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Mount Lorette Raptor Count, 2016 Fall

MOUNT LORETTE RAPTOR COUNT, FALL 2016

With notes from the reconnaissance counts at Beaver Mines and Steeples

www.eaglewatch.ca

PETER SHERRINGTON

Introduction This is the 25th consecutive year that RMERF has conducted at least one fall count in the Front Ranges of the Alberta Rocky Mountains. In 1992 an extensive reconnaissance count of 33 days was made at Mount Lorette that produced 2661 migrant raptors of which 2044 were Golden Eagles and demonstrated that the Alberta Front Ranges were a significant flyway for the species. Between 1993 and 2005 full-season counts of 75-101 days were conducted there with the exceptions of 1997 when a full count was conducted at Plateau Mountain about 90 km to the SSE and 2002 when circumstances limited observations at Mount Lorette to only 14 days.

From 2006 to 2009 the principal observation site moved to the Piitaistakis-South Livingstone ridge, which is the southern culmination of the Alberta Front Ranges, near the Crowsnest Pass during which time daily comparative counts of between 40 and 45 days were conducted at Mount Lorette coinciding with the main movement of Golden Eagles. In 2010 Mount Lorette again became the principal observation site with counts conducted over a standard period of September 20 to November 15. This season Cliff Hansen is again organizing the count and if you are interested in visiting the site or volunteering as an assistant (no previous experience needed: just good eyes, enthusiasm and a pair of binoculars) or as an Observer please contact Cliff at 403-673-2422.

Peter Sherrington will also be conducting a count on Vicki Ridge located 4.5 km WNW of the Hamlet of Beaver Mines in SW Alberta, and Vance Mattson will again be watching at his Steeples site which is located on the east side of the Kootenay Valley (Rocky Mountain Trench) 25 km NE of Cranbrook, British Columbia. Information on all the RMERF sites and reports of previous years’ spring and fall counts may be found on our website www.eaglewatch.ca.

 

September 20 [Day 1] (Joel Duncan) 0730-1800. It was a cool start to the season with an initial temperature of 1C, a high of 5.5C at 1400 and 5C at the end of observation. Ground winds were S 10-15 km/h to 0900 then N-NE for the rest of the day, light to 1300 and subsequently moderate gusting to 22 km/h, while ridge winds were mainly moderate NE all day. Cloud cover was 100% stratus to 1400 and 80-90% stratocumulus for the rest of the day which completely obscured the western ridges and enveloped the eastern ridges to 1600 after which they were periodically clear up to 20%. Heavy snow and sleet turned to rain by mid-morning, and the afternoon experienced occasional light rain showers. Unsurprisingly only 3 migrant raptors were counted: at 0928 a male American Kestrel was seen perched by the Hay Meadow and remained in the area to 1646 when it flew low to the south; at 1058 an unaged Sharp-shinned Hawk and at 1220 a juvenile Cooper’s Hawk also flew low to the south. By way of compensation other bird species were fairly common and varied having been grounded by the weather. The highlight was a juvenile Spotted Towhee (a rare bird at the site) which was seen near the site at 1350 in the company of a Hermit Thrush. Other birds included a flock of 85 Canada Geese that flew low to the south around 1030, 1 Pacific Wren, 22 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 7 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 9 American Robins, 1 Orange-crowned Warbler, 12 Yellow-rumped Warblers, 2 Wilson’s Warblers, 1 Savannah Sparrow, 4 Song Sparrows, 13 White-crowned Sparrows, 6 Dark-eyed Juncos, and 1 White-winged Crossbill that called as it flew over.

10.5 hours SSHA 1, COHA 1, AMKE 1 TOTAL 3

 

Vicki Ridge No observation

 

Steeples [Day 1] (Vance Mattson) 1300-1700. Unlike the weather to the east, it was a sunny day reaching 20C, mainly calm with up to 30% cumulus cloud cover. A total of 8 migrants of 4 species were counted between 1320 and 1543 comprising 1 Osprey, 1 juvenile Northern Harrier, 5 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 1j, 3u), and 1 juvenile Golden Eagle. More common were resident or non-migrant raptors: 6 Turkey Vultures, 2 Sharp-shinned Hawks, 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 11 Bald Eagles (8a, 3j), 9 of which soared between 1440 and 1453, and 2 adult Golden Eagles, one of which soared with a full crop at 1325. All these birds moved either to the north or the northwest.

4 hours OSPR 1, NOHA 1, SSHA 5, GOEA 1 TOTAL 8

 

September 21 [Day 2] (George Halmazna, assisted by Rick Robb) 0700-1845. The weather was more pleasant than was expected and the forecast rain failed to materialize. The starting temperature was 3C, reached a high of 10C at noon and was 6C for much of the afternoon and at the end of observation. It was calm or very light SW to 1200 after which it switched to NE to 1400 gusting to 20 km/h then light NNW for the rest of the day. Ridge winds were not assessed but probably were mainly light and reflected the ground wind directions. Cloud cover was 100% stratus all day except for 1100 and 1200 when it reduced to 70%, and apart from the early morning all ridges were variably enveloped all day. Only 3 migrant raptors were seen all of which flew low to the south above the river: a female American Kestrel at 0825, an adult Northern Goshawk at 1218 and an adult Sharp-shinned Hawk at 1328. Eighteen other bird species were noted including 26 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, and a Black Bear and a stag Elk frequented the lower slopes of the northern end of the Fisher Range all day.

11.75 hours (22.25) SSHA 1 (2), NOGO 1 (1), AMKE 1 (2) TOTAL 3 (6)

Vicki Ridge No observation: rain and low cloud all day.

 

Steeples No observation

 

September 22 [Day 3] (Cliff Hansen assisted by Brian Spence) 0830-1430. The temperature was 3C at 0830 and was 5C when the day’s count was abandoned at 1430. Ground winds were variable SE to E to NE 5-15 km/h and ridge winds were NE moderate all day. Cloud cover was 100% stratocumulus all day which completely obscured the western ridges. The Fisher Range, however, was only 40-50% obscured to 1000 after which it was also completely obscured for the rest of the day. There was light rain or showers all day, with precipitation fall as snow on the peaks. No migrants were seen, but a non-migrant juvenile Cooper’s Hawk perched near the river before flying low into trees at 1316. Few other birds were note but included 1 Ruffed Grouse, 1 Belted Kingfisher, 1 American Dipper, 1 Mountain Bluebird and 12 White-crowned Sparrows.

6 hours (28.25) TOTAL 0 (6)

 

Vicki Ridge No observation: rain and low cloud all day.

 

Steeples No observation: mostly cloudy with periods of rain.

 

September 23 [Day 4] (Jim Davis, assisted by Caroline Lambert and Miles Tindal) 0800-2000. The temperature rose to a season-high 14C at 1600 from 1C at 0800. And was 11C at the end of observation. It was calm to 1000 after which ground winds were W 4-15 km/h to 1800 after which it was again calm; ridge winds were moderate W all day. Cloud cover was 40-50% cumulus all day with minor cirrus developing after 1500. The eastern ridges were clear all day, but in the west Mounts Kidd and Bogard were largely obscured to 1300 after which they were clear. After 3 days of poor weather today saw the season’s first significant raptor movement with 115 birds of 6 species moving between 0941 and 1918. The flight comprised 3 Bald Eagles (1a, 2sa), 2 adult Northern Harriers (male and female migrating together), 12 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 5j, 5u), 1 unidentified small Accipiter, 8 Red-tailed Hawks (B.j.calurus 6: 5 adults (4 light, 1 dark) and 1 light juvenile, and 2 light juveniles that were ascribed to the race B.j borealis var krideri), 88 Golden Eagles (81a, 2sa, 4j, 1u) and 1 adult male American Kestrel. Up to 1400 about half the migrants comprising mainly non-Golden Eagle species moved south over the western or central part of the Kananaskis Valley, but after 1400 the flight was dominated by Golden Eagles that flew to the Fisher Range initially from N of Mount Lorette, but after 1708 all birds moved from Mount Lorette to the Fisher Range. Movement was steady all day but peaked between 1800 and 1900 when 25 birds were counted. Other birds seen included 4 American Robins, 4 Yellow-rumped Warblers, 11 White-crowned Sparrows and 1 Dark-eyed [Oregon] Junco, and there were 10 visitors to the site today.

12 hours (40.25) BAEA 3 (3), NOHA 2 (2), SSHA 12 (14), UA 1 (1), RTHA 8 (8) GOEA 88 (88), AMKE 1 (3) TOTAL 115 (121)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 1] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Raymond Toal and Denise Cocciolone-Amatto) 1200-1920. The temperature at 1200 was 10C, rose to a high of 12.5C at 1600 and was 8.5C at the end of observation. Winds were consistently W generally 30-40 gusting to 55 km/h all afternoon, and cloud cover was 10% cumulus and altocumulus to 1330 after which it increased to 70% by 1500 for the rest of the day. By 1800 the Continental Divide to the west was obscured, but the foothill ridges remained clear. As at Mount Lorette there was a rush of migrants following a couple of days of poor weather with 145 birds of 10 species moving between 1238 and 1901. The flight comprised 1 Bald Eagles (1a, 1sa), 28 Sharp-shinned Hawks (11a, 3j, 14u), 7 Cooper’s Hawks (6a, 1u), 1 juvenile Northern Goshawk, 1 unidentified small Accipiter, 8 adult Red-tailed Hawks (7 light morph calurus and 1 dark morph harlani), 1 very early light morph Rough-legged Hawk, 91 Golden Eagles (32a, 27sa, 26j, 6u) 3 male columbarius Merlins (2a, 1u), 2 adult Peregrine Falcons (1 female, 1u) and 1 male Prairie Falcon. Most of the birds flew above or close to the ridge in excellent light much to the delight of the observers. Between 1516 and 1549 6 Golden Eagles flew south above the ridge about 1 km to the west, which were the only eagles that could not be aged. After 1300 movement was steady and peaked at 31 birds between 1800 and 1900. At 1703 a presumed resident adult Golden Eagle displayed vigorously to the north of the observation site. A single Pink-edged Sulphur butterfly was a late sighting.

7.33 hours BAEA 2, SSHA 28, COHA 7, NOGO 1, UA 1, RTHA 8, RLHA 1, GOEA 91, MERL 3, PEFA 2, PRFA 1 TOTAL 145

 

Steeples [Day 2] (Vance Mattson) 1330-1630. It was 16C and mainly sunny with 40% cumulus cloud cover to 1530 when it became 100% dark cumulus and altostratus; the wind was moderate S-SW throughout. Eight migrants were counted, 6 of which moved between 1420 and 1500, comprising 4 adult Bald Eagles, 1 adult Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1 juvenile light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk and 2 adult Golden Eagles. Non-migrants noted were 3 Turkey Vultures, 1 adult Bald Eagle, 1 adult Sharp-shinned Hawk and 1 adult Golden Eagle.

3 hours (7) BAEA 4 (4), SSHA 1 (6), RTHA 1 (1) GOEA 2 (3) TOTAL 8 (16)

 

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

DAYS 4

HOURS 40.25

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 0

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 3

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 2

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 14

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 1

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 1

Accipiter sp. (UA) 1

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 8

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 0

Buteo sp. (UB) 0

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 88

Eagle sp. (UE) 0

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 3

MERLIN (MERL) 0

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0

Falco sp. (UF) 0

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 0

 

TOTAL 121

 

September 24 [Day 5] (Bill Wilson, assisted by Ruth Morrow) 0645-1945. The temperature was initially 1C, rose to a high of 12C at 1700 and was 4C at the end of observation. Ground winds were SW 3-20 km/h all day while ridge winds were moderate SW occasionally becoming strong. Cloud cover was 80-90% cumulus to 1100 that obscured both the east and west ridges between 10 and 30% and produced occasional light rain showers; in the afternoon cloud cover varied between 30 and 70% cumulus to 1800 after which it was cloudless with traces of cumulus. It was another good migration day with a total of 107 migrants of 8 species moving between 1027 and 1914: 1 Osprey, 1 juvenile Bald Eagle, 1 undifferentiated juvenile/female Northern Harrier, 10 unaged Sharp-shinned Hawks, 1 adult Cooper’s Hawk, 7 Northern Goshawks (3a, 1j, 3u), 2 unidentified Accipiters (one of which was large), 82 Golden Eagles (45a, 4sa, 25j, 8u) and 2 Peregrine Falcons (1a and 1 probable juvenile). All the birds moved along or above the Fisher Range ridge and most were initially located at the northern end of the range after they had moved from the Mount Lorette area. Movement in the afternoon was very steady with maximum hourly counts of 22 (1300-1400) and 20 (1700-1800). At 1739 a subadult and a juvenile Golden Eagle were observed “fighting” for a prolonged period as they moved to the south above the Fisher Range. Other bird species included a flock of Common Ravens that flew from the Fisher Range to the west at 1412 (an unusual concentration of the species in the middle of the day); 1 female or juvenile Harlequin Duck on the river, 3 Clark’s Nutcrackers, 2 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 12 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 1 Townsend’s Solitaire, 1 Yellow-rumped Warbler, 1 Lincoln’s Sparrow and 10 White-crowned Sparrows. The highlight of the day, however, was at 1547 when 2 juvenile Sabine’s Gulls flew to the south directly overhead, furnishing the first record of the species at the site. A Black Bear was seen feeding on the slopes of the ski hill to the west, and 6 visitors to the site shared the very interesting day.

