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Mount Lorette Raptor Count, 2015 SPRING

PETER SHERRINGTON

Introduction 2015 is the 24th consecutive year that a spring raptor count has been conducted at the Mount Lorette site. In 1992 an eight-day reconnaissance count at the site established that Golden Eagles moved to the northwest in significant numbers through the Rocky Mountain Front Ranges. Most of the birds moved along the Fisher Range, crossing the Kananaskis Valley to Mount Lorette before continuing their migration to the northwest. A 48 day (393 hour) count at the site in the spring of 1993 yielded 4140 migrating Golden Eagles and the following year a seventy day (649 hour) count produced 4213 birds which remains the highest spring count ever for the species at Mount Lorette. Between 1994 and 2007 extensive spring counts averaging 82 days (897 hours) were conducted at the site with a maximum count in 2005 of 94 days (1238 hours). Despite the steady increase in observer effort during this period, the number of migrating Golden Eagles counted has steadily and significantly decreased since 1995. In 2006 RMERF conducted it first complete fall count at the Piitaistakis-South Livingstone site near the Crowsnest Pass in SW Alberta and in 2008-10 also conducted full spring counts there. During this period extensive comparative counts were made at Mount Lorette between March 1 and April 15 which is coincident with the height of the Golden Eagle migration and during which period over 90% of the population moves north. Observer effort from 2008-10 at Mount Lorette averaged 43 days (487 hours) with a maximum count of 46 days (519 hours) in 2010 when no days were lost to inclement weather. In 2011 and subsequent years the count period was extended by 1 week (March 1 to April 22) and we plan to observe during the same period this spring.

Last year’s (2014) spring count saw a combined species passage of 2426 birds that was the third highest since 2006, as was the Golden Eagle count of 2219. It should be noted, however, that all counts from 1993-2006 exceeded these totals. All species with the exception of Osprey, Rough-legged Hawk, American Kestrel and Peregrine Falcon occurred in significantly lower than average numbers. Poor weather in March resulted in the movement of most species being later than average and a monthly combined species total that was 34.8% below average. The April 1-22 count by contrast was 29% above average and the highest Golden Eagle count occurred for the first time in April when 356 birds moved on April 1. The fall 2014 count saw the highest Golden Eagle immature: adult ratio (0.36) since the previous peak in 2008 (0.60) coincident with the height of the previous northern snowshoe hare cycle, and we expect to see a similar relative increase in the ratio this spring.

Since mid-January this winter has been characterized by well above normal temperatures and below average snowfall, with the exception of the last week of February. Except for a forecast of cold and snowy weather on March 2, the forecast for the first week of the count appears to be favourable for raptor migration so it is likely that we shan’t have to wait as long as last year for the migration to begin. In fact, on February 15 Jim Davis spent 1.5 hours (1330-1500) at the Lorette site and observed 12 migrants moving to the NW: 2 adult Bald Eagles, 1 Rough-legged Hawk and 9 Golden Eagles (8a, 1j). In Beaver Mines on February 8 I saw 2 Bald Eagles, 1 Rough-legged Hawk and 1 Golden Eagle flying high to the north between 1504 and 1641, and several other late afternoon watches recorded both Bald and Golden Eagle migrants.

Cliff Hanson is again organizing the count and welcomes visitors to the site. If you are interested in volunteering as a “Skysweeper” (no previous experience needed: just good eyes and binoculars) or as an Observer please contact Cliff at 403- 673-2422. Details of how to find the site and other useful information can be found on our website. Generally the best time to see migrating eagles is in the afternoon, and the chart below gives an indication of the dates when other raptors are expected to be moving at the site.

SUMMARY OF RAPTOR SPECIES SPRING OCCURRENCES
MOUNT LORETTE (March 1-April 22. 1993-2014)
species average first occurrence earliest first occurrence average median passage date
TUVU 2 records only: 18 and 31-Mar
OSPR 17-Apr 9-Apr n/a
BAEA 3-Mar 1-Mar 28-Mar
NOHA 4-Apr 24-Mar (3-Mar anomalous) 12-Apr
SSHA 24-Mar 13-Mar (2-Mar anomalous) 12-Apr
COHA 1-Apr 16-Mar 13-Apr
NOGO 11-Mar 1-Mar 30-Mar
BWHA 2 records only: 13 and 24-Apr
SWHA no records during the count period
RTHA 23-Mar 9-Mar 9-Apr
FEHA 3 records only: 6, 9, 15-Apr
RLHA 21-Mar 9-Mar 10-Apr
GOEA 2-Mar 1-Mar 22-Mar
AMKE 16-Apr 7-Apr n/a
MERL 21-Mar 6-Mar 5-Apr
GYRF 25-Mar 12-Mar n/a
PEFA 7-Apr 15-Mar n/a
PRFA 25-Mar 10-Mar n/a

 

March 1 [Day 1] (Bill Wilson, assisted by Heinz Unger and Rosemary Power). The temperature at 0700 (MST) was -18C but rose to a high of -0.5C at 1600 before dropping to -3C at 1840. Ground winds were 0-3 km/h to 0900, then S-SE 5-15 gusting 20 km/h to 1400 after which they were SW at the same velocity, while ridge winds were moderate SW all day. Cloud cover was 90-100% altostratus all day with some embedded lenticular cloud after 1500, which allowed hazy sunshine for much of the day. There was no precipitation but there was about 6 cm of accumulated snow on the ground, and all ridges and peaks were clear all day. The season’s first migrant raptor was an adult Golden Eagle at 1300, followed by a further 5 Golden Eagles (3a, 2u) and an adult Bald Eagle, the last raptor moving at 1521. All the birds glided high above the Fisher Range before crossing the Kananaskis Valley and moving to the NW across the face of Mount Lorette. The only other birds recorded was a Grey Jay, a flock of 20 Bohemian Waxwings and 152 Common Ravens that flew high to the SW from the summit of Mount Lorette between 1755 and 1822, presumably moving to a roost site. A total of 18 skiers and snowshoers visited the site. 11.67 hours BAEA 1(1), GOEA 6 (6) TOTAL 7 (7)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1600-1815. 0 to -1C, winds WSW moderate, gusting 41 km/h and 100% altostratus cloud cover. The only raptors seen were an adult Bald Eagle at 1613 and a light morph Rough-legged Hawk at 1620. 2.25 hours BAEA 1 (1), RLHA 1 (1) TOTAL 2 (2)

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) 1330- 1630. 0 to 4C, calm and clear, and 100% altostratus breaking to 50% cumulus and altostratus by the end. Two migrants were tallied: an adult Bald Eagle and a small unidentified falcon which, although very early in the season, could possibly have been an American Kestrel. Unfortunately, because of teaching commitments, Vance will be unable to visit the site on Mondays and Wednesdays this season. 3 hours BAEA 1 (1), UF 1 (1) TOTAL 2 (2)

LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 1
HOURS 11.67

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

TOTAL 7

 


March 2 NO OBSERVATION Snow all day with all peaks and ridges obscured. The forecast for tomorrow and the next five days, however, calls for clear skies and a significant warming trend.

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1130-1300 The temperature gradually fell throughout the day from -5C to -9C, winds were ENE-NE moderate occasionally gusting to 40 km/h and it was low overcast with snow, heavy at times, all day. A brief clearing between 1130 and 1300 saw the northward movement of 1 subadult Golden Eagle at 1152 and an adult Bald Eagle at 1227. After 1300 the ridge, although briefly visible on occasion, never fully cleared. 1.5 hours (3.75) BAEA 1 (2), GOEA 1 (1) TOTAL 2 (4)

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) No observation

LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

DAYS 1
HOURS 11.67

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

TOTAL 7

 


March 3 [Day 2] (Brian McBride, assisted by Cliff Hansen) The temperature at 0700 was a season low -27C and it only rose to a high of -8C at 1500 and 1600 before falling back to -13C at 1800. Fortunately ground winds were calm or light all day, mainly NE after 1500, while ridge winds were W moderate or occasionally strong all day. It was cloudless all day which made observation challenging, and the only migrant raptor recorded was a subadult 1 Bald Eagle that flew low above the river towards the north at 1236. The only other birds recorded were the season’s first Northern Shrike, 1 Grey Jay and 122 Common Ravens, only 8 of which were seen before 1800, but 114 moved to the SSW above Lorette between 1800 and 1830, including a single soaring flock of 70 birds at 1800. 11 hours (22.67) BAEA 1 (2) TOTAL 1 ((8)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) No observation: I was driving to Mount Lorette.

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) 1330-1630. -4C, calm and sunny with up to 20% cumulus cloud cover which was unfortunately at ridge-top level and obscured the ridges for most of the day. No migrant raptors were seen, but a resident adult Golden Eagle and a juvenile (fledged last year) were seen from time to time, with the young bird undertaking a hunting stoop the result of which was hidden behind trees. 3 hours (6) TOTAL 0 (2)
March 4 [Day 3] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Pat Farley and Heinz Unger) It was again a cold start to the day with a temperature of -25C at 0700 which briefly rose to a high of 0C at 1600 and was -3C at 1845. Ground winds were calm or light to1100 after which they were mainly SW 5-15 km/h occasionally gusting above 30 km/h, while ridge winds were SW moderate to strong all day that produced spectacular pluming of snow from the peaks and ridges. A total of 5 adult Golden Eagles moved between 1130 and 1611, the first of which soared above the north side of Mount Allen before moving to the NW over Skogan Pass, while the other 4 glided high and fast from the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette. A non-migratory juvenile Bald Eagle moved low to the south above the western part of the valley at 1059, and a resident adult Northern Goshawk soared high and out of sight above the centre of the valley at 1216. The only other birds recorded were an American Dipper flying high to the south east of the river at 0933, and the usual spectacular roosting flight of Common Ravens over Mount Lorette after 1810 involving 64 birds. 11.75 hours (34.42) GOEA 5 (11) TOTAL 5 (13)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) No observation: I was at Mount Lorette.

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) No observation: no observer.
March 5 [Day 4] (Peter Sherrington) It was a much warmer day with a temperature at 0645 of -12C, which rose to a high of 4.5C at 1500 and 1600 and was 0C at 1845. Ground winds were generally light in the morning and SW-WSW 10-25 gusting to 40 km/h in the afternoon, while ridge winds were strong WNW all day, again producing extensive snow pluming. Cloud cover was a 40-100% mixture of altocumulus, cumulus, lenticular and cirrus providing excellent observing conditions all day. Despite this the only migrant seen was an adult Golden Eagle flying low from Mount Lorette towards the NW at 1737, although the resident adult Northern Goshawk was seen soaring at 1057 and 1155. The only other birds seen were an American Dipper that briefly perched on an ice shelf in the river at 0808 and the usual late roosting movement of Common Ravens late in the day. Two Bighorn Sheep ewes were on Olympic Summit at 0922 and 55 American Elk came and fed in the meadow at dusk. 12 hours (46.42) GOEA 1 (12) TOTAL 1 (14)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) No observation: I was at Mount Lorette.

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) 1400-1700. The temperature reached 1C, it was calm and cloud cover was 60% thin altostratus, cumulus and cirrus cloud cover giving mainly sunny conditions. No migrants were observed, although a total of 9 non-migrating eagles were seen: the resident Golden Eagle family of 2 adults and 1 juvenile, and 6 Bald Eagles (4a, 2j). At one time 5 Bald and 2 Golden Eagles soared together over the ridge at the same time before they all moved off to the south. 3 hours (9) TOTAL 0 (2)
March 6 [Day 5] (Cliff Hansen, assisted by Dan Parliament and Kevin Barker) The temperature at 0730 was 2C, rose to a high of 7C at 1500 and 1600 and was still 3C at 1830. Ground winds were light and variable to 1100, then become SW 5-15 gusting to 30 km/h for the rest of the day, while ridge winds were NW strong to very strong all day producing extensive pluming snow. Cloud cover was 50-80% cumulus, altocumulus, lenticular and cirrus again giving excellent observing conditions and clear ridges all day. The first raptor was a large falcon that glided high and fast from the end of the Fisher Range to Lorette at 0835, that was possibly a Prairie Falcon. The first Golden Eagle, a subadult, moved similarly at 0842, but the second, unaged bird did not move until 1711 using the same route, and the last bird of the day a third, also unaged Golden Eagle glided high from the summit of Lorette to the NW at 1714 with the 1711 bird. Other birds were the season’s first Northern Pygmy-Owl that sang south of the site at 1800, 1 Hairy Woodpecker, 1 Grey Jay, 1 Black-capped Chickadee and 18 Common Ravens, although there was no apparent late evening movement today. 11 hours (57.42) GOEA 3 (15), UF 1 (1) TOTAL 4 (18)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1245-1730. The temperature rose from 7C to 9C, wind was strong WSW gusting up to 60 km/h and cloud cover was 80-100% altocumulus, cumulus and cirrus that produced hazy sunshine and good observing conditions. Three birds moved between 1245 and 1252: 2 adult Bald Eagles and 1 adult Golden Eagle, but the only other migrant was an adult Bald Eagle at 1616. 4.75 HOURS (8.5) BAEA 3 (5), GOEA 1 (2) TOTAL 4 (8)

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) 1300-1630. The temperature reached 9C, it was again calm, cloud cover was 50% altostratus, cumulus and lenticular and ridges were clear. No migrants were recorded, but the two resident adult Golden Eagles and an adult Bald Eagle flying low towards the south were briefly seen. The year’s first American Robin and 2 Townsend’s Solitaires were some consolation for the lack of migrant raptors. 3.5 hours (12.5) TOTAL 0 (2)
March 7 [Day 6] (Jim Davis, assisted by Ruth Morrow) The temperature at 0700 was -2C but reached a season high of 9C between 1100 and 1400 and was subsequently 5C for the rest of the day. Ground winds were calm to 1000, then light and variable for the rest of the day, while ridge winds were light NW-W to 0900, moderate to 1300 and subsequently light again. Cloud cover was 50% stratus and cumulus all day and although the ridges were clear all day there was a brief light snow flurry between 1130 and 1200, and it appeared to be snowing the south between 1300 and 1500. The day’s first migrant was a light morph Rough-legged Hawk that flew low to the north above the river at 0850 and when the last Bald Eagle moved at 1627 a season high total of 9 migrants had been tallied: 4 adult Bald Eagles, 2 light morph rough-legged Hawks and 3 Golden Eagles (2a, 1j). With the exception of the first Rough-legged Hawk and a Bald Eagle that flew due north from the end of the Fisher Range, all birds glided high and fast from the Fisher Range to Lorette. The warm, calm weather also produced the highest non-raptor bird species count so far this season: 2 Canada Geese (that appeared to be already paired), 3 Downy Woodpeckers, 1 Hairy Woodpecker, 6 Grey Jays, 15 Common Ravens (with no evening flight), 2 Mountain Chickadees, 30 Bohemian Waxwings and 2 Common Redpolls. The warm day also produced 21 visitors to the site. 11.33 hours (68.75) BAEA 4 (6), RLHA 2 (2), GOEA 3 (18) TOTAL 9 (27)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1300-1700. The temperature at 1300 was 10C which fell to 8C at 1700, wind was W to WNW 25 gusting 35 km/h at 1300 but subsequently dropped to less than 20 km/h, and cloud cover was 50-80% cumulus giving excellent observing conditions. Raptor movement was fairly steady between 1315 and 1643 and produced the highest total so far this season: 10 Bald Eagles (9a, 1sa3), 2 Rough-legged Hawks (1 light, 1 dark) and 6 adult Golden Eagles. All birds glided high to the N or NW over my house. 4 hours (12.5) BAEA 10 (15), RLHA 2 (3), GOEA 6 (8) TOTAL 18 (26)

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) 1230-1700. It was also warm (10C) and calm at Steeples, with a 60% cumulus cloud cover and clear ridges, which produced a season-high count of 12 migrants: 3 adult Bald Eagles and 9 adult Golden Eagles between 1312 and 1615. Non-migrant/resident birds were 3 adult Bald Eagles and 1 adult and 1 juvenile Golden Eagles. 4.5 hours (17) BAEA 3 (3), BAEA 9 (10) TOTAL 12 (14)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

DAYS 6
HOURS 68.75

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 6
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 0
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 0
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 0
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 0
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 2
Buteo sp. (UB) 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 18
Eagle sp. (UE) 0
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 0
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 0

TOTAL 27

 


NOTE: CHANGE TO MOUNTAIN DAYLIGHT TIME (+ 1 HOUR)

March 8 [Day 7] (Bill Wilson, assisted by Heinz Unger) The temperature at 0725 was -8C but it reached a high of 8C at 1600 and 1700, and was 5C at 1940. Ground winds were SE 2-5 km/h to 1000 after which they were WSW 5-20 gusting up to 45 km/h for the rest of the day, and ridge winds were NW probably moderate to strong all day. Cloud cover was 20% cirrus at 0800, after which it was cloudless to 1500 when altocumulus cloud suddenly developed to 40% which dwindled to 5-10% after 1600. Ridges were clear all day and observing conditions were generally good. The first migrant raptor was the day’s only Bald Eagle, an adult at 1023, and the first Golden Eagle was seen at 1040 to be followed by a further 28 Golden Eagles, the last of which went NW at 1853. The total of 29 Golden Eagles (21a, 8u) is by far the highest total so far this season, with 8 birds moving between 1600 and 1700 and 7 between 1800 and 1853. During the morning most birds glided high above the eastern part of the valley west of the Fisher Range and moved to the NW above Skogan Pass, but as the day progressed the birds moved high from the Fisher Range to Lorette and later were only located as they approached Mount Lorette, possibly having come from behind the Fisher Range in the Wasootch Creek area; it proved impossible to age many of these birds. Two non-migratory adult Bald Eagles were also noted, as was the resident adult Northern Goshawk. The only other birds recorded were a single calling Common Redpoll in flight and a few Common Ravens which again lacked an evening roosting flight. Mammals comprised 57 American Elk in the meadow in the early morning, 3 White-tailed Deer seen on the way out, and 58 visitors to the site. 12.25 hours (81) BAEA 1 (7), GOEA 29 (47) TOTAL 30 (57)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1400-1730. The temperature rose from 10C to 12C, winds were strong WSW gusting up to 67 km/h and it was cloudless until 1645 after which 30% altocumulus quickly developed. Raptor movement was fairly steady between 1410 and 1658 after which it suddenly ceased. The flight of 16 birds, the second highest of the season so far, was 8 Bald Eagles (5a, 1sa, 2j), 3 light morph Rough-legged Hawks and 5 adult Golden Eagles. 3.5 hours (16) BAEA 8 (23), RLHA 3 (6), GOEA 5 (13) TOTAL 16 (42)

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) 1200-1730. The temperature reached 12C, it was mainly calm, it was initially cloudless but 60% altostratus had developed by the end of observation, and all ridges were clear. A total of 12 migrants were counted: 5 Bald Eagles (4a, 1fj) and 7 adult Golden Eagles. Eleven of the birds moved between 1400 and 1500, all soaring very high above the ridge into the cloudless sky before gliding very high to the north. The only bird that was subsequently recorded was an adult Golden Eagle at 1710. Resident adult Golden Eagles were seen on two occasions and both times they were mobbed relentlessly by two ravens, and 3 non-migrant Bald Eagles (2a and 1j) were also seen in the area. 5.5 hours (22.5) BAEA 5 (8), GOEA 7 (17) TOTAL 12 (26)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

DAYS 7
HOURS 81.0

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 7
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 0
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 0
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 0
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 0
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 2
Buteo sp. (UB) 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 47
Eagle sp. (UE) 0
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 0
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 0

TOTAL 57

 


March 9 [Day 8] (Terry Waters, assisted by Pat Farley and Jennifer Waters) It was another warm day with a temperature of 5C at 0845 that rose to a season high of 10C at 1300 (7o above normal for the date) and was still 8C at 1815. The temperature was somewhat tempered, however, by SW ground winds that were 15-25 km/h all day with gusts in mid-afternoon of up to 60 km/h; ridge winds were very strong W all day producing large amounts of blowing snow from the ridges which were otherwise clear all day. Cloud cover in the morning was 80% altostratus forming an arch that gradually moved to the east and after 1300 reduced to 10-30% scattered cumulus for the rest of the day. The first migrant was an adult Bald Eagle at 1012 which proved to be the only migrant of the species, although two non-migrant adult birds were present throughout the day. Movement was slow and steady with the 9 Golden Eagles (4a, 5u) seen gliding very high and fast from the Fisher Range to Lorette, which accounts for the high percentage of unaged birds. An adult Sharp-shinned Hawk flying north at 1655 was the first of the season, the second earliest ever recorded at the site and 15 days earlier than the average first occurrence of the species. A light morph Rough-legged Hawk moving high from the Fisher Range to Lorette at 1705 rounded out the day’s movement. A large falcon, possibly a Prairie, made a hunting stoop over the centre of the valley at 1650 but gave no indication that it was a migrant, and a single adult Golden eagle flying towards the east from Mount Allan was considered resident. Other birds were predictably scarce in the strong winds, but included a small perched flock of 6 Common Redpolls. A male Moose in the river was the first for the season, and there were 9 visitors to the site. 9.5 hours (90.5) BAEA 1 (8), SSHA 1 (1), RLHA 1 (3), GOEA 9 (56) TOTAL 12 (69)

Beaver Mines
(Peter Sherrington) 1400-1800. The temperature was 13C at 1400, rose to 15C at 1600 and returned to 13C at 1700-1800. Winds were strong WSW all afternoon 35-60, gusting up to 80 km/h at 1500, and cloud cover was 70-80% altostratus, altocumulus, cirrus and cumulus giving hazy sunshine and excellent observing conditions. With the exception of the period 1457-1614 when no migrants were seen, movement was fairly steady with a total of 17 birds moving between 1405 and 1756, with a concentrated movement of 6 adult Bald Eagles between 1746 and 1756. The flight was 9 Bald Eagles (7a, 1sa3, 1j), 2 Rough-legged Hawks (1 light and 1 unknown morph), 5 Golden Eagles (2a, 3sa) and 1 Prairie Falcon. All birds glided high from the “Big Hill” to the N or NW over my house. 4 hours (20) BAEA 9 (32), RLHA 2 (8), GOEA 5 (18), PRFA 1 (1) TOTAL 17 (59)

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) No observation: observer teaching.

