27a, 3sa, 5j) and the season’s first Gyrfalcon, a light grey bird. Remarkably, at 1043 I observed the same behaviour as at Mount Lorette when a subadult Golden Eagle passed high to the south with what I first took to be a small mammal in a talon. It dropped and recovered it in mid-air after a vertical stoop and about 20 seconds dropped it again at which point it was close enough to see that its “prey” appeared to be a clod of earth and vegetation.

6 hours (63.9) BAEA 5 (33), SSHA 10 (201), COHA 2 (16), NOGO 5 (23), BWHA 1 (2), RTHA 1 (28), RLHA 7 (80), GOEA 35 (491), GYRF 1 (1) TOTAL 67 (917)

October 22 [Day 33] (Joel Duncan, assisted by Gord Petersen and James and Teresa Bannon) It was yet another pleasant day with an initial temperature at 0800 of 4C which rose to a high of 12C at 1400 and was 6C at the end of the day. Ground winds were predominantly SW 5-10 km/h gusting to 20 km/h only around noon, while ridge winds appeared to be light to moderate SW all day. Cloud cover was initially 50% cumulus, altostratus and cirrus which became 40% cumulus at 1200 and dwindled to 10% cumulus by the end of the day. The migration pattern of the last several days was repeated with a total of 119 birds recorded between 0856 and 1832, with 77 of the birds (76 Golden Eagles) moving after 1500. The flight was 4 Bald Eagles (3a, 1sa), 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1 unidentified small Sharp-shinned Hawk, 3 Rough-legged Hawks (2 light, 1 dark), 107 Golden Eagles (54a, 10sa, 5j, 38u), 1 unidentified eagle, 1u Merlin and 1 unidentified small raptor. To 1400 most birds were initially spotted over Mount Lorette with much soaring and flapping flight, but subsequently they first appeared at the northern end of the fisher Range before gliding high or very high above the ridge towards the SE. Again finches predominated the non-raptor count including 6 Pine Grosbeaks, 57 White-winged Crossbills, 1 Red Crossbill, 17 Pine Siskins and 110 Common Redpolls.

11 hours (373.3) BAEA 4 (96), SSHA 1 (240), UA 1 (15), RLHA 3 (32), GOEA 107 (2767), UE 1 (11), MERL 1 (15), UU 1 (3) TOTAL 119 (3311)

Steeples, October 22 (Vance Mattson) 1430-1630 It was again sunny and calm with a temperature of 15C and 5% cumulus cloud cover. No migrant raptors were seen although 2 adult non-migrant Bald Eagles soared above the ridge.

2 hours (79.5) no migrants TOTAL 0 (262)

Vicki Ridge, October 22 (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Raymond Toal and Denise Cocciolone-Amatto) 1000-1600 The temperature was 7C at 1000 but reached 11C after 1600, winds were consistently W 25-40 gusting 50 km/h and cloud cover was 90-100% altostratus and altocumulus to 1400 when it reduced to 60% altostratus, altocumulus and cumulus and was 20% scattered cumulus at 1600. There was a fairly steady raptor movement between 1019 and 1400 but the last two hours only produced 8 birds the last of which was seen at 1525. The flight of 49 birds was 1 adult male Northern Harrier, 11 Sharp-shinned Hawks (7a, 4u), 3 Northern Goshawks (2a, 1j), 1a dark morph harlani Red-tailed Hawk, 5 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 25 Golden Eagles (24a, 1u), 1 unidentified eagle and 2 columbarius Merlins (1 adult male, 1 female/juvenile).

6 hours (69.9) NOHA 1 (6), SSHA 11 (212), NOGO 3 (26), RTHA 1 (29), RLHA 5 (85), GOEA 25 (516), UE 1 (8), MERL 12 (10), TOTAL 49 (964)

SUMMARY, MOUNT LORETTE, FALL 2015
DAYS 33
HOURS 373.3

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 1
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 96
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 12
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 240
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 23
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 33
Unidentified Accipiter (UA) 15
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 5
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 26
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 32
Unidentified Buteo (UB) 14
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2767
Unidentified eagle (UE) 11
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 1
MERLIN (MERL) 15
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 2
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 9
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 4
Unidentified Falco (UF) 1
Unidentified raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 3311

 

Steeples, October 21 (Peter Davidson) 1400-1700 It was a clear sunny day at the South Lakit site, but no weather details were provided. Five migrants, 3a Bald Eagles and 2a Golden Eagles were counted all of which moved between 1426 and 1530. Three adult Bald Eagles and 2u Sharp-shinned Hawks were seen soaring but were regarded as non-migrants.

3 hours (82.5) BAEA 3 (161), GOEA 2 (50) TOTAL 5 (267)

Vicki Ridge, October 21 (Peter Sherrington) 1000-1600 The temperature at 1000 was 12C and rose to a high of 16C at 1400 where it stayed for the count period. Winds were W 30-40 gusting 50-60 km/h and cloud cover was 70-100% fairly thin altocumulus, cirrus and lenticular to around 1530 after which it quickly cleared and was down to 30% at 1600. There was a fairly strong raptor migration between 1034 and 1528 involving 9 species. All birds moved high above the ridge or slightly to the W of the ridge, and the migration noticeably diminished and became sporadic after 1400. The flight comprised 5 Bald Eagles (2a, 1sa, 2j), 10 Sharp-shinned Hawks (6a, 4u), 2a Cooper’s Hawks, 5a Northern Goshawks, 1a light morph Broad-winged Hawk, ), 1 light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 7 Rough-legged Hawks (6 light, 1 dark), 35 Golden Eagles (27a, 3sa, 5j) and the season’s first Gyrfalcon, a light grey bird. Remarkably, at 1043 I observed the same behaviour as at Mount Lorette when a subadult Golden Eagle passed high to the south with what I first took to be a small mammal in a talon. It dropped and recovered it in mid-air after a vertical stoop and about 20 seconds dropped it again at which point it was close enough to see that its “prey” appeared to be a clod of earth and vegetation.

6 hours (63.9) BAEA 5 (33), SSHA 10 (201), COHA 2 (16), NOGO 5 (23), BWHA 1 (2), RTHA 1 (28), RLHA 7 (80), GOEA 35 (491), GYRF 1 (1) TOTAL 67 (917)

October 22 [Day 33] (Joel Duncan, assisted by Gord Petersen and James and Teresa Bannon) It was yet another pleasant day with an initial temperature at 0800 of 4C which rose to a high of 12C at 1400 and was 6C at the end of the day. Ground winds were predominantly SW 5-10 km/h gusting to 20 km/h only around noon, while ridge winds appeared to be light to moderate SW all day. Cloud cover was initially 50% cumulus, altostratus and cirrus which became 40% cumulus at 1200 and dwindled to 10% cumulus by the end of the day. The migration pattern of the last several days was repeated with a total of 119 birds recorded between 0856 and 1832, with 77 of the birds (76 Golden Eagles) moving after 1500. The flight was 4 Bald Eagles (3a, 1sa), 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1 unidentified small Sharp-shinned Hawk, 3 Rough-legged Hawks (2 light, 1 dark), 107 Golden Eagles (54a, 10sa, 5j, 38u), 1 unidentified eagle, 1u Merlin and 1 unidentified small raptor. To 1400 most birds were initially spotted over Mount Lorette with much soaring and flapping flight, but subsequently they first appeared at the northern end of the fisher Range before gliding high or very high above the ridge towards the SE. Again finches predominated the non-raptor count including 6 Pine Grosbeaks, 57 White-winged Crossbills, 1 Red Crossbill, 17 Pine Siskins and 110 Common Redpolls.

11 hours (373.3) BAEA 4 (96), SSHA 1 (240), UA 1 (15), RLHA 3 (32), GOEA 107 (2767), UE 1 (11), MERL 1 (15), UU 1 (3) TOTAL 119 (3311)

Steeples, October 22 (Vance Mattson) 1430-1630 It was again sunny and calm with a temperature of 15C and 5% cumulus cloud cover. No migrant raptors were seen by Vance although 2 adult non-migrant Bald Eagles soared above the ridge. At 1715 Peter Davidson, Greg Ross and Gary Davidson observed 10 Bald Eagles (6a, 4j) in the vicinity of the Steeples site, 8 of which were perched on the ground or in adjacent trees. Peter’s impression was that the birds were migrants that had descended to feed on carrion, and Vance has added the birds to the Steeples count for the day.

2.75 hours (83.25) BAEA 10 (171) TOTAL 10 (277)

Vicki Ridge, October 22 (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Raymond Toal and Denise Cocciolone-Amatto) 1000-1600 The temperature was 7C at 1000 but reached 11C after 1600, winds were consistently W 25-40 gusting 50 km/h and cloud cover was 90-100% altostratus and altocumulus to 1400 when it reduced to 60% altostratus, altocumulus and cumulus and was 20% scattered cumulus at 1600. There was a fairly steady raptor movement between 1019 and 1400 but the last two hours only produced 8 birds the last of which was seen at 1525. The flight of 49 birds was 1 adult male Northern Harrier, 11 Sharp-shinned Hawks (7a, 4u), 3 Northern Goshawks (2a, 1j), 1a dark morph harlani Red-tailed Hawk, 5 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 25 Golden Eagles (24a, 1u), 1 unidentified eagle and 2 columbarius Merlins (1 adult male, 1 female/juvenile).

6 hours (69.9) NOHA 1 (6), SSHA 11 (212), NOGO 3 (26), RTHA 1 (29), RLHA 5 (85), GOEA 25 (516), UE 1 (8), MERL 12 (10), TOTAL 49 (964)

October 23 [Day 34] (George Halmazna, assisted by Doug Pedersen) The temperature at 0745 was -6C, rose to a high of 8C at 1500 and 1600 and was 3C at 1900. It was calm to 1100, then SW 5-15 km/h to 1500 after which it was calm again for the rest of the day, while ridge winds were probably light to moderate SW all day. Cloud cover was 70% cumulus and altostratus at the start that slowly decreased the 50% cumulus at 1300 for the rest of the day. The migration resembled that of the precious three days with a total of 116 raptors moving between 0840 and 1809. Most birds moved high from Skogan Pass or Lorette to the Fisher Range, with some moving high overhead and 4 eagles taking the western route. The flight was 9 Bald Eagles (2a, 1sa, 6j), 3 dark morph Rough-legged Hawks and 104 Golden Eagles (82a, 3sa, 8j, 11u). Other birds observed included 2 Ruffed Grouse, 2 Common Loons, 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 7 American Robins, 3 Pine Grosbeaks, 60 Evening Grosbeaks and 669 Pine Siskins. Thirteen people visited the site today.