13 hours (53.25) OSPR 1 (1), BAEA 1 (4), NOHA 1 (3), SSHA 10 (24), COHA 1 (2) NOGO 7 (8), UA 2 (3), GOEA 82 (170), PEFA 2 (2) TOTAL 107 (228)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 2] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Raymond Toal and Denise Cocciolone-Amatto) 1200-1830. The temperature was 12C throughout the afternoon except for 1600 when it rose to 13C. Winds were again steady W 19-30 gusting to 37 km/h, and cloud cover was 60-70% cumulus to 1500 after which it diminished to 20-30% cumulus that gave excellent observing conditions throughout. There was another strong raptor migration with 175 birds of 9 species moving between 1203 and 1808. The flight comprised 3 Bald Eagles (2a, 1j), 102 Sharp-shinned Hawks (26a, 12j, 64u), 11 Cooper’s Hawks (4a, 4j, 3u), 3 Northern Goshawks (1a, 1j,1u), 1 unidentified small Accipiter, 2 light morph Broad-winged Hawks (1a, 1j), 14 Red-tailed Hawks (12 B.j.calurus: 10 light (8a, 1j,1u), 2 dark (1a, 1u), and 2 adult B.j.harlani (1 dark and 1 intermediate morph), 1 undifferentiated dark Buteo, 31 Golden Eagles (19a, 3sa, 6j, 3u), 5 American Kestrels (1 male, 1 female, 2 juveniles and 1u) and 2u columbarius Merlins. The birds generally moved higher and on a broader front compared to yesterday. Song-birds seen on the ridge included 6 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 8 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 15 American Pipits and 16 Yellow-rumped Warblers, and a single Western White butterfly was on the wing.

6.5 hours (13.83) BAEA 3 (5), SSHA 102 (130), COHA 11 (18), NOGO 3 (4), UA 1 (2), BWHA 2 (2), RTHA 14 (22), UB 1 (1), GOEA 31 (122), AMKE 5 (5), MERL 2 (5) TOTAL 175 (320)

 

Steeples [Day 3] (Vance Mattson, assisted by Virginia Rasch) 1300-1800. It was a very pleasant day with the temperature reaching 18C, generally calm conditions and a cloud cover of 40-60% cumulus that made locating migrants easy but aging them challenging. A total of 32 migrants of 6 species were seen between 1328 and 1657, 15 of which moved between 1400 and 1500. The count was 8 Bald Eagles (6a, 2j), 1 juvenile Northern Harrier, 9 Sharp-shinned Hawks (2a, 7u), 2 adult Cooper’s Hawks, 8 Red-tailed Hawks 5 B.j calurus (4a (3 light, 1 dark, and 1 light j) and 3 undifferentiated birds that were silhouetted against the sky) and 4 Golden Eagles (3a, 1j). Non-migrants were 2 adult Sharp-shinned Hawks, 2 adult Golden Eagles and several sightings of Red-tailed Hawks including one that made a spectacular steep hunting stoop.

5 hours (12) BAEA 8 (12), NOHA 1 (2), SSHA 9 (15), COHA 2 (2), RTHA 8 (9), GOEA 4 (7) TOTAL 32 (48)

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

DAYS 5

HOURS 53.25

 

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 1

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 4

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 3

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 24

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 2

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 8

Accipiter sp. (UA) 3

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 8

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 0

Buteo sp. (UB) 0

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 170

Eagle sp. (UE) 0

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 3

MERLIN (MERL) 0

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 2
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 0

TOTAL 228

 

September 25 [Day 6] (Jim Davis, assisted by Caroline Lambert and Eric Langshaw) 0800-1930. The starting temperature was 1C, the high at 1500 was 14C and it was still 12C at the end of observation. After calm conditions to 1200 ground winds were SW 5-11 km/h, while ridge winds were moderate all day: W to 1500 and NW subsequently. Cloud cover was 80% cumulus and stratocumulus that decreased to 50% at noon and was mainly 60-80% lenticular throughout the afternoon. The ridges were clear all day. A total of 74 migrant raptors of 8 species moved between 0905 and 1855, with 17 of the birds migrating between 1600 and 1700. The flight comprised 1 Osprey, 8 Bald Eagles (3a, 3sa, 2j), 1 juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1 juvenile Northern Goshawk, 3 Broad-winged Hawks (2a: 1 light, 1 dark, and 1 light juvenile), 2 Red-tailed Hawks (B.j.calurus 1 adult, and 1 light juvenile that was ascribed to the race B.j borealis var krideri), Golden Eagle 57 (20a, 5sa, 21j, 10u) and 1 juvenile columbarius Merlin. Two of the Broad-winged Hawks, a dark adult and a light juvenile soared immediately overhead in tight circles before drifting towards the eastern part of the valley, and the single light morph adult soared over the western side of the valley before drifting towards the west. Up to 1400 about 40% of the birds migrated on the western route, but for the rest of the day most birds were located as they rose above the northern end of the Fisher Range and probably originated from north of Mount Lorette or the Wasootch Creek area. Other birds seen included 2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 20 American Robins, 14 American Pipits, 1 Yellow-rumped Warbler, 1 Song Sparrow, 2 Lincoln’s Sparrows, and 10 White-crowned Sparrows. The warm sunny conditions produced 40 visitors to the site today.

11.5 hours (64.75) OSPR 1 (2), BAEA 8 (12), SSHA 1 (25), NOGO 1 (9), BWHA 3 (3), RTHA 2 (10), GOEA 57 (237), MERL 1 (1) TOTAL 74 (302)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 3] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Raymond Toal, Denise Cocciolone-Amatto and Merilyn Liddell) 1100-1730. The temperature was 11C at both the beginning and end of the count and reached a high of 13.5C at 1400. Winds were W-WSW all day 30-40 gusting up to 60 km/h, and cloud cover was a spectacular mixture of 60-80% lenticular, cumulus and cirrus cloud: it was worth being on the ridge just to enjoy the cloudscape! Superimposed on this backdrop was a fairly strong, but at times sporadic, raptor movement with a total of 132 birds of 8 species migrating between 1110 and 1717. The flight was 2 Bald Eagles (1sa, 1j), 65 Sharp-shinned Hawks (13a, 4j, 48u), 10 Cooper’s Hawks (4a, 3j, 3u), 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 7 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks, 44 Golden Eagles (19a, 6sa, 18j, 1u), 2 unsexed American Kestrels and 1 adult male columbarius Merlin. Songbirds were hard to find and identify in the strong winds but included 6 Clark’s Nutcrackers, 1 Horned Lark, 4 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 1 American Robin, 5 Yellow-rumped Warblers and 1 Pine Siskin.

6.5 hours (20.33) BAEA 2 (7), SSHA 65 (195), COHA 10 (28), NOGO 1 (5), RTHA 7 (29), GOEA 44 (166), AMKE 2 (7), MERL 1 (6) TOTAL 132 (452)

 

Steeples [Day 4] (Vance Mattson) 1300-1700. The temperature was 15C, it was calm and cloud cover was 100% altostratus and cumulus. Unlike yesterday’s strong movement only 3 migrants were seen today: 2 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 1u) and 1 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk. Non-migrants were also relatively sparse with just 1 adult Bald Eagle, several brief sightings of local Sharp-shinned Hawks, 2 adult Northern Goshawks and some hunting activity and minor displaying by resident Red-tailed Hawks.

4 hours (16) SSHA 2 (17), RTHA 1 (10) TOTAL 3 (51)

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

DAYS 6

HOURS 64.75

 

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 2

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 12

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 3

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 25

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 2

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 9

Accipiter sp. (UA) 3

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 3

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 10

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 0

Buteo sp. (UB) 0

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 227

Eagle sp. (UE) 0

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 3

MERLIN (MERL) 1

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 2

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0

Falco sp. (UF) 0

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 0

 

TOTAL 302

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 3] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Raymond Toal, Denise Cocciolone-Amatto, Merilyn Liddell and Janne Aikens) 1100-1730. The temperature was 11C at both the beginning and end of the count and reached a high of 13.5C at 1400. Winds were W-WSW all day 30-40 gusting up to 60 km/h, and cloud cover was a spectacular mixture of 60-80% lenticular, cumulus and cirrus cloud: it was worth being on the ridge just to enjoy the cloudscape! Superimposed on this backdrop was a fairly strong, but at times sporadic, raptor movement with a total of 132 birds of 8 species migrating between 1110 and 1717. The flight was 2 Bald Eagles (1sa, 1j), 65 Sharp-shinned Hawks (13a, 4j, 48u), 10 Cooper’s Hawks (4a, 3j, 3u), 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 7 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks, 44 Golden Eagles (19a, 6sa, 18j, 1u), 2 unsexed American Kestrels and 1 adult male columbarius Merlin. An adult Golden Eagle that passed at 1417 had an orange patagial tag attached to the upper surface of its left wing, but no other details could be made out. Songbirds were hard to find and identify in the strong winds but included 6 Clark’s Nutcrackers, 1 Horned Lark, 4 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 1 American Robin, 5 Yellow-rumped Warblers and 1 Pine Siskin.

6.5 hours (20.33) BAEA 2 (7), SSHA 65 (195), COHA 10 (28), NOGO 1 (5), RTHA 7 (29), GOEA 44 (166), AMKE 2 (7), MERL 1 (6) TOTAL 132 (452)

September 26 [Day 7] (Terry Waters, assisted by Pat Farley and Jennifer Waters) 0800-1900. At 0800 the temperature was 7C, reached a high of 20C at 1600 where it remained for the rest of the count. Ground winds were SW 5-10 gusting 15 km/h all day, and ridge winds were moderate SW to 1600 after which they shifted to NW. Initial cloud cover was 100% altostratus which dwindled in the afternoon to 30% cirrus at the end of observation. With the exception of a single adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk today’s migration only comprised Golden Eagles (21a, 3sa, 8j, 4u) that moved steadily above the Fisher Range ridge between 0925 and 1815. The highest hourly count was 8 birds between 0900 and 1000, and at 1050 4 birds soared together. Other bird species were scarce but included a flock of 50 Canada Geese flying high to the south over Mount Old Baldy and a single male Belted Kingfisher by the river. The Black Bear was still feeding on the lower slopes at the northern end of the Fisher Range, and the warm weather brought a total of 17 visitors to the site.

11 hours (75.75) RTHA 1 (11) GOEA 36 (263) TOTAL 37 (339)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 4] (Peter Sherrington) 1040-1710. It was also a warm day on Vicki Ridge with the temperature reaching 19.5C at 1600. Winds were WSW moderate to strong with a maximum gust at 1400 of 61 km/h; at 1550 the wind shifted to W-WNW at 30-40 gusting 45 km/h. Cloud cover was initially 100% altostratus which persisted to noon after which the cloud mass moved slowly to the east and after 1400 it was essentially cloudless with only occasional traces of cumulus cloud. The 52 raptors counted represented the lowest count of the season so far and was again dominated by Accipiters. The total, that involved 8 species, comprised 32 Sharp-shinned Hawks (20a, 1j, 11u), 3 Cooper’s Hawks (2a, 1j), 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 1 adult Dark morph Broad-winged Hawk, 6 adult calurus Red-tailed Hawks (5 light and 1 dark), 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk, only 5 Golden Eagles (4a, 1j) and 3 American Kestrels (1 male, 2 females). The busiest hours were 12-13 when 14 birds passed and 1300-1400 with 13 birds. Only 10 birds were counted after 1500. The dark morph Broad-winged Hawk, which passed directly overhead at 1331, had an unusual tail pattern. The broad bands were clearly visible but the white bands in this case were a medium grey colour which still contrasted with the black bands but not as conspicuously as with a normal plumaged bird. Other birds were scarce but included 30 Pine Siskins in 3 flocks. A surprising late butterfly was a single Common Branded Skipper, which even more surprisingly appeared to be persistently associating with, and possibly feeding on the sap of, Douglas Fir cones.

6.5 hours (26.83) SSHA 32 (227) COHA 3 (31), NOGO 1 (6), BWHA 1 (3), RTHA 6 (36), RLHA 1 (1), GOEA 5 (171), AMKE 3 (10) TOTAL 52 (504)

 

Steeples No observation

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

DAYS 7

HOURS 75.75

 

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 2

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 12

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 3

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 25

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 2

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 9

Accipiter sp. (UA) 3

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 3

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 11

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 0

Buteo sp. (UB) 0

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 263

Eagle sp. (UE) 0

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 3

MERLIN (MERL) 1

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 2

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0

Falco sp. (UF) 0

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 0

 

TOTAL 339

 

September 27 [Day 8] (Brian McBride, assisted by Blake Weis) 0730-0830. The starting temperature of 15C was also the high for the day and persisted to 1100 when it started to steadily drop down to 5C when observation ended. Ground winds were SW 10-15 gusting 20 km/h in the morning, turned to NW 15-20 km/h at 1200 and were NE 20 gusting 35 km/h after 1300. Ridge winds were moderate to strong SW to noon and moderate NE-ENE throughout the afternoon. Cloud cover was 40% cumulus to 1100 which thickened to 70% cumulus and stratocumulus by 1600 before reducing to 40% for the rest of the day. The western ridges began to cloud over at 1100 and by 1500 were 50% obscured. After briefly clearing around 1500 they were then again 70-80% obscured for the rest of the day. The eastern ridges were clear to noon, but they began to be obscured reaching 40% at 1300 and 100% after 1500. Very light rain throughout the morning produced rainbows that persisted to the west until noon, and rain showers continued until 1300. The dark nature of the cloud cover made aging of migrants difficult. Despite these less than ideal conditions there was a reasonable raptor movement with 26 birds migrating between 1050 and 1510 with all but two birds being initially located at the northern end of the Fisher Range. The flight was 7 Sharp-shinned Hawks (2a, 5u), 1 adult Cooper’s Hawk, 2 unidentified Accipiters, 1 unaged light calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 2 unidentified dark morph Buteos, 12 Golden Eagles (6a, 1sa, 1j, 4u) and 1 unidentified eagle. Twenty-three of the 26 migrants were recorded between 1100 and 1300. Migrant songbirds included 4 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 10 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 12 American Robins, 2 American Pipits and 1 Yellow-rumped Warbler. A season-high 88 visitors came to the site today including school groups of 34 and 40.