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

DAYS 8
HOURS 90.5

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 8
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 0
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 1
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 0
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 0
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 3
Buteo sp. (UB) 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 56
Eagle sp. (UE) 0
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 0
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 0

TOTAL 69

 


March 10 [Day 9] (Brian McBride, assisted by Cliff Hansen) The temperature rose to a season high 11C at 1700 from a morning low of 5C and was 7C at the end of observation at 2000. Ground winds were essentially moderate SW all day 5-10 km/h gusting to 20 km/h in mid-afternoon, and ridge winds were moderate west all day. The sky was cloudless to 1300 after which cumulus and cirrus cloud cover steadily increased reaching 90% between 1700 and 2000, producing excellent locating conditions. The first migrant was an adult Bald Eagle at 1045, the first Golden Eagle was not logged until 1357 and by 1800 only 13 migrants (2 Bald and 11 Golden Eagles) had been recorded. The next hour, however, saw passage of 24 Golden Eagles and a further 7 moved between 1900 and 1940 when the last bird was seen seeking an overnight roost at the northern end of the Fisher Range. All birds moved very high along the Fisher Range and across the valley to Mount Lorette, with many birds initially soaring high before gliding. The day’s count was 2 adult Bald Eagles and a season high 42 Golden Eagles (32a, 1sa, 9u), the height and speed of the birds making age assessment impossible late in the day. A non-migratory hunting adult Bald Eagle was seen at 1105, and an adult Northern Goshawk was hunting at 1208. There was a total of 28 visitors to the site, including a class of 24 students from Crescent Heights High School in Calgary. 12 hours (102.5) BAEA 2 (10), GOEA 42 (98) TOTAL 44 (113)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1400-1800. The temperature at 1400 was 15C, rose a season high of 17C at 1600 and fell again to 15C at 1800. Winds were moderate to strong W-WSW, 30-43 km/h gusting up to 52 km/h. It was cloudless at 1400, but altocumulus cloud began to form at 1440 reaching 30% at 1500, 100% thin altostratus and cirrostratus at 1600 and 1700 after which it began to clear and diminished to 40% altocumulus at 1800: all skies provided excellent viewing conditions. Movement was initially slow with only one migrant, an adult Bald Eagle at 1439 seen before 1530. Movement then became steady with most birds gliding high from the Big Hill towards the N or NW, and both the combined species total of 20 and the Golden Eagle count of 10 adults were highs for the season. Two Northern Goshawks (1a, 1u) were the first for the season and the other migrants were 5 Bald Eagles (3a, 1sa2, 1j) and 3 light morph Rough-legged Hawks. A resident adult Golden Eagle and a non-migrant Rough-legged Hawk were also noted. 4 hours (24) BAEA 5 (37), NOGO 2 (2), RLHA 3 (11) GOEA 10 (28) TOTAL 20 (79)

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) 1230-1800. The temperature ranged from 8-16C, ridge winds were light to moderate S-SW and 5-70% thin altostratus cloud provided a sunny day and excellent observing conditions. The first migrant, an adult Golden Eagle, did not move until 1412 and by 1538 a further adult Bald Eagle and 7 adult Golden Eagles had gone north. A ninth adult Golden Eagle headed north at 1730. Of note was a surprising total of 12 non-migrant Bald Eagles (9a, 1 sa3, 2j) 10 of which moved to the south and 2 to the west over the valley and evenly spaced throughout the observation period: none showed any inclination to move north. A single adult resident Golden Eagle was seen on four occasions, twice hunting above the ridge, once perched for 20 minutes, and then when it was harassed off its perch by 2 ravens it was then mobbed the whole length of the ridge as it headed south; on several occasions it retaliated by unsheathing its talons which, as always, the ravens easily evaded. 5.5 hours (28) BAEA 1 (9), GOEA 8 (25) TOTAL 9 (35)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 9
HOURS 102.5

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 10
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 0
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 1
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 0
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 0
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 3
Buteo sp. (UB) 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 98
Eagle sp. (UE) 0
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 0
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 0

TOTAL 113

 


March 11 [Day 10] (Joel Duncan, assisted by Rosemary Power) The warm weather continued with a morning low of -1C rising to 10C at 1500 and at 1945 it was still 5C. Ground winds were SW all day 5-10 km/h occasionally gusting to 23 km/h, while ridge winds were W moderate to strong all day. Cloud cover was 60-90% altostratus, cumulus and cirrus forming an arch, which slowly moved to the east in the afternoon leaving progressively clearer skies which by 1800 had reduced to 10% cumulus and cirrus. The first migrant was an adult Bald Eagle that flew north from the end of the Fisher Range at 0901 and the first of the day’s season-high total of 70 Golden Eagles (63a, 1sa, 6u) was recorded at 1152. Unlike yesterday’s late day movement, peak hourly movements today were 1400-1500 (1 Bald Eagle and 20 Golden Eagles) and 1200-1300 (15 Golden Eagles), with subsequent diminution of the flow, and the last Golden Eagle was seen at the northern end of the Fisher Range at 1801, probably looking for a place to roost. Movement occurred on a broader front than usual, with most birds being initially detected as the glided towards Mount Lorette from the direction of Wasootch Creek, relatively few took the “normal” route from the Fisher Range to Lorette, 8 birds between 1200 and 1400 took the western route over Skogan Pass and one bird flew high directly overhead from Mount Old Baldy to Lorette. The non-Golden Eagle flight comprised 2 Bald Eagles (1a, 1sa3), the first migrant adult Northern Goshawk, 2 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 1 undifferentiated dark morph Buteo and 1 undifferentiated eagle. Other birds were scarce but included the first 3 American Robins of the year. 11.5 hours (114) BAEA 2 (12), NOGO 1 (1), RLHA 2 (5), UB 1 (1), GOEA 70 (168), UE 1 (1) TOTAL 77 (190)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1300-1715. The temperature was 14C at 1300 but fell to 11C by 1500 where it stayed for the rest of the count period. Winds were strong WSW-W 43-46 km/h gusting up to 70 km/h, and cloud cover was 100-90% altostratus and cumulus making detection of migrant raptors easy. At 1300 the mountains to the SW were obscured but by 1330 they were clear. Movement was initially slow with first 3 hours only producing 4, 4 and 2 migrants respectively, but 1600-1700 saw the movement of 17 birds (1 Bald Eagle, 15 Golden Eagles and the season’s first Merlin) and the last bird was recorded at 1710. Most birds today glided high towards the NW from the Big Hill. The season high 30 birds recorded comprised 2 adult Bald Eagles, 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk, 25 adult Golden Eagles and 1 columbarius Merlin of undetermined age or sex. 4.25 hours (28.25) BAEA 2 (39), NOGO 1 (3), RLHA 1 (12) GOEA 25 (53), MERL 1 (1) TOTAL 30 (109)

Steeples, BC
(Vance Mattson) No observation: observer teaching.

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 10
HOURS 102.5

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 12
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 0
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 1
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 1
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 0
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 5
Buteo sp. (UB) 1
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 168
Eagle sp. (UE) 1
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 0
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 0

TOTAL 190

 


March 12 [Day 11] (Joel Duncan, assisted by Chris Hunt and Heinz Unger) It was another warm day with a starting and finishing temperature of 6C and a high at 1600 of 10C. Ground winds were mainly SW 10-20 gusting up to 41 km/h, and ridge winds were W all day, moderate in the morning and becoming strong in the afternoon. At 0745 cloud cover was 100% low stratocumulus that obscured all ridges and produced steady drizzle between 0815 and 0900 after which the western ridges quickly cleared. The eastern route, however, remained up to 30% obscured until 1100, but cloud cover diminished to 60% by 1300 and was 30-10% cumulus for most of the afternoon before 40% altocumulus quickly developed for the last two hours of the count. Observing conditions were very good after 1100 but disappointingly only 2 migrant raptors were seen: the season’s first Merlin, a female or juvenile ascribed to the race richardsonii that soared over the Hay Meadow at 1302, and an adult Golden Eagle that glided very high from the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette at 1615. Apart from the poor weather at the beginning of the day, there was no apparent reason for the lack of migrants today. Two non-migrant adult Bald Eagles were present, and a pair of Northern Goshawks were observed feeding on prey (probably an American Red Squirrel) near the parking area early in the morning; a northern Pygmy-Owl was also singing there at the same time. Other bird species were still scarce but included 2 American Robins and 2 Dark-eyed Juncos. The fresh carcass of an elk that had been killed by a Cougar overnight was found in the Hay Meadow near the site early in the morning. Fish and Wildlife officials were immediately informed and it was quickly removed, a wise precaution at a time when both Black and Grizzly Bears have recently emerged from hibernation. 12 hours (126) GOEA 1 (169), MERL 1 (1) TOTAL 2 (192)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Denise Cocciolone-Amato and Merilyn Liddell) 1100-1715. The temperature was 12C at 1100, briefly rose to 14C at 1500 and was 13C for the rest of the observation period. The wind was persistent strong WSW 40-60 gusting to 76 km/h, and cloud cover was 40-50% cumulus providing excellent observing conditions. Because of yesterday’s fairly strong movement I started observation at 1100, but by 1400 only 1 bald Eagle and 3 Golden Eagles had moved to the north. After 1400, however, movement became very steady with the next three hours producing 11, 13 and 15 migrants respectively with the last birds, 4 Golden Eagles, moving at 1653. The total count of 47 birds was the highest of the season and makes the lack of birds at Mount Lorette today even more puzzling. The flight was 8 Bald Eagles (6a, 2j), 2 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 34 adult Golden Eagles, 2 columbarius Merlins and the season’s first migrant Gyrfalcon, a grey morph gliding very high to the NW at 1536. (14), GOEA (14), GOEA 34 (87), MERL 2 (3), GYRF 1 (1) TOTAL 47 (156)

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) 1330-1700 Because yesterday was partially overcast, Vance expected significant movement today when the ridges were clear, cloud cover was 40-70% cumulus, winds SW moderate to strong and with a temperature that reached 16C. Observing from the South Lakit site, however, he failed to tally a single migrant in 3.5 hours, although 3 adult non-migrant Bald Eagles were noted and the first recently returned adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk was seen hunting the fields near Fort Steele. 3.5 hours (31.5) TOTAL 0 (35)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 11
HOURS 126

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 12
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 0
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 1
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 1
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 0
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 5
Buteo sp. (UB) 1
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 169
Eagle sp. (UE) 1
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 1
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 0

TOTAL 192

 


March 13 [Day 12] (Cliff Hansen, assisted by Dan Parliament and Kevin Barker, with help from Tina and Ken Moore who were visiting from Calgary) The temperature at 0745 was -2C but rose to a high of 13C at 1600 and 1700 and was 7C at 2000. Ground winds were light to 1100 after which they were mainly SW 10-20 gusting 30 km/h that dropped to 5-10 km/h for the last hour, and ridge winds were W moderate all day. Cloud cover was 80-100% altostratus and cirrus to 1400 after which it diminished to 20% at 1500 and was cloudless after 1600. Movement started early with a Golden Eagle at 0820 but was slow with only 10 migrants recorded by 1400. The next hour, however, produced 31 migrants (30 Golden and 1 Bald Eagle), but the flow then slowed again with the three-hour period 1500-1800 producing only 19 birds. The day ended with a flourish, however, with 42 Golden Eagles counted between 1800 and 1900 and a further 12 birds (2 Bald and 10 Golden Eagles) between 1900 and 1928. All birds glided very high and fast from the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette and thence to the NW. The final count was a season high 114 birds and comprised a season high 5 adult Bald Eagles and 109 Golden Eagles (88a, 1j, 20u), which is also a season high count. The resident pair of Northern Goshawks was near the parking area early in the morning, and songbirds recorded included the first European Starling of the season, 3 American Robins flying high to the north and 6 Common Redpolls. 12.25 hours (138.3) BAEA 5 (17), GOEA 109 (278) TOTAL 114 (306)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1400-1800. It was another warm day with a temperature of 16C that dropped to 15C at 1800, moderate WSW winds 30-35 gusting to 46 km/h and 80% cirrus and altocumulus cloud cover at 1400 that dwindled to 10% at 1600 and was essentially cloudless after 1700. Raptor movement was initially brisk with 18 migrants seen by1554, after which they suddenly stopped and only briefly resumed when 6 birds moved between 1732 and 1747. The flight of 24 birds comprised 5 Bald Eagles (3a, 2j), 3 adult Northern Goshawks, 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk and 15 adult Golden Eagles. 4 hours (38.5) BAEA 5 (52), NOGO 3 (6), RLHA 1 (15), GOEA 15 (102) TOTAL 24 (180)

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) 1230-1730. The temperature rose from 9C to 15C, wind was moderate S-SW and 60% thin altostratus and altocumulus cloud cover dwindled to 5% before increasing again to 20% at the end of observation. Migration and observation conditions were good and a season high total of 17 migrants were counted between 1338 and 1610: 3 adult Bald Eagles and a season high count of 14 adult Golden Eagles. Resident Golden Eagles were seen often throughout the day, including the juvenile bird fledged last year, and 5 non-migratory adult Bald Eagles were also present. Two of the Bald Eagles engaged in what appeared to be courtship flight including chasing, mimicking flight and soaring, all of which lasted for nearly 45 minutes. 5 hours (36.5) BAEA 3 (12), GOEA 14 (39) TOTAL 17 (52)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 12
HOURS 138.3

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 17
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 0
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 1
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 1
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 0
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 5
Buteo sp. (UB) 1
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 278
Eagle sp. (UE) 1
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 1
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 0

TOTAL 306

 


March 14 [Day 13] (Jim Davis, assisted by Ruth Morrow) The temperature at the beginning and end of the count was 7C and the high between 1100 and 1300 was only one degree higher at 8C. Ground winds were initially S 35 km/h but gradually diminished to 1200 when it was calm. Cloud cover was 100% stratocumulus with steady rain, the W ridges were obscured and the E ridges became progressively covered in cloud, finally disappearing around 1230. As a result, after 1300 the count was moved to the Lusk Creek site, where the highest foothills ridge was initially clear, the rain light and winds light to moderate, and a raptor movement involving 19 birds was observed between 1341 and 1603: 1 subadult Bald Eagle, 2 adult Northern Goshawks, the season’s first Red-tailed Hawk, an adult light morph of the race calurus, 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk and 14 Golden Eagles (6a, 1sa, 7u). During the last hour the rain increased, the cloud base descended, all ridges were obscured and the day was abandoned at 1730. One of the resident pair of goshawks was seen early in the morning near the parking area, but the highlight at the Lorette site was a very early season’s first record of Purple Finches: 2 males and 2 females with the males persistently singing. At Lusk Creek a total of 1430 Bohemian Waxwings was seen with the largest flock containing around 600 birds. 9.5 hours (147.8) BAEA 1 (18), NOGO 2 (3), RTHA 1 (1), RLHA 1 (6), GOEA 14 (292) TOTAL 19 (325)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) No observation.

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) No observation. It rained until 1600 and again after 1730 and all ridges were heavily shrouded by low cumulus cloud.


March 15
[Day 14] (Bill Wilson) The temperature at 0730 was 0C, rose to a high of 3C at 1000 and the day’s low of -3.5C was recorded at 1700. Ground winds were SW 5-10 gusting 22 km/h to 1000 after which they switched to NNW-NNE 5-15 gusting 25 km/h to 1230 and were subsequently 5-10 km/h; ridge winds were moderate W to 1000 after which they could not be assessed. Cloud cover was 100% all day, cumulus to 1000, altostratus and cumulus to 1300 producing flurries, and low stratus after 1300 obscuring all ridges and dropping 4 cm of snow by the end of the day. The ridges were mainly clear until 1100 after which they gradually disappeared into the clouds. There was, however, a movement of 29 Golden Eagles (18a, 11u) between 0856 and 1053 with most birds being initially located as the approached Mount Lorette high from the northern end of the Fisher Range. Twenty-five of the birds moved in the 45 minute period 0856-1941. The only other birds seen were 16 Canada Geese flying to the south in flocks of 6 and 11, 4 Black-capped Chickadees and a few ravens. 12.83 hours (160.6) GOEA 29 (321) TOTAL 29 (354)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) No observation. Snow and low cloud all day with over 30 cm falling in Beaver Mines.

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) No observation. Rain all day with ridges obscured.


March 16
[Day 15] (Terry Waters, assisted by Pat Farley and Jennifer Waters) The start of the count was delayed to noon as 100% low stratus cloud cover obscured the mountains during the morning. The temperature at 1200 was -3C and there was 6 cm of fresh snow on the ground; the high was 3C at 1700 and it was -2C at 1930 when observation ended. Ground winds were initially NW 5-10 km/h and changed to SW 5-10 km/h after 1500, while ridge winds were moderate to strong SW becoming light or calm after 1800. At noon cloud cover had reduced to 80% stratus which gradually cleared throughout the afternoon and was only 10% cumulus and cirrus at the end of observation. All ridges were obscured at 1200 but gradually cleared in the afternoon; the west was not clear until 1800, but the east cleared quicker although Mount Lorette remained shrouded until late in the day. Despite the unpromising start there was a reasonable raptor movement with 78 eagles recorded between 1345 and 1847: 1 adult Bald Eagle at 1745 and 77 Golden Eagles (56a, 6j, 6sa, 9u). All the birds moved low along the Fisher Range ridge, soared at the north end of the ridge before crossing the valley to Lorette where they slowly moved to the NW in front of the south face of the mountain. Maximum movement was 1800-1847 when 25 birds were recorded including 8 birds that soared together over the northern end of the Fisher Range at 1815. Other bird species remained scarce but included 3 Boreal Chickadees. 7.5 hours (168.1) BAEA 1 (19), GOEA 77 (398), TOTAL 78 (432)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) No observation.

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) No observation: no observer but weather conditions remained unfavourable.


March 17
[Day 16] (Brian McBride, assisted by Cliff Hansen) After the run of warm weather the starting temperature of -12C felt a little chilly, but it rose to a seasonal normal 3C at 1600 and 1700 before falling to -1C at 1900. Ground winds were light all day and mainly from the N while ridge winds after 1600 were light SW. Cloud cover was 80-100% altostratus and cirrus to 1400 that diminished to 40% in mid-afternoon before spreading to 100% thin altostratus and cirrus late in the day giving excellent observing conditions. The ridges were clear all day. Raptor movement did not start until 1330 when a Golden Eagle flapped low and slowly from the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette with the second doing the same at 1435. Movement was then along the western route to Skogan Pass until 1650 after which they were mainly in the east with the last birds, 3 adult Bald Eagles, flying to Mount Lorette at 1744. The flight of 35 migrants comprised 3 adult Bald Eagles, 31 Golden Eagles (25a, 3sa, 1j, 2u) and one undifferentiated eagle, with 16 of the Golden Eagles moving between 1500 and 1600. Movement was low all day with only the last five birds managing to rise above ridge level. Other birds noted were 1 Black-billed Magpie, 1 Common Redpoll and 12 Bohemian Waxwings. 11.75 hours (179.8) BAEA 3 (22), GOEA 31 (429), UE 1 (2) TOTAL 35 (467)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) No observation.