11.25 hours (384.5) BAEA 9 (105), RLHA 3 (35), GOEA 104 (2871) TOTAL 116 (2427)

Steeples, October 23 (Vance Mattson) 1230-1700 The temperature started at 5C but rose to 10C, it was calm and mainly cloudless with traces of altostratus then cirrus cloud. Four migrants, 3 Bald Eagles (1a, 2sa) and 1j Golden Eagle were seen along with a non-migrant adult Bald Eagle and the resident Golden eagle pair that hunted together over the ridge at 1515.

4.5 hours (87) BAEA 3 (174), GOEA 1 (5) TOTAL 4 (281)

Vicki Ridge, October 23 (Peter Sherrington) 1200-1600 The temperature was 9C throughout, winds were W-WSW 30-40 gusting 50 km/h and cloud cover was 80-100% altostratus and altocumulus to 1400 after which it thinned to 30-20% altocumulus and cirrus. Movement was sporadic and light comprising only 7 birds: 1sa Bald Eagle, 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, 4 Golden Eagles (3a, 1sa) and 1 light grey morph Gyrfalcon that flew to the south just W of the ridge at 1359.

4 hours (73.9) BAEA 1 (34), SSHA 1 (213), GOEA 4 (520) GYRF 1 (2) TOTAL 7 (971)

October 24 [Day 35] (Jim Davis, assisted by Ruth Morrow) The temperature was -5C at 0745 but dropped to a low of -6C at 1000 before reaching a high of 13C from 1400 to the end of observation at 1815. It was calm to 1100, then NNE 5 gusting 17 km/h to 1700 before becoming calm again for the rest of the day, while ridge winds from 1200 onward were NNE moderate to strong. The western ridges were 40% obscured at 1100 and 1200 but otherwise all ridges were clear. A total of 114 migrant raptors were counted between 1037 and 1733 which means that each of the last five days has yielded between 114 and 135 migrants: a remarkably consistent rate. The flight comprised 17 Bald Eagles (9a, 2sa, 6j), the second highest count of the season, 1j Northern Harrier, 4 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1j, 3u), 1u Cooper’s Hawk, 4 Northern Goshawks (3a, 1j), 1j light morph Broad-winged Hawk, 1a dark morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 3 Rough-legged Hawks (1 light, 2 dark), 77 Golden Eagles (53a, 4sa, 11j, 9u), 4a Merlins (3u columbarius, 1 female richardsoni) and 1 dark morph Gyrfalcon. During the calm period to 1317 all birds were using the western route with the exception of 2 birds that passed above the centre of the valley. Subsequent birds nearly all used the eastern route with birds being located at the northern end of the Fisher Range and none being seen over Mount Lorette. The busiest hour was 1400-1500 when 32 birds passed of which 28 were Golden Eagles. The highlight of the non-raptor migration was 30 Snow Geese in flocks of 7 and 23 flying south over the centre of the valley, while other birds included a Northern Pygmy-Owl singing east of the river, 5 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 1 American Robin, 50 Bohemian Waxwings, 60 Pine Grosbeaks, 210 crossbill spp., 14 Evening Grosbeaks and 11 Common Redpolls.

10.5 hours (395) BAEA 17 (122), NOHA 1 (13), SSHA 4 (244), COHA 1 (24), NOGO 4 (37), RTHA 1 (27), RLHA 3 (38), GOEA 77 (2948), MERL 4 (19), GYRF 1 (3), TOTAL 114 (3541)

Steeples, October 24 (Vance Mattson, assisted by Virginia Rasch) 1230-1700 The temperature rose to a high of 10C from a low of 6C, winds were calm to light W and sunny conditions were only slightly tempered as 40% altostratus moved in late in the day. A total of 7 migrants was observed between 1245 and 1605 comprising 4 Bald Eagles (1a, 3j), 1a Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1a Cooper’s Hawk and 1a dark morph harlani Red-tailed Hawk. A resident adult Golden Eagle and a non-migrant adult Bald Eagle also soared above the ridge.

4.5 hours (92.25) BAEA 4 (178), SSHA 1 (34), COHA 1 (2), RTHA 1 (12) TOTAL 7 (288)

Vicki Ridge, October 24 (Peter Sherrington) 1310-1710 The temperature was initially 9C but dropped steadily throughout the observation period and was 3C at the end. Winds were SE-E 5-10 gusting 20 km/h throughout and cloud cover was initially 10% cumulus and cirrus which progressively spread and reached 100% thin altostratus and altocumulus at 1700. Almost all movement was east of the ridge and the lighting and cloud conditions gave superlative views of the 32 migrants, most of which soared for extended periods. Having only seen 3 Red-tailed Hawks on 3 separate days since October 13 it was surprising that 11 moved today comprising 5a calurus (2 light, 3 dark) and 6 dark harlani (4a, 2j). The rest of the count was 4 Bald Eagles (3sa, 1j), 1j Northern Harrier, 9 Rough-legged Hawks (8 light, 1 dark) and 7 Golden Eagles (4a, 2sa, 1j).

4 hours (77.91) BAEA 4 (38), NOHA 1 (7), RTHA 11 (40), RLHA 9 (94), GOEA 7 (527) TOTAL 32 (1003)

October 25 [Day 36] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Chris Hunt) The temperature of -9C at 0745 was the lowest so far this season, rose only to 5.5C at 1600 and was 1C at the end of observation at 1845. Ground winds were calm or very light to 1415 after which they were mainly E-NE 5-10 gusting 15 km/h to 1800 after which it was calm again, while ridge winds appeared to be light S to 1415 after which they were probably E light to moderate. Cloud cover was generally 70-100% thin altostratus and altocumulus which provided excellent locating and identification conditions all day. Despite this the first migrant was not seen until 1133 and when the last Bald Eagle went south at 1821 only 29 migrants had been counted, which is the lowest total since October 4. Movement was slow and sporadic with several birds using the western route, others moving above the valley, but most soaring over Lorette before gliding to the Fisher Range. The count was 7 Bald Eagles (3a, 3sa, 1j), 2 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 1u), 2a Cooper’s Hawks, 1a Northern Goshawk, 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk, 15 Golden Eagles (11a, 2sa, 2j) and 1 female/juvenile columbarius Merlin. The two busiest hours were 1500-1600 and 1600-1700 which both saw the passage of 8 migrants.  Other birds were scarce but included 7 Clark’s Nutcrackers, 4 Pine Grosbeaks, 7 Red Crossbills, 27 undifferentiated Crossbills and 11 Common Redpolls. A herd of 80 Elk fed on the ski slopes and there was a total of 8 visitors to the site.

11 hours (406) BAEA 7 (129), SSHA 2 (246), COHA 2 (26), NOGO 1 (38), RLHA 1 (39), GOEA 15 (2963), MERL 1 (20) TOTAL 29 (3570)

Steeples, October 25 (Vance Mattson) 1230-1630 The temperature was 6-9C, calm and sunny with 40-60 thin altostratus and cirrus cloud cover. Four hours of observation only produced 2a migrant Bald Eagles, and a presumed resident adult Golden Eagle was seen heading north.

4 hours (96.25) BAEA 2 (180) TOTAL 2 (290)

Vicki Ridge, October 25 No observation.

October 26 [Day 37] (Cliff Hansen, assisted by Kevin Barker) The temperature at 0745 was -3C but dropped to a low of -4C at 0900, rose to a high at 1600 of 8C and was 5C at 1915 when observation ceased. Ground winds were mainly S all day, 0-5 km/h to 1100 and then 0-10 gusting to 25 km/h for the rest of the day, while ridge winds were moderate SW to 1000 and strong SW thereafter. Cloud cover was 100% altostratus and cumulus to 1100 that reduced to 80% for the rest of the day. The summits of Mounts Bogart and Kidd were in the clouds all day but otherwise the ridges were clear. A total of 30 migrant raptors were seen between 0839 and 1819 with birds moving sporadically throughout that period and with hourly high counts of only 6 birds from 1600-1700 and 1700-1800. The count was 2 Bald Eagles (1j, 1 undifferentiated immature), 2 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 1u), 1a Cooper’s Hawk, 2 Rough-legged Hawks (1 light, 1u) and 23 Golden Eagles (19a, 1sa, 3u). All birds appeared to originate from Mount Lorette with most gliding to the Fisher Range, although 10 eagles moved above the centre of the valley late in the afternoon. The Northern Pygmy-Owl again sang near the site, and other birds included 1 Varied Thrush, 1 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finch, 4 Pine Grosbeaks and 40 Common Redpolls. The 61 visitors included a party of 54 grade 1 students and staff from Langevin School in Calgary. 11.5 hours (417.5) BAEA 2 (131), SSHA 2 (248), COHA 1 (27), RLHA 1 (41), GOEA 23 (2986) TOTAL 30 (3600)

Steeples, October 27 No observation. The ridges were completely obscured.

Vicki Ridge, October 27 No observation.