11hours (86.75) SSHA 7 (32), COHA 1 (3), UA 2 (5), RTHA 1 (12), UB 2 (2), GOEA 12 (275), UE 1 (1) TOTAL 26 (365)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 5] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by David McIntyre) 1040-1740. The starting temperature was 19C which reached a high of 21 C at 1500. A cold front passed though at 1450 and by 1530 the temperature had fallen to 14C and was 12C at the end of observation. Winds were WSW-W 20-40 gusting to 51 km/h to 1450 when the wind dropped and it was calm or light to 1510, after which they became E-NE 10-15 gusting 30 km/h for the rest of the day. Cloud cover was initially 10% cumulus which gradually increased to 30% at 1400. After the front passed cloud quickly thickened to 70% dark cumulus which produced a few drops of rain, but by 1700 it had cleared again to 30% cumulus. Observing conditions were good throughout and 77 migrants of 10 species were recorded between 1040 and 1659. The flight comprised 2 juvenile Northern Harriers, 34 Sharp-shinned Hawks (16a, 1j, 17u), 4 Cooper’s Hawks (2a, 1j, 1u), 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 12 Red-tailed Hawks (B.j calurus 10: light 6a, 2j, dark 2j, and 2 juvenile B.j harlani), 2 adult light morph Ferruginous Hawks, 2 Rough-legged Hawks (1light, 1 dark), 2 unidentified Buteos, 13 Golden Eagles (1a, 1sa, 6j, 5u), 4 American Kestrels (2male, 2 female) and 1 undifferentiated columbarius Merlin. Up to the passage of the front at 1450 all movement was over or to the west of the ridge, but when the wind shifted to the east birds moved east of the ridge with much soaring flight. The first 7 Golden Eagles were seen between 1040 and 1100 by David McIntyre who was hiking the ridge at the time. Other birds were very scarce until the wind dropped with the passage of the front at 1450 when the conifers adjacent to the site were suddenly pulsating with small songbirds: 25 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 75 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 1 Mountain Chickadee, 15 Red-breasted Nuthatches and 6 Dark-eyed [“Oregon”] Juncos, and 13 Mountain Bluebirds flew very high to the south above the ridge in two flocks. Single Clouded Sulphur and Mourning Cloak butterflies were also seen on the ridge.

7 hours (33.83) NOHA 2 (2), SSHA 34 (261), COHA 4 (35), NOGO 1 (7), RTHA 12 (47), FEHA 2 (2), RLHA 2 (4), GOEA 13 (184) AMKE 4 (14), MERL 1 (7) TOTAL 77 (581)

 

Steeples [Day 5] (Vance Mattson) 1300-1700. The temperature reached a remarkable 25C, it was calm and cloud cover was 40-60% cumulus. The conditions were not conducive to raptor migration and only 2 juvenile Bald Eagles were seen heading south: one at 1432 and one at1521. Non-migrants seen were 3 adult Turkey Vultures, 2 adult Sharp-shinned Hawks, 2 adult Northern Goshawks and 1 adult Red-tailed Hawk.

3 hours (19) BAEA 2 (14) TOTAL 2 (53)

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

DAYS 8

HOURS 86.75

 

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 2

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 12

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 3

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 32

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 3

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 9

Accipiter sp. (UA) 5

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 3

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 12

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 0

Buteo sp. (UB) 2

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 275

Eagle sp. (UE) 1

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 3

MERLIN (MERL) 1

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 2

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0

Falco sp. (UF) 0

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 0

 

TOTAL 365

 

***My apologies for not updating the blog sooner, but I have had to spend time in Calgary. Here is the outline of the counts to date: I will fill in the details later.
Peter

September 28 [Day 9] (Joel Duncan, assisted by Rick Robb) 0800-1900.

11 hours (86.75) SSHA 7 (32), COHA 1 (3), UA 2 (5), RTHA 1 (12), UB 2 (2), GOEA 12 (275) UE 1 (1) TOTAL 26 (365)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 6] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Denise Cocciolone-Amatto, Raymond Toal, Keith Linton) 0945-1715.

7.5 hours (41.33)  OSPR 2 (2), NOHA 3 (5), SSHA 8 (269), COHA 1 (36), RTHA 5 (52), RLHA 1 (5), GOEA 5 (189), AMKE 1 (15) TOTAL 26 (607)

 

Steeples No observation

 

September 29 [Day 10] (Cliff Hansen, assisted by Blake Weis) 0810-1930.

11.33 hours (109.1) OSPR 1 (3), BAEA 4 (17), SSHA 23 (60), COHA 2 (5), NOGO 4 (17), UA 4 (9), RTHA 3 (17), GOEA 89 (392), MERL 1 (2), UF 1 (1), UU 3 (3) TOTAL 135 (544)

 

Vicki Ridge No observation

 

Steeples [Day 6] (Vance Mattson) 1315-1645.

3.5 hours (22.5) BAEA 8 (22), SSHA 5 (22), RTHA 5 (15), MERL 1 (1), PEFA 1 (1) TOTAL 20 (73)

 

September 30 [Day 11] (George Halmazna, assisted by Dan and Cindy Parliament) 0715-1930.

12.25 hours (121.3) NOHA 1 (4), SSHA 26 (86), COHA 1 (6), NOGO 2 (19), GOEA 67 (459) TOTAL 97 (641)

 

Vicki Ridge No observation

 

Steeples [Day 7] (Vance Mattson) 1230-1630.

4 hours (26.5) BAEA5 (27), GOEA 3 (10) TOTAL 8 (81)

 

October 1 [Day 12] (Jim Davis, assisted by Ruth Morrow) 0745-0830, 1030-1900.

9.25 hours (130.6) BAEA 4 (21), SSHA 10 (96), COHA 1 (7), NOGO 1 (20), BWHA 2 (5), GOEA 57 (516) TOTAL 75 (716)

 

Vicki Ridge No observation

 

Steeples No observation. There was rain and heavy overcast skies all day, but it appeared that it might clear and Vance went to the site at at 1330, but the rain began again so he left at 1400.

 

October 2 [Day 13] (Bill Wilson, assisted by Lori Anderson) 0715-1945.

12.5 hours (143.1) BAEA 11 (32), NOGO 1 (21), RTHA 1 (18), GOEA 164 (680), TOTAL 177 (893)

 

Vicki Ridge No observation

 

Steeples [Day 8] (Vance Mattson) 1200-1700.

5 hours (31.5) BAEA 21 (48), SSHA 2 (24), RTHA 1 (16), GOEA 4 (14) TOTAL 28 (109)

 

October 3 [Day 14] (Terry Waters, assisted by Diane Stinson, Jennifer Waters and Patrick Farley)

11 hours (154.1) OSPR 1(4), NOHA 1 (5), SSHA 2 (98), RTHA 1 (19), UB 1 (4), GOEA 145 (825) TOTAL 151 (1044)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 7] (Denise Cocciolone-Amatto, assisted by Shirley Enzsol) 1200-1600.

4 hours (45.33) BAEA 2 (9), SSHA 2 (271), NOGO 3 (10), RTHA 1 (53), GOEA 24 (213) TOTAL 32 (639)

 

Steeples No observation

 

October 4 [Day 15] (Brian McBride, assisted byHeinz Unger) 0730-1830.

11 hours (165.1) SSHA 2 (100), UA 1 (10), GOEA 24 (849), UE 1 (2) TOTAL 28 (1072)

 

Vicki Ridge No observation

 

Steeples [Day 9] (Vance Mattson) 1230-1600.

3.5 hours (35) TUVU 1 (1), OSPR 3 (4), BAEA 15 (63), SSHA 3 (27), RTHA 3 (19), GOEA 7 (21), MERL 1 (2) TOTAL 33 (142)

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

DAYS 15

HOURS 165.1

 

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 4

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 32

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 5

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 100

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 7

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 21

Accipiter sp. (UA) 10

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 5

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 19

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 2

Buteo sp. (UB) 4

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 849

Eagle sp. (UE) 2

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 3

MERLIN (MERL) 2

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 2

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0

Falco sp. (UF) 1

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 3

 

TOTAL 1072

 

September 28 [Day 9] (Joel Duncan, assisted by Rick Robb) 0800-1900. The starting temperature was 7C, reached a high of 12C from 1600 to 1800 and was 10C at the end of observation. Ground winds were initially SE light then quickly switched to NE 5-10 gusting 15 km/h to 1800 after which they were very light or calm: ridge winds probably reflected the same pattern. A total of 44 migrant raptors of 7 species were recorded between 1120 and 1715: 1 subadult Bald Eagle, 5 Sharp-shinned Hawks (4a, 1u), 4 Northern Goshawks (2a, 1j,1u), 1 light adult Swainson’s Hawk, 2 adult calurus Red-tailed Hawks (1 light, 1 intermediate), 2 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 1 undifferentiated dark morph Buteo and 28 Golden Eagles. This was only the 6th fall count where Swainson’s Hawk has been recorded, and the species has not occurred here since 2005. Apart from the first 3 birds of the day, all migrants were first located at the northern end of the Fisher Range from where they flapped laboriously south along the range. Movement was fairly steady with a maximum hourly count of 10 between 1300 and 1400. There was a good variety of other bird species around the site including 1 drumming Ruffed Grouse, 1 Wilson’s Snipe, 2 Blue Jays, 2 American Crows, 9 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 17 American Robins, 2 Yellow-rumped Warblers, 2 Lapland Longspurs, 5 Savannah Sparrows, 1 Lincoln’s Sparrow, 1 White-throated Sparrow and 3 Oregon Juncos. A party of 22 visitors from a Calgary High School visited the site today.

11 hours (86.75) SSHA 7 (32), COHA 1 (3), UA 2 (5), RTHA 1 (12), UB 2 (2), GOEA 12 (275) UE 1 (1) TOTAL 26 (365)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 6] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Denise Cocciolone-Amatto, Raymond Toal and Keith Linton) 0945-1715. The temperature ranged from 6C to 11C after 1600, winds were ESE-NE 2-9 gusting 15 km/h to 1300 and were then E 3-10 gusting 15 for the rest of the day, and cloud cover was 60-30% altostratus, altocumulus, cumulus and cirrus in the morning, diminished to 10% at 1300 and was 20-50% cumulus for the rest of the day. Movement was generally slow but persistent with 26 migrants of 8 species moving between 1013 and 1651. The flight comprised 2 Ospreys, 3 Northern Harriers (1 adult male, 1adult female, 1 juvenile), 8 Sharp-shinned Hawks (4a, 1j, 3u), 1u Cooper’s Hawk, 5 adult calurus Red-tailed Hawks (1 light, 4 dark), 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk, 5 Golden Eagles (1a, 1sa, 3j) and 1 male American Kestrel. Because of the upslope nature of the winds movement was generally to the east of the ridge. The highest single-hour count was 7 between 1200 and 1300.

7.5 hours (41.33) OSPR 2 (2), NOHA 3 (5), SSHA 8 (269), COHA 1 (36), RTHA 5 (52), RLHA 1 (5), GOEA 5 (189), AMKE 1 (15) TOTAL 26 (607)

 

Steeples No observation

 

September 29 [Day 10] (Cliff Hansen, assisted by Blake Weis) 0810-1930. The temperature at 0810 was -3C which produced frost on the ground, but it rose to a high of 14C at 1500-1800 and was still 11C at the end of observation. Ground winds were SW 5 km/h to 1000 that became light SE to 1300, then NE after 1300 5-10 gusting up to 30 km/h before becoming light again after 1700. Ridge winds were probably light to moderate but the direction could not be determined. It was cloudless with traces of cirrus to 1100, then 30% cirrus to 1300 after which it was 30-60% cumulus for the rest of the day. A season-high count of 135 migrants of 8 species was made between 1023 and 1740 comprising 1 Osprey, 4 Bald Eagles (3a, 1j), a season-high 23 Sharp-shinned Hawks (4a, 19u), 2 Cooper’s Hawks (1j, 1u), 4 adult Northern Goshawks, 4 undifferentiated small Accipiters, 3 calurus Red-tailed Hawks (2 light (1a, 1j) and 1 dark adult), a season-high 89 Golden Eagles (18a, 8sa, 29j, 35u), 1u columbarius Merlin, 1 undifferentiated small falcon and 3 unidentified small raptors. Up to 1430 all birds migrated on the western route, but subsequently they were to the east with most birds being located over Mount McGillivray or Mount Lorette before they crossed the Kananaskis Valley to the Fisher Range. There was only poor soaring lift and most of the birds flapped continuously. Other birds include 3 Grey Jays, 2 Black-billed Magpies, 4 American Crows, 2 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 1 Mountain Bluebird, 27 American Robins that flew high to the south in 2 flocks and 2 Lincoln’s Sparrows. A single Mourning Cloak butterfly was noted, and only 4 visitors made it to the site today.

11.33 hours (109.1) OSPR 1 (3), BAEA 4 (17), SSHA 23 (60), COHA 2 (5), NOGO 4 (17), UA 4 (9), RTHA 3 (17), GOEA 89 (392), MERL 1 (2), UF 1 (1), UU 3 (3) TOTAL 135 (544)

 

Vicki Ridge No observation

 

Steeples [Day 6] (Vance Mattson) 1315-1645. The temperature was 17C, winds were moderate SW and cloud cover was 90% altostratus and cumulus; very light rain fell around 1515. Sixteen migrants moved between 1405 and 1420 including 8 Bald Eagles producing an expectation of a substantial movement, but only 4 further birds were recorded. The final count of 20 raptors was 8 Bald Eagles (4a, 4sa), 5 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 4u), 5 adult calurus Red-tailed Hawks (4 light, 1 dark), 1 adult male columbarius Merlin and 1 juvenile Peregrine Falcon. The falcons were the first seen this season. The only non-migrant was an adult Sharp-shinned Hawk that soared over the site.