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) 1230-1700. The cloud finally began to lift from the ridges around 1100 but remained partially shrouded all day despite the generally sunny conditions. The temperature rose from 1C to 5C, winds were calm to light W and cloud cover was 90-60% altocumulus, altostratus and cumulus. Despite the weather improvement the only migrant seen was a late subadult Golden Eagle at 1350, and non-migrant birds included the Golden Eagle family group (2a, 1j) and 3 Bald Eagles (1a, 2j). 4.5 hours (41) GOEA 1 (40) TOTAL 1 (53)


March 18
[Day 17] (Joel Duncan, assisted by Cliff Hansen) Temperatures continued to rise with a high of 7C between 1500 and 1700, with morning and evening lows of -4C and -2C respectively. Ground winds were mainly SW, light to 1500 after which they increased to 10-15 gusting up to 26 km/h, while ridge winds were also SW, light to moderate to 1500 and then moderate for the rest of the day. Cloud cover was 90% thin cirrostratus to 1600 after which it was 30% cumulus and cirrus to 1900 when it was 30% cumulus: observation conditions were very good all day. Movement again did not start until the afternoon when 2 Bald Eagles were seen at 1317 and the first Golden Eagle did not appear until 1428, but after 1500 migration was strong with 219 Golden Eagles gliding high above the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette until 1853: the last four hours yielded 44, 57, 49 and 72 Golden Eagles respectively. The final count was 3 adult Bald Eagles, 224 Golden Eagles (209a, 4sa, 2j, 9u) which is the highest so far this season, and 1 undifferentiated eagle. Other signs of spring included the year’s first 2 adult Mountain Bluebirds and a singing Northern Flicker. 11 hours (190.8) BAEA 3 (25), GOEA 224 (653), UE 1 (3) TOTAL 228 (695)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1245-1900 I arrived home from Calgary at 1230 and saw the first Golden Eagle move north from the “Big Hill” at 1245 which proved to the first of a steady stream a migrants that persisted to 1855. Observing conditions were good with a starting temperature of 5C that rose to a high of 7C at 1400 and 1500 and fell to 5C at 1900. Winds were WSW 18-32 gusting 40-50 km/h after 1700, and cloud cover was 100-50% mixtures of cirrus, cirrostratus, altocumulus and cumulus all day. The flight was a season high 95 migrants of 6 species, which is also the highest for the season: 8 Bald Eagles (4a, 1sa, 3j), the season’s first Sharp-shinned Hawk (an adult), 2 adult Northern Goshawks, 5 Rough-legged Hawks (2 light and 3 dark), 78 Golden Eagles (76a, 1sa, 1j) and 1 adult male columbarius Merlin. The strongest movement was 1700-1800 and 1800-1855 which both produced 24 migrants. 6.25 hours (44.75) BAEA 8 (60), SSHA 1 (1), NOGO 2 (8), RLHA 5 (20), GOEA 78 (180), MERL 1 (4) TOTAL 95 (275)

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) No observation


March 19
[Day 18] (Jim Davis, assisted by Joel Duncan) The temperature at 0800 was -1C which rose to a high of 11C between 1400 and 1600 and was still 5C at 2015 at the end of observation. Ground winds were calm to 1100, W 10-15 km/h gusting to 38 km/h to 1900 and then SW for the rest of the day, while ridge winds were moderate W all day except between 1400 and 1500 when they were very strong resulting in spectacular snow plumes being blown from the ridges. Cloud cover was 50-70% cumulus to 1600 when 100% stratocumulus developed that gradually diminished after 1800 to 20% cumulus at the end of the day. The eastern ridges were clear all day, but the western ridges were 20-50% obscured after 1300. There was a brief period of drizzle between 1700 and 1730. The first migrant of the day was a Golden Eagle at 0900 and when the last Golden Eagle flew NW at 1939 a total of 197 birds of 5 species had been tallied: 6 Bald Eagles (4a, 1sa, 1j), 1 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 4 Rough-legged Hawks (2 light and 2 dark), 185 Golden Eagles (137a, 6sa, 10j, 32u) and 1 unaged/unsexed columbarius Merlin. With the exception of 3 Bald Eagles that flew directly from the Fisher Range to Skogan Pass early in the morning, 5 Golden Eagles that arrived at Mount Lorette from the Wasootch Creek area around 0900 and the Merlin that flew low to the north above the centre of the valley, all birds glided high to very high and fast above the Fisher Range ridge to Mount Lorette. The busiest hour was 16-17 when 51 birds moved and a total of 93 birds moved between 1600 and 1939. No birds were recorded between 1400 and 1500 when ridge winds were very high. Other birds recorded included 1 Northern Flicker, 3 male Mountain Bluebirds, 3 Varied Thrushes, 9 American Robins, 5 European Starlings, and a flying Red-winged Blackbird. 12.33 hours (203.2), BAEA 6 (31), RTHA 1 (2), RTHA 1 (2), RLHA 4 (10), GOEA 185 (838) MERL 1 (2) TOTAL 197 (892)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1100-1945 The temperature high was 7C at 1500 and 1600 with lows of 5C at 1100 and after 1900, winds were WSW-W 20-40 gusting 50-76 km/h and cloud cover was 50-90% altostratus, cumulus, cirrus and cirrostratus with some lenticular developing after 1700. In general observing conditions were ideal. I started watching at 1100 and the first 3 Golden Eagle flew north over the house at 1102 suggesting that movement had been happening for some time. Movement was steady and strong for the rest of the day and when the last Golden Eagle moved to the NW at 1938 a total of 463 migrants of a season-high 7 species had been recorded: a season-high 26 Bald Eagles (23a, 1sa, 2j), 2 adult Northern Goshawks, the season’s first 2 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks, 1 dark morph Rough-legged Hawk, 1 unidentified light morph Buteo, a season high 429 Golden Eagles (425a, 3sa, 1j), 1 adult male richardsonii Merlin, and the season’s first Peregrine Falcon, an adult bird that flew NNW at 1935. The lowest hourly count was 23 between 1200 and 1300 and the highest was 103 between 1700 and 1800, which included 100 Golden Eagles. The count was by far the highest that I had ever recorded in Beaver Mines. 8.75 hours (53.5) BAEA 26 (86), NOGO 2 (10), RTHA 2 (2), RLHA 1 (21), UB 1 (1), GOEA 429 (609), MERL 1 (5), PEFA 1 (1) TOTAL 463 (738)

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) No observation. Although the weather forecast was for partially clearing skies, low stratus persisted and obscured the ridges all day.

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

DAYS 18
HOURS 203.2

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 31
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 0
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 1
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 3
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 2
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 10
Buteo sp. (UB) 1
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 838
Eagle sp. (UE) 3
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 2
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 0

TOTAL 892

 


March 20 [Day 19] (George Halmazna, assisted by Rosemary Power) The temperature at 0645 was -1C, rose to a high at 1600 of only 3.5C and was -2C at 2000 at the end of observation. Ground winds were initially calm, becoming light variable at 0900 and then NE after 1000 with gusts of up to 30 km/h, becoming light again at the end of the day, while ridge winds were difficult to assess but were probably light to moderate SW by mid-afternoon. Cloud cover was 100% cirrostratus and altostratus for most of the day reducing to 90% cumulus in late afternoon. All ridges were initially clear but after 1100 the western ridges became 50-80% obscured for the rest of the day, and between 1100 and 1600 the Fisher Range was periodically draped with cloud. Snow flurries over the western ridges occasionally brought light snow or rain to the site. The first migrant, a Golden Eagle, moved on the Fisher Range at 1115 and the second was to the west at 1133 and by noon these were the only migrants that had been recorded. The following 2 hours, however, saw the movement of 41 Golden Eagles mainly using the western route from Olympic Summit to Skogan Pass; from 1400 to 1500 only one Golden Eagle was recorded and between 1500 and 1700 the 158 Golden Eagle migrants used both the eastern and western routes. After 1700, however, movement was confined to the east with birds gliding above the Fisher Range between the ridge and the cloud base and, on occasion, moving through the clouds that periodically descended to the ridge. The periods 1700-1800, 1800-1900 and 1900-1918 produced 118, 181 and 7 Golden Eagles respectively and by the time the last bird had moved to the NW a total of 507 Golden Eagles had been counted, all of which were considered to be adult birds. This is the second highest ever spring count at the site behind the 849 birds counted on March 25, 1993. The only other migrants seen were 6 adult Bald Eagles and 1 “intermediate” morph Rough-legged Hawk, so the combined species count of 514 is also the second highest spring count at the site behind the 858 counted in 1993. Other birds recorded included a total of 8 Trumpeter Swans with 2, 2 and 4 birds flying N at 1317, 1700 and 1906 respectively, 5 male Mountain Bluebirds, a total of 28 American Robins flying northwards, 1 Varied Thrush, 85 Bohemian Waxwings, the season’s first Song Sparrow and 2 Dark-eyed (Oregon) Juncos. Not a bad day! 13.25 hours (216.4) BAEA 6 (37), RLHA 1 (11), GOEA 507 (1345) TOTAL 514 (1406)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Denise Cocciolone-Amato) 1200-1915. The temperature rose to 11C at 1800 from 7C at noon, winds were light to moderate W-WSW and cloud cover was initially 100% cirrostratus and cumulus that gradually thinned to 60% cirrostratus, altostratus and cumulus by late afternoon. Observing conditions were excellent throughout. The first migrants were 5 Golden Eagles that soared for 5 minutes over the “Big Hill” at 1214, but they were the only birds seen until 1401. Subsequently, however, movement rapidly increased and became a flood of eagles during the next two hours. Most birds soared high and formed large kettles of birds that only slowly peeled off and glided towards the N or NW. For example, between 1452 and 1459, 3 Bald and 30 Golden Eagles soared together and 1507-1510 saw 24 Golden Eagles and 1 Bald Eagle soar in a dense kettle. It was one of the most spectacular displays I have seen in 23 years of watching eagle migration. The hours 1400-1500 yielded 55 migrants and 1500-1600 66 migrants, after which the flow moderated and counting became easier. Also surprising for the time of year was that the total of 197 migrants comprised a season-high 9 species: 24 Bald Eagles (17a, 1sa, 6j), 1 unaged Sharp-shinned Hawk, the season’s first Cooper’s Hawk (an adult), 2 adult Northern Goshawks, 4 adult calurus Red-tailed Hawks (3 light and 1 dark), 6 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 156 Golden Eagles (114a, 14sa, 2j, 26u), 1 Merlin of unknown race, sex or age and 1 adult Prairie Falcon that was probably a male. The high number of unaged Golden Eagles resulted from the impossibility of assessing each bird in the swirling masses of eagles, but it appeared that adult birds greatly predominated. 7.25 hours (60.75) BAEA 24 (110), SSHA 1 (2), COHA 1 (1), NOGO 2 (12), RTHA 4 (6), RLHA 6 (27), GOEA 156 (765), UE 1 (1), MERL 1 (6), PRFA 1 (2) TOTAL 197 (935)

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) 5.5 hours (46.5) 1230-1800. The rain and overcast conditions that have prevailed here for the last week persisted until noon when the ridges began to clear. The temperature at 1230 was 6C but quickly climbed to 12C at 1700, winds were S-SW fairly strong and cloud cover was 100% altostratus and darker cumulus all day. The ridges, however, remained mostly clear until 1800 when they again began to cloud over as light rain began to fall. The first Golden Eagle moved north at 1315 after which movement was almost constant until the last Golden Eagle went north at 1731. The count of 104 Golden Eagles (100a, 3j, 1u) is a new record for the site, although the combined species count of 119 is only the second highest. The total also included 13 Bald Eagles (7a, 5j, 1u) and first seasonal records of adult Sharp-shinned Hawk and Northern Goshawk. Nine Golden Eagles moved between 1315 and 1430, 45 from 1430-1530, 33 from 1530-1630 and 16 from 1630-1730. 5.5 hours (46.5) BAEA 13 (25), SSHA 1 (1), NOGO 1 (1) GOEA 104 (144) TOTAL 119 (172)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

DAYS 19
HOURS 216.4

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 37
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 0
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 1
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 3
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 2
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 11
Buteo sp. (UB) 1
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1345
Eagle sp. (UE) 3
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 2
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 0

TOTAL 1406

 


March 20 [Day 19] (George Halmazna, assisted by Rosemary Power) The temperature at 0645 was -1C, rose to a high at 1600 of only 3.5C and was -2C at 2000 at the end of observation. Ground winds were initially calm, becoming light variable at 0900 and then NE after 1000 with gusts of up to 30 km/h, becoming light again at the end of the day, while ridge winds were difficult to assess but were probably light to moderate SW by mid-afternoon. Cloud cover was 100% cirrostratus and altostratus for most of the day reducing to 90% cumulus in late afternoon. All ridges were initially clear but after 1100 the western ridges became 50-80% obscured for the rest of the day, and between 1100 and 1600 the Fisher Range was periodically draped with cloud. Snow flurries over the western ridges occasionally brought light snow or rain to the site. The first migrant, a Golden Eagle, moved on the Fisher Range at 1115 and the second was to the west at 1133 and by noon these were the only migrants that had been recorded. The following 2 hours, however, saw the movement of 41 Golden Eagles mainly using the western route from Olympic Summit to Skogan Pass; from 1400 to 1500 only one Golden Eagle was recorded and between 1500 and 1700 the 158 Golden Eagle migrants used both the eastern and western routes. After 1700, however, movement was confined to the east with birds gliding above the Fisher Range between the ridge and the cloud base and, on occasion, moving through the clouds that periodically descended to the ridge. The periods 1700-1800, 1800-1900 and 1900-1918 produced 118, 181 and 7 Golden Eagles respectively and by the time the last bird had moved to the NW a total of 507 Golden Eagles had been counted, all of which were considered to be adult birds. This is the second highest ever spring count at the site behind the 849 birds counted on March 25, 1993. The only other migrants seen were 6 adult Bald Eagles and 1 “intermediate” morph Rough-legged Hawk, so the combined species count of 514 is also the second highest spring count at the site behind the 858 counted in 1993. Other birds recorded included a total of 8 Trumpeter Swans with 2, 2 and 4 birds flying N at 1317, 1700 and 1906 respectively, 5 male Mountain Bluebirds, a total of 28 American Robins flying northwards, 1 Varied Thrush, 85 Bohemian Waxwings, the season’s first Song Sparrow and 2 Dark-eyed (Oregon) Juncos. Not a bad day! 13.25 hours (216.4) BAEA 6 (37), RLHA 1 (11), GOEA 507 (1345) TOTAL 514 (1406)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Denise Cocciolone-Amato) 1200-1915. The temperature rose to 11C at 1800 from 7C at noon, winds were light to moderate W-WSW and cloud cover was initially 100% cirrostratus and cumulus that gradually thinned to 60% cirrostratus, altostratus and cumulus by late afternoon. Observing conditions were excellent throughout. The first migrants were 5 Golden Eagles that soared for 5 minutes over the “Big Hill” at 1214, but they were the only birds seen until 1401. Subsequently, however, movement rapidly increased and became a flood of eagles during the next two hours. Most birds soared high and formed large kettles of birds that only slowly peeled off and glided towards the N or NW. For example, between 1452 and 1459, 3 Bald and 30 Golden Eagles soared together and 1507-1510 saw 24 Golden Eagles and 1 Bald Eagle soar in a dense kettle. It was one of the most spectacular displays I have seen in 23 years of watching eagle migration. The hours 1400-1500 yielded 55 migrants and 1500-1600 66 migrants, after which the flow moderated and counting became easier. Also surprising for the time of year was that the total of 197 migrants comprised a season-high 9 species: 24 Bald Eagles (17a, 1sa, 6j), 1 unaged Sharp-shinned Hawk, the season’s first Cooper’s Hawk (an adult), 2 adult Northern Goshawks, 4 adult calurus Red-tailed Hawks (3 light and 1 dark), 6 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 156 Golden Eagles (114a, 14sa, 2j, 26u), 1 Merlin of unknown race, sex or age and 1 adult Prairie Falcon that was probably a male. The high number of unaged Golden Eagles resulted from the impossibility of assessing each bird in the swirling masses of eagles, but it appeared that adult birds greatly predominated. 7.25 hours (60.75) BAEA 24 (110), SSHA 1 (2), COHA 1 (1), NOGO 2 (12), RTHA 4 (6), RLHA 6 (27), GOEA 156 (765), UE 1 (1), MERL 1 (6), PRFA 1 (2) TOTAL 197 (935)

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) 5.5 hours (46.5) 1230-1800. The rain and overcast conditions that have prevailed here for the last week persisted until noon when the ridges began to clear. The temperature at 1230 was 6C but quickly climbed to 12C at 1700, winds were S-SW fairly strong and cloud cover was 100% altostratus and darker cumulus all day. The ridges, however, remained mostly clear until 1800 when they again began to cloud over as light rain began to fall. The first Golden Eagle moved north at 1315 after which movement was almost constant until the last Golden Eagle went north at 1731. The count of 104 Golden Eagles (100a, 3j, 1u) is a new record for the site, although the combined species count of 119 is only the second highest. The total also included 13 Bald Eagles (7a, 5j, 1u) and first seasonal records of adult Sharp-shinned Hawk and Northern Goshawk. Nine Golden Eagles moved between 1315 and 1430, 45 from 1430-1530, 33 from 1530-1630 and 16 from 1630-1730. 5.5 hours (46.5) BAEA 13 (25), SSHA 1 (1), NOGO 1 (1) GOEA 104 (144) TOTAL 119 (172)


March 21
[Day 20] (Jim Davis, assisted by Cliff Hansen) At 0800 the temperature was 5C, rose to a high of 10C at 1300 and was -1C when the count ended at 1900. Ground winds were S 5-10 gusting 17 km/h all day with the exception of the first hour and last two hours when it was calm, and ridge winds were SW all day, light to 1000 and then moderate. Cloud cover was 50% cumulus and cirrus to 1400 when it thickened to 80% and was 100% stratocumulus at 1500. At 1630 the rain that had started around 1400 became heavy and the ridges were mainly obscured so the observers moved down the valley to Wasootch Creek, but the rain quickly caught up with them and so they decamped for Lusk Creek where they watched until light rain and thick fog brought the count to an end at 1900. Raptor movement was initially strong with 41 Golden Eagles moving between 0826 and 1900, half of which appeared to originate in the Wasootch Creek area, 41 from 0900 to 1000 with birds gliding very high from the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette, 42 from 1100 and 1200, 50 from 1200 to 1300 and 38 from 1300 to 1400, with the birds moving on a broad front after 1130. With the onset of rain the raptor flow slowed with the next three hours producing 8, 3 and 10 birds respectively the last of which included 6 Golden Eagles at Wasootch Creek. The last 2 hours at Lusk Creek produced 30 more migrants (11 Bald Eagles, 1 Sharp-shinned Hawk, and 18 Golden Eagles, the last of which went to roost in the gathering fog at at1858. The day’s count of 282 birds, which was the second highest of the season, was 18 Bald Eagles (11a, 4sa, 2j, 1u), 1 unaged Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1 juvenile Cooper’s Hawk (the first of the season), 2 adult Northern Goshawks, 6 Rough-legged Hawks (4 light, 2 dark), 249 Golden Eagles (171a, 7sa, 12j, 59u), 3 columbarius Merlins (1 adult male and 2 of unknown age or sex), the season’s first Peregrine Falcon (an adult) and 1 small unidentified raptor. Other birds recorded included 1 American Three-toed Woodpecker flying across the river, 1 male Mountain Bluebird, 39 American Robins that included 1 flock of 30 birds flying to the north and 100 Bohemian Waxwings in three flocks. Visitors included 30 members of the Calgary Field Naturalists Society, who’s spotting of raptors moving on a broad front in the afternoon kept the observers on their toes. 11.25 hours (227.7) BAEA 18 (55), SSHA 1 (2), COHA 1 (1), NOGO 2 (5), RLHA 6 (17), GOEA 249 (1594), MERL 3 (5), PEFA 1 (1), UU 1 (1) TOTAL 282 (1688)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) No observation. I attended a memorial celebration in Calgary for Robin White who died on December 7 last year. Robin was an old friend who left a successful career in the Planning Department of the City of Calgary to pursue, along with his wife Marian, his passion for wildlife photography and conservation. This culminated in the publication of Wild Alberta at the Crossroads in 2007 written by Robin and Marian and illustrated by Robin’s photographs. The book went through three editions and won many awards. During last ten years Robin and Marian have been lecturing throughout the Province on the reality and need for action on the greatest threat to the planet – climate change – often meeting with derision and even hostility but always persevering to get the message across. Their book includes a section on the Golden Eagle migration, and in 1994 Robin took a series of photographs of migrating eagles passing above Plateau Mountain that I till use in talks today. He will be greatly missed and the Foundation extends its thanks for all Robin achieved in his rich and successful life, and our condolences to Marian, his loving wife, companion and partner of 47 years.