October 27 [Day 38] (Brian McBride, assisted by Cliff Hansen) The temperature reached a high of 6C at 1600 from a morning low of -2C, and was 1C at 1845. Ground winds were mainly W-SW less than 5 km/h and ridge winds were probably light W all day. Cloud cover was 100% low stratus to 1000, 80-90% to 1200, 40% to 1400 then cloudless for the rest of the day. All ridges were completely obscured to 1300 but had completely cleared by 1400. For the first time this season there was a skiff of overnight snow at the site in the morning, but none fell during the day. The number of migrants was very similar to the previous two days with 29 birds moving between 1315 and 1823 comprising 8 Bald Eagles (5a, 3sa), 1a Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1a Northern Goshawk, 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk and 18 Golden Eagles (8a, 1sa, 7j, 2u). The first birds of the day, 4 Bald Eagles, moved low to the S on the western route, but the rest moved from Lorette to the Fisher Range with most birds moving against the face of the mountains. Other birds were scarce but included a flock of 20 unidentified swans flying to the NE from Mount Lorette, 5 Canada Geese and 16 Pine Siskins. Not surprising considering the weather there were no visitors today.

10.75 hours (428.3) BAEA 8 (139), SSHA 1 (249), NOGO 1 (39), RLHA 1 (42), GOEA 18 (3004) TOTAL 29 (3629)

Steeples, October 27 (Vance Mattson) 1430-1600 the ridges were again almost completely obscured by low stratocumulus cloud that produced light rain. The temperature was 10C.

1.5 hours (97.75) TOTAL 0 (290)

Vicki Ridge, October 27 1730-1845 The temperature was 6-7C, wind was W 20-25 km/h and it was cloudless with a trace of scattered cumulus cloud. I was surprised that despite the late hour I recorded 3 migrants between 1820 and 1830: 2j Bald Eagles and 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk. At 1814 a juvenile Northern Goshawk hunted low over the ridge passing within a couple of metres of where I was standing.

1.25 hours (79.4) BAEA 2 (40), RLHA 1 (95) TOTAL 3 (1006)

SUMMARY, MOUNT LORETTE, FALL 2015
DAYS 38
HOURS 428.3

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 1
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 139
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 13
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 249
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 27
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 39
Unidentified Accipiter (UA) 15
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 6
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 27
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 42
Unidentified Buteo (UB) 14
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 3004
Unidentified eagle (UE) 11
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 1
MERLIN (MERL) 20
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 3
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 9
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 4
Unidentified Falco (UF) 1
Unidentified raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 3629

[Correction: Please note that on October 23 George was assisted by Gord Petersen and not by Doug Pedersen as reported.]

October 28 [Day 39] (Terry Waters, assisted by Pat Farley and James and Teresa Bannon) It was a cool day but still close to seasonal norms with a low of -7C at 0830, a high of 5C at 1500 and 2C at 1800 when observation ceased. Ground winds were SW 5-10 all day with the exception of 1300-1400 when they gusted to 15 km/h, while ridge winds appeared to be SW light to moderate which provided poor lift for migrant raptors. It was cloudless to noon when cirrus began to develop that gradually increased to 100% at the end of the day and provided excellent observing conditions in the afternoon. A total of 28 migrants were counted between 0913 and 1735 with all birds using the eastern route: about half were located gliding from Mount Lorette and the rest were first located at the northern end of the Fisher Range generally flapping fairly low against the mountain face. The count was 1a Bald eagle, 1a male Northern Harrier, 1 small unidentified Accipiter, 1 dark unidentified Buteo and 24 Golden Eagles (16a, 4sa, 1j, 3u). This is the fourth consecutive day when the total count has been between 28 and 30 birds. Other birds included 1 migratory Common Loon, 2 Varied Thrushes, 6 Dark-eyed Juncos, 1 Pine Grosbeak, 15 Red Crossbills, 30 White-winged Crossbills, 110 crossbill spp. And 60 Common Redpolls. No visitors were spotted today.

9.5 hours (437.8) BAEA 1 (140), NOHA 1 (14), UA 1 (16), UB 1 (15), GOEA 24 (3028) TOTAL 28 (3657)

Steeples, October 28 No observation.

Vicki Ridge, October 28 No observation.

SUMMARY, MOUNT LORETTE, FALL 2015
DAYS 39
HOURS 437.8

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 1
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 140
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 14
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 249
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 27
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 39
Unidentified Accipiter (UA) 16
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 6
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 27
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 42
Unidentified Buteo (UB) 15
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 3028
Unidentified eagle (UE) 11
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 1
MERLIN (MERL) 20
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 3
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 9
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 4
Unidentified Falco (UF) 1
Unidentified raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 3657

October 29 [Day 40] (George Halmazna, assisted by Gord Petersen) At 0800 the temperature was 2C, rose to a high of 7C at 1400 and was 5C at 1800. It was calm at 0745 but ground winds were generally SW 5-15 km/h all day with gusts of 25-35 km/h to 1600, while ridge winds were strong SW all day. Cloud cover was 80-100% altostratus, cumulus and cirrus all day and ridges were clear apart from slight obscuring of the western mountains to 0900. After four disappointing days today saw the sort of movement that occurred from October 20 to 24 with a total of 127 migrants recorded between 0925 and 1814. The flight comprised 3 Bald Eagles (2a, 1j), 1a Cooper’s Hawk, 3a Northern Goshawks, 117 Golden Eagles (81a, 2sa, 2j, 32u), 1 very late American Kestrel of undetermined sex, 1u columbarius Merlin and 1a grey morph Gyrfalcon. Only 4 of the eagles used the western route but most were seen on the Fisher Range some from Mount Lorette and others being located at the northern end of the range. About 60% of the birds glided high (100-200 m) above the ridge which, combined with the dark cloud cover, made aging of birds very difficult. Movement was fairly steady all day but peaked between 1100 and 1200 with the passage of 24 birds (3 Bald and 21 Golden Eagles). For the first time in a significant count this season non-adult Golden Eagles were scarce and the first juvenile bird was the 101st Golden Eagle of the day. Other birds recorded included 1 Northern Pygmy-Owl, 1 Varied Thrush, 50 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches, 25 Pine Grosbeaks, 2 Pine Siskins, 3 Common Redpolls and 30 Evening Grosbeaks. The 30 visitors to the site included 29 school kids with teachers.

11 hours (448.8), BAEA 3 (143), COHA 1 (28), NOGO 3 (42), GOEA 117 (3145), AMKE 1 (2), MERL 1 (21), GYRF 1 (4) TOTAL 127 (3784)

Steeples, October 29 (Vance Mattson) 1430-1600 Low stratus cloud persisted on the ridge which partially cleared at 1500 but by 1600 all was obscured again. The temperature was 8C and the wind strong NNW. Not surprisingly no migrants were seen but the season’s first Tundra Swans were seen on the Wasa wetlands and 2 Rough-legged Hawks hunted near the site.

1.5 hours (99.25) No migrants TOTAL =0 (290)

Vicki Ridge, October 28 (Peter Sherrington) 1220-1610 The temperature was initially 5.5C briefly reached 8C during a brief sunny period and was 6C at the end of observation. Winds were W-WSW 40-50 gusting regularly to over 70 km/h and cloud cover was 100-80% altostratus and altocumulus forming an arch until 1500 when it broke down to 70% mainly cumulus cover that allowed periodic welcome sunny periods. There was a fairly strong raptor movement between 1226 and 1606 with a significant hiatus between 1412 and 1459 when no birds were recorded. The flight was 11 Bald Eagles (4a, 2sa, 5j) 2a Northern Goshawks, 2 Rough-legged Hawks (1 light, 1 dark), 26 Golden Eagles (24a, 2u) and the season’s first Prairie Falcon, a male.

3.83 hours (83.24) BAEA 11 (51), NOGO 2 (28), RLHA 2 (97), GOEA 26 (553), PRFA 1 (1) TOTAL 42 (1048)

SUMMARY, MOUNT LORETTE, FALL 2015
DAYS 40
HOURS 448.8

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 1
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 143
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 14
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 249
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 28
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 42
Unidentified Accipiter (UA) 16
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 6
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 27
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 42
Unidentified Buteo (UB) 15
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 3145
Unidentified eagle (UE) 11
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 2
MERLIN (MERL) 21
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 4
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 9
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 4
Unidentified Falco (UF) 1
Unidentified raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 3784

 

October 30 [Day 41] (Joel Duncan, assisted by Gord Petersen) There was little temperature variation with 4C at 0800 a high of 5C at 0900 and then 4C for the rest of the day. Ground winds were SW all day, 5-10 occasionally gusting to 20 km/h and once to 40 km/h at 1530, while ridge winds were moderate SW in the morning and strong in the afternoon. Cloud cover was 90% cumulus and altostratus to 1300 then 90% stratus and cumulus with rain falling to the west that reduced to 40-50% after 1700. The W ridges were 80% obscured all day, while the E was 50% obscured to 1600 after which the ridges were clear. The weather limited migration to just 14 birds which is the second lowest count of the month: 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk and 13 Golden Eagles (7a, 2sa, 1j, 3u). Birds moved between 0909 and 1655 and all the eagles were seen over the Fisher Range either gliding or flapping. The Sharp-shinned Hawk was mobbing a soaring non-migrant Bald Eagle over the centre of the valley at 1358. Other birds recorded included 1 Brown Creeper, 2 Red Crossbills, 30 White-winged Crossbills, 2 Pine Siskins and 78 Common Redpolls, and there were no visitors today.

10.5 hours (459.3) SSHA 1 (250), GOEA 13 (3158) TOTAL 14 (3798)

Steeples, October 30 No observation (poor weather).

Vicki Ridge, October 30 (Peter Sherrington) 1200-1230 The temperature was 5C, winds were W 40 gusting 60 km/h, cloud cover was 100% stratus, the mountains to the W and the Livingstone Range to the N were obscured and it was raining. After half an hour I gave up! In the afternoon the wind regularly gusted above 100 km/h.