3.5 hours (22.5) BAEA 8 (22), SSHA 5 (22), RTHA 5 (15), MERL 1 (1), PEFA 1 (1) TOTAL 20 (73)

 

September 30 [Day 11] (George Halmazna, assisted by Dan and Cindy Parliament) 0715-1930. The temperature at 0715 was -2C which rose to a high of 14C at 1600 and 1700, and was 12C at 1900. It was calm to noon, then NE 5-10 km/h to 1600 after which it was SW 10-20 km/h gusting 50 km/h to 1800, which brought showers, and the last hour of the day was very light SW. Ridge winds were probably mainly moderate to strong SW for most of the day. Cloud cover was initially 100% stratus obscuring all ridges to 1200, which gradually thinned to 30% cumulus, altostratus and cirrostratus in the afternoon. The east ridges were clear in the afternoon and the west were obscured up to 50% but finally cleared in the last hour. There was a fairly strong raptor movement with 97 migrants of 5 species recorded between 0848 and 1911. The count was 1 adult female Northern Harrier, a season-high 26 Sharp-shinned Hawks (4a, 22u), 1u Cooper’s Hawk, 2 Northern Goshawks (1a, 1j) and 67 Golden Eagles (31a, 1sa, 21j, 14u). The busiest hour was 1700-1800 when 25 birds moved including 22 Golden Eagles. Most of the movement occurred over the eastern ridges with birds initially being located at the northern end of the Fisher Range, with the exception of 1200-1330 when Sharp-shinned Hawks moved to the south above the western part of the valley. Other birds seen included 1 Canada Goose, 11 American Wigeons, 1 female Belted Kingfisher, 2 American Crows, 24 American Robins, 4 Pine Siskins and the season’s first Pine Grosbeak. A Black Bear was also noted and there were 7 visitors to the site.

12.25 hours (121.3) NOHA 1 (4), SSHA 26 (86), COHA 1 (6), NOGO 2 (19), GOEA 67 (459) TOTAL 97 (641)

Lorette September Summary (September 20-30), with variances to 1993-2015 averages (excluding 1997, 2002, 2006, 2007 and 2008) Days 11 (+2.1%), Hours 121.3 (+1.7%) Osprey 3 (+42.1%), Bald Eagle 17 (-6.7%), Northern Harrier 4 (-20%), Sharp-shinned Hawk 86 (+54.6%), Cooper’s Hawk 6 (-48.6%), Northern Goshawk 19 ((+71.4%), Broad-winged Hawk 3 (+35%), Swainson’s Hawk 1 (+260%), Red-tailed Hawk 17 (-6.4%), Rough-legged Hawk 2 (+12.5%), Golden Eagle 459 (+26.4%), American Kestrel 3 (+100%), Merlin 2 (-32.1%), Peregrine Falcon 2 (+16.1%), UA 9 (+205.7%), UB 3 (217.6%), UE 1 (157.1%), UF 1 (+500%), UU 3 (+80%), TOTAL 641 (28.6%)

 

Vicki Ridge No observation

Vicki Ridge September Summary (September 23-28) 5 days (41.33 hours) Osprey 2, Bald Eagle 7, Northern Harrier 5, Sharp-shinned Hawk, 269, Cooper’s Hawk 36, Northern Goshawk 7, Broad-winged Hawk 3, Red-tailed Hawk 52, Ferruginous Hawk 2, Rough-legged Hawk 5, Golden Eagle 189, American Kestrel 15, Merlin 7, Peregrine Falcon 2, Prairie Falcon 1, UA 2, UB 3 TOTAL 607

 

 

Steeples [Day 7] (Vance Mattson) 1230-1630. The temperature reached a high of 19C, winds were light to moderate SW that became calm at the end of observation and cloud cover was 60-90% cumulus and cirrus that gave sunny periods. A total of 8 eagles were counted: 5 Bald Eagles (3a, 1 sa3, 1j) and 3 Golden Eagles (1a, 2j). Seven of the birds occurred between 1445 and 1515, with the day’s last bird, a Bald Eagle, passing at 1609. Most birds soared extensively but were unable to gain much height and most moved low to the south against the face of the ridge. On one occasion an adult migrant Golden Eagle was continually dive-bombed by a resident adult Red-tailed Hawk with the hawk making around 15 close passes at the eagle, which appeared to be completely indifferent to the performance, and the hawk finally gave up. Other non-migrants were 3 adult Bald Eagles, 1 adult Sharp-shinned Hawk and a second adult Red-tailed Hawk.

4 hours (26.5) BAEA5 (27), GOEA 3 (10) TOTAL 8 (81)

Steeples September Summary (September 20-30) 7 days (26.5 hours) Osprey 1, Bald Eagle 27, Northern Harrier 2, Sharp-shinned Hawk, 22, Cooper’s Hawk 2, Red-tailed Hawk 15, Golden Eagle 10, Merlin 1, Peregrine Falcon 1 TOTAL 81

 

October 1 [Day 12] (Jim Davis, assisted by Ruth Morrow) 0745-0830, 1030-1900. The starting temperature was 8C, the high was 11C at 1500 and it was 9C at the end of observation. It was calm to 1400 and 0-5 km/h to 1900; ridge winds were mainly S light to moderate but W moderate from 1800-1900. Fog filled the valley at the start of observation and again at the end of the day, and cloud cover was 80% stratus and stratocumulus to 1300 which reduced to 20% by 1700 then rapidly increased to 100% for the rest of the day. All ridges were completely obscured to 1100 and the west to 1200 after which it began to clear and was completely cloudless from 1600 to 1800 but by 1900 it was again 100% obscured. The eastern ridges were clear from 1500-1800 after which they also rapidly disappeared into cloud again. Heavy rain fell between 0830 and 1030 during which time the count was suspended, and there were occasional showers during the afternoon. Despite the conditions there was a reasonable raptor migration with 75 birds of 6 species moving between 1235 and 1812, with 31 of the birds seen between 1700 and 1800. The flight was 4 Bald Eagles (3sa, 1j), 10 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 1j, 8u), 1u Cooper’s Hawk, 1 juvenile Northern Goshawk, 2 adult light morph Broad-winged Hawks and 57 Golden Eagles (13a, 3sa, 15j, 26u). All the birds moved along the Fisher Range or above the valley: none were seen to the west or over Lorette. Other birds included 2 Canada Geese, 1 adult Northern Shrike, 2 American Robins, 2 Yellow-rumped Warblers, 2 American Pipits, 2 White-crowned Sparrows and 1 Dark-eyed Junco. 3 immature male Moose were seen in the area and the weather limited the number of visitors to 2.

9.25 hours (130.6) BAEA 4 (21), SSHA 10 (96), COHA 1 (7), NOGO 1 (20), BWHA 2 (5), GOEA 57 (516) TOTAL 75 (716)

 

Vicki Ridge No observation

 

Steeples No observation. There was rain and heavy overcast skies all day, but it appeared that it might clear and Vance went to the site at 1330, but the rain began again so he left at 1400.

 

October 2 [Day 13] (Bill Wilson, assisted by Lori Anderson) 0715-1945. The temperature reached a high of 10C at 1700 from a morning low of -3C and was only 1C at the end of observation. Ground winds were variable but mainly WSW 0-15 km/h, and ridge winds were WSW all day, light to moderate in the morning and moderate after 1200. It was cloudless with traces of cumulus to 1200 and up to 10% cumulus in the afternoon. A season-high total of 177 migrant raptors of only 4 species moved between 1117 and 1928 comprising a season-high 11 Bald Eagles (7a, 4j), 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 1j light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk and a season-high 164 Golden Eagles (99a, 8sa, 38j, 19u). Apart from the first 4 migrants the movement was exclusively from Lorette to the Fisher Range although most birds were initially located at the northern end of the range. There was much soaring to the early afternoon after which eagles glided above the ridge until the last hour when they moved in the face of the Fisher Range. Movement was strong and persistent with 30 birds counted from 1300 to 1400, 21 (14-1500), 29 (15-1600), 31 (16-1700), 14 (17-1800) and 33 (18-1900). A Great Horned Owl sang at 1925 as the day’s penultimate Golden Eagle moved to the south and only other birds recorded were 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 1 Grey Jay and 2 Black-capped Chickadees. Twelve Elk fed on the slopes of the Nakiska Ski-hill and there were 15 visitors to the site.

12.5 hours (143.1) BAEA 11 (32), NOGO 1 (21), RTHA 1 (18), GOEA 164 (680), TOTAL 177 (893)

 

Vicki Ridge No observation

 

Steeples [Day 8] (Vance Mattson) 1200-1700. The temperature was 16C, winds were moderate SE becoming calm later, and 30% cumulus cloud cover gave sunny conditions. A total of 28 migrants were recorded after 1315: a season-high 21 Bald Eagles (13a, 3sa, 5j), 2u Sharp-shinned Hawks, 1 juvenile light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk and 4 Golden Eagles (3a, 1u). By 1400, 22 birds had been counted with the largest kettle being 7 Bald Eagles soaring together at 1350. Non-migrant birds noted were 1 adult Bald Eagle and 1 adult Sharp-shinned Hawk.

5 hours (31.5) BAEA 21 (48), SSHA 2 (24), RTHA 1 (16), GOEA 4 (14) TOTAL 28 (109)

 

October 3 [Day 14] (Terry Waters, assisted by Diane Stinson, Jennifer Waters and Patrick Farley) It was the coldest start to the count so far with a temperature of -6C at 0800, but it did climb to a high of 10C at 1600 and was 6C at the end of observation. It was calm or light SW to noon, then N-NE 10 gusting 15-20 km/h for the rest of the day, with ridge winds S light to moderate. It was cloudless to 1300 after which cirrus and scattered cumulus began to develop that steadily increased to 80% at the end of the day. There was again strong raptor movement with a count of 151 birds of 5 species between 1010 and 1810. The flight comprised 1 Osprey, 1 adult male Northern Harrier, 2 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 1u), 1 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 1 unidentified dark morph Buteo and 145 Golden Eagles (94a, 9sa, 18j, 24u). As yesterday movement was persistent with hourly counts of 21, 50, 24 and 23 between 1200 and 1600. Movement was mainly above the Fisher Range, with the exception of 7 birds that used the western route, and the last 4 Golden Eagles that flew south from Lorette overhead. There was a fair bit of soaring above the northern end of the Fisher Range by the maximum number of Golden Eagles involved at any one time was only 4. There was again a dearth of other bird species that comprised 1 probable California Gull, 12 Common Ravens and 4 Black-capped Chickadees. A Mountain Goat was feeding at the northern end of the Fisher Range, and there were 8 visitors today.

11 hours (154.1) OSPR 1(4), NOHA 1 (5), SSHA 2 (98), RTHA 1 (19), UB 1 (4), GOEA 145 (825) TOTAL 151 (1044)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 7] (Denise Cocciolone-Amatto, assisted by Shirley Enzsol) 1200-1600. Winds were light E, cloud cover was cumulus and cirrus to 1500 when 100% stratus developed. A total of 32 migrants of 5 species were recorded: 2 Bald Eagles (1a, 1sa), 2u Sharp-shinned Hawks, 3 Northern Goshawks (2a, 1u), 1 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk and 24 Golden Eagles (10a, 4sa, 4j, 6u)

4 hours (45.33) BAEA 2 (9), SSHA 2 (271), NOGO 3 (10), RTHA 1 (53), GOEA 24 (213) TOTAL 32 (639)

 

Steeples No observation

 

October 4 [Day 15] (Brian McBride, assisted by Heinz Unger) 0730-1830. The starting temperature was again -6C and rose to a high of 5C from 1400 to the end of observation. Ground winds were NNW generally less than 5 km/h all day, while ridge winds appeared to be light N. Cloud cover was initially 10% altostratus but quickly thickened to 100% stratocumulus and cumulus by 1400 and then 100% stratocumulus for the rest of the day. The ridges were clear to 1100 but between 1200 and 1400 60% of the west and 10% of the east were obscured; after 1500 all ridges were again clear. A total of 28 migrants were recorded between 1012 and 1750: 2a Sharp-shinned Hawks, 1 undifferentiated Accipiter, 24 Golden Eagles (10a, 1sa, 13u) and 1 unidentified eagle. To 1400 birds moved high from Lorette to the Fisher Range, but subsequently they flapped low either behind or in front of the northern end of the Fisher Range towards the SE. Ten of the birds, including 8 Golden Eagles, moved between 1400 and 1500. With the exception of one single bird all the eagles moved in 2s or 3s. Other birds were again scarce but included the adult Northern Shrike. A large stag Moose strolled slowly to the north through the Hay Meadow at 1345, and only 3 visitors were seen today.

11 hours (165.1) SSHA 2 (100), UA 1 (10), GOEA 24 (849), UE 1 (2) TOTAL 28 (1072)

 

Vicki Ridge No observation

 

Steeples [Day 9] (Vance Mattson) 1230-1600. The temperature reached 14C, it was calm and cloud cover was 30-60% cumulus, altocumulus and cirrus giving mostly sunny conditions. Vance counted a season-high total of 33 migrants of 7 species (which is also a season-high count) between 1242 and 1550, comprising 1u Turkey Vulture, 3 Osprey (which is the highest single-day count ever), 15 Bald Eagles (12a, 3j), 3u Sharp-shinned Hawks, 3 calurus Red-tailed Hawks (1a, 1u light morphs, 1a dark morph), a season-high 7 Golden Eagles (6a, 1j) and 1 adult male columbarius Merlin. Twenty-one of the 33 migrants were seen between 1300 and 1430. Non-migrants were 1 adult Northern Goshawk and a briefly displaying adult Golden Eagle.