Piitaistakis-South Livingstone Denise Cocciolone-Amatto and Phil Nicholas led a group of observers from the Crowsnest Conservation Society and the Cranbrook Rocky Mountain Naturalist Society to the Piitaistakis-South Livingstone area where they observed from the Frank Slide site on the western flank of the ridge from 1115 to 1540, and again from 1800 to 2000. Winds were from the west increasing in velocity after 1300 and cloud cover was 60% cumulus that reduced to 20% at 1300, increased to 100% bringing snow and rain around 1540, but cleared again after 1800. A total of 63 migrant raptors were seen moving north along the Livingstone ridge: 6 Bald Eagles (3a, 1sa, 2j), 2 unaged Northern Goshawk, 1 Red-tailed Hawk, 52 Golden Eagles (48a, 2sa, 2j) and 2 unidentified eagles. Only 2 birds were seen after 1800: 1 juvenile Golden Eagle and 1 adult Bald Eagle that was the last bird of the day at 1840.

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) 1230-1530. The day was overcast and rainy with the ridges obscured for most of the day. The temperature fell from 10C to 8C, but the strong S winds made it feel much cooler. No migrants were seen, and the only raptors recorded were the resident pair of Golden Eagles and a non-migrant adult Bald Eagle. 3 hours (49.5) TOTAL 0 (172)


March 22
[Day 21] (Bill Wilson) The day’s temperature low was -6C at 0715, the high was 7C at 1600 and 1700 and it was -1C at 2115. Ground winds were light NW-NNE to 1200, then SW 5-10 gusting up to 27 km/h for the rest of the day, while ridges winds were W all day, moderate to strong to 0900, moderate to 1600 after which they appeared to be light. Cloud cover was80-60% cumulus to 1100, 20-50% cumulus to 1400 after which it dwindled to 10% cumulus for the rest of the day. The western ridges were 10% obscured until 0900 then clear all day; the east was clear all day. It was another strong day of eagle migration with a total of 408 migrant raptors moving between 0815 and 2006: almost 12 hours of movement. The total is the second highest of the season and included the second highest Golden Eagle count of 393 (230a, 5sa, 12j and 145u). The large number of unaged birds resulted from the birds moving extremely high against an almost cloudless sky late in the day, with many birds not located until they had reached Mount Lorette or even Mount McGillivray farther to the NW. The highest hourly counts were 78 (1700-1800), 81 (100-1900) and 74 (1900-2000) and for the first time this season 2 birds moved after 2000. The rest of the flight comprised 14 Bald Eagles (10a, 1sa, 2j, 1u) and 1 adult Northern Goshawk. The birds moved high above the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette all day, with some soaring flight late in the day when the ridge winds dropped; at around 1930 12 Golden Eagles were seen soaring together over Mount McGillivray. Other birds were scarce and included singing single Varied Thrush and Song Sparrows and 2 small flocks of American Robins (4 and 5) flying to the north. There were about 20 visitors to the site but only one proved useful as an observer for about an hour, and it is unfortunate that there was no Assistant today to help during the busiest time of the season. 15.42 hours (243.1) BAEA 14 (69), NOGO 1 (6), GOEA 393 (1987) TOTAL 408 (2096)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Denise Cocciolone-Amatto and members of the Crowsnest Conservation Society and the Cranbrook Rocky Mountain Naturalist Society) 1200-1830. The temperature rose from 7C to 10C, winds were initially WSW 10-15 gusting 30 km/h becoming ESE 10-15 gusting 25 after 1500 becoming lighter later in the afternoon. Cloud cover was initially 10-30% cumulus which resulted in extensive blue sky behind the “Big Hill” before 1600 which made locating high-flying raptors difficult, but subsequent thickening of the cloud cover to 80-90% altocumulus, cumulus and cirrus made the task easier for the rest of the day. There was a steady stream of migrants between 1257 and 1825 involving 9 species of migrants. The total of 125 birds, which is the third highest count of the season, comprised 4 Bald Eagles (3a, 1sa), the year’s first 4 Northern Harriers (2 adult males and 2 females), 4 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 3u), 4 Northern Goshawks (2a, 2u), 3 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks, 2 dark morph Rough-legged Hawks, 101 Golden Eagles (97a, 4sa), the season’s first American Kestrels (a male and a female) and 1 columbarius Merlin of unknown age or sex. The busiest hour was 1500-1600 which saw passage of 54 migrants, 50 of which were Golden Eagles. BAEA 4 (114), NOHA 4 (4), SSHA 4 (6), NOGO 4 (16), RTHA 3 (9), RLHA 2 (29), GOEA 101 (866), AMKE 2 (2), MERL 1 (7) TOTAL 125 (1060)

Piitaistakis-South Livingstone (Doug and Teresa Dolman) 1200-1630 Observing from the Frank Slide site, Doug and Teresa counted a total of 43 migrant raptors moving north along the Livingstone Ridge: 1 Bald Eagle, 1 Rough-legged Hawk and 41 Golden Eagles. Twenty of the birds moved between 1500 and 1600 and 11 from 1600 to 1630, somewhat fewer than would be expected from the numbers counted during the same period at Beaver Mines where the raptors appeared to heading towards the southern end of the Livingstone Range.

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) 1230-1800. It was a warm sunny day with temperatures of 9-11C, moderate to strong mainly south winds, and 40-70% altostratus, cumulus and altocumulus cloud cover. The first migrants, 2 Bald Eagles weren’t seen until 1317 but movement was subsequently fairly consistent with a total of 48 birds moving up to 1735. The count, which is the second highest of the season, comprised 13 Bald Eagles (6a, 13j), 1 unaged Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, the first of the season, 1 unidentified Buteo and 26 Golden Eagles (25a, 1j). The most unusual sighting was of a tailless adult Bald Eagle that soared with another (tailed) adult at 1330. The tail was not damaged or otherwise partially missing: it was simply not there and its talons could be seen clearly projecting beyond the trailing edge of its wings. The lack of a tail did not appear to hinder its flight, although some apparently compensatory wing movements were made during soaring flight when it would normally be fanning its tail. Non-migrants included 3 sightings of adult Golden Eagles, 1 hunting Sharp-shinned Hawk and 9 Bald Eagles (8a, 1j) all of which flew either to the south or to the west. 5.5 hours (55) BAEA 19 (44), SSHA 1 (2), RTHA 1 (1), UB 1 (1), GOEA 26 (170) TOTAL 48 (220)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

DAYS 21
HOURS 243.1

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 69
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 0
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 2
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 1
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 6
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 2
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 17
Buteo sp. (UB) 1
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1987
Eagle sp. (UE) 3
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 5
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 1

TOTAL 2096

 


March 23 [Day 22] (Terry Waters, assisted by Pat Farley) After yesterday’s movement of 235 raptors after 1700 the prospect for another strong day of migration appeared to be good The temperature at 0830 was -5C that rose after 1400 to -2C, ground winds were N-NE 5-10 km/h but because of the 100% stratus cloud cover ridge winds could not be assessed. Both the east and west ridges were initially up to 10% obscured, but were essentially clear to noon when the cloud descended and by 1300 all ridges were obscured and steady snow began to fall. Disappointingly, the only migrants recorded were 2 juvenile Bald Eagles that flew low to the N above the river at 1120. At 1500 the observers decided that conditions were not going to improve and left. Unfortunately, conditions did improve and by 1700 Cliff Hansen, who can see the north face of Mount Lorette from his house, reported clear skies with 20% scattered cumulus cloud and clear ridges. The weather dynamic appeared to be similar to that at Beaver Mines where after a day of snow it cleared and there was a movement of 43 raptors including 32 Golden Eagles after 1700. We shall never know what was missed at Lorette! 6.5 hours (249.6) BAEA 2 (71) TOTAL 2 (2098)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1700-1945. It was a miserable day here with a steady temperature of -2C, light ENE winds, low cloud and fog that obscured the ridge and snow that was heavy at times and that turned to sleet by the early afternoon. At 1545, however, the snow became very light and the “Big Hill” emerged from its cloud cover, and by 1700 prospects of a raptor movement appeared to be reasonable. The temperature was -1C, it was more or less calm and the 100% stratus cloud cover was rising and beginning to thin, giving good observing conditions. The first migrant was an adult Northern Goshawk that flapped high to the north at 1707 followed by four more migrants all of which flapped their way north in the calm conditions: the season’s first “Harlan’s” Red-tailed Hawk, an adult dark morph at 1716, a male American Kestrel at 1718, a dark morph Rough-legged Hawk at 1740 and an unaged Sharp-shinned Hawk at 1743. Two more Rough-legged Hawks moved at 1805 and 1811, and then a light to moderate WSW wind developed and Golden Eagles started to kite high above the “Big Hill” before gliding high to the NW or NNW. Between 1816 and 1934 32 adult Golden Eagles moved in this way of which almost all were pairs or birds that moved within 1 or 2 minutes of each other. The only other migrants during this period were 1 Northern Goshawk, 1 Red-tailed Hawk and 2 Rough-legged Hawks. Conspicuously absent were Bald Eagles, and this is the first day with raptor movement that the species was not recorded. The flight comprised 1 unaged Sharp-shinned Hawk, 2 adult Northern Goshawks, 2 adult Red-tailed Hawks (1 light calurus, 1 dark harlani), 5 Rough-legged Hawks (2 light, 2dark, 1u), 32 adult Golden Eagles and 1 male American Kestrel. 2.75 hours (70) SSHA 1 (7), NOGO 2 (18), RTHA 2 (11), RLHA 5 (34), GOEA 32 (898), AMKE 1 (3) TOTAL 43 (1103)

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) No observation because of teaching commitments, but the forecast was for rain all day.

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

DAYS 22
HOURS 249.6

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 71
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 0
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 2
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 1
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 6
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 2
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 17
Buteo sp. (UB) 1
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1987
Eagle sp. (UE) 3
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 5
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 1

TOTAL 2098

 


March 24 [Day 23] (Brian McBride, assisted by Cliff Hansen) Thick fog persisted in the valley until 1200 that obscured all the mountains. Between 0730 and 1100 the temperature was -5C, rose to a high of 1C at 1800 and was 0C at 2000. Ground winds were light N-NNE all day, and in the afternoon ridge winds appeared to be light NW. When the fog cleared, cloud cover remained 100% altostratus with minor cumulus until 1400 then gradually diminished to 30% at the end of the day. At 1300 both the western and eastern ridges were 30% obscured and they did not fully clear until 1800. The only migrants seen were 3 single Golden Eagles that flew from the Wasootch Creek area at 1748, 1759 and 1808. Two birds were adult and the last bird was unaged. A resident adult Golden Eagle was seen hunting over Mount Old Baldy at 1640, and a resident adult Northern Goshawk flew low over the site at 1620. Other birds seen included the season’s first Belted Kingfisher (a female), 1 Grey Jay, 6 Black-capped and 8 Mountain Chickadees, and 20 Oregon Juncos. 12.5 hours (262.1) GOEA 3 (1990) TOTAL 3 (2101)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1500-1800. Fog persisted for most of the day, but by 1500 the “Big Hill” was visible and, apart from brief periods when the top was covered in cloud, it remained clear for the rest of the day. The temperature was -2C dropping to -3C at 1800, it was flat calm and the sky was 100% uniform grey stratus throughout the observation period. No migrants were seen but at 1755 I spent five minutes photographing an adult Sharp-shinned Hawk that had caught a junco and was eating it just outside my house, thereby reducing the junco flock in my yard from 110 to 109! 3 hours (73) TOTAL 0 (1103)

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) No observation because of teaching commitments. Weather conditions were probably favourable for migration today.

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

DAYS 23
HOURS 262.1

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 71
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 0
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 2
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 1
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 6
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 2
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 17
Buteo sp. (UB) 1
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1990
Eagle sp. (UE) 3
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 5
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 1

TOTAL 2101

 


March 25 [Day 24] (Cliff Hansen 0730-1300, Brian McBride 1300-2000, assisted by Rosemary Power) Because of car problems Joel was unable to act as Principal Observer today and Cliff and Brian kindly stepped in and divided the day between them. The temperature at 0730 was -3C, rose to a high of 6C at 1700 and was 3C at 2000 when observation finished. Ground winds were SW 5-20 gusting 35 km/h all day, while ridge winds were W moderate to strong. Cloud cover was 100% cumulus and altostratus to 1300 that diminished to 70% by 1700 before thickening again to 100% for the rest of the day. The western ridges were 10-20% obscured to 1300, but otherwise ridges were clear all day. There was a fairly steady stream of migrating eagles with 2 Bald Eagles (1a, 1sa), 54 Golden Eagles (32a, 5sa, 2j, 15u) and 3 unidentified eagles moving between 1027 and 1806, with an hourly maximum count of 14 between 1300 and 1400. Most birds (38) glided high above the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette, 4 moved along the western route and 12 birds arrived at Mount Lorette from the Wasootch Creek area. A resident goshawk was seen flying near the site on a couple of occasions, and other birds seen included 1 American Robin, 1 Varied Thrush, 10 Dark-eyed Juncos and 2 Pine Grosbeaks. 12.5 hours (274.6) BAEA 2 (73), GOEA 54 (2044), UE 3 (6) TOTAL 59 (2160)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Gord Petersen who was principal observer between 1300 and 1350) 0935-1850. The temperature was 1C at the start and rose to 7C at 1800, winds were WSW all day, 30-45 km/h with gusts gradually increasing and reaching 80 km/h at the end of observation. Cloud cover was 100% stratocumulus to 1500 after which it was 80-100% cumulus and altostratus. There were light snow flurries in the early afternoon but the ridge was clear all day, although the Livingstone Range to the NW appeared to be cloud covered all day. Raptor movement was steady and varied all day with a season-high 10 species observed, including four species of falcon. The first bird was seen at 0937, but movement had probably been happening long before I started to observe. The count was 7 adult Bald Eagles, 6 Sharp-shinned Hawks (2a, 4u), a season high 13 Northern Goshawks (10a, 3u), 6 calurus Red-tailed Hawks (4a, 2u), 3 Rough-legged Hawks (2 light, 1dark), 4 unidentified Buteos (1 light, 1 dark, 2 undifferentiated), 95 Golden Eagles (87a, 4sa, 4u), 1 female American Kestrel, 1 adult male columbarius Merlin, 1 adult Peregrine Falcon and 1 Prairie Falcon. Maximum movement was 28 between 1100 and 1200 and all subsequent hours saw passage of between 10 and 18 birds. 9.25 hours (82.25) BAEA 7 (121), SSHA 6 (13), NOGO 13 (31), RTHA 6 (17), RLHA 3 (37), UB 4 (5), GOEA 95 (993), AMKE 1 (4), MERL 1 (8), PEFA 1 (3), PRFA 1 (3) TOTAL 138 (1241)

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) No observation because of teaching commitments, but it was overcast with rain all day and it is unlikely that migration would have been possible.

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

DAYS 24
HOURS 274.6

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 73
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 0
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 2
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 1
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 6
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 2
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 17
Buteo sp. (UB) 1
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2044
Eagle sp. (UE) 6
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 5
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 1

TOTAL 2160

 


March 26 [Day 25] (Joel Duncan, assisted by Ruth Morrow) Joel had his car fixed and started observing at 1030 when the temperature was 7C; at 1600 it rose to 13C and was still 9C at 2000. Ground winds were SW 8-15 gusting to 34 km/h and ridge winds were strong SW all day. Cloud cover was altostratus and cumulus forming an arch that persisted all day, initially 40% becoming 90% at 1700 and decreasing to 50% at 2000. The ridges were clear all day. Movement was initially slow with the first bird moving at 1052 and by 1400 only 9 migrants had been recorded. Subsequently the rate increased and when the last bird had been seen at 1920 a total of 50 migrants had been recorded: 1 adult Bald Eagle, 47 Golden Eagles (25a, 4sa, 1j, 17u) and 2 unidentified eagles. All birds glided high above the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette, and the busiest hour was 1700-1800 when 16 migrants passed. Other birds were scarce in the windy conditions but included 5 American Robins, 2 Varied Thrushes and 4 Dark-eyed Juncos. 9.5 hours (284.1) BAEA 1 (74), GOEA 47 (2091), UE 2 (8) TOTAL 50 (2210)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 0945-1800. It was a warm day with the temperature rising to a high of 14C at 1700 from 7C at 1000, winds were strong WSW all day 40-60 gusting up to 94 km/h, and generally increased in velocity towards late afternoon. There was a strong chinook arch all day producing 100% altostratus and cumulus cloud to 1300 after which there was 20% clear sky to 1700 after which it expanded to 50%. Observing conditions were excellent, but few small raptors moved in the strong winds and the larger birds were usually very high. A total of 50 migrants of 6 species were seen between 0949 and 1708: 10 Bald Eagles (7a, 2sa), 1 juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk, 3 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks, 3 Rough-legged Hawks (2 light, 1 dark), 32 Golden Eagles (29a, 2sa, 1j) and 1 Prairie Falcon. The 1000th Golden Eagle of the season was recorded at 1114. 8.25 hours (90.5) BAEA 10 (131), SSHA 1 (14), RTHA 3 (20), RLHA 3 (40), GOEA 32 (1025), PRFA 1 (4) TOTAL 50 (1291)

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) 1400-1700. The ridges finally cleared around 1300, the temperature was 15C, winds were strong S and cloud cover 50% cumulus. No migrants were seen, and the only raptor present was a non-migrant adult Bald Eagle, but in the morning Vance saw the first Violet-green Swallow of the year at his home in Wasa. 3 hours (58) TOTAL 0 (220)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

DAYS 25
HOURS 284.1

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 74
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 0
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 2
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 1
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 6
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 2
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 17
Buteo sp. (UB) 1
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2091
Eagle sp. (UE) 8
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 5
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 1

TOTAL 2210

 


March 27 [Day 26] (George Halmazna, assisted by Dan Parliament and Michael Woertman) Temperatures remained well above normal reaching 15C at 1700 from a low at 0645 of 1C, and was still 14C at 1945. Ground winds were initially calm to light to 1000, then NE gusting to 25 km/h changing at 1100 to SW 20-25 gusting 40 km/h for the rest of the day; ridge winds were moderate to strong all day. An initial cloud cover of 90% cumulus disappeared almost completely after 1300 making the locating and identification of high-flying migrants difficult throughout the afternoon. Movement was initially slow with the first migrant Golden Eagle not appearing until 1120 and by 1600 only 7 migrants had been recorded. The pace subsequently increased, however, and peaked at 19 birds (1 Bald and 18 Golden Eagles) between 1800 and 1851. All birds were detected gliding high above the Fisher Range from where most moved directly WNW to Skogan Pass; only 6 eagles were seen at Mount Lorette all day. The flight was 5 adult Bald Eagles, 1 adult Northern Goshawk and 37 Golden Eagles (19a, 18u). Resident birds were 2 adult Bald Eagles, 2 adult Northern Goshawks and 1 adult Golden Eagle. There was also a good variety of other bird species including 12 white-headed gulls moving high to the north at 1633, 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 1 Northern Shrike, 1 Golden-crowned Kinglet, 6 Mountain Bluebirds (4 male, 2 female), 136 American Robins all flying to the north, 3 Varied Thrushes, 1 Song Sparrow, 6 Oregon Juncos, 1 Red-winged Blackbird, a single flock of 60 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches and 1 male Purple Finch. 13 hours (297.1) BAEA 5 (79), NOGO 1 (7), GOEA 37 (2128) TOTAL 43 (2253)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1228-1415. Temperatures were between 13 and 17C, winds were WSW-SW 28-43 gusting to 55 km/h and cloud cover was 30% altostratus and altocumulus. A juvenile Bald Eagle moved north from the “Big Hill” at 1228, but no further birds were seen until 1315 after which another 2 Bald Eagles and 11 Golden Eagles moved to 1359. The final count was 3 Bald Eagles (2a, 1j) and 11 adult Golden Eagles. 2.25 hours BAEA 3 (134), GOEA 11 (1036) TOTAL 14 (1305)

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) 1230-1830. It was a sunny day with temperatures that ranged from 15 to 20C, strong S-SW winds and 30-60% altostratus, cumulus and altocumulus cloud that provided an excellent observation backdrop. There was a fairly strong raptor movement with 23 birds tallied, 12 of which moved between 1700 and 1814. The count comprised the season’s first 2 Turkey Vultures (both adult), 7 Bald Eagles (4a, 1sa, 2j) and 14 adult Golden Eagles. Non migrants were 6 Bald Eagles (3a, 1sa, 2j), 2 adult Red-tailed Hawks and the Golden Eagle pair. Late in the day both Red-tailed Hawks displayed, but were upstaged by vigorous displays from both Golden Eagles that quickly drove the hawks form the field! 6 hours (64) TUVU 2 (2), BAEA 7 (51), GOEA 14 (184) TOTAL 23 (243)


March 28
[Day 27] (Jim Davis, assisted by Dawn Hall) At 0730 all ridges were obscured and it was raining steadily so Jim moved north down the valley to Barrier Lake between 0850 and 1200, which was just east of the rain belt. Between 0831 and 1002 he recorded 5 adult Bald Eagles and 1 unaged Golden Eagle moving north above the valley. At 1136 heavy rain began at Barrier Lake, and a lunch break was taken at the Lodge between 1200 and 1330. At 1300 the rain turned to heavy wet snow for half an hour, after which precipitation stopped and the ridges began to clear. The observers returned to the Hay Meadow site and continued the count to 2000. In the afternoon the temperature rose from 1C at 1400 to a high of 8C at 1700 and was 5C at the end of observation, ground winds were SW 8-14 km/h, ridge winds were SW light to moderate, and cloud cover reduced to 40% cumulus with clear east ridges that gave good observing conditions. Between 1551 and 1932 a further 29 migrant raptors were recorded moving from the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette, and the day’s final count was 14 Bald Eagles (12a, 2sa), 3 Sharp-shinned Hawks (2a, 1u) and 18 Golden Eagles (15a, 1sa, 2u). Other birds seen including a north-bound Trumpeter Swan, 35 American Robins, 4 Varied Thrushes and a male Purple Finch singing in the rain at the Lodge during the lunch break. 11 hours (308.1) BAEA 14 (93), SSHA 3 (5), GOEA 18 (1246) TOTAL 35 (2288)

Beaver Mines
(Peter Sherrington) No observation, observer giving a talk in Edmonton.