0.5 hours (83.74) TOTAL 0 (1084)

 

October 31 [Day 42]  (Jim Davis, assisted by Ruth Morrow) Again the inflow of Pacific air produced little temperature variation with 3C at 0730 a high of 4C at 1100 and 1200 and then 3C for the rest of the day. Ground winds were calm or light to 1400 after which they were 5 gusting to 20 km/h, while ridge winds were moderate SW all day. Cloud cover was 100% altostratus all day with u to 30% embedded cumulus. All ridges were clear to 1200 when they began to cloud over and by 1445 all ridges were obscured by cloud. At 1300 rain began to fall to the west and at 1415 heavy rain and fog arrived at the site and the count was abandoned for the day at 1445. Despite the weather there was a fairly diverse raptor migration with 23 birds moving between 0826 and 1407, the count comprising 2 Bald Eagles (1sa, 1j), 2u Sharp-shinned Hawks, 1a Cooper’s Hawk, 3 Red-tailed Hawks (2 calurus: 1 light juvenile, 1 dark adult; and 1a dark harlani), 14 Golden Eagles (12a, 2u) and 1u columbarius Merlin. Apart from the Merlin that flew low to the S over the centre of the valley, all birds moved close to the ridge of the Fisher Range. Thirteen of the migrants moved between 1200 and 1300, including 11 of the Golden Eagles. Other birds included 8 American Robins, 60 Bohemian Waxwings (1 of which was a leucistic bird), 25 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches, 23 Pine Grosbeaks, 30 Red Crossbills, 230 Common Redpolls and 500 Pine Siskins. Ten visitors came to the site.

7.25 hours (466.5) BAEA 2 (145) SSHA 2 (252), COHA 1 (29), RTHA 3 (30), GOEA 14 (3172), MERL 1 (22) TOTAL 23 (3821)

Steeples, October 31 No observation (poor weather).

Vicki Ridge, October 31 No observation (poor weather).

Lorette October summary [NOTE the average is for counts at the site between 1993 and 2014 excluding 1997 (count at Plateau Mountain), 2002 (short count), and 2006-8 (anomalously low counts)]. A total of 31 days (340.1 hours) were spent at the site, the days and hours being 3.5% and 7.5% above average respectively. The combined species total of 3068 was 4.3% below average, while Bald Eagles (131) and Golden Eagles (2561) were 10.7% and 10.4% below average respectively. The non-eagle migration was exceptionally strong with no fewer than 11 species occurring in above average numbers for the month: Osprey 1 (+125%), Northern Harrier  10 (+97.8% and the second highest October count), Sharp-shinned Hawk 179 (+149% and a record October count), Cooper’s Hawk 25 (+149% and the second highest October count), Broad-winged Hawk 5 (+28.6%), Red-tailed Hawk 25 (+82.2% equaling the previous high count in 1995), American Kestrel 1 (+20%), Merlin 18 (+376% and a record October count), Gyrfalcon 3 (+100%), Peregrine Falcon 6  (+92.9% equaling the previous high counts in 1999 and 2011) and Prairie Falcon 2 (+71.4%). Apart from the two eagle species only 2 other species occurred in below average numbers: Northern Goshawk 28 (-8.7%) and Rough-legged Hawk (-5.9%). Species not recorded were Turkey Vulture (never recorded in October), Swainson’s Hawk (a single bird recorded in 2004) and Ferruginous Hawk (single birds recorded in 2005 and 2010).

 

November 1 [Day 43]  (Bill Wilson) [ NOTE change to Mountain Standard Time: all subsequent times are expressed in MST,( -1 hour)] It was a cool day but again with little temperature variation with -1C at 0630 a high of 2C at 0900 and varying between 0C and -2C for the rest of the day. Ground winds were SW-NW and occasionally E 5-10 gusting up to 28 km/h, while ridge winds were strong SW all day. Cloud cover was initially 40% cumulus and altostratus becoming 100% between 0930 and 1300 which diminished to 30% cumulus at and after 1600. All ridges were clear to 0800 when they began to be occluded and were completely obscured between 0900 and 1300 after which they rapidly cleared for the rest of the day. Light to moderate rain fell between 0930 and 1100 that turned to light and moderate snow that deposited 2 cm by the time it stopped at 1240. A total of 20 migrant raptors moved between 1247 and 1714 comprising 7a Bald Eagles and 13 Golden Eagles (7a, 2sa, 2j, 2u). Apart from the first Bald Eagle at 1247, all other birds moved to the SE along the Fisher Range, initially low against the face but after 1600 they glided very high above the ridge. Movement was generally slow and steady throughout the period with a peak movement of 7 birds (5 Bald and 2 Golden Eagles) between 1500 and 1700. Other birds seen included 1 American Dipper on the river (where they have been remarkably scarce so far this season), 50 Bohemian Waxwings, 2 Pine Grosbeaks and 154 Common Redpolls. Eleven visitors came to the site today.

11.5 hours (478) BAEA 7 (152), GOEA 13 (3172) total 20 (3841)

Steeples, October 31 No observation (poor weather).

Vicki Ridge, October 31 (Peter Sherrington and Hilary Atkinson) 0925-1215 and 1450-1530. The temperature was 4 to 5C, winds were W-WSW generally 15-20 gusting 35 km/h, and 70-90% cumulus and stratocumulus cloud cover that produced occasional showers. Snow had fallen on the ridges immediately to the west. At 1100 thick stratocumulus cloud moved rapidly from the west bringing heavy rain and necessitated a rapid retreat from the ridge. The heavy rain persisted to 1330 with wind gusts of up to 100 km/h. A total of 5 migrants were seen moving above the ridge between 0945 and 1037: 1a Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1a Northern Goshawk and 3a Golden Eagles. From 1450-1530 we observed from the Waterton 61 well site on the W flank of the ridge where it was initially 40-50% stratus cloud, W winds 20-40 km/h and light rain, which became heavy again at 1530 under 100% stratocumulus cloud. No further migrants were seen and the mountains to the west and north continued to be shrouded in cloud.

2.66 hours (86.4) SSHA 1 (214), NOGO 1 (29), GOEA 3 (556) TOTAL 5 (1053)

SUMMARY, MOUNT LORETTE, FALL 2015
DAYS 43
HOURS 478

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 1
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 152
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 14
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 252
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 29
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 42
Unidentified Accipiter (UA) 16
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 6
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 30
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 42
Unidentified Buteo (UB) 15
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 3185
Unidentified eagle (UE) 11
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 2
MERLIN (MERL) 22
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 4
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 9
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 4
Unidentified Falco (UF) 1
Unidentified raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 3841

Steeples, November 1 No observation (poor weather).

Vicki Ridge, November 1 (Peter Sherrington and Hilary Atkinson) 0925-1215 and 1450-1530. The temperature was 4-5C, winds were W-WSW generally 15-20 gusting 35 km/h and 70-90% cumulus and stratocumulus that produced occasional showers. Snow had fallen on the ridges immediately to the W. At 1100 thick stratocumulus cloud moved rapidly from the west bringing heavy rain and necessitating a rapid retreat from the ridge. The heavy rain persisted to 1330 with wind gusts of up to 100 km/h. A total of 5 migrants were seen moving above the ridge between 0945 and 1037: 1a Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1a Northern Goshawk and 3a Golden Eagles. From 1450-1530 we observed from the Waterton 61 well site on the W flank of the ridge where it was initially 40-50% stratus cloud, W winds 20-40 km/h and light rain, which became heavy again at 1530 under 100% stratocumulus cloud. No further migrants were seen and the mountains to the west and north continued to be shrouded in cloud.

2.66 hours (86.4) SSHA 1 (214), NOGO 1 (29), GOEA 3 (556) TOTAL 5 (1053)

 

November 2 [Day 44]  (Cliff Hansen, assisted by Kevin Barker) Winter finally arrived at Lorette in the form of heavy snow but not yet cold temperatures which were -3C to 1100 and -2C to 1720 when the count was abandoned for the day. Ground winds were less than 5 km/h all day and variable, while ridge winds were probably light SW. Cloud cover was 100% low stratus and fog to 1400 after which it broke up to 60% stratus, altocumulus and cumulus for the rest of the day. All ridges were obscured all day except from 1600-1700 when the east was 30% clear and the west 50% clear, but no migrants took advantage of the improvement. At 0800 there was already 12 cm of fresh snow on the ground and when the snow finally stopped at 1400 this had increased to 22 cm. The only raptor seen was a resident adult Northern Goshawk that perched and preened in the afternoon near the site for 1.5 hours. Other birds seen included, appropriately, the first flocks of 10 and 8 Snow Buntings of the season, as well as 5 Bohemian Waxwings, 6 Pine Grosbeaks, 2 Red Crossbills, 6 White-winged Crossbills and 45 Common Redpolls.

9.33 hours (487.3) TOTAL 0 (3841)

Steeples, November 2 No observation (poor weather).

Vicki Ridge, November 2 (Peter Sherrington) 1330-1610 It was quite a pleasant day with a temperature of 6C at the start that fell to 4C at the end, W winds that were generally 5-15 gusting to 25 km/h and 40-80% mainly cumulus cloud cover that produced sunny periods and excellent viewing conditions. Probably because of the weather to the north only 4 migrants were noted between 1420 and 1544: 1a Cooper’s Hawk, 1a light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk and 1a Golden Eagle. In addition at 1416 a resident adult Golden Eagle displayed immediately west of the ridge and at 1503 a late subadult Golden Eagle moved low to the north. At 1420 the only migrant Golden Eagle was mobbed by the adult male Cooper’s Hawk as they moved south, when the hawk suddenly stooped at about 30o to the south aiming at a flock of 30 Bohemian Waxwings that were feeding on the ground. The waxwings scattered and the hawk could be seen pursuing individual birds at ground level, but when I later walked to the site I could see no sign of a kill. At 1530 a Northern Pygmy-Owl perched close to me where it was mobbed by 3 Red-breasted Nuthatches.