3.5 hours (35) TUVU 1 (1), OSPR 3 (4), BAEA 15 (63), SSHA 3 (27), RTHA 3 (19), GOEA 7 (21), MERL 1 (2) TOTAL 33 (142)

 

October 5 [Day 16] (Joel Duncan, assisted by Rick Robb] 0800-1900. The temperature was 0C at the start, reached a high of 4C at 1600 and was 3C at 1900. Ground winds were N 2-5 gusting 10 km/h all day, and ridge winds were also N light to moderate. Cloud cover was initially 100% stratus then ranging from 100 to 80% stratus to 1500, then 60% stratus and cirrus to 1830 before becoming 100% again. There was 0.5 cm of fresh snow at the start and light snow continued to fall to 1900. The western ridges were 100% obscured to 1200, 80% to 1500, 50% to 1800 and 80 for the last hour, while the eastern ridges were 100% obscured to 1300, 80% to 1600 then 100% for the rest of the day. A perched Osprey at 1141 was considered to be a migrant and between 1525 and 1657 11 Golden Eagles (8a, 1sa, 1j, 1u) moved along the Fisher Range for a total migrant count of 12. Non-raptor species were fairly common and included 220 migrating Canada Geese, with a largest single flock of 180, 4 swan sp., 2 Ruffed Grouse, 1 Northern Shrike, 1 Golden-crowned Kinglet, 12 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 1 American Robin, 3 Yellow-rumped Warblers, 2 American Pipits, 10 Lapland Longspurs, 3 Dark-eyed Juncos, 1 Purple Finch and 1 Pine Siskin. Forty Elk fed on the ski-hill to the west and fresh tracks of 2 Grey Wolves (1 large, 1 small) were seen in mud near the site. There were 13 visitors to the site today.

 11 hours (176.1) OSPR 1 (5), GOEA 11 (860) TOTAL 12 (1084)

 

Vicki Ridge No observation

 

Steeples No observation

 

October 6 [Day 17] (Blake Weis, assisted by Miles Tindal and Cliff Hansen) 0745-1900. There was very little temperature variation with -1C at 0800, a high of 3C at 1400 and 0C at 1900. Ground winds were NE 5-10 km/h gusting to 20 km/h around 1400, and ridge winds were E-NE light to moderate. Cloud cover was 100% stratus to 1300 after which it cleared to 50% at 1500 before thickening again to 100% by 1900. The west was 100% obscured to 1400 when it began to clear and reduced to 60% at 1500 after which it was 100% obscured for the rest of the day; The east was 100% obscured to 1200, 90% to 1400, 50% at 1500. 90% 1600-1700 and 100% 1800-1900. There was no precipitation. Once again despite the poor conditions there was a slow but steady movement of raptors between 0927 and 1656 involving 30 birds : 6 Bald Eagles (1a, 5j), 1 adult Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1 undifferentiated small Accipiter and 22 Golden Eagles (2a, 3sa, 6j, 11u). Seventeen of the birds moved between 1300 and 1656. There were a variety of other bird species comprising 79 Canada Geese, 65 geese sp(p), 3 Common Mergansers 2 Double-crested Cormorants, 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 3 Grey Jays, 4 American Crows, 8 Common Ravens, 6 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 8 Black-capped Chickadees, 1 Mountain Chickadee, 3 Boreal Chickadees, 1 Orange-crowned Warbler, 2 Yellow-rumped Warblers, 1 American Pipit, 2 Snow Buntings, 4 American Tree Sparrows, 1 Dark-eyed Junco and 7 Pine Siskins.

11.5 hours (187.6) BAEA 6 (38), SSHA 1 (101), UA 1 (11), GOEA 22 (882), TOTAL 30 (1114)

 

Vicki Ridge No observation

 

Steeples [Day10] (Vance Mattson) 1315-1645. Vance arrived at the site just as the clouds were clearing from the peaks which did not fully clear until 1500. The temperature was 11C, winds were moderate S and cloud cover was initially 40% cumulus that changed to 100% dark stratus towards the end of the count that shrouded the peaks at 1620 and brought rain at 1645. The main migration ridge, however, remained clear until the rain started. A season-high count of 76 birds was achieved between 1315 (when 3 Golden Eagles were already in the air) and 1637 when the last Bald Eagle went south. The count was 1 Osprey, a season-high 33 Bald Eagles (22a, 5sa, 6j), 5 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 4u), 7 Red-tailed Hawks (calurus 5 adult light, 1 adult dark; and one of unknown race, morph or age) and a season high 30 Golden Eagles (20a, 2sa, 7j, 1u). Most of the eagles moved low and slowly providing excellent viewing conditions.

3.5 hours (38.5) OSPR 1 (5), BAEA 33 (96), SSHA 5 (32), RTHA 7 (26), GOEA 30 (51) TOTAL 76 (218)

 

October 7 NO OBSERVATION (George Halmazna, assisted by Dan Parliament) 0715-1130. Snow obscured all the ridges, it was calm and -3C. Conditions remained the same at 1130 and as the forecast gave no indications that it was improved the count was terminated for the day. The observers spent an hour or so down the valley at Barrier Lake where they observed around 200 Common Loons, the majority of which were juvenile birds, 6 Horned Grebes, 24 Canada Geese, 3 Wood Ducks, 3 Common Ravens and 1 American Pipits. The ridge at Lusk Creek was also completely obscured.

 

Vicki Ridge No observation

 

Steeples No observation. Rain and heavy overcast cloud all day.

 

October 8 [Day 18] (Jim Davis, assisted by Ruth Morrow) 0800-1500. The starting temperature was -3C, reached a high of 5C at 1400 and was 1C at the end of observation. It was calm in the valley until noon and was then E 1-5 km/h for the rest of the observation period, and ridge winds were probably also light. There was fog in the valley in the morning but it appeared from the view obtained while driving to the site that the peaks were clear. Cloud cover was 90-100% stratus all day when the fog had cleared. Ridges were clear until 1100 then all were obscured, and heavy rain started at 1430 accompanied by the return of valley fog. Despite the weather a total of 15 migrant raptors were seen between 0933 and 1452, all of which moved close to the Fisher Range ridge or against the face just below cloud level. The flight was 1 juvenile Bald Eagle, 4 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 1j, 2u), 9 Golden Eagles (2a, 2j, 5u) and a juvenile Peregrine Falcon. Other birds seen were 1 Northern Flicker, 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 4 Grey Jays, 9 Common Ravens, 1 American Pipit and 2 White-crowned Sparrows. A Black Bear pooped at the thermometer place near the site before walking to the north, 38 Elk were on the ski-hill and 42 visitors came to the site.

7 hours (194.6) BAEA 1 (39), SSHA 4 (105), GOEA 9 (891), FEHA 1 (3) TOTAL 15 (1129)

 

Vicki Ridge No observation

 

Steeples No observation. Rain and heavy overcast cloud all day. Vance visited the site for 30 minutes at 1330 as clearing appeared possible, but it was not to be.

 

October 9 [Day 19] (Bill Wilson, assisted by Lori Anderson) 0725-1915. The starting temperature was -4.5C, the high was -2C at 1500 and it was -3C at the end of observation. Ground winds were NNW-NNE 2-10 gusting to 18 km/h all day, while ridge winds were E-NE light to moderate. Cloud cover was 100% stratus and cumulus to 1200 then variable 60-80% stratus and cumulus for the rest of the day. The west was 100% obscured all day, the east 100% obscured to 1200 then variably 30-80% obscured to 1900 when it was again 100% obscured. 2There was 8 cm of fresh snow on the ground at the start with moderate snow falling, which diminished to periodic light snow for the rest of the day. Once again, despite the weather conditions there was raptor movement with 18 birds of 6 species moving between 0918 and 1712. The count comprised 5 Bald Eagles (1a, 2sa, 2j), 2 Northern Harriers (1adult male, 1u), 1 adult Sharp-shinned Hawk, 4 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 3 Golden Eagles (1a, 1sa, 1j), 1 adult male columbarius Merlin and 2 unidentified raptors (1 medium to large, 1 small to medium). The Rough-legged Hawks and Merlin flew south over the valley, the rest flapped over the Fisher Range ridge or against the face. Ten of the birds moved between 1400 and 1600. Other birds were 81 Common Loons flying south in 12 flights, the largest of which was 28 birds, 3 Canada Geese, 3 adult Herring Gulls, 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 7 American Robins, 1 late Chipping Sparrow and 2 Song Sparrows. Despite the weather, 18 visitors came to the site today.

11.83 hours (206.4) BAEA 5 (44), NOHA 2 (7), SSHA 1 (106), RLHA 4 (6), GOEA 3 (894), MERL 1 (3), UU 2 (5) TOTAL 18 (1147)

 

Vicki Ridge No observation

 

Steeples [Day11] (Vance Mattson, assisted by Virginia Rasch) 1130-1800.  Vance arrived at the site as the heavy overcast conditions of the last two days began to clear, and ridges were fully clear by 1230 although the first migrant was not seen until 1402. The temperature ranged from 9 to 11C, winds were light north becoming calm later, and cloud cover was 20-40% cumulus and cirrus that gave mostly sunny conditions until 100% altostratus cloud developed at the end of the day. There was another strong raptor movement with 50 migrants of 6 species moving after 1402: 22 Bald Eagles (10a, 2sa, 10j), a site record 18 Sharp-shinned Hawks (9a, 9u), 4 Red-tailed Hawks (calurus 3: 2 light juveniles and 1 intermediate adult; and one of unknown race, morph or age), 3 Golden Eagles (2a, 1j), 2 female American Kestrels (the first of the season) and 1 adult Peregrine Falcon. By 1500 25 migrants had been counted and a further 23 by 1600 after which only 4 more birds were seen. Eighteen of the 22 Bald Eagles moved between 1400 and 1500 including a kettle of 9 birds at 1415. Non-migrants were 1 adult Bald Eagle, 1 adult Sharp-shinned Hawk, 2 adult Northern Goshawks and 1 adult Red-tailed Hawk.

6.5 hours (45) BAEA 22 (118), SSHA 18 (50), RTHA 4 (30), GOEA 3 (54), AMKE 2 (2), PEFA 1 (2), TOTAL 50 (268)

 

October 10 [Day 20] (Joel Duncan, assisted by Ruth Morrow) 1030-1630. The temperature was -3C at 1030 and reached a high of 1C at 1630 when the count was abandoned for the day. Ground winds were NE all day 3-7 gusting to 15 km/h, and ridge winds also appeared to be light to moderate NE. Cloud cover was 100% stratocumulus all day and ridges were 100% obscured with the exception of Hummingbird Plume Hill which was visible from 1300-1630. There was 5 cm of fresh snow at 1030 and it snowed steadily for the rest of the day. The only raptor seen was a juvenile Bald Eagle perched at 1218 which was assumed to be a migrant. Other birds seen were 2 Grey Jays, 2 Common Ravens, 5 Black-capped Chickadees, 2 American Dippers, 2 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 4 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 1 male Varied Thrush, 1 Lapland Longspur and 2 Dark-eyed Juncos. Twenty Elk were on the ski-slope, 4 White-tailed Deer in the Meadow and 4 visitors came to the site.

6 hours (212.41) BAEA 1 (45) TOTAL 1 (1148)

 

Vicki Ridge No observation

 

Steeples No observation.

 

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

DAYS 20

HOURS 212.41

 

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 5

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 45

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 7

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 106

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 7

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 21

Accipiter sp. (UA) 11

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 5

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 19

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 6

Buteo sp. (UB) 4

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 894

Eagle sp. (UE) 2

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 3

MERLIN (MERL) 3

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 3

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0

Falco sp. (UF) 1

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 5

 

TOTAL 1148

 

 

September 28 [Day 9] (Joel Duncan, assisted by Rick Robb) 0800-1900. The starting temperature was 7C, reached a high of 12C from 1600 to 1800 and was 10C at the end of observation. Ground winds were initially SE light then quickly switched to NE 5-10 gusting 15 km/h to 1800 after which they were very light or calm: ridge winds probably reflected the same pattern. A total of 44 migrant raptors of 7 species were recorded between 1120 and 1715: 1 subadult Bald Eagle, 5 Sharp-shinned Hawks (4a, 1u), 4 Northern Goshawks (2a, 1j,1u), 1 light adult Swainson’s Hawk, 2 adult calurus Red-tailed Hawks (1 light, 1 intermediate), 2 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 1 undifferentiated dark morph Buteo and 28 Golden Eagles. This was only the 6th fall count where Swainson’s Hawk has been recorded, and the species has not occurred here since 2005. Apart from the first 3 birds of the day, all migrants were first located at the northern end of the Fisher Range from where they flapped laboriously south along the range. Movement was fairly steady with a maximum hourly count of 10 between 1300 and 1400. There was a good variety of other bird species around the site including 1 drumming Ruffed Grouse, 1 Wilson’s Snipe, 2 Blue Jays, 2 American Crows, 9 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 17 American Robins, 2 Yellow-rumped Warblers, 2 Lapland Longspurs, 5 Savannah Sparrows, 1 Lincoln’s Sparrow, 1 White-throated Sparrow and 3 Oregon Juncos. A party of 22 visitors from a Calgary High School visited the site today.

11 hours (97.75) BAEA 1 (13), SSHA 5 (37), NOGO 4 (13), SWHA 1 (1), RTHA 2 (14), RLHA 2 (2), UB 1 (3), GOEA 28 (303) TOTAL 44 (409)

October 8 [Day 18] (Jim Davis, assisted by Ruth Morrow) 0800-1500. The starting temperature was -3C, reached a and was 1C at the end of observation. It was calm in the valley until noon and was then E 1-5 km/h for high of 5C at 1400 the rest of the observation period, and ridge winds were probably also light. There was fog in the valley in the morning but it appeared from the view obtained while driving to the site that the peaks were clear. Cloud cover was 90-100% stratus all day when the fog had cleared. Ridges were clear until 1100 then all were obscured, and heavy rain started at 1430 accompanied by the return of valley fog. Despite the weather a total of 15 migrant raptors were seen between 0933 and 1452, all of which moved close to the Fisher Range ridge or against the face just below cloud level. The flight was 1 juvenile Bald Eagle, 4 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 1j, 2u), 9 Golden Eagles (2a, 2j, 5u) and a juvenile Peregrine Falcon. Other birds seen were 1 Northern Flicker, 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 4 Grey Jays, 9 Common Ravens, 1 American Pipit and 2 White-crowned Sparrows. A Black Bear pooped at the thermometer place near the site before walking to the north, 38 Elk were on the ski-hill and 42 visitors came to the site.