Steeples, BC
(Vance Mattson) 1430-1730. The mountains were completely obscured by low cloud and rain until 1330 when they began to clear. The temperature was 10-11C, winds were strong S-SE, cloud cover cleared to 60% cumulus and the ridges were mostly clear during the observation period. The only migrants seen were 1 adult Bald Eagle and 1 adult Golden Eagle, and 4 non-migrant Bald Eagles (3a, 1j) and 1 adult Golden Eagle were also noted. 3 hours (67) BAEA 1 (185), GOEA 1 (185) TOTAL 2 (245)


March 29
[Day 28] (Bill Wilson, assisted by Ruth Morrow and Brian McBride) The temperature reached a high of 8C at 1400-1600 and was 4C both at the start and end of the count. Ground winds were SW-WSW 5-10 gusting 35 km/h to 0900, 5-20 gusting 50 km/h to 1600 after which they diminished to 5-10 km/h for the rest of the day; ridge winds were moderate to strong W-SW all day. Cloud cover was 60-100% cumulus and cirrus to 1400 after which 90-100% stratus moved from the W that thickened and persisted for the rest of the day and producing light rain after 1700. Ridges were clear to mid-afternoon, after which they clouded over with the west completely obscured at 1700 and the east up to 40% obscured by the rain. A total of 58 raptors migrated between 0747 (the earliest Golden Eagle so far this season) and 1654, with most birds gliding high and fast from the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette, but with about a third of the birds passing south of Lorette directly to Skogan Pass. The flight comprised 5 Bald Eagles (3a, 1j, 1u), the season’s first Northern Harrier, an adult male, 3 Northern Goshawks (2a, 1u), 1 unidentified Accipiter, 45 Golden Eagles (27a, 1sa, 2j, 15u), 2 unidentified eagles (that were probably Bald Eagles) and 1 small unidentified raptor that was either a Sharp-shinned Hawk or a Merlin. Other birds were scarce but included 1 Northern Shrike, 3 male Mountain Bluebirds, several American Robins including one flock of 10 flying north and 12 Dark-eyed Juncos. BAEA 5 (98), NOHA 1 (1), NOGO 3 (10), UA 1 (1), GOEA 45 (2191), UE 2 (10), UU1 (2) TOTAL 58 (2346)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) No observation.

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson, assisted by Virginia Rasch of the Rocky Mountain Naturalists from Cranbrook) 1230-1800. The temperature was 10-11C, winds were strong S-SW all day and cloud cover was 100-70% cumulus and altocumulus. Ridges were mainly clear, although the top of Bill Nye Peak was slightly obscured all day. There was a sporadic movement of 14 birds between 1320 and 1725 comprising 6 Bald Eagles (5a, 1j) and 8 Golden Eagles (7a, 1 late sa). Resident birds seen were 4 Bald Eagles (2a, 2j), 1 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk and 1 adult Turkey Vulture. 5.5 hours (72.5) BAEA 6 (58), GOEA 8 (193) TOTAL 14 (259)


March 30
[Day 29] (Terry Waters, assisted by Patricia Farley and Jennifer Waters) Temperatures remained well above normal reaching a high of 11C at 1700 from a low at 0830 of 3C. Ground winds were SW-SSW averaging 10-15 gusting 25 km/h but occasionally reaching 40 km/h, while ridge winds were W-SW strong or very strong until 1700 when they appeared to moderate. Cloud cover was persistent altostratus and altocumulus which gradually diminished from 90% at the start to 50% at the end of the day. Apart from some minor occlusion to the west ridges were clear all day. The first migrant Golden Eagle was seen at 1004 but movement was initially slow and by 1400 only four more birds had been recorded. After 1400 the rate increased with 73 of the day’s 98 Golden Eagles moving between 1600 and 1850. Most birds glided high from the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette, with soaring only observed after 1700 when up to seven birds were seen together over the northern end of the Fisher Range, and some birds even moved high above the centre of the valley late in the day. The day’s flight comprised 2 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 98 Golden Eagles (60a, 4sa, 6j, 28u) and one Merlin of unknown race, sex or age. The resident pair of Golden Eagles was seen on several occasions with the male displaying followed by probable copulation on the ridge at the northern end of the Fisher Range. Two adult resident Bald Eagles were also present for much of the day. A Ruffed Grouse was reported drumming for the first time this season, and songbirds recorded included 1 Northern Shrike, 2 Varied Thrush, 8 American Robins and a flock of 8 Bohemian Waxwings. 11 hours (331.8) RLHA 2 (19), GOEA 98 (2289), MERL 1 (6) TOTAL 101 (2447)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1030-1630. It was a warm day with temperatures rising from 11C at 1000 to 17C at 1500, winds were SW-W 26-45 gusting to 60 km/h, and cloud cover was cumulus, altocumulus and cirrus starting at 20%, increasing to 70% at 1300 and 1400 before diminishing again to 10% at 1630. Observing conditions were generally good but the bright sunshine in the morning often made identification tricky. A total of 47 migrant raptors steadily glided high to the north between 1036 and 1356, after which they suddenly stopped and no further birds were seen despite making spot checks after 1630. The flight comprised 6 Bald Eagles (5a, 1j), 6 Northern Goshawks (2a, 4u), 6 Red-tailed Hawks (5 adult light morph calurus, 1 dark morph bird of unknown race), 1 undifferentiated dark morph Buteo and 28 Golden Eagles (25a, 3u). 6 hours (98.75) BAEA 6 (140), NOGO 6 (37), RTHA 6 (26), UB 1 (6), GOEA 28 (1064), TOTAL 47 (1352)

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) No observation.

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

DAYS 29
HOURS 331.8

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 98
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 1
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 5
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 1
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 10
Accipiter sp. (UA) 1
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 2
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 19
Buteo sp. (UB) 1
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2289
Eagle sp. (UE) 10
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 6
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

TOTAL 2447

 


March 31 [Day 30] (Brian McBride, assisted by Cliff Hansen and Kevin Barker) At 1745 the temperature was 3C, rose to a high of 10C at 1300 and steadily declined to 2C at 2000. Ground winds were SW averaging 5-15 km/h all day with the exception of 1600-1700 when a brief disturbance brought winds that gusted to 50 km/h; ridge winds were SW moderate to strong all day. It was cloudless to 1000 after which cumulus and altostratus cloud gradually increased to 80% at 1400. Between 1600 and 1700 100% low stratus developed that obscured all ridges and brought steady rain for an hour, but after 1700 the clouds quickly dissipated and by the end of the day there was 20% scattered cumulus cover. Raptor movement was very slow with only 6 birds recorded between 1047 and 1424: 5 Golden Eagles (3a, 2u) and I unidentified eagle. All birds moved high from the Wasootch Creek area to high above the peak of Mount Lorette and on towards the NW. The resident pair of Golden Eagles were perched together at the northern end of the Fisher Range at 1843, and the male was seen displaying there earlier in the afternoon. Other birds present included a drumming Ruffed Grouse, 5 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, a pair of Mountain Bluebirds, 26 American Robins feeding in the meadow at dusk, 1 Varied Thrush, 20 Oregon Juncos and a Northern Shrike that was observed pursuing a chickadee into trees south of the site at 1800. There were 39 visitors to the site including a large group from Crescent Heights High School in Calgary. 12.25 hours (344) GOEA 5 (2294), UE 1 (11) TOTAL 6 (2453)

March Summary, with percentage variance from the average counts 1993 to 2014, excluding the anomalously low counts in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012, in parentheses : 30 days (+4.25), 344 hours (+12.8), BAEA 98 (-10.9), NOHA 1 (+63.6), SSHA 5 (+120), COHA 1 (+28.6), NOGO 10 (-8.6), RTHA 2 (-56.6), RLHA 19 (+613; the highest ever March count), GOEA 2294 (-7.2), MERL 6 (+ 170; the highest ever March count), PEFA 1 (+350; just the 5th March record for the site); UA 1 (+100), UB 1 (+38.5), UE 11 (+583), UF 1 (+350), UU 2 (+350), TOTAL 2453 (-6.08) (10 species). 12.25 hours (344) GOEA 5 (2294), UE 1 (11) TOTAL 6 (2453)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1100-1800. The temperature was 15C at 1100, reached a high of 16C at 1200 and quickly dropped to 10-11C after 1500. Winds were strong WSW 43-52 gusting to 70 km/h, and cloud cover was initially 20% cumulus, quickly clouded over from the SW after 1200 with 80-90% altostratus and cumulus that brought occasional light showers. After 1600 the cloud front receded to the SW leaving 10-20% scattered cumulus for the rest of the day. Raptor movement was very slow and sporadic between 1143 and 1625 and comprised 2 adult Bald Eagles, 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk and 6 adult Golden Eagles. A resident pair of light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks hunted and interacted over the “Big Hill” all day and the male displayed once during the afternoon. The resident pair of Golden Eagles was also seen throughout the day over the hill, with the male displaying on several occasions. 7 hours (105.8) BAEA 2 (142), RLHA 1 (41), GOEA 6 (1070) TOTAL 9 (1361)
March Summary: 21 days (105.8hours) BAEA 142, NOHA 4, SSHA 14, COHA 1, NOGO 37, RTHA 26, RLHA 21, UB 6, GOEA 1070, UE 1, AMKE 4, MERL 8, GYRF 1, PEFA 2, PRFA 4 TOTAL 1361 (13 species)

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) 1300-1600. The temperature was 12-15C, winds were strong SW and cloud cover was 70-90% altostratus and cumulus. By 1630 the low dark clouds had descended and obscured the ridges. 3 hours (76.75 hours) TOTAL 0 (260)
March Summary: 19 days (76.75 hours) TUVU 2, BAEA 59, SSHA 2, NOGO 1, RTHA 1, UB 1, GOEA 193, UF 1 TOTAL 260 (7 species)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT
(March 1 to April 22)

DAYS 30
HOURS 344

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 98
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 1
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 5
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 1
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 10
Accipiter sp. (UA) 1
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 2
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 19
Buteo sp. (UB) 1
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2294
Eagle sp. (UE) 11
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 6
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

TOTAL 2453

 


April 1 [Day 31] (Joel Duncan, assisted by Gord Petersen) The starting temperature was -2C that rose to a high of only 2C at 1400 and 1500 and was -1C at 1945. Ground winds were SW-W all day, light to 1000 after which they were 7-15 gusting to 25 km/h, while ridge winds were strong W to 1600 after which they appeared to shift to the NW. Cloud cover was initially 50% cumulus and cirrus that gradually thickened to 100% stratocumulus after 1500. The western ridges were 50% obscured between 1800 and 1900, but otherwise ridges were clear and apart from a few light snow flurries there was no precipitation. A total of 11 migrants sporadically moved high to very high above the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette between 1005 and 1756 comprising 1 adult Bald Eagle, 1 Rough-legged Hawk, 1 unidentified dark Buteo, 7 Golden Eagles (2sa, 2j, 3u) and 1 unidentified eagle. Other birds seen included 1 Northern Shrike, 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, a pair of Mountain Bluebirds, 33 American Robins, 4 Varied Thrushes, 150 Bohemian Waxwings, 1 Song Sparrow and 7 Oregon Juncos. 12 hours (356) BAEA 1 (99), RLHA 1 (20), UB 1 (2), GOEA 7 (2301), UE 1 (12) TOTAL 11 (2462)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1200-1730. Winds were again strong mainly WSW gusting between 60 and 80 km/h, cloud cover was 30-40% cumulus and cirrus increasing to 70% when thicker dark cumulus periodically moved from the mountains bringing short snow flurries. The temperature ranged from 5C to 7C depending on the cloud cover. Movement started steadily with the first two hours each producing 12 migrants. Subsequently it became sporadic with 3 birds moving from1400 to 1500, 9 birds from 1500 to 1600 and subsequently only a single Red-tailed Hawk was recorded at 1632. The flight of 37 raptors comprised 1 adult Bald Eagle, 1 adult male Northern Harrier, 1 juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk, 2 Northern Goshawks (1a, 1u), a season high 18 adult calurus Red-tailed Hawks (16 light, 2 dark), 1 dark morph Rough-legged Hawk, 1 unidentified dark Buteo and 13 Golden Eagles (10a, 2sa, 1j). One of the resident Red-tailed Hawks displayed throughout the day. 5.5 hours (111.3) BAEA 1 (143), NOHA 1 (5), SSHA 1 (15), NOGO 2 (39), RTHA 18 (44), RLHA 1 (42), GOEA 13 (1083) TOTAL 37 (1398)

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) No observation.

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

DAYS 31
HOURS 356

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 99
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 1
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 5
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 1
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 10
Accipiter sp. (UA) 1
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 2
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 20
Buteo sp. (UB) 2
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2301
Eagle sp. (UE) 12
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 6
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

TOTAL 2462

 


April 2 [Day 32] (Joel Duncan, assisted by Gord Petersen) The temperature at 0745 was -7C, which was the coldest in some time, and it rose to a high of only 2C at 1500, 1600 and 1700 before falling to -2C at the end of observation at 2015. Ground winds were SW all day, 5-12 gusting to 19 km/h, while ridge winds were moderate SW to 1400, strong to 1600 then moderate again for the rest of the day. Cloud cover was initially 30% cumulus that rose to 70% at 1200 where it remained for the rest of the day. The ridges were essentially clear all day. A total of 60 migrant raptors, which is the second highest count since March 22, moved between 1024 and 1919, comprising 1 adult Bald Eagle (the 100th of the season), 2 adult calurus Red-tailed Hawks (1 light and one rufous morph) and 57 Golden Eagles (32a, 3sa, 1j, 21u). The Golden Eagle count is also the second highest since March 22, and 38 of the birds moved between 1800 and 1919. These birds glided very high from the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette, with a few coming from the Wasootch Creek area, and many were just silhouettes resulting in a high number of unaged birds. The first bird of the day used the western route, and a few others were also seen there throughout the day. Other birds seen included the season’s first record of a pair of Barrow’s Goldeneye (on Lorette Ponds), the long-staying Northern Shrike, 1 Golden-crowned Kinglet, 4 Mountain Bluebirds (1 male and 3 females), 14 American Robins, 3 Varied Thrushes and 8 Dark-eyed Juncos. A group of 26 students and 2 teachers from Crescent Heights High School in Calgary who kept the observers busy answering questions. 12.5 HOURS (368.5) BAEA 1 (100), RTHA 2 (4), GOEA 57 (2358), TOTAL 60 (2524)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1145-1800. The temperature at 1145 was 4C but fell to 3C at 1300-1320 after a period of snow pellets, flurries and light snow. It rose to 7C at 1600 and 1700 and was 6C at 1800. Winds were very variable in direction and velocity as a series of short-lived disturbances moved from the mountains, but were generally S-SW 4-28 km/h to 1400, light ENE at 1500 and WNW-WSW 34-52 km/h from 1600-1800. Cloud cover was mainly 50-80% cumulus, often towering, and 100% stratocumulus during snow periods, but finally reduced to 30% cumulus by 1800. The first bird was a Golden Eagle that glided high to the north just before the first period of snow, and the second, a goshawk, was not seen until 1401. Movement was then slow until 1500-1600 when 13 of the day’s 25 migrants were recorded. The last bird was an adult Golden Eagle at 1725. The count was 1 adult male Northern Harrier, 1 unaged Sharp-shinned Hawk, 2 Northern Goshawks (1a, 1j), 8 Red-tailed Hawks (7 light calurus: 4a, 3u, and 1 dark morph bird of unknown race or age), 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk and 12 Golden Eagles (9a, 3sa, 1u). 7.25 hours (117.5) NOHA 1 (6), SSHA 1 (16), NOGO 2 (41), RTHA 8 (52), RLHA 1 (43), GOEA 12 (1095), TOTAL 25 (1423)

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) 1300-1700. It was a sunny day with a temperature of 8-10C, light N winds, 30-70% cumulus cloud cover and clear ridges. Despite the pleasant conditions only two migrants were seen: 1 adult Golden Eagle at 1417 and 1 adult Bald Eagle at 1629. Resident Red-tailed Hawks were seen carrying nest materials, and a non-migrant adult Bald eagle was also present. 4 hours (80.75) BAEA 1 (60), GOEA 1 (194) TOTAL 2 (262)


April 3
[Day 33] (George Halmazna, assisted by Dan Parliament) The starting temperature was again a cool -7C which rose to 4C at 1700 and remained at 3C at the end of the day. Ground winds were SW all day, mainly light gusting up to 15 km/h, while ridge winds were SW light to moderate all day. Cloud cover was initially 60% cumulus and cirrostratus that slowly increased to 90% at 1200 before slowly decreasing again to 50% by the end of the day. Between 1200 and 1600 flurries developed to the west that obscured the ridges there to 30%, but otherwise all ridges were clear. The air was hazy all day possibly because of ice crystals in the atmosphere, which made the locating of birds difficult at times. A total of 27 migrants were tallied between 0926 and 1617 comprising 1 juvenile Bald Eagle, 1 adult calurus Red-tailed Hawk and 25 Golden Eagles (17a, 1sa, 6j, 1u). Most birds moved at moderate height from the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette, and 18 of the Golden Eagles were seen between 1300 and 1400. Other birds noted included 2 drumming Ruffed Grouse, 1 Northern Shrike, 6 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 3 male Mountain Bluebirds, 21 American Robins, 4 Varied Thrushes, 1 Song Sparrow and 26 Dark-eyed Juncos. 11.75 hours (380.3) BAEA 1 (101), RTHA 1 (5), GOEA 25 (2383) TOTAL 27 (2551)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1230-1800. There were periodic snow flurries, some of which were heavy, which finally ended at 1230 at which time I started the count. The temperature then was 4C, but it rose to 9C at 1700 and was 8C at 1800. Winds were WSW 24-32 gusting 45 km/h to 1400, W 20-25 gusting 40 km/h to 1700 and WSW 35 gusting 50 km/h at 1800. Cloud cover was 90% altostratus and cumulus to 1500 after which it was 70-60% cumulus, altostratus, altocumulus and cirrus, giving excellent observing conditions throughout the afternoon. The first bird, a Golden Eagle, was seen at 1235 and movement was slow but steady to 1500 at which time 10 birds had been counted. The pace increased in the next three hours when 28 of the day’s 38 migrants were seen with the last bird moving north at 1757. The flight, involving 8 species, was 3 Bald Eagles (1a, 2j), a season-high 7 Northern Harriers (4 adult males, 1 adult female and 2 juvenile males), a season-high 8 Sharp-shinned Hawks (2a, 6u), 1 adult Cooper’s Hawk, 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 10 Red-tailed Hawks (9 adult light calurus and 1 dark morph bird of indeterminate race and age), 2 Rough-legged Hawks (1 light and 1 dark) and just 6 Golden Eagles (4a, 2sa) 5.5 hours (123) BAEA 3 (146), NOHA 7 (13), SSHA 8 (24), COHA 1 (2), NOGO 1 (42), RTHA 10 (62), RLHA 2 (45), GOEA 6 (1101) TOTAL 38 (1461)

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) No observation because of poor weather. It was overcast with periodic flurries and wet snow all day, and ridges were obscured for most of the day.