2.66 hours (89.06) COHA 1 (17), RTHA 1 (41), RLHA 1 (98) GOEA 1 (557) TOTAL 4 (1057)

SUMMARY, MOUNT LORETTE, FALL 2015
DAYS 44
HOURS 487.3

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 1
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 152
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 14
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 252
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 29
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 42
Unidentified Accipiter (UA) 16
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 6
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 30
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 42
Unidentified Buteo (UB) 15
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 3185
Unidentified eagle (UE) 11
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 2
MERLIN (MERL) 22
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 4
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 9
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 4
Unidentified Falco (UF) 1
Unidentified raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 3841

 

November 3 [Day 45]  (Brian McBride, assisted by Alan Hingston) Clear skies allowed the temperature to drop to a season low -14C at 0730, but it rose to a high of 2C at 1400 and 1500 before falling to -3C at 1715 when observation ended. Ground winds were mainly W less than 5 km/h all day, while ridge winds were light, W to 1400 and then NE for the rest of the day. It was cloudless to 1100 after which 10-30% altostratus and cumulus developed to 1600, after which it was 40% low cumulus for the rest of the day which produced 40-50% obscuring of both the eastern and western ridges. There was one burst of raptor movement between 1325 and 1400 when 6 birds, 2a Bald Eagles, 1a Sharp-shinned Hawk and 3a Golden Eagles, were recorded, and the only other migrant was 1a Golden Eagle at 1626. All the eagles were located at the northern end of the Fisher Range. A further 5 Bald Eagles (3a, 2j) flew low above the valley, perched or hunted, but did not appear to be migrating. Other birds were also scarce and included 5 swans flying high to the south above the Fisher Range, 1 Northern Shrike, 4 Snow Buntings and 25 undifferentiated finches.

9.75 hours (497.1) BAEA 2 (154), SSHA 1 (253), GOEA 4 (3189) TOTAL 7 (3848)

Steeples, November 3 (Vance Mattson) 1400-1700 After 4 days of poor weather with the ridges being obscured, today was 6C with moderate to strong N-NE winds and 40% low stratocumulus clouds that had reduced to 10% at the end of observation. Sunny conditions provided excellent views of a record November movement of 64 migrants that comprised 35 Bald Eagles (21a, 4sa, 10j), 1 adult female Northern Harrier and 28 Golden Eagles (26a, 2j). Most movement was low and fast against the face of the ridges with the exception of a kettle of 11 Bald Eagles that soared high over the SW flank of Bill Nye peak at 1528. Only 2 raptors, both Golden Eagles, moved after 1600, the last bird being seen at 1621. The movement probably resulted from a “bottleneck effect” where birds were delayed by the four previous days of bad weather although before that no movement had been observed since October 24.

3 hours (102.3) BAEA 35 (215), NOHA 1 (3), GOEA 28 (79) TOTAL 64 (354)

Vicki Ridge, November 3 (Peter Sherrington, Cornell and Carol Van Ryk) 0940-1150 It was a beautiful cloudless morning with light SE winds and a temperature of 1C. By 1000 altocumulus, altostratus and cumulus cloud started to develop which had reached 80% by 1100 at which time a fog bank moved from the east which by 1130 had substantially covered the ridge and reduced the temperature to -2C. The ridge remained shrouded for the rest of the day. The only migrant seen was an unaged Northern Goshawk that flew high to the south west of the ridge at 1107, although a soaring resident adult Golden Eagle and a perched resident juvenile Northern Goshawk were also seen. In the afternoon I drove to Pincher Creek in thick fog, which had largely cleared (apart from the foothills ridges) when I returned. When driving north along Range Road 1-1 WNW of Pincher Creek I saw perched on a power pole what I initially took to be the first Snowy Owl I had seen in the area. Closer observation revealed the bird to be a pure white morph Gyrfalcon, only the third I had ever seen in Alberta. What a disappointment!

2.16 hours (91.22) NOGO 1 (30) TOTAL 1 (1058)

SUMMARY, MOUNT LORETTE, FALL 2015
DAYS 45
HOURS 497.1

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 1
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 154
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 14
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 253
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 29
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 42
Unidentified Accipiter (UA) 16
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 6
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 30
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 42
Unidentified Butte (UB) 15
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 3189
Unidentified eagle (UE) 11
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 2
MERLIN (MERL) 22
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 4
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 9
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 4
Unidentified Falco (UF) 1
Unidentified raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 3848

 

November 4 [Day 45]  (Terry Waters, assisted by Alan Hingston, Jennifer Waters, Lisa Simms and Monica Dragosz) Clear skies produced the season’s lowest temperature so far of -15C at 0830, but it did reach a high of -1 at 1400 and was -3C at 1730 when observation ceased. Ground winds were light SW all day, generally up to 5 km/h but reaching 10 km/h around 1400, while ridge winds were light to moderate SW all day producing some blowing snow. The sky was cloudless until 1200 when cirrus began to develop that reached a maximum of 80% at 1400 before gradually dwindling to 0% again by the end of the day. Only the two eagle species moved today with 3a Bald Eagles and 28 Golden Eagles (16a, 3sa, 4j, 5u) migrating between 1040 and 1625. All but 6 of these birds moved after 1400 with a maximum hourly count of 10 between 1500 and 1600. The count is the highest since October 29, and most birds glided and flapped from Mount Lorette to the face of the northern end of the Fisher Range and attained the ridge-line only with difficulty. A resident adult Northern Goshawk was seen in the meadow, but other birds were scarce and comprised mainly 1 Northern Shrike, 5 Snow Buntings, and 40 crossbill spp. flying in 3 flocks. There were no visitors today.

9 hours (506.1) BAEA 3 (157), GOEA 28 (3217) TOTAL 31 (3879)

Steeples, November 4 (Vance Mattson) 1100-1400 Today Vance observed from the South Lakit site where the temperature rose from 0C to 2C, conditions were calm and cloud cover was 60-80% cumulus which provided mainly sunny skies. Although yesterday’s rush hour was not repeated there was a steady movement of 7 birds that mainly glided low overhead towards the south. The flight comprised 3 Bald Eagles (1a, 2sa), 1a Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1j Northern Goshawk and 2a Golden Eagles. A further 2a Bald Eagles and 1j Golden Eagle were considered to be non-migrants.

3 hours (105.3) BAEA 3 (218), SSHA 1 (35), NOGO 1 (2), GOEA 2 (81) TOTAL 7 (361)

Vicki Ridge, November 4 (Peter Sherrington) 1930-1530 The temperature on the ridge ranged from -3C to -1C but it felt much colder because of a persistent W wind that was 30-50 gusting 60-70 km/h all day. Sunshine from a cloudless sky offered some compensation but made locating birds a challenge. Ironically, almost immediately after 1530 altocumulus cloud started to develop and by 1600 had reached about 60%! Movement was initially very slow but picked up after 1400 when 10 of the day’s 18 migrants were seen. The flight of seven species comprised 4a Bald Eagles, 2a female Northern Harriers, 1a Sharp-shinned Hawk, 2a Northern Goshawks 1a rufous morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 3 Rough-legged Hawks (2 light, 1 dark) and 5 Golden Eagles (3a, 1sa, 1j). Two adult resident Golden Eagles were also present.

6 hours (97.22) BAEA 4 (55), NOHA 2 (9), SSHA 1 (215), NOGO 2 (32), RTHA 1 (42), RLHA 3 (101) GOEA 5 (562) TOTAL 18 (1076)

SUMMARY, MOUNT LORETTE, FALL 2015
DAYS 46
HOURS 506.1

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 1
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 157
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 14
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 253
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 29
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 42
Unidentified Accipiter (UA) 16
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 6
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 30
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 42
Unidentified Butte (UB) 15
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 3217
Unidentified eagle (UE) 11
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 2
MERLIN (MERL) 22
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 4
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 9
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 4
Unidentified Falco (UF) 1
Unidentified raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 3879

 

November 5 [Day 47] (Joel Duncan, assisted by Lisa Simms) The temperature at 0815 was -8C, rose to a high of 2C at 1500 and was -1C at 1730 when observation ended. Ground winds were variable and light all day while ridge winds were strong W-SW in the morning and moderate NW in the afternoon. Cloud cover was initially 100% altostratus and cumulus to noon and 70-50% cumulus for the rest of the day. Only 8 migrants were seen between 1049 and 1645 comprising 1a Bald Eagle, 6 Golden Eagles (2a, 3sa, 1u) and the highlight of the day 1 dark morph Gyrfalcon. Four of the Golden Eagles moved between 1500 and 1600 and all birds were initially located gliding and flapping above the northern end of the Fisher Range. Other birds were also relatively scarce and included 3 Pine Grosbeaks, 9 Red Crossbills, 9 White-winged Crossbills, 100 undifferentiated crossbills and 19 Common Redpolls.

9.25 hours (515.3) BAEA 1 (158), GOEA 6 (3223) GYRF 1 (5) TOTAL 8 (3887)

Steeples, November 5 No observation

Vicki Ridge, November 5 (Peter Sherrington) 1200-1622 The temperature was initially -3C rose to -2C at 1400 and 1500 and was -3C at the end. Winds were W 20-30 gusting up to 40 km/h and cloud cover was 100% altostratus and cumulus that formed a gloomy arch which began to break at 1400 and by the end of the count was 10% scattered cumulus. Movement was initially slow before 1410 with only 1 Bald Eagle seen at 1332 but the pace then quickened with a further 18 migrants moving up to 1557. The flight was 6 Bald Eagles (1a, 5j), 1a Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1a light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk and 10 Golden Eagles (9a, 1u). Most birds moved high above the ridge, but 4 glided south well west of the ridge.

4.33 hours (101.6) BAEA 6 (61), SSHA 1 (216), RTHA 1 (43), RLHA 1 (102), GOEA 10 (572) TOTAL 19 (1095)

SUMMARY, MOUNT LORETTE, FALL 2015
DAYS 47
HOURS 515.3

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 1
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 158
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 14
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 253
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 29
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 42
Unidentified Accipiter (UA) 16
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 6
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 30
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 42
Unidentified Butte (UB) 15
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 3223
Unidentified eagle (UE) 11
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 2
MERLIN (MERL) 22
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 5
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 9
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 4
Unidentified Falco (UF) 1
Unidentified raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 3887

 

November 6 [Day 48] (Cliff Hansen, assisted by Heinz Unger and Pat Farley) The temperature at 0740 was -13C, rose to a high of 0C from 1600 to the end of observation at 1720. Ground winds were SW 0-5 km/h until 1500 then 5-10 gusting 30 km/h for the rest of the day, while blowing snow from the mountains indicated that ridge winds were strong NW all day. It was cloudless to 1200 when cumulus, altocumulus and lenticular cloud began to develop that increased to 100% at the end of observation. A total of 9 migrant raptors moved between 0913 and 1548 comprising 1a Bald Eagle, 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk and 7 Golden Eagles (5a, 1sa, 1j). Four of the Golden Eagles moved between 1300 and 1400 and all birds were seen gliding at or slightly above the Fisher Range ridge. Other birds were very scarce and the only finches seen were 7 Pine Grosbeaks. There were four visitors to the site today.