7 hours (194.6) BAEA 1 (39), SSHA 4 (105), GOEA 9 (891), PEFA 1 (3) TOTAL 15 (1129)

Many thanks to Jim Davis for spotting these errors

Peter

 

October 11 [Day 21] (Brian McBride, assisted by Blake Weis) 0800-1930. The temperature at 0800 was -8C, rose to a high of 1C at 1600 and 1700 and was -3C at the end of observation. Ground winds were mostly light (< 5 km/h) W all day, and ridge winds were W light to 1400 and then moderate to strong for the rest of the day. Cloud cover was 10% scattered cumulus to 1700 and cloudless thereafter. The western ridges were 70% obscured to 1000 that reduced to 10% at 1200 and 1300 after which they were clear: the east was clear all day. After several days of poor weather there was a reasonable raptor movement today with 47 migrants recorded between 0958 and 1911, which is the highest count since October 3. The flight comprised 1 adult Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1 calurus dark morph Red-tailed Hawk, 4 Rough-legged Hawks (3 light, 1 dark) and 41 Golden Eagles (20a, 3sa, 11j, 7u). All birds used the eastern route with most birds flapping against the face or just above ridge level and soaring lift was very poor. Movement was slow and steady throughout with an hourly maximum count of only 6 between 1400 and 1500, and 1600 and 1700. At 1631 a group of 5 ravens persistently mobbed a Rough-legged Hawk above the ridge, but when they tried the same thing on a Golden Eagle at 1835 they were met with a very aggressive response. Other birds present near the site included 1 drumming Ruffed Grouse, 2 Northern Pygmy-Owls perched near the site in the late morning, 1 Northern Shrike, 4 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 3 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 1 very late Blackpoll Warbler 1 Yellow-rumped Warbler, 6 American Tree Sparrows, 1 Lincoln’s Sparrow, 1 Pine Grosbeak and 15 Pine Siskins. Seven visitors made it to the site today.

11.5 hours (223.9) SSHA 1 (107), RTHA 1 (20), RLHA 4 (10), GOEA 41 (935), TOTAL 47 (1195)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 8] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Hilary Atkinson) 1615-1815. The previous day’s weather had dumped between 30 and 40 cm of snow in the area, so observation was conducted from near the well-site at the base of the western side of the ridge. The temperature was -1C, winds were calm to light to 1720 after which W winds to 20 km/h started to comb snow off the ridge, and cloud cover was initially 10-20% cumulus which disappeared after 1730. A total of 18 migrants were seen between 1639 and 1811: 3 light morph Broad-winged Hawks (2a, 1j), 3 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 11 Golden Eagles (10a, 1j) and 1 Prairie Falcon. Up to 1720 all birds soared high above the ridge and moved slowly to the south, but after the west wind kicked in birds kited high on the western edge of the ridge before gliding high and fast to the south.

2 hours (47.33) BWHA 3 (6) RLHA 3 (8), GOEA 11 (224), PRFA 1 (2) TOTAL 18 (657)

 

Steeples [Day 12] (Vance Mattson) 1130-1800. The temperature ranged from 2-7C, winds were light NE to calm and cloud cover was 60-100% altostratus and altocumulus that periodically obscured the highest peaks although the ridges were clear all day. A season-high total of 85 migrants of a season-high 8 species were counted up to 1736, including the highest count this season of 33 Golden Eagles (18a, 2sa, 12j, 1u), the second-highest count of 17 Sharp-shinned Hawks (4a, 1j, 12u) and first seasonal occurrences of 3 Northern Goshawks (2a, 1u) and 4 light morph Rough-legged Hawks. Other migrants were 21 Bald Eagles (12a, 3sa, 5j, 1u), 3 Northern Harriers (2 adult females, 1u), 3 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks and 1u American Kestrel. Birds often moved to the west of the ridge and many of them had to flap to make progress in the calm conditions. Migration was well-dispersed throughout the observation period with 26 birds moving between 1500 and 1600 and 19 and 18 moving between 1400 and 1500, and 1300 and 1400 respectively. It was the first time this season that Golden Eagles have outnumbered Bald Eagles. Today’s count was the highest at the site since October 8, 2011 when 89 birds were counted including 50 Bald eagles.

6.5 hours (51.5) BAEA 21 (139), NOHA 3 (5), SSHA 17 (67), NOGO 3 (3), RTHA 3 (33), RLHA 4 (4), GOEA 33 (87), AMKE 1 (3), TOTAL 85 (353)

 

October 12 [Day 22] (Terry Waters, assisted by Diane Stinson) 0800-1830. The temperature reached a high of 6C between 1400 and 1700 from a low at 0800 of -9C, and was 4C at the end of observation. Ground winds were SW 5-10 km/h gusting to 15 km/h at 1300 and 1400, and ridge winds were moderate SW-W all day. Cloud cover was 10% cirrus to 1100 after which it was cloudless for the rest of the day. There was a strong raptor movement with a season-high 296 birds moving between 0834 and 1755 including a season-high 286 Golden Eagles (166a, 33sa, 40j, 47u). Other migrants were 4 Bald Eagles (1a, 3j), 3 adult Sharp-shinned Hawks, 2 adult intermediate (rufous) morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks and 1 undifferentiated dark morph Buteo. Most birds soared in the Wasootch Creek area before moving mainly across the face of the northern end of the Fisher Range before disappearing behind the ridge in an ESE direction. Movement was initially slow but picked up after 1400 with subsequent hourly counts of 89, 78, 68 and 26 birds. Other birds seen included 1 Townsend’s Solitaire (that was singing!), 1 American Robin, 1 female Rusty Blackbird, a late flock of 7 Chipping Sparrows, 1 Song Sparrow, 1 White-crowned Sparrow, 12 Dark-eyed Juncos and 45 Pine Siskins. Only 4 visitors came to the site but they stayed for a long time and were of great assistance in detecting migrating eagles.

10.5 hours (234.4) BAEA 4 (49), SSHA 3 (110), RTHA 2 (22), UB 1 (5), GOEA 286 (1221), TOTAL 296 (1491)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 9] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Hilary Atkinson and Miles Tindal) 1030-1630. We made it to the top of the ridge where the temperature was 0C which rose to 3C by the end of observation. Winds were W 35-40 gusting 50 km/h, that decreased to W-SW 15-30 km/h after 1430, and cloud cover was initially 10% altocumulus, but cloudless throughout the afternoon. There was a steady movement of 31 raptors between 1110 and 1522 comprising 3 Sharp-shinned Hawks (2a, 1u), 3 adult  Red-tailed Hawks (calurus light 2, harlani dark 1) and 25 Golden Eagles (13a, 4sa, 8j). Birds mainly moved to the south above the ridge allowing Miles to take excellent photographs of migrating eagles against a pure blue sky. Movement completely ceased after 1522.

6 hours (53.3) RTHA 3 (56), SSHA 3 (274), GOEA 25 (249), TOTAL 31 (688)

 

Steeples [Day 13] (Vance Mattson) 1500-1830. The temperature was 8C, winds were moderate S-SE and cloud cover was 20% cumulus that dwindled to 5% at the end of observation. A total of 14 migrants were seen comprising 2 dark morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks (1a, 1j) and 12 Golden Eagles (6a, 2sa, 4j). Non-migrants were 1 Sharp-shinned Hawk and 1 Red-tailed Hawk.

3.5 hours (55) RTHA 2 (35), GOEA 12 (99) TOTAL 14 (367)

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

DAYS 22

HOURS 234.4

 

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 5

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 49

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 7

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 110

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 7

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 21

Accipiter sp. (UA) 11

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 5

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 22

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 10

Buteo sp. (UB) 5

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1221

Eagle sp. (UE) 2

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 3

MERLIN (MERL) 3

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 3

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0

Falco sp. (UF) 1

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 5

 

TOTAL 1491

 

 

October 12 [Day 22] (Terry Waters, assisted by Diane Stinson) 0800-1830. The temperature reached a high of 6C between 1400 and 1700 from a low at 0800 of -9C, and was 4C at the end of observation. Ground winds were SW 5-10 km/h gusting to 15 km/h at 1300 and 1400, and ridge winds were moderate SW-W all day. Cloud cover was 10% cirrus to 1100 after which it was cloudless for the rest of the day. There was a strong raptor movement with a season-high 296 birds moving between 0834 and 1755 including a season-high 286 Golden Eagles (166a, 33sa, 40j, 47u). Other migrants were 4 Bald Eagles (1a, 3j), 3 adult Sharp-shinned Hawks, 2 adult intermediate (rufous) morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks and 1 undifferentiated dark morph Buteo. Most birds soared in the Wasootch Creek area before moving mainly across the face of the northern end of the Fisher Range before disappearing behind the ridge in an ESE direction. Movement was initially slow but picked up after 1400 with subsequent hourly counts of 89, 78, 68 and 26 birds. Other birds seen included 1 Townsend’s Solitaire (that was singing!), 1 American Robin, 1 female Rusty Blackbird, 7 American Tree Sparrows, 1 Lincoln’s Sparrow, 1 White-crowned Sparrow, 12 Dark-eyed Juncos and 45 Pine Siskins. Only 4 visitors came to the site but they stayed for a long time and were of great assistance in detecting migrating eagles.

10.5 hours (234.4) BAEA 4 (49), SSHA 3 (110), RTHA 2 (22), UB 1 (5), GOEA 286 (1221), TOTAL 296 (1491)

October 13 [Day 23] (Blake Weis, assisted by Rick Robb, Cliff Hansen, James and Teresa Bannon) 0745-1930. The temperature reached a high of 7C between 1300 and 1700 from a morning low of -6C, and at the end of observation it was 4C. Ground winds were SW 5-15 gusting to 30 km/h between 1100 and 1600, while ridge winds were also SW moderate becoming strong in the late afternoon. Cloud cover was 100% cumulus in the morning and 60-80% cumulus and cirrus in the afternoon, and ridges and peaks were clear all day. There was 10 hours of strong fairly continuous raptor movement with a season-high 318 birds moving between 0901 and 1900. The flight was again dominated by Golden Eagles with a season-high count of 311 birds (47a, 15j, 249u). The high percentage of unaged birds resulted from the birds generally flying very high and being silhouetted against the cloud cover, and on occasion disappearing into the cloud base. In the morning birds appeared to be moving from the north on a fairly broad front with most birds arriving at the Fisher Range but others moving south above the valley. In the afternoon the birds moved in a steady high stream from Mount Lorette to the Fisher Range. The hourly counts for Golden Eagles (starting at 0900-1000) were 27, 69, 18, 25, 30, 29, 53, 51, 11, 7 and 1. Other raptor migrants were 2 Bald Eagles (1a, 1j), 3 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 2u), 1 unidentified small Accipiter and 1 undifferentiated Buteo. There was also a good variety of other bird species including a singing Northern Pygmy-Owl, and a singing Great Horned Owl on departure, 1 American Crow, 5 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 6 American Robins, 17 Bohemian Waxwings (the first of the season), 1 American Pipit, 1 Yellow-rumped Warbler, 7 American Tree Sparrows, 8 Dark-eyed Juncos, 1 female Rusty Blackbird, 1 Pine Grosbeak and 14 Pine Grosbeaks. Unfortunately only 2 visitors briefly shared what was a rather good day.

12.25 hours (246.7) BAEA 2 (51), SSHA 3 (113), UA 1 (12), UB 1 (6) GOEA 311 (1532) TOTAL 327 (1809)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 10] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Hilary Atkinson) 1200-1715. As the forecast called for winds gusting to 80 km/h in the afternoon we decided to watch from the well-site immediately west of the ridge. The strong winds failed to materialize, however, and they were W 20-30 gusting 40 km/h to 1600 and to 50 km/h after 1600. The temperature was 5C throughout and cloud cover was 100% stratocumulus and altocumulus except around 1500 when it briefly thinned to 70% allowing a few sunny periods. Very light rain fell throughout and the Livingstone Range to the south was extensively obscured by cloud. A total of 139 migrants of 6 species were recorded between 1205 and 1711 and movement was in progress as we arrived and almost certainly continued after we left. The flight was 2 Bald Eagles (1a, 1j), 5 Sharp-shinned Hawks (3a, 2u), 5 adult calurus Red-tailed Hawks (4 light, 1 dark), 5 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, a season high 121 Golden Eagles (76a, 9sa, 11j, 25u) and 1u American Kestrel. After 1225 most of the birds soared or kited high above the western edge of the ridge and glided high to the W or WSW to the next ridge to the west from where some glided to the south and others continued to the W probably to join the Carbondale Ridge. Other birds flew from the north directly to the ridge to the west and these comprised most of the unaged birds. Movement was very steady with the 5 hourly counts after 1200 being 22, 29, 22, 28 and 33.

5.25 hours (58.6) BAEA 2 (11), SSHA 5 (279), RTHA 5 (61), RLHA 5 (13), GOEA 121 (370), AMKE 1 (16) TOTAL 139 (827)

 

Steeples No observation. Overcast all day, and rain is forecast for the next two days.

 

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

DAYS 23

HOURS 246.7

 

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 5

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 51

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 7

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 113

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 7

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 21

Accipiter sp. (UA) 12

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 5

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 22

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 10

Buteo sp. (UB) 6

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1532

Eagle sp. (UE) 2

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 3

MERLIN (MERL) 3

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 3

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0

Falco sp. (UF) 1

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 5

 

TOTAL 1809

 

 

October 14 [Day 24] (George Halmazna, assisted by Dan Parliament) 0730-1840. The temperature was -2C at 0730 and reached a high of 6C. It was calm to 1130 then ground winds were SW 20-35 gusting up to 52 km/h that dropped to 10-20 km/h later in the afternoon; ridge winds were strong to very strong SW all day. Cloud cover was 100% low stratus which began to clear at 1130 and between 1300 and 1400 was 30% cumulus and stratus; from 1500 to 1800 50-80% cumulus cloud dropped snow on the area. All ridges were obscured to 1130 and the west remained in cloud all day; the eastern ridges did not fully clear until 1300. Despite the conditions a total of 117 migrants of 5 species were recorded between 1212 and 1721 with 38 of the birds moving between 1400 and 1500. The flight was 4 Bald Eagles (2a, 2j), 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1u Red-tailed Hawk, 1u Rough-legged Hawk and 110 Golden Eagles (64a, 8sa, 19j, 19u). The migration started very quickly after the weather cleared and most birds were observed gliding high (200-400 m above the ridge) and fast to the SE above the northern end of the Fisher Range. The only other bird species noted were 1 Ruffed Grouse, 14 Common Ravens, 3 American Dippers, 1 American Robin and 1 American Tree Sparrow. Twelve visitors came to the site today.