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

DAYS 33
HOURS 380.3

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 101
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 1
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 5
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 1
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 10
Accipiter sp. (UA) 1
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 5
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 20
Buteo sp. (UB) 2
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2383
Eagle sp. (UE) 12
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 6
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

TOTAL 2551

 


April 4 [Day 34] (Bill Wilson, assisted by Ruth Morrow) 0650-1125. The temperature was -6C at 0715, rose to -2.5C at 1000 and was -3C at 1100. Ground winds were light and variable and ridge winds could not be assessed because of the 100% low stratus cloud cover. The ridges, however, were clear until 0815 when the cloud began to descend and by 1000 all ridges were completely obscured with no migrant raptors having been seen. Snow began to fall at 1000 which became steady at 1100, so the count was moved to the Lusk Creek site where the snow proved to be moderate to heavy and it was decided to abandon the count for the day at 1125. This proved to be a wise move as Cliff informed me at 2030 that the snow was still falling! Bird species recorded included 1 drumming Ruffed Grouse, 1 calling Pileated Woodpecker, 3 Mountain Bluebirds (1 male, 2 females), 30 American Robins, 4 Varied Thrushes, 80 Bohemian Waxwings and 1 Song Sparrow. 4.58 hours TOTAL 0 (2551)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1145-1830. The temperature was 7C or 8C throughout the observation period except between 1335 and 1420 when heavy wet snow reduced it to 5C, and it fell to 3C at 1500 before recovering again. Winds before the snow were mainly moderate S, and after were WNW to WSW 22-35. Cloud cover was initially 80% thin altostratus and cumulus which quickly turned to 100% stratocumulus at 1300 which obscured the ridge until 1420. The rest of the afternoon cover was variable 40-90% cumulus and altostratus which gave excellent viewing conditions. The first migrant was a juvenile Northern Goshawk at 1150, but largely because of the snow by 1530 I had only recorded 3 birds. The pace subsequently quickened with 17 of the day’s migrants moving between 1719 and 1824. The count comprised 3 Bald Eagles (2a, 1j), 2 adult male Northern Harriers, 1 unaged Sharp-shinned Hawk, 2 Northern Goshawks (1a, 1j), 10 calurus Red-tailed Hawks ( 9 adult light morphs and 1 dark bird of unknown race or age), and 8 Golden Eagles (4a, 3sa, 1u). 6.75 hours (129.8) BAEA 3 (149), NOHA 2 (15), SSHA 1 (25), NOGO 2 (44), RTHA 10 (72), GOEA 8 (1109) TOTAL 26 (1487)

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson, assisted by Peter Davidson of the Rocky Mountain Naturalists) 1500-1800. The ridges were completely obscured until 1400, but they were clear by 1500 when the temperature was 6C which rose to 8C by 1800. Winds were moderate W and cloud cover was 40-80% mainly cumulus giving partly sunny conditions. A total of 6 migrating raptors was seen between 1517 and 1729 comprising 2 adult Turkey Vultures, 3 Bald Eagles (2a, 1sa) and 1 adult Golden Eagle which was the last bird of the day. Resident birds were a pair of adult Bald Eagles, and a subadult, and the local pair of Red-tailed Hawks that were conspicuous throughout the observation period. 3 hours (83.75) TUVU 2 (4), BAEA 3 (63), GOEA 1 (194) TOTAL 6 (268)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

DAYS 34
HOURS 384.8

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 101
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 1
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 5
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 1
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 10
Accipiter sp. (UA) 1
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 5
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 20
Buteo sp. (UB) 2
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2383
Eagle sp. (UE) 12
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 6
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

TOTAL 2551

 


April 4 [Day 34] (Jim Davis) The temperature at 0730 was -6C, reached a high of -1C between 1500 and 1700 and was -3C at the end of observation at 2000. It was calm to 1100 and ground winds were 2-15 km/h for the rest of the day, E-NE to 1700 after which they were from the N. Cloud cover was 80-100% stratocumulus which obscured the western ridges and Mount Lorette all day. The Fisher Range was 100% obscured to 1700 after which it was only 40-20% draped with cloud, which appeared to be static indicating no wind movement at ridge level. Steady snow fell from 0730-1200, 1400-1500, and 1730-1800, which left about 5 cm of fresh snow on the ground at the end of the day, although considerable more probably fell and melted. Despite these unpromising conditions there was a fairly strong raptor movement with 25 birds of 5 species moving between 1215 and 1837. Not surprisingly movement was mainly low above the valley with 6 birds on the west side, 7 above the centre of the valley and 12 to the east. The western birds moved to the NW over Skogan Pass, some of the valley centre birds moved over Skogan pass while others moved due N as did all the birds to the east. Interestingly, once the Fisher Range became mainly clear no further migrants were seen. The flight comprised 11 Bald Eagles (6a, 1sa3, 1sa2, 3j), 1 adult Sharp-shinned Hawk, 4 calurus Red-tailed Hawks (3 light: 2a, 1j, and 1 dark adult), 4 Rough-legged Hawks (2 light, 2 dark), 4 Golden Eagles (3a, 1j) and the season’s first Gyrfalcon, a dark bird. Despite the weather 29 visitors visited the site throughout the day. 12.5 hours (397.3) BAEA 11 (112), SSHA 1 (6), RTHA 4 (9), RLHA 4 (24), GOEA 4 (2387) GYRF 1 (1) TOTAL 25 (2576)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) No Observation. Light snow in the morning turned to steady moderate snow in the early afternoon. The “Big Hill” was just visible in the morning but casual observations revealed no migrant raptors, and by 1300 it was completely obscured. An adult Cooper’s Hawk hunted American Robins in my back yard at 1235.

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) 1215-1715. It was a much more pleasant day west of the Rockies with a temperature of 7-9C, light SE winds and 30-80% cumulus cloud cover which produced 5 migrant raptors: 1 adult Bald Eagle, 1 adult calurus Red-tailed Hawk and 3 Golden Eagles (1a, 1sa, 1j). Four adult non-migrant Turkey Vultures were seen throughout the observation period, as well as a non-migrant adult Bald Eagle and the local pair of Red-tailed Hawks. 5 hours (88.75) BAEA 1 (64), RTHA 1 (2), GOEA 3 (198) TOTAL 5 (273)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

DAYS 35
HOURS 397.3

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 112
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 1
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 6
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 1
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 10
Accipiter sp. (UA) 1
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 9
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 24
Buteo sp. (UB) 2
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2387
Eagle sp. (UE) 12
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 6
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

TOTAL 2576

 


April 5 [Day 35] (Jim Davis) The temperature at 0730 was -6C, reached a high of -1C between 1500 and 1700 and was -3C at the end of observation at 2000. It was calm to 1100 and ground winds were 2-15 km/h for the rest of the day, E-NE to 1700 after which they were from the N. Cloud cover was 80-100% stratocumulus which obscured the western ridges and Mount Lorette all day. The Fisher Range was 100% obscured to 1700 after which it was only 40-20% draped with cloud, which appeared to be static indicating no wind movement at ridge level. Steady snow fell from 0730-1200, 1400-1500, and 1730-1800, which left about 5 cm of fresh snow on the ground at the end of the day, although considerable more probably fell and melted. Despite these unpromising conditions there was a fairly strong raptor movement with 25 birds of 5 species moving between 1215 and 1837. Not surprisingly movement was mainly low above the valley with 6 birds on the west side, 7 above the centre of the valley and 12 to the east. The western birds moved to the NW over Skogan Pass, some of the valley centre birds moved over Skogan pass while others moved due N as did all the birds to the east. Interestingly, once the Fisher Range became mainly clear no further migrants were seen. The flight comprised 11 Bald Eagles (6a, 1sa3, 1sa2, 3j), 1 adult Sharp-shinned Hawk, 4 calurus Red-tailed Hawks (3 light: 2a, 1j, and 1 dark adult), 4 Rough-legged Hawks (2 light, 2 dark), 4 Golden Eagles (3a, 1j) and the season’s first Gyrfalcon, a dark bird. Despite the weather 29 visitors visited the site throughout the day. 12.5 hours (397.3) BAEA 11 (112), SSHA 1 (6), RTHA 4 (9), RLHA 4 (24), GOEA 4 (2387) GYRF 1 (1) TOTAL 25 (2576)

Beaver Mines
(Peter Sherrington) No Observation. Light snow in the morning turned to steady moderate snow in the early afternoon. The “Big Hill” was just visible in the morning but casual observations revealed no migrant raptors, and by 1300 it was completely obscured. An adult Cooper’s Hawk hunted American Robins in my back yard at 1235.

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) 1215-1715. It was a much more pleasant day west of the Rockies with a temperature of 7-9C, light SE winds and 30-80% cumulus cloud cover which produced 5 migrant raptors: 1 adult Bald Eagle, 1 adult calurus Red-tailed Hawk and 3 Golden Eagles (1a, 1sa, 1j). Four adult non-migrant Turkey Vultures were seen throughout the observation period, as well as a non-migrant adult Bald Eagle and the local pair of Red-tailed Hawks. 5 hours (88.75) BAEA 1 (64), RTHA 1 (2), GOEA 3 (198) TOTAL 5 (273)


April 6
[Day 36] (Terry Waters, assisted by Pat Farley) Persistent snow and low cloud delayed the start of observation to 1300 when the temperature was -3C; it reached a high at 1500 of -2C and was -5C at 1930 when observation ended. Ground winds were NE 10-15 km/h that gusted to 25 km/h at the end of the day and ridge winds were difficult to assess as the ridge tops remained shrouded in cloud throughout the day. Cloud cover in the afternoon was 100% stratus, but thin enough to allow very hazy sunshine, and snow showers, occasionally heavy, persisted throughout the observation period. The only migrant raptor seen was an adult Golden Eagle that flew to the north over the centre of the valley at 1528. Other birds were also scarce but a flock of 13 Dark-eyed Juncos may have included 2 “Pink-sided Juncos” (J.h.mearnsii). 6.5 hours (403.8) GOEA 1 (2388) TOTAL 1 (2577)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) No Observation. Snow persisted all day with NE winds and a high of -3C. The “Big Hill” cleared briefly in the late afternoon, but was otherwise cloud covered all day.

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) No Observation. The ridges and most of the valley was obscured by low cloud all day.

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

DAYS 36
HOURS 403.8

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 112
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 1
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 6
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 1
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 10
Accipiter sp. (UA) 1
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 9
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 24
Buteo sp. (UB) 2
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2388
Eagle sp. (UE) 12
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 6
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

TOTAL 2577

 


April 7 [Day 37] (Brian McBride, assisted by Cliff Hansen) The temperature high was only 4C at 1600 and 1700, from a morning low of -1C, and it was 1C at the end of observation at 1945. Ground winds were variable and light except at 1600 when they gusted to 15 km/h, while ridge winds were light to moderate W to 1200 becoming strong only around 1500. Cloud cover was 20-30% cumulus all day with minor altocumulus early in the day and minor cirrus at the end, giving excellent detection and identification conditions. Despite this only 8 Golden Eagles (6a, 2sa) were seen gliding from the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette between 1543 and 1710, with 4 of the birds moving at 1623. The resident pair of Golden Eagles were seen throughout the day at the northern end of the Fisher Range, where the male occasionally displayed. Other birds were scarce and included 1 male Mountain Bluebird, 15 American Robins that fed in the meadow at dusk, and a flock of 75 Bohemian Waxwings. 12 hours (415.8) GOEA 8 (2396) TOTAL 8 (2585)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Nel Van Kamer) 1100-1300, 1430-1730. The temperature was 0C at 1100 but steadily rose to a high of 9C at 1700, Winds were initially light NW but became WSW 20 km/h after 1300. It was cloudless at 1100 but 60% altostratus cloud quickly developed and cover was 30-60% cumulus, altocumulus and cirrus for the rest of the day giving excellent observation conditions. Birds were already moving when I started observing and the first hour yielded 27 migrants including the first 2 Ferruginous Hawks of the year. The strong movement continued to 1237 when the count was 47 migrants, including 13 Red-tailed Hawks that moved together at 1223. The flow then stopped and only 1 more Red-tailed Hawk was seen at 1237, before I had to leave for a commitment in Pincher Creek. I resumed counting at 1430 but the next 3.5 hours only produced another 9 migrants, the last of which moved north at 1704. The flight of 57 birds was 4 Bald Eagles (2a, 2j), a season-high 31 Red-tailed Hawks (21 calurus: 19 light morphs (9a, 1j, 9u), 2 adult dark morph harlani, and 7 birds of unknown race, morph or age), 2 adult Ferruginous Hawks (1 light and 1 dark), 19 Golden Eagles (10a, 3sa, 3j, 3u) and 1u columbarius Merlin. An odd aspect of the count was, with the exception of the Merlin, the complete absence of small migrant raptors. The resident pair of Red-tailed Hawks displayed and interacted throughout the afternoon, but there was no sign of the resident pair of Golden Eagles. 5 hours (134.8) BAEA 4 (153), RTHA 31 (103), FEHA 2 (2) GOEA 19 (1128), MERL 1 (9) TOTAL 57 (1544)

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) 1415-1745. Low cumulus cloud covered the ridges to 1500, although the rest of the sky was clear with 30-50% cumulus cloud cover and it was mainly sunny. Temperatures ranged from 9 to 10C and winds were light S. A total of 6 migrants were seen 5 of which were Bald Eagles (1a, 4j) that moved between 1609 and 1614 and the last was the season’s first Peregrine Falcon, an adult that was recorded at 1710. Resident birds were Red-tailed Hawks, a pair of Bald Eagles in courtship flight and an adult Turkey Vulture that was seen on a few occasions. 3.5 hours (92.25) BAEA 5 (69), PEFA 1 (1) TOTAL 6 (279)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

DAYS 37
HOURS 415.8

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 112
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 1
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 6
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 1
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 10
Accipiter sp. (UA) 1
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 9
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 24
Buteo sp. (UB) 2
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2396
Eagle sp. (UE) 12
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 6
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

TOTAL 2585

 


April 8 [Day 38] (Joel Duncan) The temperature at 0745 was -8C, but it rose to a high of 7C from 1600 to 1800 before falling again to -1C at 2015. Ground winds were light SE to 1300, then SW gusting to 16 km/h to 1600 after which they became light again, while ridge winds were probably SW light to moderate all day. It was cloudless until 1600 after which 10% cirrus developed for the rest of the day. It was another disappointing day of raptor migration with only 6 Golden Eagles (1sa, 3j, 2u) gliding from the Fisher Range and Mount Lorette between 1730 and 1842, when 3 of the birds were seen. The resident pair of Northern Goshawks were very vociferous near the parking area in the morning, and other birds included a male Belted Kingfisher, 1 Golden-crowned Kinglet, 1 male Mountain Bluebird, 49 American Robins, 2 Varied Thrushes, 80 Bohemian Waxwings and 54 Dark-eyed Juncos (54 montanus and 10 cismontanus). 12.5 hours (428.3) GOEA 6 (2402) TOTAL 6 (2591)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1000-1815. Temperatures ranged from 4C at 1000 to 10C at 1600, 1700 and 1800, winds were very variable (W to E to S to ENE!) but light (< 11 km/h) all day, and cloud cover was 30-10% cumulus, which was mainly to the SW over the continental divide after 1200. Movement was slow and steady throughout most of the observation period with a maximum count of only 5 birds between 1600 and 1700. The 27 migrants counted between 1045 and 1752 comprised 5 Bald Eagles (2a, 3j), 5 adult male Northern Harriers, 3 Sharp-shinned Hawks (2j, 1u), 1 unidentified Accipiter, 8 adult Red-tailed Hawks (7 calurus (5 light, 2 dark), and 1 dark harlani) and 5 Golden Eagles (3a, 2j). There were at least 7 resident Red-tailed Hawks, including 3 pairs that were conspicuous throughout the afternoon indulging in courtship display, leg dangling, pursuit flights, sky-dancing or just soaring together for long periods. A resident adult Golden Eagle was also seen on a couple of occasions. 8.25 hours (143) BAEA 5 (158), NOHA 5 (20), SSHA 3 (28), UA 1 (1), RTHA 8 (111), GOEA 5 (1133) TOTAL 27 (1571)

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) ) No Observation.

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

DAYS 38
HOURS 428.3

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 112
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 1
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 6
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 1
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 10
Accipiter sp. (UA) 1
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 9
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 24
Buteo sp. (UB) 2
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2402
Eagle sp. (UE) 12
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 6
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

TOTAL 2591

 


April 9 [Day 39] (Joel Duncan, assisted by Cliff Hansen) At 0800 the temperature was -8C but rose to a high of 11C at 1700 and 1800 and was 5C at the end of observation at 2030. Ground winds were essentially SW all day, light to 1400 and after 1800 but 8-15 gusting to 24 km/h in mid-afternoon, while ridges winds were probably also light to moderate all day. It was completely cloudless all day although the slightly hazy nature of the sunshine suggested the presence of extremely thin high stratus cloud cover. The first migrant was an adult Golden Eagle at 0949, but movement was slow and by 1700 only 3 migrants had been noted. Between 1700 and 2019, however, a steady stream of 16 Golden Eagles glided to the NW from the Wasootch Creek area to Mount Lorette, with most birds moving behind the peak resulting in a high proportion of birds being unaged. The final count of 20 birds was 2 adult Bald Eagles, 1 juvenile Cooper’s Hawk and 17 Golden Eagles (5a, 1sa, 1j, 10u). Resident birds were a pair of Red-tailed Hawks, and an adult Golden Eagle that was seen a few times at the northern end of the Fisher Range. Other birds noted included 2 drumming Ruffed Grouse, 1 Clark’s Nutcracker, 2 Tree Swallows, 2 Golden-crowned Kinglets, a pair of Mountain Bluebirds, 36 American Robins, 3 Varied Thrushes, 55 Bohemian Waxwings, 3 Song Sparrows and 28 Dark-eyed Juncos. Butterflies were noted on the wing for the first time comprising 2 Milbert’s Tortoiseshells, 1 Mourning Cloak and 6 Polygonia sp. The highlight of the day, however, occurred at 1806 when a single black Grey Wolf was spotted just north of the site that walked slowly across the northern part of the Hay Meadow to the Stoney Trail. 12.5 hours (440.8) BAEA 2 (114), COHA 1 (2), GOEA 17 (2419) TOTAL 20 (2611)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1200-1530. The temperature was 12C to 14C, winds were W-SW 13-20 gusting to 40 km/h and cloud cover was 10-20% very thin altostratus to the SW which was no assistance in locating high-flying migrants moving north over the “Big Hill” . Movement was slow and sporadic but was varied with 7 raptor species recorded: 3 Northern Harriers (1 adult male, 1 adult female and 1 undifferentiated bird), 2 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 1u), 1u Cooper’s Hawk, 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 3 adult calurus Red-tailed Hawks, 1 dark morph Rough-legged Hawk and 3 Golden Eagles (2a, 1sa). At least 3 pairs of resident Red-tailed Hawks were conspicuous above the hill hunting, soaring, displaying and interacting until 1240 after which they only appeared sporadically. 3.5 hours (146.5) NOHA 3 (23), SSHA 2 (30), COHA 1 (3), NOGO 1 (45), RTHA 3 (114), RLHA 1 (46), GOEA 3 (1136) TOTAL 14 (1585)

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson, assisted by Virginia Rasch) 1300-1900. It was a pleasant calm, cloudless day with temperatures ranging between 10C and 15C, and 7 migrants were counted: 2 adult Turkey Vultures, 4 Bald Eagles (2a, 1sa, 1 undifferentiated immature) and 1 adult Golden Eagle. The migrants were outnumbered by resident or non-migratory birds: 4 adult Turkey Vultures, up to 8 Bald Eagles and 3 adult Red-tailed Hawks (1 light and 2 rufous morphs). 6 hours (98.25) TUVU 2 (6), BAEA 4 (73), GOEA 1 (199) TOTAL 7 (286)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

DAYS 39
HOURS 440.8

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 114
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 1
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 6
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 2
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 10
Accipiter sp. (UA) 1
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 9
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 24
Buteo sp. (UB) 2
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2419
Eagle sp. (UE) 12
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 6
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

TOTAL 2611

 