9.67 hours (525) BAEA 1 (159), RLHA 1 (43), GOEA 7 (3230) TOTAL 9 (3896)

Steeples, November 6 No observation. As yesterday the mountains were shrouded in cloud, only becoming visible at 1600, too late for Vance to get to the site.

Vicki Ridge, November 6 (Peter Sherrington) 1200-1530 Because of a high wind warning I observed from the well site immediately west of the ridge. The temperature was 3C throughout, winds W 50-60 gusting 90 km/h and it was cloudless to 1330 when altocumulus and altostratus cloud developed that reached 70% at the end of observation. Only 2a Golden Eagles were seen gliding high above the ridge: 1 at 1223 and 1 at 1437.

3.5 hours (105.1) GOEA 2 (574) TOTAL 2 (1097)

SUMMARY, MOUNT LORETTE, FALL 2015
DAYS 48
HOURS 525

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 1
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 159
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 14
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 253
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 29
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 42
Unidentified Accipiter (UA) 16
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 6
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 30
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 43
Unidentified Butte (UB) 15
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 3230
Unidentified eagle (UE) 11
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 2
MERLIN (MERL) 22
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 5
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 9
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 4
Unidentified Falco (UF) 1
Unidentified raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 3896

 

November 7 [Day 49] (Jim Davis) It was a remarkably warm day for November with a temperature at 0800 of 7C a high of 9C from 1100-1300 and 6C at the end of observation at 1700. Ground winds were WSW 35 gusting 60 km/h to 1300, 20 gusting 30 km/h at 1400, 10 km/h at 1500 and 0-5 km/h after 1600, while ridge winds were WSW very strong to 1200, strong to 1430 and then moderate for the rest of the day. Cloud cover was 20% cumulus and cirrostratus to 1300 which thickened to 60% cumulus, altostratus and lenticular to 1600 after which it was 10% cumulus to the end of the day. The eastern route was clear all day but the west was 50% obscured to 1500 and 30% obscured thereafter and it appeared to be raining there for most of the day. There was a fairly strong and steady raptor movement for the time of year with 18 birds moving between 0924 and 1601 with a high hourly count of 4 between 0924 and 1000. The count was 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1a Cooper’s Hawk, 1a Northern Goshawk, 4 Rough-legged Hawks (3 light and 1 dark) and 11 Golden Eagles (10a, 1u). With the exception of one Golden Eagle to the west, most birds moved to the SE close to the Fisher Range ridge. Other birds included a flock of 40 Bohemian Waxwings, 1 Pine Grosbeak, 10 Red Crossbills and 12 White-winged Crossbills. A total of 32 visitors came to the site today.

9 hours (534) SSHA 1 (254), COHA 1 (30), NOGO 1 (43), RLHA 4 (47) GOEA 11 (3241) TOTAL 18 (3914)

Steeples, November 7 (Vance Mattson) 1230-1630 It was also warm at the upper Bill Nye site, about 2 km farther south and higher than the regular site, where the temperature was 8C to 7C; winds were strong S and, despite a forecast for a sunny day, cloud cover was 100% altostratus and dark cumulus throughout the count period, which occasionally draped the ridges. A total of 8 adult Golden Eagles were counted between 1316 and 1540 with most birds travelling low to the south against the mountain face. Non-migrants were an adult Bald Eagle that flew to the west, a northbound adult Northern Goshawk, a hunting Golden Eagle and another flying to the north at the end of the day.

4 hours (109.3) GOEA 8 (89) TOTAL 8 (369)

Vicki Ridge, November 7 (Peter Sherrington) 1145-1515 Despite another high wind warning, it was warmer today (5C to 6C) so I watched from the ridge-top. Winds were WSW 50-65 gusting to 80-90 km/h and cloud cover was initially 70% altocumulus, altostratus and cumulus which after 1400 reduced to 30% cirrus, cumulus and lenticular. To the north the Livingstone Ridge had a tablecloth of thick cumulus cloud throughout the day. Viewing conditions were excellent but only 4 migrants moved high to the south above the western edge of the ridge between 1220 and 1322. The flight was 1a Bald Eagle, 1a dark morph harlani Red-tailed Hawk, 1a Golden Eagle and a male Prairie Falcon. A resident adult Golden Eagle hunted the ridge at 1427. In the late afternoon I was driving towards Pincher Creek when at 1710 I observed a juvenile light morph Ferruginous Hawk hunting along Range Road 1-1 near its intersection with HW 507. This is the latest I have ever seen one in the area and it was a first record for November.

3.5 hours (108.6) BAEA 1 (62), RTHA 1 (44), GOEA 1 (575), PRFA 1 (2) TOTAL 4 (1101)

SUMMARY, MOUNT LORETTE, FALL 2015
DAYS 49
HOURS 534

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 1
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 159
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 14
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 254
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 30
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 43
Unidentified Accipiter (UA) 16
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 6
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 30
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 47
Unidentified Butte (UB) 15
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 3241
Unidentified eagle (UE) 11
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 2
MERLIN (MERL) 22
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 5
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 9
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 4
Unidentified Falco (UF) 1
Unidentified raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 3914

 

November 8 [Day 50] (Bill Wilson) At 0730 the temperature was 2C, reached a high of 5C from 1100 to 1400 and was 0C at 1725. Ground winds were SW 5-10 gusting 25 km/h to 1400, then NW 5-10 km/h for the rest of the day, while ridge winds were strong SW to 1000, strong to moderate to 1300 then probably moderate for the rest of the day. Cloud cover was 90% cumulus and cirrus to 0900, 80-90% cumulus and stratus to 1300 with stratus increasing to 100% from 1500 to the end of observation. Between 0900 and 1300 occasional light rain fell, then steady light rain to 1500 after which continuous rain fell for the rest of the day. The eastern route was completely clear to 1400 after which it clouded over reaching 100% at 1600 before quickly clearing to 10% at 1700. The west was clear to 0800, 10% occluded to 1400 after which it was completely hidden for the rest of the day. Despite the weather there was a fairly strong eagle migration between 0821 and 1391 involving 6 Bald Eagles (4a, 2j) and 10 Golden Eagles (7a, 3u) although half of the flight (3 Bald and 5 Golden Eagles) moved between 0900 and 1000. All birds were located at the northern end of the Fisher Range and glided to the SE close to the ridge top. Other birds seen included a juvenile white-headed gull (probably a Herring Gull), 1 late American Pipit in the meadow, 32 Red Crossbills, 78 White-winged Crossbills, 20 Common Redpolls and 30 Pine Siskins. A group of 5 Mountain Goats (2a, 3j) walked the ridge from Mount Old Baldy to Mount McDougall, outnumbering the visitors to the site by three.

10.5 hours (544.5) BAEA 6 (165), GOEA 10 (3251) TOTAL 16 (3930)

Steeples, November 8 (Vance Mattson) 1245-1545 Vance again observed from the Upper Bill Nye site where it was 7C with moderate to strong S winds, 80-100% altostratus and dark cumulus and intermittent light rain to 1530 when it became steady as cloud enveloped the ridges for the rest of the day. While the going was good a total of 8 eagles were counted, 3 Bald Eagles (2a, 1u) and 5a Golden Eagles, between 1305 and 1345 with all birds moving low across the mountain face with the exception of one Golden Eagle that moved very low to the south just west of the site.

3 hours (112.3) BAEA 3 (221), GOEA 5 (94) TOTAL 8 (377)

Vicki Ridge, November 8 (Peter Sherrington) 1230-1600 On the ridge top the temperature fell from 6C to 2C at 1600, winds were steady W 40-45 gusting 55 km/h that diminished slightly to 30 gusting 50 km/h after 1530, and cloud cover that oscillated between 100% to 20% cumulus stratocumulus and cirrus depending on where the downslope cloud front was located. Migration was thin with 7 migrants of 5 species moving between 1328 and 1512 comprising 2 Bald Eagles (1a, 1sa), 1 adult male Northern Harrier, 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk, 2a Golden Eagles and 1 Prairie Falcon.

3.5 hours (112.1) BAEA 2 (64), NOHA 1 (10), RLHA 1 (104), GOEA 2 (577), PRFA 1 (3) TOTAL 7 (1108)

SUMMARY, MOUNT LORETTE, FALL 2015
DAYS 50

HOURS 544.5

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 1
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 165
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 14
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 254
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 30
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 43
Unidentified Accipiter (UA) 16
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 6
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 30
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 47
Unidentified Butte (UB) 15
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 3251
Unidentified eagle (UE) 11
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 2
MERLIN (MERL) 22
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 5
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 9
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 4
Unidentified Falco (UF) 1
Unidentified raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 3930

 

November 9 [Day 51] (Terry Waters, assisted by Diane Stinson and Pat Farley) In the morning it was snowing and all ridges were obscured so the count didn’t start until 1300 when there was 4 cm of fresh snow on the ground and flurries persisted. The temperature at 1300 was -3C and from 1400 to 1700 when the count was ended for the day it was -4C. Ground winds were NNE 5-10 km/h, ridge winds were moderate NW, cloud cover was 100% stratocumulus and all the mountains remained obscured. Not surprisingly no migrant raptors were observed. Other birds recorded included 2 Boreal Chickadees, 65 White-winged Crossbills, 20 crossbill sp. and 15 Pine Siskins, while the day’s only highlight was watching a Coyote hunting voles in the Hay Meadow.