11.16 hours (257.8) BAEA 4 (55), SSHA 1 (114), RTHA 1 (23), RLHA 1 (11), GOEA 110 (1642), TOTAL 117 (1926)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 11] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Hilary Atkinson) 1025-1515. Because of forecast 100 km/h winds observation was again from the western flank of the ridge. The temperature was 5C throughout, winds were WSW 30-40 gusting 60 km/h to noon, and 60-70 gusting up to 93 km/h in the afternoon. Cloud cover was 60-90% cumulus moving rapidly from the west that periodically brought rain showers throughout the observation period. The Livingstone Range to the north was completely obscured at the start and had extensive cloud drape throughout the day. A period of steady rain stopped 10 minutes before we arrived when movement was already in progress and 30 Golden Eagles were counted between 1032 and 1100, and migration continued to be fairly strong to 1400 after which it became very sporadic. The count was 127 raptors of 6 species comprising 9 Bald Eagles (5a, 1j, 3u), 4 adult Sharp-shinned Hawks, 3 adult dark morph Red-tailed Hawks (1a, 1j calurus and 1a harlani), 4 Rough-legged Hawks (3 light, 1 dark), 1 unidentified dark Buteo, 104 Golden Eagles (67a, 7sa, 7j, 23u), 1 unidentified eagle and 1 adult female columbarius Merlin. Most of the early movement was above the ridge to the west, but in the afternoon both ridges saw migration with some birds moving from Vicki Ridge to the west. Apart for the first 30 minutes, maximum movement was 39 birds between 1300 and 1400, but only 8 were seen between 1400 and 1500, and 2 after 1500 with the last Golden Eagle recorded at 1442.

4.67 hours (63.25) BAEA 9 (20), SSHA 4 (283), RTHA 3 (64), RLHA 4 (17), UB 1 (4), GOEA 104 (474), UE 1 (1), MERL 1 (8) TOTAL 127 (954)

 

Steeples [Day 14] (Vance Mattson) 1230-1800. The temperature was 12C, winds were strong south and cloud cover was 80-100% altostratus and cumulus; rain fell from 1515 to 1615. Seven migrants were seen: 2 adult Bald Eagles, 1 adult Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1 juvenile Golden Eagle, 2 American Kestrels (1 female, and 1 male that briefly perched at the site) and 1 adult Prairie Falcon. The Prairie Falcon was the first ever recorded at the site and was first seen unsuccessfully stooping on a flock of small songbirds. It then stooped a second time but again came up empty-taloned, soared briefly then flew to the south.

5.5 hours (60.5) BAEA 2 (141), SSHA 1 (68), GOEA 1 (100), AMKE2 (5), PRFA 1 (1) TOTAL 7 (374)

 

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

DAYS 23

HOURS 257.8

 

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 5

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 55

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 7

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 114

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 7

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 21

Accipiter sp. (UA) 12

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 5

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 23

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 11

Buteo sp. (UB) 6

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1642

Eagle sp. (UE) 2

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 3

MERLIN (MERL) 3

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 3

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0

Falco sp. (UF) 1

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 5

 

TOTAL 1926

October 15 [Day 25] (Jim Davis, assisted by Ruth Morrow and Cliff Hansen) 0800-1845. It was a warm day for the time of year with a starting temperature of 5C a high of 9C at 1500 and it was still 8C at the end of the day. Ground winds were SW 32-38 km/h to 1100, after which they diminished to SW 5-16 km/h, and ridge winds were SW strong to 1500 after which they became moderate. Cloud cover was 60-80% cumulus with minor altostratus to 1800 when 100% stratus developed. Although raptor numbers were down compared to the last three days, there was the compensation of variety with 9 species comprising the 56 migrants counted. The flight was 3 Bald Eagles (1a, 2j), 1 adult male Northern Harrier, 3 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 1j, 1u), 1 adult Cooper’s Hawk, 1 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 42 Golden Eagles (15a, 2sa, 4j, 21u), 1u columbarius Merlin, 3 Peregrine Falcons (2a, 1j) and the season’s first Prairie Falcon which soared and appeared to be hunting above the Fisher Range. The Cooper’s Hawk was the first seen since October 1, and the 2 adult Peregrine Falcons were a male and a female that flew south together. The Golden Eagles flew very high above the Fisher Range which, combined with the lighting conditions, accounted for the high percentage of unaged birds. The smaller raptors generally moved against the face of the Fisher Range, while the harrier was the only migrant seen to the west of the site. At 1530 a Boreal Owl was heard singing near the NE corner of the Hay Meadow, and other birds noted included 2 adult Ring-billed Gulls that flew low to the south above the river, 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 1 American Robin, 1 American Pipit and 70 Bohemian Waxwings. Fourteen Elk fed on the ski-hill and there were 17 visitors to the site.

10.75 hours (268.6) BAEA 3 (58), NOHA 1 (8), SSHA 3 (117), COHA 1 (8), RTHA 1 (24), GOEA 42 (1684), MERL 1 (4), PEFA 3 (6), PRFA 1 (1) TOTAL 56 (1982)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 12] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Dan and Charlene Lee and Geoffrey Martens) 0945-1630. The temperature ranged from 5C to 10C, winds were W-WSW 30-45 gusting to 70 km/h to 1400 after which they diminished to 20 gusting 40 km/h, and cloud cover increased from 20-30% cumulus to 80% cumulus by mid-afternoon which became dark during the last hour of observation but no rain fell. Because of the wind observation was again conducted from the western flank of the ridge. Raptor movement was strong with 211 birds of 9 species recorded between 0957 and 1619: 7 adult Bald Eagles, 10 Sharp-shinned Hawks (7a, 3u), 2 adult Cooper’s Hawks, 2 adult Northern Goshawks, 1 juvenile light morph Broad-winged Hawk, 15 Red-tailed Hawks (calurus 11: 3a and 1j light morphs and 7a dark morphs; harlani 4 a dark morphs), 12 Rough-legged Hawks (9 light, 3 dark), 159 Golden Eagles (104a, 17sa, 29j, 8u) and 1 male columbarius Merlin. In the morning the movement was almost exclusively of Golden Eagles moving high to the south above the ridge to the west of Vicki Ridge with counts of 67 birds (65 Golden Eagles) between 1000 and 1100, and 47 (42 Golden Eagles) between 1100 and 1200. Movement decreased between 1200 and 1400 with birds migrating on both ridges, but when the winds diminished after 1400 birds almost exclusively used Vicki Ridge and most soared high before gliding to the south with the flight dominated by accipiters and buteos. Hourly counts during this period were 24 (1400-1500) and 25 (1500-1600). For the first time this season there were large flocks of finches flying high to the south including a total of 325 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches (with a largest flock of 150), 3 Red Crossbills and 50 Pine Siskins.

6.75 hours (70) BAEA 7 (27), SSHA 10 (293), COHA 2 (38), NOGO 2 (12), BWHA 1 (7), RTHA 15 (79), RLHA 12 (29), GOEA 159 (633), UE 2 (3), MERL 1 (8) TOTAL 211 (1165)

 

Steeples [Day 15] (Vance Mattson) 1215-1745. The temperature was 10C, winds were initially strong S-SW but by 1600 it was calm, but they increased to moderate again at 1700. Cloud cover was 100% altostratus and cumulus and there were periods of light rain around 1430, 1545 and 1700. The main migration ridge was clear all day although the higher peaks were all obscured. A total of 20 migrants were counted between 1336 and 1605 comprising 4 Bald Eagles (3a, 1sa), 6 Sharp-shinned Hawks (2a, 4u) and 10 Golden Eagles (4a, 1sa, 4j). Ten of the birds moved between 1400 and 1500. The only non-migrant was an adult Golden Eagle with a full crop that soared close to the site between 1630 and 1635.

5.5 hours (66) BAEA 4 (145), SSHA 6 (74), GOEA 10 (110) TOTAL 20 (394)

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

DAYS 25

HOURS 268.6

 

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 5

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 58

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 8

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 117

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 8

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 21

Accipiter sp. (UA) 12

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 5

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 24

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 11

Buteo sp. (UB) 6

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1684

Eagle sp. (UE) 2

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 3

MERLIN (MERL) 4

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 6

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 1

Falco sp. (UF) 1

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 5

 

TOTAL 1982

 

 

 

 

October 16 [Day 26] (Bill Wilson, assisted by Lori Anderson and Cliff Hansen) 0720-1900. The temperature was 0C at 0740, rose to a high of 6C at 1600 and 1700 and was 4C at the end. Ground winds were SW 5-20 gusting up to 50 km/h and ridge winds were SW moderate to strong. Cloud cover was initially 100% stratus and cumulus that rapidly reduced to 10-20% by 1000; 80% stratus and cumulus at 1000 and 1200 brought an hour of rain followed by 40-50% cumulus to 1400 after which it was 100% cumulus and altostratus for the rest of the day. The eastern ridges were 10% obscured at the beginning but quickly cleared until 1100 when they were 80% obscured until 1200, 20% obscured to 1300 then essentially clear for the rest of the day. The west followed a similar pattern to noon after which it was 10-20% obscured to 1500, 50% to 1700 and 20% for the rest of the day. The count was 33 raptors of 4 species between 0842 and 1755, although the second migrant did not appear until 1007. The flight was 1 adult Bald Eagle, 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1a Northern Goshawk and 30 Golden Eagles (16a, 3j, 11u). The first Golden Eagle was seen to the west, but all other birds were over the Fisher Range or the adjacent eastern side of the valley. Birds seemed to originate from Mount Lorette although only a few were seen there and most birds were detected initially gliding above the northern end of the Fisher Range. The busiest hour was 1100-1200 when 11 migrants passed. Other bird species were relatively scarce in the high winds but included 1 male Mountain Bluebird, 1 American Pipit and 1 female Pine Grosbeak. The site had 15 visitors but few lingered long.

11.67 (280.2) BAEA 1 (59), SSHA 1 (118), NOGO 1 (22), GOEA 30 (1714) TOTAL 33 (2015)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 13] (Peter Sherrington) 0945-1630. (Observation from the well-site on the western flank of the ridge.) The temperature was 5C to 1200 and 9C for the rest of the observation period and winds were WSW-W 50-70 gusting 90 km/h. Cloud cover was initially 30-70% white cumulus alternating with 100% dark cumulus that brought showers to 1030, and 20-40% cumulus and altocumulus for the rest of the day giving good observing conditions (apart from the wind!). Movement was slow but steady with 62 raptors of 6 species recorded between 0958 and 1626: 4 Bald Eagles (3a, 1u), 11 Sharp-shinned Hawks (5a, 1j, 5u), 7 Red-tailed Hawks  (calurus 6: 3a, 2u light, 1a dark, and 1 dark bird of indeterminate subspecies and age), Rough-legged Hawk (5 light, 1 dark), 29 Golden Eagles (20a, 2sa, 4j, 3u), 4 indeterminate eagles and 1 male columbarius Merlin. Maximum movement was 15 between 1200 and 1300 and at least 7 birds moved each hour between 1000 and 1600. Migration was fairly evenly divided between Vicki Ridge (47%) and the ridge to the west (53%).

6.75 hours (76.75) BAEA 4 (31), SSHA 11 (304), RTHA 7 (86), RLHA 6 (35), GOEA 29 (662), UE 4 (7), MERL 1 (10) TOTAL 62 (1227)

 

Steeples [Day 16] (Vance Mattson) 1200-1800. The weather was similar to that of yesterday with a temperature of 10C, a strong S wind and 70-90% altostratus and cumulus cloud cover that obscured the high peaks and brought periodic light rain. Fourteen migrants were tallied between 1320 and 1650 comprising 2 adult Bald Eagles, 11 Golden Eagles (10a, 1j) and 1 female American Kestrel. Four members of the Rocky Mountain Naturalists thoroughly enjoyed the relatively modest movement despite the cool and damp conditions.

6 hours (72) BAEA (2), GOEA 11 (121), AMKE 1 (14) TOTAL 14 (408)

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

DAYS 26

HOURS 280.2

 

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 5

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 59

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 8

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 118

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 8

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 22

Accipiter sp. (UA) 12

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 5

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 24

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 11

Buteo sp. (UB) 6

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1714

Eagle sp. (UE) 2

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 3

MERLIN (MERL) 4

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 6

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 1

Falco sp. (UF) 1

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 5

 

TOTAL 2015

 

October 17 [Day 27] (Joel Duncan, assisted by Rick Robb) 0930-1800. The temperature was 0C at 0930, rose to a high of 8C between 1500 and 1700 and was 6C at 1800. Ground winds were-WSW 2-5 km/h becoming N gusting to 15 km/h after 1630, while ridge winds were SW all day, light in the morning and moderate in the afternoon. Initial cloud cover was 80% altostratus which increased to 100% by noon, reduced to 60% by 1500 and was then 100% altostratus for the rest of the day. Ridges were clear until a frontal disturbance passed at 1600 when the west began to cloud over reaching 100% at 1730, while the east was clear to 1730 after which it quickly disappeared into 100% cloud cover. Light rain started at 1700 which became heavy as the observers departed at 1800. It was a disappointing day of raptor migration with only 21 birds moving between 1311 and 1647 comprising 1 juvenile Bald Eagle and 20 Golden Eagles (12a, 1sa, 3j, 4u). Six Golden Eagles seen at 1647 proved to be the last migrants of the day. Two resident Northern Goshawks (1a, 1j) were also seen, and other birds included 2 Ruffed Grouse, 2 Northern Pygmy-Owls, 1 north and 1 south of the site, that sang for most of the day, 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 2 Song Sparrows and 5 Dark-eyed Juncos. There was only one visitor at the site today.