April 10 [Day 40] (George Halmazna, assisted by Dan Parliament) The temperature high was 9.5% from a morning low at 0645 of -3.5C and it was 7C at 1945. Ground winds were SW all day, light in the morning and peaking at 15 gusting 35 km/h at 1300-1500 before dropping to 10-20 km/h for the rest of the day. Ridge winds were also SW, moderate in the morning but became increasingly strong throughout the afternoon. It was essentially cloudless to 1000 after which cumulus cloud developed that reached almost 100% by the end of the day. Snow flurries developed over the western ridges between 1300 and 1600, but apart from 20% occlusion at 1600 the ridges were clear all day. The first migrant was an unaged Sharp-shinned Hawk that flew to the N above the valley at 1456, the first Golden Eagle, an adult, glided high from the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette at 1520, followed by 2 more adults between 1500 and 1600 and a juvenile bird at 1840 completed a disappointing day’s count. Non-migrant or resident raptors were 1 Bald Eagle, 1 Northern Goshawk, a pair of Red-tailed Hawks and a pair of Golden Eagles which today were seen mainly over Hummingbird Plume Hill. By way of compensation a total of 31 other bird species were also noted including season first records of Northern Shoveler, Great Blue Heron, 2 Wilson’s Snipe, Western Meadowlark and 2 Rusty Blackbirds. 13 hours (453.8) SSHA 1 (7), GOEA 4 (2423) TOTAL 5 (2616)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1000-1800. The temperature was 9C at 1000 and rose to a high of 14C at 1400 where it stayed for the rest of the day. Winds were WSW-SW 20-40 gusting to 60 km/h, and 80-90% cumulus and altostratus cloud cover slowly dwindled to 40% by 1800 giving excellent observing conditions all day. Ten migrants were seen between 1020 and 1151 and it looked like it would be a productive day, but the next 6 hours only produced a further 6 birds. The count was 4 Bald Eagles (1a, 3j), 2 adult Northern Harriers (1 male, 1 female), 2 unaged Sharp-shinned Hawks, 4 light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks (2a, 2u), 2 adult Golden Eagles and 2 adult columbarius Merlins (1 male, 1 female). Again three pairs of resident Red-tailed Hawks were active throughout the day, and an adult Golden Eagle displayed on a couple of occasions. 8 hours (154.5) BAEA 4 (162), NOHA 2 (25), SSHA 2 (32), RTHA 4 (118), GOEA 2 (1138), MERL 2 (11) TOTAL 16 (1601)

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) 1230-1700. The temperature rose from 11C to 14C, but it felt cooler because of strong S winds and 80-90% altostratus and cumulus cloud cover. The ridges were clear but only 1 migrant was seen: an adult Bald Eagle at 1405. Two adult Bald Eagles flew to the S, and a resident adult Red-tailed Hawk was also noted. 4.5 hours (102.8) BAEA 1 (74) TOTAL 1 (287)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

DAYS 40
HOURS 440.8

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 114
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 1
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 7
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 2
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 10
Accipiter sp. (UA) 1
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 9
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 24
Buteo sp. (UB) 2
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2423
Eagle sp. (UE) 12
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 6
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

TOTAL 2616

 


April 11 [Day 41] (Jim Davis, assisted by Ruth Morrow) The temperature was 1C at 0645, rose to a high of 4C between 1200 and 1700 and was -1C at 1900. Ground winds were S moderate to 1600, gusting to 30 km/h to 0900 and becoming W after 1600, while ridge winds were strong S to 1600 then moderate W for the rest of the day. Steady snow fell from 0645 to 0930, 1200 to 1500 and after 1830 there was heavy snow that finally ended observation at 1900. A one-hour lunch break at the lodge was sensibly taken between 1300 and 1400! The western ridges were obscured all day with the exception of around 1100 and 1700 when they were only 20% and 10% obscured respectively, and the eastern ridges were only completely clear for 5 hours (1000-1200 and 1530-1830). Despite these unpromising conditions there was sporadic raptor movement between 1053 and 1832, with 1 bird moving on the W route, 4 above the centre of the valley and 9 on the eastern route (Fisher Range to Mount Lorette). The count comprised 3 Bald Eagles (2a, 1j), a season high 6 calurus Red-tailed Hawks (5a: 3 light, 1 rufous, 1 dark; and 1 light juvenile), 2 Rough-legged Hawks (1 light, 1 dark), 2 Golden Eagles (1a, 1j) which flew high to the north above the centre of the valley, and 1 medium sized unidentified raptor. A 10 minute count of juncos moving north through the western part of the Hay Meadow produced 143 birds (23 “Oregon” and 120 “Slate-coloured” of the race cismontanus) and Jim estimated that the total movement today must have involved well over 1000 birds. Other birds seen included 3 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 4 Mountain Bluebirds (3 male, 1 female), only 2 American Robins, 4 Varied Thrushes, 1 male Purple Finch and a late migrating group of 7 Common Redpolls. A Grey Wolf howling early in the morning added suitable atmosphere to the snowstorm and as surprising, considering the weather, were the 37 visitors that came to the site throughout the day. 11.25 hours (465.1) BAEA 3 (117), RTHA 6 (15), RLHA 2 (26), GOEA 2 (2425), UU 1 (3) TOTAL 14 (2630)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1100-1500, 1615-1730. Strong WSW-SW winds prevailed all day, 43-58 km/h with gusts reaching 90 km/h around 1600. Temperatures were 8-9C dropping to 6C at 1715, and cloud cover was 60-90% cumulus and stratus that briefly dropped to 20% at 1300. The mountains to the SW were usually cloud covered and periodic snow flurries lasting 5 to 10 minutes swept down the valley throughout the day. Raptor migration was sparse and sporadic with high flying birds usually being conspicuously buffeted by the strong winds. The count of 11 migrants comprised 4 Bald Eagles (2a, 1sa, 1j), 3 Northern Harriers (1 adult male, 2 juveniles), 2 Northern Goshawks (1a, 1u) and 1 adult Golden Eagle. Four birds, 2 Bald Eagles, a harrier and a goshawk, flew to the NW together at 1433, but otherwise hourly counts ranged from 0 to 2 birds. 5.25 hours (159.8) BAEA 4 (166), NOHA 3 (28), SSHA 1 (33), NOGO 2 (47), GOEA 1 (1139) TOTAL 11 (1612)

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) 1330-1630. It was 9C, winds were strong S, cloud cover was 70% altostratus and cumulus and the ridges were clear after 1400. No migrants were seen and the only raptor noted was a single non-migrant Turkey Vulture. 3 hours (105.8) TOTAL 0 (287)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

DAYS 41
HOURS 465.1

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 117
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 1
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 7
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 2
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 10
Accipiter sp. (UA) 1
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 15
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 26
Buteo sp. (UB) 2
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2425
Eagle sp. (UE) 12
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 6
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 2630

 


April 12 [Day 42] (Bill Wilson) The temperature was initially -6C and rose to a high of only 0C at 1600 and 1700 before dropping back to -2C at 2015. Ground winds were SSE-SW and occasionally W 5-10 gusting up to 30 km/h, while ridge winds were W-SW, light to moderate to 0900 then moderate to strong for the rest of the day. Cloud cover was mainly 100% stratus and cumulus with the exception of a brief period around 1700 when it was 90%. The western ridges averaged 70-90% obscured, reaching 100% at 1300 and briefly reducing to 40% around 1200 and 1700; the eastern route was variably obscured 70-90% to 1300 and only fully cleared after 1600. Light flurries occurred all day and there were two periods of snow 1100-1145 and 1245-1345 during which time all ridges were completely obscured. Only 5 migrants were seen between 1221 and 1930 with all birds moving to the north above the valley: 1 adult Bald Eagle, 2 unaged Sharp-shinned Hawks, 1 unaged Northern Goshawk and 1 undifferentiated Accipiter. Other birds included the by now almost resident Northern Shrike, 2 Mountain Bluebirds (male and female), 4 American Robins, 2 Varied Thrushes, 27 Bohemian Waxwings and the season’s first Fox Sparrow that sang by the river. At 0545 a Cougar crossed HW 40 at Lorette Ponds in front of Bill’s car and the black Grey Wolf that was first seen on April 9 (and was presumably the one that howled early yesterday morning), swam to the east across the Kananaskis River near the site at 0944 and disappeared into the forest. This is the first time that an observer has seen both animals in a single day, although fresh tracks of both species have been noted on the same day from time to time. 14.42 hours (479.5) BAEA 1 (118), SSHA 2 (9), NOGO 1 (11), UA 1 (2) TOTAL 5 (2635)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1000-1600. The temperature at 1000 was 2C which rose to 6C at 1300 where it stayed for the rest of the observation period, winds were again strong WSW 35-55 gusting 70 km/h and cloud cover was 40-80% cumulus and thin altostratus giving excellent observing conditions. Brief, light snow flurries occurred throughout but only became persistent after 1600 when observation had ceased. The strong winds again appeared to limit movement and the count of 7 birds was the lowest on an active count day since March 6. The count was 3 Bald Eagles (1a, 2sa), 1 juvenile Cooper’s Hawk, 2 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks and 1 adult Golden Eagle. 6 hours (165.8) BAEA 3 (169), COHA 1 (4), RTHA 2 (120), GOEA 1 (1140) TOTAL 7 (1619)

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson, assisted by Virginia Rasch) 1300-1700. The temperature was 7C to 8C, winds were moderate to strong W-SW and cloud cover was 60-90% cumulus. Five migrants were observed: 2 adult Bald Eagles, the season’s first Northern Harrier, an adult female, and 2 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks. Local Red-tailed Hawks were seen throughout the observation period, and 3 non-migrant adult Turkey Vultures and an adult Sharp-shinned Hawk were also present. 4 hours (109.8) BAEA 2 (76), NOHA 1 (1), RTHA 2 (4) TOTAL 5 (292)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

DAYS 42
HOURS 479.5

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 118
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 1
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 9
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 2
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 11
Accipiter sp. (UA) 2
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 15
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 26
Buteo sp. (UB) 2
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2425
Eagle sp. (UE) 12
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 6
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 2635

 


April 13 [Day 43] (Terry Waters, assisted by Pat Farley and Jennifer Waters) The temperature was 0C at 0830, rose to a high of 8C at 1700 and was 6C at the end of observation at 1900. Ground winds were variable NE-E-SE and light to 1300, after which they were SW generally 10-15 km/h for the rest of the day, gusting to 30 km/h around 1400; ridge winds were strong SW all day. Cloud cover was initially 20% scattered cumulus, thickening to 100% stratus at 1300 after which it was 50% stratocumulus for the rest of the day providing good observing conditions. Ridges were generally clear, but late in the afternoon the western mountains began to cloud over. There was a slow but steady movement of 15 raptors between 1145 and 1725 which was mainly along the western route or above the valley. The only migrant seen above the Fisher Range was an unaged Peregrine Falcon at 1340, which was only the second of the season. The other birds seen were 2 adult Bald Eagles, 3 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 2u), 6 adult calurus Red-tailed Hawks (4 light, 1 rufous and 1 dark), and 3 Golden Eagles (1a, 2u) all of which were initially located near Olympic Summit to the west. The first 2 Golden Eagles that soared near Olympic Summit at 1145 were joined by the resident female Golden Eagle that had been previously perched on a nearby crag. This was unusual as resident birds usually ignore migrants that move above their home range. At this time the male was on the other side of the valley hunting above the northern end of the Fisher Range. Other birds noted included 3 Mountain Bluebirds (2 male, 1 female), 8 American Robins, 1 Song Sparrow and 1 Common Redpoll that fed on the ground near the site. 11.5 hours (491), BAEA 2 (120), SSHA 3 (12), RTHA 6 (21), GOEA 3 (2428), PEFA 1 (2) TOTAL 15 (2650)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) No Observation, no observer.

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) No Observation, no observer.

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

DAYS 43
HOURS 491

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 120
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 1
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 12
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 2
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 11
Accipiter sp. (UA) 2
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 21
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 26
Buteo sp. (UB) 2
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2428
Eagle sp. (UE) 12
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 6
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 2
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 2650

 


April 14 [Day 44] (Brian McBride, assisted by Joel Duncan) The temperature at 0730 was -1C which rose to a high of 6C at 1300 shortly before a cold front passed which reduced the temperature to -2C by 1700 when observation ceased. Ground winds were light SW to 1300 when they suddenly switched to N gusting to 26 km/h around 1400, while ridge winds also followed the same pattern. Cloud cover was initially 100% stratocumulus, altostratus and cumulus to 1000 after which it was 100% stratocumulus to the end of the day. The ridges began to cloud over at 1200 and by 1530 they were all obscured as light snow began to fall, which turned to heavy wet snow at 1600 which persisted for the rest of the day. A total of 9 migrant raptors were counted between 1142 and 1557 comprising 3 adult female Northern Harriers that flew low to the north above the meadow at 1544, 2 calurus Red-tailed Hawks (1 light adult and 1u) that were the first and last birds of the day, and 4 Golden Eagles (1a, 2sa, 1j) that all moved between 1217 and 1315, the first along the western route to Skogan Pass and the other three glided high from the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette. The resident pair of Northern Goshawks was vocal for much of the day, and resident single adult Bald and Golden Eagles were also noted. Other bird species were scarce but included 3 Mountain Bluebirds (2 male and 1 female), only 2 American Robins, 3 singing Varied Thrushes and 7 Dark-eyed Juncos (3 montanus and 4 cismontanus); the long-staying Northern Shrike now appears to have departed. 9.5 hours (500.5) NOHA 3 (4), RTHA 2 (23), GOEA 4 (2432) TOTAL 9 (2659)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1315-1800. The temperature high was 13C at 1400 which fell to 8C at 1800, winds were steady WSW 37-48 gusting to 60 km/h and cloud cover was 50-60% cumulus and thin altostratus to 1700 after which it quickly thickened to 100% altostratus and stratocumulus. For the first time in several days there was a steady stream of migrants heading to the NW with 31 birds of 9 species moving between 1316 and 1741; this is the highest count since April 7. The flight was 2 Bald Eagles (1sa, 1j), 5 adult male Northern Harriers, 2 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1j, 1u), 1 juvenile Cooper’s Hawk, 2 Northern Goshawks (1a, 1u), 8 light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks (5a, 1j, 2u), 1 unidentified Buteo, 8 Golden Eagles (3a, 2sa, 3j), 1 female American Kestrel and 1 Prairie Falcon. As two of the adult male harriers glided high to the NW together at 1628, a third adult male, presumably a resident, rose up high from the valley floor and vigorously displayed for several minutes in their wake. 4.75 hours (170.5) BAEA 2 (171), NOHA 5 (33), SSHA 2 (35), COHA 1 (5), NOGO 2 (49), RTHA 8 (128), UB 1 (7), GOEA 8 (1148), AMKE 1 (5), PRFA 1 (5) TOTAL 31 (1650)

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) No observation: rain and completely overcast all day.

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

DAYS 44
HOURS 500.5

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 120
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 4
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 12
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 2
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 11
Accipiter sp. (UA) 2
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 23
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 26
Buteo sp. (UB) 2
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2432
Eagle sp. (UE) 12
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 6
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 2
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 2659

 


April 15 [Day 45] (Joel Duncan, assisted by Cliff Hansen) Cloudless skies allowed the temperature to drop to -11C at 0730, but it rose to a high of 8C at 1800 before quickly dropping to 3C at 2015. Ground winds were SW all day, light to 1400 after which they were 10-20 gusting 30 km/h for the rest of the day, while ridge winds were strong SW all day resulting in snow pluming from the western ridges. It was cloudless all day except for 2000 when 30% cirrus developed. The only migrant raptors seen were unaged Golden Eagles at 1937 and 1941 which were located arriving at Mount Lorette from The Wasootch Creek area. One or two of the resident Golden Eagles were seen from time to time, and at 1318 a male Red-tailed Hawk displayed over the Hay Meadow and immediately afterwards copulated with the female that was perched on top of a tall spruce tree east of the river: definitely the pornithological highlight of the day! Other birds noted were 2 Golden-crowned Kinglets, a pair of Mountain Bluebirds, 6 American Robins, 3 singing Varied Thrushes, 2 singing Fox Sparrows and a large flock of Dark-eyed Juncos feeding in the meadow that comprised 60 “Oregon” birds and 57 cismontanus “Slate-coloured” birds. A single Mountain Goat at the northern end of the Fisher Range was a first for the season. 12.75 hours (513.3) GOEA 2 (2434) TOTAL 2 (2661)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1000-1900. The temperature at 1000 was 5C and rose to a high of 12C from 1600-1800 and was still 11C at 1900. Winds were W-SW, light to 1200 then 24-43 gusting to 55 km/h for the rest of the day. There was 10-20% scattered cumulus cloud cover to1245 but subsequently the sky was cloudless. Raptor movement was initially slow with only 1 Red-tailed Hawk moving before 1218, but between 1218 and 1844 a further 59 birds of 9 species moved fairly consistently and high to the NW with a maximum hourly movement of 17 between 1600 and 1700. The flight comprised 6 Bald Eagles (2a, 1sa, 3j), 5 Northern Harriers (2 adult females, 2j, 1u), 10 Sharp-shinned Hawks (3a, 1j, 6u), 2 Cooper’s Hawks (1a, 1u), 3 juvenile Northern Goshawks, 12 Red-tailed Hawks (11 calurus: 5 light (4a, 1j), 1 adult rufous, 2 dark (1a, 1j); and 1 dark adult harlani), 5 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 9 Golden Eagles (2a, 2sa, 4j, 1u), 7 American Kestrels (3 male, 4 female) and 1 small unidentified raptor. The total of 60 birds is the highest so far this April and is the highest daily count since March 25, and both the Sharp-shinned Hawk (10) and American Kestrel (7) totals were seasonal highs. The 5 Rough-legged Hawks, which is the highest total since March 23, all moved between 1604 and 1645 which demonstrates the propensity of this species to migrate in loose flocks. 9 hours (179.5) BAEA 6 (177), NOHA 5 (38), SSHA 10 (45), COHA 2 (7), NOGO 3 (52), RTHA 12 (140), RLHA 5 (51), GOEA 9 (1157), AMKE 7 (12), UU 1 (1) TOTAL 60 (1710)

Steeples, BC
(Vance Mattson) No Observation, no observer.

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

DAYS 45
HOURS 513.3

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 120
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 4
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 12
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 2
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 11
Accipiter sp. (UA) 2
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 23
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 26
Buteo sp. (UB) 2
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2434
Eagle sp. (UE) 12
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 6
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 2
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 2661

 


April 16, Steeples, BC (Virginia Rasch) 1315-1900. It was a warm day with light S-SW winds and 40-100% cirrus cloud cover that gradually cleared giving sunny conditions. Despite the pleasant weather no migrant raptors were seen, but non-migrant or resident birds were up to 5 Turkey Vultures and probably two pairs of Red-tailed Hawks. At 1717 a pair of dark morph red-tailed Hawks were observed copulating on top of a tree, and when the male left the female was quickly harassed by 2 Clark’s Nutcrackers. 5.75 hours (115.5) TOTAL 0 (292)

April 17 [Day 47] (George Halmazna, assisted by Dan Parliament) The temperature was -7C at 0630 but rose to a high of 13C at 1500 and was 9C at 1830 when persistent rain ended observation for the day. Ground winds were SW to 1000, then S for the rest of the day, light for most of the morning then becoming moderate after 1100 gusting to 40 km/h at 1500 before diminishing to 5-10 km/h for the rest of the day; ridge winds were probably moderate SW all day. It was cloudless until 1300 when cumulus cloud started to quickly form as a frontal system passed, reaching 100% stratocumulus at 1600 that produced high snow flurries. The western ridges began to be clouded over after 1300 and were 100% obscured for the last two hours of observation, while the eastern ridges were 20% obscured after 1700. Steady light rain fell after 1600. The only migrant raptor seen was an adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk at 1410, and 10 minutes later a juvenile Bald Eagle flew to the S and was regarded as a non-migrant. Single resident Red-tailed Hawk and Northern Goshawk were also noted. Other birds seen included 1 Wilson’s Snipe in the meadow, 5 Tree Swallows, 1 Red-breasted Nuthatch, 2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets and 8 Mountain Bluebirds, and as if to underline the paucity of movement only 3 ravens were noted all day. 12 hours (537.8) RTHA 1 (25) TOTAL 1 (2667)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1200-1800. The temperature was 13C at 1200, rose to a high of 19C at 1600 and 1700 and was 18C at the end of observation at 1800. Winds were mainly W-WSW 30-40 gusting up to 65 km/h. It was essentially cloudless with traces of altocumulus to 1500 when 20% cirrus developed that increased to 30-40% cumulus and altocumulus at 1600 and persisted for the rest of the day. Migration conditions were good and many birds moved to the NW at considerable altitudes. With the exception of 1400-1500, when only 1 migrant was seen, movement was fairly steady with a total of 28 raptors of 9 species noted between 1201 and 1750. The flight was 1 adult Bald Eagle, 2 adult male Northern Harriers, 5 Sharp-shinned Hawks (2a, 2j, 1u), 1 juvenile Cooper’s Hawk, 2 juvenile Northern Goshawks, 5 calurus Red-tailed Hawks (4 light: 2a, 2u, and 1 dark adult), 3 unidentified Buteos (1 light, 2u), 6 Golden Eagles (1a, 3sa, 1j, 1u), 1 female American Kestrel, 1 adult male columbarius Merlin and 1 small unidentified raptor. At 1341 an adult male Northern Harrier and a juvenile female Northern Goshawk appeared together over the “Big Hill” continuously mobbing each other which continued for about 30 seconds even as the birds migrated together towards the NW. At 1718 the day’s only Merlin was flying high to the NW when he suddenly flew rapidly for about 1 km towards the east and dived into a flock of about 30 small birds (possibly siskins) which scattered like a star-burst. The Merlin selected one bird and pursued it closely for several seconds before finally missing it with a final rapid burst, then broke off the engagement, resumed height and continued migrating serenely towards the NW. 6 hours (192) BAEA 1 (182), NOHA 2 (41), SSHA 5 (54), COHA 1 (9), NOGO 2 (56), RTHA 5 (152), UB 3 (10), GOEA 6 (1165), AMKE 1 (15), MERL 1 (13) UU 1 (2) TOTAL 28 (1762)