4 hours (548.5) TOTAL 0 (3930)

Steeples, November 9 No observation.

Vicki Ridge, November 9 (Peter Sherrington) No observation. Fog and steady snow all day obscured everything. A driving survey east of Pincher creek netted 2 adult Bald Eagles, 1 juvenile Northern Harrier, 8 light morph Rough-legged Hawks and the same juvenile Ferruginous Hawk reported a couple of days ago that has been present in the same area since October 27 and appears to be wintering there.

SUMMARY, MOUNT LORETTE, FALL 2015
DAYS 51
HOURS 548.5

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 1
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 165
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 14
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 254
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 30
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 43
Unidentified Accipiter (UA) 16
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 6
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 30
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 47
Unidentified Butte (UB) 15
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 3251
Unidentified eagle (UE) 11
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 2
MERLIN (MERL) 22
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 5
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 9
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 4
Unidentified Falco (UF) 1
Unidentified raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 3930

 

November 10 [Day 52] (Brian McBride, assisted by Cliff Hansen) The temperature was -13C at 0730 rose to a high of 0C at 1500 and fell to -5C at 1730. Ground winds were predominantly W less than 5 km/h, while ridge winds were moderate SW causing snow to plume off the ridges. It was cloudless to 1500 after which 10% cirrus developed to the west for the rest of the day. It was an excellent raptor movement for November with a total of 63 migrants recorded between 1257 and 1725, the flight comprising 11a Bald Eagles, 5 light morph Rough-legged Hawks and 47 Golden Eagles (30a, 9sa, 4j, 4u). Both the combined species count and the Golden Eagle total were the highest since October 29. The peak hourly movement was 1500-1600 with 27 migrants, 22 of which were Golden Eagles and 15 moved during the following hour including 13 Golden Eagles. Only two birds, 1 Bald and 1 Golden Eagle, were seen to cross from Mount Lorette, with the rest of the birds being located usually flapping low against the face of the northern end of the Fisher Range. It was only during the last hour of observation that birds glided high above the ridge. Other birds included 2 Pine Grosbeaks, 1 Red Crossbill, 5 White-winged Crossbills and 20 crossbill spp, and a Mount Goat fed at the northern end of the Fisher Range. Only 2 visitors shared a rather good November day.

10 hours (558.5) BAEA 11 (176), RLHA 5 (52), GOEA 47 (3298) TOTAL 63 (3993)

Steeples, November 10 (Vance Mattson) 1345-1615 It was a cool day with a temperature of 2C, calm or light NW winds and 50-100% stratocumulus and altostratus cloud cover that obscured the ridges all day. The valley to the west, however began to clear after 1430. Two migrant Bald Eagles moved to the south W of the ridge: an adult at 1407 and a juvenile at 1428, and a non-migrant adult Golden Eagle glided north at 1435 before perching on the ridge. The highlight of the day, however, was a Northern Pygmy-Owl that perched at the site for 10 minutes before executing two hunting sallies, the results of which were unfortunately obscured by bushes.

2.5 hours (114.8) BAEA 2 (223) TOTAL 2 (379)

Vicki Ridge, November 10 (Peter Sherrington) 1500-1700 Frustratingly, especially in the light of today’s Lorette count, I couldn’t get to the ridge until 1500 where the temperature was 1C which dropped to -1C at 1700, winds were W 40-45 gusting 55 km/h and it was cloudless throughout. Unfortunately the only migrant seen was an adult Golden Eagle that glided high to the S at 1551.

2 hours (114.1) GOEA 1 (578) TOTAL 1 (1109)

SUMMARY, MOUNT LORETTE, FALL 2015
DAYS 52
HOURS 558.5

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 1
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 176
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 14
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 254
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 30
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 43
Unidentified Accipiter (UA) 16
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 6
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 30
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 52
Unidentified Butte (UB) 15
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 3298
Unidentified eagle (UE) 11
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 2
MERLIN (MERL) 22
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 5
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 9
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 4
Unidentified Falco (UF) 1
Unidentified raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 3993

 

November 11 [Day 53] (Cliff Hansen, assisted by Kevin Barker) There was little temperature variation with -1C at 0820, a high of 0C at 1400 and a low of -3C at 1720 when observation ceased. Ground winds were light S-SW all day with the exception of 1300-1500 when they gusted up to 25 km/h, while ridge winds were moderate to strong all day, SW to 1300 then NW for the remainder of the day. Cloud cover was 100% cumulus and altostratus that produced very light snow to 1000, then 100% cumulus, altostratus and altocumulus to 1100 which reduced to 40% by 1400 and was again 100% after 1500. The eastern ridges were 20-30% obscured to 1100 then clear, while the west was 80-90% obscured to 1200 before gradually clearing to 1500 when they became completely clear. Yesterday’s movement continued with 26 migrants recorded between 0855 and 1624, with 14 of the birds migrating between 1400 and 1600. The flight comprised 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1u Cooper’s Hawk, 2 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 21 Golden Eagles (19a, 2u) and 1 unidentified eagle. All the birds were initially detected at the northern end of the Fisher Range gliding the SE at or slightly above the ridge level. Today’s count put the combined species total for the site above 4000 for the first time since 2005. Other birds present included 1 Northern Pygmy-Owl, 1 Northern Shrike, 1 Pine Grosbeak, 2 White-winged Crossbills, 5 Common Redpolls and a total of 130 unidentified finches seen flying in small flocks throughout the day. Three Mountain Goats fed on the ridge at the northern end of the Fisher Range, and a total of 12 visitors came to the site today.

9 hours (567.5) SSHA 1 (255), COHA 1 (31), RLHA 2 (54), GOEA 21 (3319) TOTAL 26 (4019)

Steeples, November 11 (Vance Mattson) 1200-1630 It was a partially sunny day with a temperature of 4 to 3C, strong SW winds that moderated later in the day and 50-80% cumulus cloud cover. The ridges were clear for the first time in a few days although the higher peaks remained in the clouds. A total of 7 eagles migrated between 1310 and 1613: 5 Bald Eagles (2a, 3sa) and 2a Golden Eagles. The 3 subadult Bald Eagles moved south between 1520 and 1530.

4.5 hours (119.3) BAEA 5 (228), GOEA 2 (96) TOTAL 7 (386)

Vicki Ridge, November 11 No observation.

SUMMARY, MOUNT LORETTE, FALL 2015
DAYS 53
HOURS 567.5

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 1
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 176
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 14
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 255
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 31
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 43
Unidentified Accipiter (UA) 16
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 6
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 30
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 54
Unidentified Butte (UB) 15
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 3319
Unidentified eagle (UE) 12
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 2
MERLIN (MERL) 22
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 5
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 9
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 4
Unidentified Falco (UF) 1
Unidentified raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 4019

November 12 [Day 54] (Joel Duncan, assisted by Lisa Simms) The temperature was -6C at 0815, rose to a high of -2C between 1200 and 1600 and was -3C at 1700 when observation ceased. Ground winds were SW all day, 5-10 gusting 15 km/h until 1000 with gusts steadily increasing to 35 km/h after 1600, while ridge winds were strong SW all day producing spectacular snow plumes. Cloud cover was initially 40% cumulus and cirrus that increased to a 90% arch of altostratus, cumulus, lenticular and cirrus at 1400 which reduced to 60% at the end of the day, when light snow began to fall. The west was 30-80% obscured all day but the east remained clear. Raptor migration was slow with just 8 birds moving between 0914 and 1429, three of which were seen between 1100 and 1200. The count was 2a Bald Eagles, 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk, 4 Golden Eagles (2a, 1sa, 1u) and 1 unidentified eagle. With the exception of the Rough-legged Hawk which was the last bird of the day and seen over Hummingbird Plume Hill to the west, all birds moved against the face of the Fisher Range and were visibly buffeted by the strong winds. Other birds seen included 12 Common Mergansers that flew high in a “V” south from Mount Lorette down the centre of the valley, 2 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 1 Red Crossbill, 33 White-winged Crossbills and 8 Common Redpolls. There were no visitors.

8.25 hours (575.8) BAEA 2 (178), RLHA 1 (55), GOEA 4 (3323), UE 1 (13) TOTAL 8 (4027)

Steeples, November 12 No observation. All the ridges were shrouded in cloud.

Vicki Ridge, November 12 (Peter Sherrington) 1430-1700 Yet another wind warning had me again watching from the well site on the western flank of the ridge, but the forecasted 120 km/h gusts only reached 80 km/h while I was there. The temperature was -1C and cloud cover was initially 100% cumulus and altostratus with light snow which gave way after 1520 to 80-90% cumulus, altostratus and altocumulus which even allowed brief period of hazy sunshine. Observation conditions were very good but only a single migrating adult Bald Eagle was seen at 1551, probably because snow was falling on the Livingstone Range to the north.

2.5 hours (116.6) BAEA 1 (65) TOTAL 1 (1110)

SUMMARY, MOUNT LORETTE, FALL 2015
DAYS 54
HOURS 575.8

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 1
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 178
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 14
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 255
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 31
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 43
Unidentified Accipiter (UA) 16
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 6
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 30
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 55
Unidentified Butte (UB) 15
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 3323
Unidentified eagle (UE) 13
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 2
MERLIN (MERL) 22
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 5
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 9
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 4
Unidentified Falco (UF) 1
Unidentified raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 4027

November 13 [Day 55] (George Halmazna, assisted by Dan Parliament) The temperature at 0730 was -3C and when the count was abandoned for the day at 1430 it had risen to 1C. Ground winds were very light (1-2 km/h) SW all day, and low stratocumulus cloud and heavy snow all day completely obscured the mountains. No raptors were seen and in seven hours of observation the only birds seen were 2 Common Ravens.

7 hours (582.8) TOTAL 0 (4027)

Steeples, November 13 No observation. All the ridges were again completely shrouded in cloud.

Vicki Ridge, November 13 No observation. Very strong W winds, low stratus clouds and rain all day which was often heavy.