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) 1300-1700. The temperature reached 19C, winds were light W and 30-90% cumulus cloud cover gave generally sunny conditions. Four migrants were seen: 2 adult Turkey Vultures and 2 Bald Eagles (1a, 1j), but non-migrant and resident birds were much more common. As many as 6 different adult Bald Eagles were seen throughout the day, including two who were interrupted by a juvenile bird during a courtship flight; several adult Turkey Vultures cruised the ridges, usually in pairs, 2 adult Red-tailed Hawks were seen separately, an adult Sharp-shinned Hawk made an unsuccessful pass at an Oregon Junco, and an adult Peregrine Falcon soared over the site before gliding swiftly to the south along the length of the entire ridge. 4 hours (119.5) TUVU 2 (8), BAEA 2 (78) TOTAL 4 (296)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

DAYS 47
HOURS 537.8

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 121
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 4
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 12
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 2
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 11
Accipiter sp. (UA) 2
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 25
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 26
Buteo sp. (UB) 2
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2436
Eagle sp. (UE) 13
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 6
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 2
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 2667

 


April 18 [Day 48] (Jim Davis) The temperature at 0645 was -1C, rose to a high of 5C at 1800 and was 4C at 2030 when observation ceased. Ground winds were calm to 0800, light to 1100, N 20-23 km/h to 1600 then light again for the rest of the day; ridge winds were also N, light to 1100, moderate 1200-1600 and afterwards light again. Cloud cover was very low stratocumulus that brought snow and obscured all ridges to 0900, after which it gradually cleared and reduced to 10% cumulus after 1700. The ridges remained obscured until 1400 when the east ridges cleared to 50% and finally cleared completely at 1600; the west started to clear at 1600 and was clear by 1800. There was one further snowfall between 1300 and 1345. During April it appears that the worse the weather the better the raptor migration has been and today a total of 30 birds of 8 species moved mainly above various parts of the valley between 0812 and 1845: 6 birds were to the west, 13 moved above the centre of the valley and 11 were to the east, only 5 of which moved along the Fisher Range Ridge late in the day. The count was the highest at the site since April 2. As might be expected from the conditions movement was sporadic but 7 birds moved between 1200 and 1300, and 6 between 1600 and 1700. The flight comprised 8 Bald Eagles (2a, 1sa1, 5j), 2 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1j, 1a), 3 adult Northern Goshawks, 6 adult Red-tailed Hawks (5 calurus: 4 light and 1 dark, and 1 “Krider’s Red-tailed Hawk (B.j.borealis var kriderii)), 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk, 6 Golden Eagles (3a, 3j) which is the highest count for the species since April 9, 4 adult columbarius Merlins (1 male, 2 female), all of which moved north low over the meadow and appeared to be on the lookout for food, and the season’s first Prairie Falcon that also flew low to the north at tree-top height. A resident adult Golden Eagle was seen near Olympic Summit, and the resident goshawk pair and 1 Red-tailed Hawk were also noted. The bad weather again turned the meadow into a Dark-eyed Junco refugee camp with 165 cismontanus “Slate-coloured” Juncos and 28 “Oregon” Juncos feeding there together with 17 Common Redpolls and 20 American Robins, and other birds noted including 2 pairs of Lesser Scaup moving low to the north, 2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 5 Mountain Bluebirds (3male, 2 female) and 8 Varied Thrushes. The day was also shared with 32 visitors to the site. 13.75 hours (551.5) BAEA 8 (129), SSHA 2 (14), NOGO 3 (14), RTHA 6 (31), RLHA 1 (27), GOEA 6 (2442), MERL 3 (9), PRFA 1 (1) TOTAL 30 (2697)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1600-1700. I was involved in a meeting for much of the day so observation was limited to one hour. It was overcast in the morning with light snow that turned to rain, and from 1600-1700 the temperature was 6C, winds were light to moderate NE-NNE and cloud cover was 70-80% cumulus. No migrants were seen during the hour, but 5 resident Red-tailed Hawks were present including a displaying pair. 1 hour (193) TOTAL 0 (1762)

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) 1430-1800. The temperature was 15C, winds were W light to moderate becoming N towards the end of the observation period, and the sky was cloudless. The first migrants were a juvenile Golden Eagle and an adult Bald Eagle at 1530 followed by 2 adult Turkey Vultures, and the only other migrant was a subadult Bald Eagle that moved north at 1729. Non-migrant Turkey Vultures again cruised the ridges with as many as four individuals present. 3.5 hours (123) TUVU 2 (10), BAEA 2 (80), GOEA 1 (200) TOTAL 5 (301)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

DAYS 48
HOURS 551.5

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 129
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 4
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 14
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 2
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 14
Accipiter sp. (UA) 2
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA)
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 31
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 27
Buteo sp. (UB) 2
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2442
Eagle sp. (UE) 13
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 9
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 2
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 1
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 2697

 


April 19 [Day 49] (Bill Wilson) The temperature at 0555 was -8.5C which rose to a high at 1800 of 10C and then rapidly fell as the sun set behind the mountains to the west and was 1C at the end of observation at 2045. Ground winds were WSW-SSW 0-5 km/h to 0900, then variably SW-SSE for the rest of the day, 5-10 gusting up to 21 km/h; ridge winds were difficult to assess but were probably SW mainly light all day. It was cloudless to 1000 after which cumulus and cirrus cloud gradually increased reaching 90% at 1400, which then dissipated over the next 3 hours and after 1700 it was again cloudless. There was again a fairly steady but slow movement of raptors involving 8 species between 0824 and 1853, with at least one migrant being recorded in each hour and a high hourly count of only 4 birds (1100-1200 and 14-15). In the morning birds moved either over the western part of the valley or above the middle of the valley, while in the afternoon they shifted to the eastern side or above the valley centre; only a couple of birds were seen on the Fisher Range ridge. The flight was 2 adult male Northern Harriers, 4 Sharp-shinned Hawks (2a, 1j, 1u), 1 adult Cooper’s Hawk, 5 Northern Goshawks (4a, 1u), the season’s first Broad-winged Hawk, a juvenile light morph, 1 unaged light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 2 light morph Rough-legged Hawks and 9 Golden Eagles (1a, 2sa, 5j, 1u). The Broad-winged Hawk, which soared overhead at 1527, is only the second ever recorded at the site during the current standard count period, and the Golden Eagle total was the highest since April 9. No resident Golden Eagles were noted, but non-migratory/resident birds were 3 Bald Eagles (2a, 1sa2), at least 1 Red-tailed Hawk, and 3 adult Northern Goshawks that were seen soaring together. With an improvement in the weather the large songbird flocks seen yesterday had moved on overnight, but there was still a good variety present in lower numbers including 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 3 Mountain Bluebirds, 21 American Robins (feeding in the meadow), 4 singing Varied Thrushes, 3 feeding American Pipits, single sporadically singing Song and Fox Sparrows and only 12 Dark-eyed Juncos. The pleasant day was shared by 19 visitors to the site. 14.83 hours (566.3) NOHA 2 (6), SSHA 4 (18), COHA 1 (3), NOGO 5 (19), BWHA 1 (1), RTHA 1 (32), RLHA 2 (29), GOEA 9 (2451) TOTAL 25 (2722)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1615-1915. I watched for three hours after returning from a quick trip to Calgary. The temperature was 12C, winds were variable but generally light and initially the cloud cover was 50% cumulus which should have made detection of migrants easy. Unfortunately the cloud quickly dissipated and it was essentially cloudless after 1710. The only migrants seen were an adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk and a juvenile Golden Eagle. An adult light morph Swainson’s Hawk perched on a fence post west of Nanton at 0950 was the first I had seen this year, and Ospreys have been reported as having returned to nesting platforms in the area in the last few days. 3 hours (196) RTHA 1 (153), GOEA 1 (1166) TOTAL 2 (1764)

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson, assisted by Virginia Rasch) 1230-1900. It was another calm, cloudless day with the temperature reaching 19C, conditions that were not conducive to migration as the only northward-bound bird seen was a juvenile Bald Eagle. Soaring conditions, however, were excellent and kettles of up to four adult Turkey Vultures were seen throughout the day. Vance saw his first Osprey of the season from his home in Wasa this morning, and Virginia counted 2 along the St. Mary’s River yesterday. 5.5 hours (128.5) BAEA 1 (81) TOTAL 1 (302)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

DAYS 49
HOURS 566.3

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 129
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 6
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 18
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 3
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 19
Accipiter sp. (UA) 2
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 32
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 29
Buteo sp. (UB) 2
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2451
Eagle sp. (UE) 13
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 9
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 2
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 1
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 2722

 


April 20 [Day 50] (Terry Waters, assisted by Pat Farley, Jennifer Waters and Diane Stinson) At 0830 the temperature was -2C, it rose to a high of 16C at 1700 and was 13C at the end of observation at 1900. Ground winds were SW 5-10 km/h all day and ridge winds were also light, probably SW-NW. The sky was cloudless to 1400 when 10% cumulus cloud developed which slowly thickened and reached 100% cumulus and cirrus by the end of the day. Raptor movement was entirely along the western route where 13 migrants were seen between 1020 and 1751: 2 Cooper’s Hawks (1a, 1u), 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 7 calurus Red-tailed Hawks (4 light morphs (3a, 1u) and 3 adult dark morphs) and 3 Golden Eagles (1a, 1j, 1u). The resident pair of Golden Eagles were also seen throughout the afternoon to the west with the female spending long periods perched to the south of Olympic Summit. A resident Red-tailed Hawk was seen catching a vole or a mouse in the Hay Meadow at 1814 which it quickly transferred from its talon to its beak. Other birds noted included a Wilson’s Snipe seen in the ditch south of the meadow, a Pileated Woodpecker that flew across the meadow, 1 singing Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 5 Mountain Bluebirds, 27 American Robins, 3 Varied Thrushes, 25 Bohemian Waxwings, and the first two Savannah Sparrows of the year. A black male Black Bear that spent time feeding on the lower slopes of the north end of the Fisher Range was also the first seen this year. 11 hours (577) COHA 2 (5), NOGO 1 (20), RTHA 7 (39), GOEA 3 (2454) TOTAL 13 (2735)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1400-1815. The temperature ranged from 16-18C, winds were variable but usually ESE to ENE and mainly light, and cloud cover started at 0% but gradually increased to 60% cirrus, thin altostratus and cumulus at 1800. Probably because of the easterly winds raptor movement was sporadic and slow with 11 migrants seen between 1400 and 1757: 1 adult male Northern Harrier, 2 unaged Sharp-shinned Hawks, 4 calurus Red-tailed Hawks (2 light adults, 2 dark juveniles), 1 adult light morph Ferruginous Hawk, 2 Golden Eagles (1sa, 1j) and 1 female American Kestrel. 4.25 hours (200.3) NOHA 1 (42), SSHA 2 (56), RTHA 4 (157), FEHA 1 (3), GOEA 2 (1168), AMKE 1 (16) TOTAL 11 (1775)

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) No observation: no observer.

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

DAYS 50
HOURS 577.3

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 129
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 6
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 18
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 5
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 20
Accipiter sp. (UA) 2
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 39
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 29
Buteo sp. (UB) 2
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2454
Eagle sp. (UE) 13
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 9
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 2
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 1
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 2735

 


April 21 [Day 51] (Brian McBride, assisted by Joel Duncan) A temperature low of -3C at 0715 rose to a very pleasant high of 18C at 1600 and was 12C at 2100 when observation ceased. Ground winds were SW all day, 5-10 km/h gusting up to 26 km/h, and ridge winds were moderate SW all day. It was cloudless to 1000 after which 30% cirrus and cumulus persisted for the rest of the day. Once again apparently ideal migration conditions failed to produce significant raptor movement and only 5 Golden Eagles (1a, 1j, 3u) were seen between 1122 and 1522, 3 of which soared very high above the Fisher Range at 1355 and were lost to view. An unidentified eagle flying NW from Mount Lorette to Mount McGillivray at 1950 completed the day’s count. Resident birds were also scarce and sightings were limited to a pair of Red-tailed Hawks and a single adult Northern Goshawk. Other birds seen included a Northern Shrike, the season’s first Townsend’s Solitaire, 23 American Robins, 2 Varied Thrushes, 1 American Pipit and only 4 Dark-eyed Juncos. After counting Wood Frogs (there were about 20, with lots of egg masses) at the small pond south of the site, Cliff observed a Water Vole running across the surface of the small stream located south of the Hay Meadow. Less welcome were the mosquitoes that were present in significant numbers for the first time. Tomorrow will be the last day of the spring 2015 count, and also Earth Day, so come and join us at the site if you can. 13.75 hours (590.8) GOEA 5 (2459), UE 1 (14) TOTAL 6 (2741)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) No observation.

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) No observation.

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

DAYS 51
HOURS 590.8

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 129
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 6
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 18
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 5
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 20
Accipiter sp. (UA) 2
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 39
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 29
Buteo sp. (UB) 2
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2459
Eagle sp. (UE) 14
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 9
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 2
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 1
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 2741

 


April 22 [Day 52] (Joel Duncan, assisted by Cliff Hansen) The temperature reached a high of 14C at 1700 from a low at 0730 of -2C, but almost immediately after fell to 6C as rain fell between 1710 and 1800 resulting from the passage of a cold front, and it remained at 6C for the rest of the day. It was calm to 0900 when mainly light SW ground winds developed that increased in the afternoon to 27 km/h and to over 50 km/h as the cold front passed. When the rain ceased ground winds again became light with occasional gusts to 15 km/h for the rest of the day. Ridge winds were SW all day, light to 1000, moderate to 1300, moderate to strong to 1600 after which they became strong. Cloud cover was 60% cumulus, altostratus and cirrus in the morning, and 60% cumulus in the afternoon until 1710 when all the mountains were obscured by low stratus until 1800, after which the east cleared but the west remained 50% shrouded in cloud. The weather proved to be more interesting than the raptor migration as only two birds were seen: an adult Cooper’s Hawk at 1640 and the season’s first Osprey that flew to the north over the eastern side of the valley at 1656. Also noted were the resident Northern Goshawk pair, a pair of Red-tailed Hawks and a hunting Sharp-shinned Hawk. Other birds included first seasonal records of Red-naped Sapsucker, Yellow-rumped Warbler (3) and Lincoln’s Sparrow, and other species included 7 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 8 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 3 Mountain Bluebirds, 24 American Robins, 16 American Pipits, 4 Song Sparrows and 2 Fox Sparrows. The Black Bear was again present on the lower flanks of the northern end of the Fisher Range and butterflies, including Brown Elfins, Spring Azures, Mourning Cloaks and species of Polygonia, ended the count on a spring-like note. 13 hours (603.8) OSPR 1 (1) COHA 1 (6) TOTAL 2 (2743)

April Summary, with percentage variance from the average counts 1993 to 2014, excluding the anomalously low counts in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012, in parentheses : 22 days (+4.49), 239.9 hours (+8.3), OSPR 1 (-48.6), BAEA 31 (-58.8), NOHA 5 (+32.4), SSHA 13 (-44.3), COHA 5 (-18.2), NOGO 10 (-13.5), BWHA 1 (+800), RTHA 37 (+61.7), RLHA 10 (-33.3), GOEA 165 (-69.7), MERL 3 (-34.9), GYRF 1 (+125), PEFA 1 (+20); UA 1 (-35.7), UB 1 -18.2), UE 19 (+184), UU 1 (-18.2), TOTAL 290 (-59.6) (14 species). The combined species count of 290 is the lowest ever April count at the site, as is the Bald Eagle count of 31, and the Golden Eagle count of 165 equals (with 2004) the lowest ever April count here.

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1145-2015. The temperature at 1115 was 15C which rose to a high of 17C from 1400 to 1600 and was 11C at 2015 when observation ceased. Winds were very consistent WSW and occasionally SW all day 32-45 gusting to 54 km/h. Cloud cover was initially 80% altostratus and cumulus which became 100% dark cumulus at 1200 and appeared to threaten rain, but instead it gradually diminished throughout the afternoon and after 1700 it was down to 5-10% altostratus with occasional traces of cumulus. A total of 21 migrant raptors moved high to the NW between 1121 and 1942 and of the 8 migrant raptor species seen, three occurred for the first time this season: a dark morph adult Swainsons’s Hawk that moved high to the north at 1157, a light morph adult Broad-winged Hawk that soared very high above the centre of the valley at 1237 and drifted towards the north, and at 1803 the first migrant Osprey glided to the NW from the “Big Hill”. Other raptors moving were 1 adult Bald Eagle, 4 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 3u), a season high total of 6 Cooper’s Hawks (1a, 2j, 3u), 1 unidentified small Accipiter, 4 calurus Red-tailed Hawks (2 light: 1j, 1u; 2 dark adults), 1 unidentified Buteo and 1 juvenile Golden Eagle. At 1134 a migrant Sharp-shinned Hawk was flying low to the NW over the “Big Hill” when a goshawk suddenly came out of the trees and closely pursued it to the ground and out of sight; I didn’t see either again and suspect that the sharpie became lunch. The only raptor not seen on the count this spring was Turkey Vulture, but Cornell van Ryk reported the area’s first bird, an adult feeding on carrion at the South Fork Bridge across the Castle River, this afternoon, and also saw two adult light morph Swainson’s Hawks migrating over his house which is located close by. 8.5 hours (208.8) OSPR 1 (1). BAEA 1 (183), SSHA 4 (60), COHA 6 (15), UA 1 (2), BWHA 1 (1), SWHA 1 (1), RTHA 4 (161), UB 1 (11), GOEA 1 (1169) TOTAL 21 (1796)

April Summary: 18 days (103 hours) TUVU 0, OSPR 1, BAEA 41, NOHA 38, SSHA 46, COHA 14, NOGO 19, UA 2, BWHA 1, SWHA 1, RTHA 135, FEHA 3, RLHA 10, UB 5, GOEA 99, UE 0, AMKE 12, MERL 5, GYRF 0, PEFA 0, PRFA 1, UF 0, UU 2 TOTAL 435 (15 species)

Final count: 39 days (208.8 hours) TUVU 0, OSPR 1, BAEA 183, NOHA 42, SSHA 60, COHA 15, NOGO 56, UA 2, BWHA 1, SWHA 1, RTHA 161, FEHA 3, RLHA 51, UB 11, GOEA 1169, UE 1, AMKE 16, MERL 13, GYRF 1, PEFA 2, PRFA 5, UF 0, UU 2 TOTAL 1796 (17 species)

Steeples, BC (Vance Mattson) 1400-1600. It was a clear sunny day with strong SW winds. No migrants were recorded and the only raptor seen was a single Red-tailed Hawk. 2 hours (130.5) TOTAL 0 (302)

April Summary: 13 days (53.75 hours) TUVU 8, OSPR 0, BAEA 22, NOHA 1, SSHA 0, COHA 0, NOGO 0, UA 0, BWHA 0, SWHA 0, RTHA 3, FEHA 0, RLHA 0, UB 0, GOEA 7, UE 0, AMKE 0, MERL 0, GYRF 0, PEFA 1, PRFA 0, UF 1, UU 0 TOTAL 260 (6 species)

Final count: 32 days (130.5 hours) TUVU 10, OSPR 0, BAEA 81, NOHA 1, SSHA 2, COHA 0, NOGO 1, UA 0, BWHA 0, SWHA 0, RTHA 4, FEHA 0, RLHA 0, UB 1, GOEA 200, UE 0, AMKE 0, MERL 0, GYRF 0, PEFA 1, PRFA 0, UF 1, UU 0 TOTAL 302 (8 species)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22) With percentage variances from the long-term averages for the period 1993-2014, excluding the anomalously low counts in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012.
DAYS 52 (+4.9)
HOURS 603.8 (+10.4)

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 1 (-48.6)
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 129 (-30.3)
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 6 (+36.7)
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 18 (-29.7)
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 6 (-12.9)
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 20 (-11.1)
Accipiter sp. (UA) 2 (-2.7)
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1 (+800.0)
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 39 (+41.8)
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 29 (+63.6)
Buteo sp. (UB) 2 (+2.9)
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2459 (-18.4)
Eagle sp. (UE) 14 (+425.0)
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 9 (+31.7)
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1 (-18.2)
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 2 (+89.5)
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 1 (-55.0)
Falco sp. (UF) 1 (+38.5)
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 3 (+80.0)

TOTAL 2743 (-17.6)


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