November 14 [Day 56] (Jim Davis, assisted by Ruth Morrow) The temperature at 0800 was -2C but reached a low of -3C at 1000 before rising to 0C at 1400. It was calm all day and all but the lower parts of the mountains were obscured by low stratus cloud and fog all day. Heavy snow was still falling at 0800 which gradually diminished to 1300 after which it rained for the rest of the day. Having become thoroughly soaked Jim and Ruth wisely decided to retreat at 1430. The only raptor seen was a light morph Rough-legged Hawk that flew low to the south at 0847. In contrast to yesterday, however, good numbers and varieties of other birds were seen comprising 65 Greater White-fronted Geese flying south just under the cloud base, 126 Canada Geese doing the same in three flocks, 12 Mallards, 3 Herring Gulls, 1 tern sp. (probably a Common Tern) which flew low to the south just east of the river (this is a very late record and may well be the first record of a white tern at the site), 2 Belted Kingfishers, 1 Northern Shrike, 1 American Crow, 40 Common Ravens (including a flock of 33 flying low to the north at 0820), 1 American Dipper, 3 American Robins, 25 Bohemian Waxwings, 60 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches, 2 Pine Grosbeaks, 34 Red Crossbills, 1 White-winged Crossbill and 100 Pine Siskins. Despite the poor weather 2 visitors managed to make it to the site. The forecast is for the precipitation to cease overnight so there may be some prospect of raptor movement for the last day of the fall 2015 count tomorrow.

6.5 hours (589.3) RLHA 1 (56) TOTAL 1 (4028)

Steeples, November 14 No observation. Rain all day, but the forecast is calling for clearing tomorrow.

Vicki Ridge, November 14 No observation. Rain and low clouds, but relatively light winds. The ridge cleared in the late afternoon but the mountains to the north remained cloud covered. The forecast is for a high of 10C tomorrow, sunny conditions and light to moderate winds so there is a chance the count may end with a bit of a flourish.

SUMMARY, MOUNT LORETTE, FALL 2015
DAYS 56
HOURS 589.3

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 1
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 178
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 14
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 255
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 31
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 43
Unidentified Accipiter (UA) 16
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 6
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 30
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 56
Unidentified Butte (UB) 15
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 3323
Unidentified eagle (UE) 13
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 2
MERLIN (MERL) 22
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 5
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 9
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 4
Unidentified Falco (UF) 1
Unidentified raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 4028

November 15 [Day 57] (Bill Wilson, assisted by Cliff Hansen and Brian McBride) The weather was a considerable improvement on the last few days with a temperature of -4C at 0700 rising to a high of 6C at 1300 and it was still 3C at 1710 when observation and the fall 2015 count ended. Ground winds were a steady SW 5-10 all day, occasionally gusting up to 36 km/h between 0800 and 1500, while ridge winds were strong SW all day producing spectacular snow plumes on the ridges. Cloud cover was initially 100% altostratus and cumulus that gradually reduced to 30% cumulus at 1000 and to a trace at 1500 before increasing again to 80% altostratus and cumulus at the end. The poor weather of the last two days had obviously ponded-up the migrants which today moved steadily between 0753 and 1653, the total of 64 birds being the highest total for the month. The flight comprised 10a Bald Eagles, 3 light morph Rough-legged Hawks and 51 Golden Eagles (41a, 1sa, 1j, 8u). Movement was very even with every hour between 0800 and 1500 producing between 6 and 11 migrants. With the exception of one bird that flew above the centre of the valley, the movement was exclusively above the Fisher Range ridge with most birds gliding high after 0945. Other birds included 1 Belted Kingfisher, 1 Northern Shrike, 5 Pine Grosbeaks, 27 Red Crossbills, 34 White-winged Crossbills and 15 Common Redpolls. A large stag Moose walked right by the site before entering the river and strolling downstream, and a total of 11 visitors enjoyed what was a rather good finish to a successful count.

10.25 hours (599.5) BAEA 10 (188), RLHA 3 (59), GOEA 51 (3374) TOTAL 64 (4092)

Lorette November summary [NOTE the average is for counts at the site between 1993 and 2014 excluding 1997 (count at Plateau Mountain), 2002 (short count), and 2006-8 (anomalously low counts)]. All 15 days were spent in the field although poor weather on 4 days resulted in 3 zero counts and 1 with a single bird. The days are 5.7% above average and the hours (134) are 3.8% above average. The combined species total of 271 birds was 14% below average, and unusually the highest daily count of 64 occurred on the last day of the count. Only 3 species occurred in above average numbers: Sharp-shinned Hawk 3 (+54.8%), Cooper’s Hawk 2 (+166.7%) and Rough-legged Hawk 17 (+195.7%) which equals the highest total for the month in 1998. All other species recorded in the month were in below average numbers: Northern Goshawk 1 (-85.6%), Golden Eagle 202 (-7%) and Gyrfalcon 1 (-5.9%). Species not occurring this year (with number of years previously recorded in parentheses) are Osprey (1), Northern Harrier (7), Broad-winged Hawk (1), Red-tailed Hawk (8), American Kestrel (2), Merlin (6), Peregrine Falcon (6) and Prairie Falcon (2). Turkey Vulture, Swainson’s Hawk and Ferruginous Hawk have never been recorded in November.

Steeples, November 11 (Vance Mattson) 1200-1600 It was a warm day with a temperature of 8C, moderate to strong SW winds and 90-50% stratocumulus, altostratus and altocumulus clouds. Low cloud passed in front of the ridges until 1430 when they finally became clear. The only migrants noted were 2a Bald Eagles that flew south together at 1545.

4 hours (123.3) BAEA 2 (230) TOTAL 2 (388)

Steeples final count 35 days (123.3 hours) TUVU 0, OSPR 4, BAEA 230, NOHA 3, SSHA 35, COHA 2, NOGO 2, BWHA 0, RTHA 12, FEHA 0, RLHA 3, GOEA 96, AMKE 1, MERL 0, GYRF 0, PEFA 0, PRFA 0 TOTAL 388

Vicki Ridge, November 15 (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Gord Petersen) 0830-1715 After six straight days of very high winds, low clouds, snow and rain a pleasant day was welcome The temperature at 0830 was 4C, rose to a high between 1300 and 1400 of 6C and was 2C at the end of observation at 1715. Winds were W generally 15-20 km/h gusting to 30-35 km/h but diminished to gusts of 20-25 km/h near the end of the day. Cloud cover was 30-60% cumulus, altocumulus, altostratus and cirrus giving mainly sunny conditions and good observing conditions. Migrants had been bottled-up for the best part of a week and the final appearance of clear weather resulted in a record movement for mid-November of 125 birds: 70 Bald Eagles (50a, 7sa, 12j, 1u), 2a Northern Goshawks, 6 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 45 Golden Eagles (41a, 1sa, 3u), 1 unidentified eagle and 1 Prairie Falcon. The first bird seen was a Northern Goshawk at 0947 but the big movement didn’t start until 1111 and then didn’t stop until the last Bald Eagle moved south at 1658. The hourly counts between 1100 and 1700 were 25, 23, 17, 30, 16 and 13. Most of the birds moved high to the south above the ridge, but later in the day a few birds moved south above the ridge immediately to the west of Vicki Ridge. This is the latest ever 100+ count on a RMERF count and is the 3rd highest ever for November, exceeded only by George Halmazna’s counts of 185 and 130 at Mount Lorette on November 3 2014 and November 11 2012 respectively. The Bald Eagle count of 70 is the highest ever for a RMERF count, slightly exceeding the 67 counted by Vance Mattson at Steeples on October 11 earlier this season. The highest single-day Bald Eagle count at Mount Lorette was 52 on October 10, 1993 and at Piitaistakis-South Livingstone was 49 on November 17 2006. In addition to the raptors we found two plants still in full flower: one Short-beaked Agoseris (“False Dandelion”) (A. glauca) that was found and photographed by Gord, and Macoun’s Buttercup (Ranunculus uncinatus) that I found and photographed. Not only was the latter in full flower but it also had a bud that was just about to flower out.

8.25 hours (124.8) BAEA 70 (135), NOGO 2 (34), RLHA 6 (109), GOEA 45 (623), UE 1 (9), PRFA 1 (4) TOTAL 125 (1235)

Vicki Ridge final count (This includes results from 3 days spent on the ridge in September (12th, 22nd, 24th) by Doug and Teresa Dolman which were reported late and were not included in the running totals in the body of the blog) 34 days (138.8 hours) TUVU 2, OSPR 3, BAEA 135, NOHA 10, SSHA 268, COHA 41, NOGO 39, UA 15, BWHA 5, SWHA 0, RTHA 69, FEHA 0, RLHA 110, UB 1, GOEA 639, UE 9, AMKE 10, MERL 10, GYRF 2, PEFA 0, PRFA 4, UF 0, UU 9 TOTAL 1381

FINAL COUNT, MOUNT LORETTE, FALL 2015 (September 20 to November 15)
DAYS 57 (+4.8%)
HOURS 599.5 (+7.1%)

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0 (-100%)
OSPREY (OSPR) 1 (-63%)
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 188 (-22.9%)
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 14 (+34.5%)
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 255 (+94.7%, the highest ever count at the site)
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 31 (+35.5%)
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 43 (-4.8%)
Unidentified Accipiter (UA) 16 (+166.7%)
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 6 (-5.6%)
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0 (-100%)
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 30 (-12.1%)
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1 (+240%)
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 59 (+11.6%)
Unidentified Buteo (UB) 15 (+507.1%)
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 3374 (-2.7%)
Unidentified eagle (UE) 13 (+391.1%)
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 2 (-19%)
MERLIN (MERL) 22 (+216.9%, the highest ever count at the site)
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 5 (+77.1%)
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 9 (+62.8%)
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 4 (+112.5%)
Unidentified Falco (UF) 1 (-29.2%)
Unidentified raptor (UU) 3 (-26.1%)

TOTAL 4092 (+0.9%)


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