7.5 hours (287.7) BAEA 1 (60), GOEA 20 (1734) TOTAL 21 (2036)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 14] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Hilary Atkinson) 1425-1455 and 1645-1815. Because of other commitments we could only spend a couple of short periods observing from the west flank of the ridge where the temperature was 5-6C, winds were W-WSW 25-35 gusting 40-50 km/h and cloud cover was 100% slightly broken altostratus and cumulus. Steady rain fell until 1000 and at 1425 very light rain was still falling. To the north the Livingstone range was totally obscured in the morning and still cloud-draped in the afternoon, although the Front Ranges farther north were completely clear all day. A break in the clouds low to the west in the evening provided a period of brilliant sunshine and excellent observing conditions. The first half-hour at the site yielded 3 adult Golden Eagles, while the second session saw a steady movement of 19 birds gliding high to the south above the western rim of Vicki Ridge: 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 2 adult dark morph harlani Red-tailed Hawks, 11 Rough-legged Hawks (9 light, 2 dark) and a further 5 adult Golden Eagles.

2 hours (78.75) NOGO 1 (13), RTHA 2 (88), RLHA 11 (46), GOEA 8 (670) TOTAL 22 (1249)

 

Steeples No observation.

 

October 18 [Day 28] (Brian McBride, assisted by Heinz Unger) 0800-1830. The temperature reached 6C at 1400 from a morning low of -3C and was 2C at the end of observation. Ground winds were very variable but light (< 5 km/h) all day, while ridge winds were mostly W, light in the morning and moderate in the afternoon turning to the NW near the end of observation. Cloud cover was 70% cumulus in the morning reducing to 50-40% in the afternoon and the ridges were clear all day. Raptor movement was again disappointing with 19 migrants recorded between 1047 and 1824: 1 adult Northern Goshawk and 18 Golden Eagles (7a, 5sa, 2j, 4u). Movement was slow with maximum passage of 5 birds between 1100 and 1200 and again between 1600 and 1700. Birds initially appeared low and flapping in the face or near the ridge at the northern end of the Fisher Range but became progressively higher and appeared farther to the south on the Fisher Range as the afternoon progressed. It is possible that more eagles were moving to the east of the ridge where they could not be seen. Two non-migrant Bald Eagles, 1a and 1j, were seen perched by the river, and other birds seen included 2 Ruffed Grouse, 25 White-winged Crossbills and 23 Pine Siskins. No visitors came to the site today.

10.5 hours (298.2) NOGO 1 (23), GOEA 18 (1752) TOTAL 19 (2055)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 15] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Hilary Atkinson) 1045-1600. (Observation from the well-site on the western flank of the ridge.) The temperature was 7C throughout, winds were W-WSW 25-35 gusting to 50 km/h and cloud cover was 70-100% altostratus, altocumulus and cumulus that formed a solid Chinook Arch overhead for much of the afternoon. There was a fairly strong raptor movement with 58 birds of 7 species migrating between 1107 and 1558 with about 80% of the birds using Vicki Ridge and 20% moving above the ridge to the west. The flight comprised 17 Sharp-shinned Hawks (14a, 1j, 2u), 3 adult Northern Goshawks, 1 juvenile dark-morph harlani Red-tailed Hawk, a season-high 15 Rough-legged Hawks (13 light, 2 dark), 1 female columbarius Merlin and 1 adult Peregrine Falcon. Movement was steady throughout with maximum passage of 14 birds between 1500 and 1600, 10 of which were Rough-legged Hawks. Finches moving south included 140 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches and 55 Pine Siskins.

5.25 hours (84) SSHA 17 (321), NOGO 3 (16), RTHA 1 (89), RLHA 15 (61), GOEA 20 (690), MERL 1 (11), PEFA 1 (3) TOTAL 58 (1307)

 

Steeples [Day 17] (Vance Mattson) 1200-1800. The temperature was 8C, winds were moderate SW that became calm after 1700, and cloud cover was 90-60% cumulus, altocumulus and altostratus. The ridges were clear all day with the higher peaks  periodically obscured by cloud. The count of 70 migrants was the third highest of the season and included high counts for Sharp-shinned Hawk and Golden Eagle. Movement occurred between 1225 and 1708 and comprised 8 Bald Eagles (3a, 4sa, 1j), 19 Sharp-shinned Hawks (5a, 19u), 3 Northern Goshawks (2a, 1u), 3 Red-tailed Hawks (1 light juvenile calurus and 2 adult dark harlani), 1 dark morph Rough-legged Hawk and 36 Golden Eagles (25a, 2sa, 9j). Migration was concentrated between 1300  and 1500 with 23 birds between 1300 and 1400, and 25 between 1400 and 1500. The day began on an almost surreal note, when Vance turned off Lazy Lake Road onto the forestry road that accesses the site.  Just 30 m along the road a juvenile golden eagle flew at eye level alongside the truck, very close to the passenger window; it then flew over the hood in the same direction of travel at approximately the same speed, until it soon pulled ahead and veered off.  The size of the bird, its bulk and wing span, seen over the hood, was striking. Vance stopped, assuming it had been feeding nearby and that the sound of the vehicle had spooked it and, sure enough, there were the sparse remains of a hunted elk a few metres off the road. 6 hours (78) BAEA 8 (155), SSHA 19 (93), NOGO 3 (6), RTHA 3 (38), RLHA 1 (5), GOEA 36 (157), TOTAL 70 (478)

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

DAYS 28

HOURS 298.2

 

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 5

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 60

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 8

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 118

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 8

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 23

Accipiter sp. (UA) 12

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 5

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 24

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 11

Buteo sp. (UB) 6

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1752

Eagle sp. (UE) 2

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 3

MERLIN (MERL) 4

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 6

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 1

Falco sp. (UF) 1

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 5

 

TOTAL 2055

 

October 19 [Day 29] (Terry Waters, assisted by Diane Stinson and Caroline Lambert) 0830-1830. The temperature was 0C at the start, reached a high of 6C between 1300 and 1700 and was 4C at the end of observation. Ground winds were SW all day,  5 km/h to 1200, 15-20 km/h to 1500 and then 5 km/h for the rest of the day, while ridge winds were strong W all day. Cloud cover was initially 80% stratocumulus that thinned to 30% scattered cumulus in the afternoon giving good observation conditions. Apart from the western ridges being 10-20% obscured from 1500-1600 the ridges were clear all day. There was a fairly strong eagle movement with 49 birds counted between 0940 and 1746 comprising 1 adult Bald Eagle, 47 Golden Eagles (22a, 2sa, 7j, 16u)  and 1 unidentified eagle. Forty-one birds moved after 1400, 19 of which were seen between 1600 and 1700. With the exception of one bird seen to the west, all were located at the northern end of the Fisher Range with most flapping and gliding against the  face of the range before disappearing towards the SSE behind the ridge. Other birds seen included 25 Snow Geese and 50 Canada Geese that flew high to the south above the Fisher Range, and 120 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches that persistently fed around the river between 1100 and 1500. Two Mountain Goats were seen at the northern end of the Fisher Range, and there were 9 visitors to the site.   10 hours (308.2) BAEA 1 (61), GOEA 47 (1799), UE 1 (2) TOTAL 49 (2104)     Vicki Ridge [Day 16] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Hilary Atkinson) 1100-1630 (observation from the well-site on the western flank of the ridge) and Denise Cocciolone-Amatto assisted by Raymond Toal, Merilyn Liddell, Patricia Waagner and  Carol Bruder) 1100-1420 (observation on Vicki Ridge). The temperature was 8C for most of the day, briefly reaching 9C at 1400 and falling to 7C at the end of observation, winds were W-WSW 30-40 gusting to 60 km/h and cloud cover was 30-50%  cumulus that increased to 70% dark cumulus at 1500 before diminishing to 30% cumulus at the end of observation. Observing conditions were excellent throughout. There was a high correlation between the birds seen from the flank and those seen from the hill, except for birds moving east of Vicki Ridge which were only seen from the ridge and birds moving west of the ridge which were only seen from the west flank. As accurate occurrence times were taken at both locations it was possible to blend both  counts which resulted in 63 migrants of 7 species being recorded between 1112 and 1625. The flight was 6 Bald Eagles (5a, 1j), 16 Sharp-shinned Hawks (12a, 4u), 1u Cooper’s Hawk, a season-high 7 Northern Goshawks (6a, 1u), 1u light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 6 Rough-legged Hawks (3 light, 2 dark, 1u) and 26 Golden Eagles (16a, 3sa, 1j, 6u). Movement was fairly steady throughout with a maximum hourly count of 18 between 1300 and 1400. Other birds seen included 1 juvenile  Northern Shrike, 3 Grey Jays, 2 Clark’s Nutcrackers, 3 Red-breasted Nuthatches and 30 Red Crossbills.   5.5 hours (89.5) BAEA 6 (37), SSHA 16 (337), COHA 1 (39), NOGO 7 (23), RTHA 1 (90), RLHA 6 (67), GOEA 26 (716) TOTAL 63 (1370)     Steeples [Day 18] (Vance Mattson) 1430-1800. The temperature was 11C, wind was strong SW and cloud cover was 70% cumulus and cirrus with the ridges being clear. The count of 7 raptors was 2 Bald Eagles (1a, 1sa) , 1 juvenile Northern Harrier,  1u light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 1 dark morph Rough-legged Hawk and 2 Golden Eagles (1a, 1j). The only non-migrant seen was a juvenile Golden Eagle that soared extensively before gliding to the west.   3.5 hours (81.5) BAEA 2 (157), NOHA 1 (6), RTHA 1 (39), RLHA 1 (6), GOEA 2 (159) TOTAL 7 (485)     October 20 [Day 30] Blake Weis, assisted by Cliff Hansen) 0800-1845. The temperature was 4C at 0800, rose to a high of 7C between 1400 and 1700 and was still 5C at 1845 when observation ceased. Ground winds were again SW all day 5-15  gusting 25-35 km/h, and ridge winds were strong SW. Cloud cover was 100-70% altostratus, cumulus and cirrus all day, and apart from minor early and late obscuring of the western route all ridges were clear. Light rain fell after 1800. The 108 raptors recorded between 0955 and 1803 was the highest count since October 14 and comprised 1 adult Bald Eagle, 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, 105 Golden Eagles (75a, 30u) and 1 male columbarius Merlin. Most birds were again located at the northern end  of the Fisher Range gliding high above the ridge which combined with poor lighting conditions resulted in the high percentage of un-aged birds. Movement was steady after 1000 with a maximum hourly count of 27 Golden Eagles between 1500 and 1600.  There was a good variety of other bird species near the site most conspicuous of which were 500 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches that fed in the area throughout the day. The 2 Northern Pygmy-Owls were still present and one bird pursued the other and  having chased it off perched on one of the spotting scopes where it was photographed by Cliff. Other birds included 3 Common Loons and 2 Double-crested Cormorants flying high to the south, 1 Northern Shrike, 2 Brown Creepers, 2 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 25 Bohemian Waxwings, 7 American Tree Sparrows, 1 Lincoln’s Sparrow, 1 Dark-eyed Junco and 1 Pine Siskin. The site saw 63 visitors today including two large school groups that had plenty to see.   10.75 hours (319) BAEA 1 (62), SSHA 1 (119), GOEA 105 (1904) TOTAL 108 (2212)     Vicki Ridge [Day 17] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Hilary Atkinson) 1100-1530 (observation from the well-site on the western flank of the ridge). The temperature was 6C that dropped to 4C at the end of observation, winds were W 35-50 gusting to  65 km/h and cloud cover was mainly 100% low stratus that reduced to 10-30% between 1300 and 1400. Light steady rain fell to 1230 after which it became very light to 1500 after which it was moderate and persistent. The Livingstone Ridge to the north  was completely obscured south of the Oldman Gap all day. The first bird was not seen until 1246 and during the break in the weather a total of 21 migrants of 5 species were seen. The flight was 3 adult Sharp-shinned Hawks, 1 light morph Rough-legged  Hawk, 15 Golden Eagles (11a, 1j, 3u), 1 female columbarius Merlin and 1 adult male Peregrine Falcon. Fifteen of the birds moved between 1300 and 1500 with a further 5 seen during the following hour under increasingly murky conditions.   4.5 hours (94) SSHA3 (340), RLHA 1 (68), GOEA 15 (731), MERL 1 (12) PEFA 1 (4) TOTAL 21 (1391)     Steeples (Vance Mattson) No observation. The mountains were completely obscured all day.

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

DAYS 30

HOURS 319

 

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 5

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 62

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 8

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 119

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 8

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 23

Accipiter sp. (UA) 12

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 5

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 24

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 11

Buteo sp. (UB) 6

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1904

Eagle sp. (UE) 2

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 3

MERLIN (MERL) 5

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 6

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 1

Falco sp. (UF) 1

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 5

 

TOTAL 2212

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 17] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Hilary Atkinson) 1100-1530 (observation from the well-site on the western flank of the ridge). The temperature was 6C that dropped to 4C at the end of observation, winds were W 35-50 gusting to
65 km/h and cloud cover was mainly 100% low stratus that reduced to 70-90% between 1300 and 1400. Light steady rain fell to 1230 after which it became very light to 1500 after which it was moderate and persistent. The Livingstone Ridge to the north
was completely obscured south of the Oldman Gap all day. The first bird was not seen until 1246 and during the break in the weather a total of 21 migrants of 5 species were seen. The flight was 3 adult Sharp-shinned Hawks, 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk,
15 Golden Eagles (11a, 1j, 3u), 1 female columbarius Merlin and 1 adult male Peregrine Falcon. Fifteen of the birds moved between 1300 and 1400 with a further 5 seen during the following hour under increasingly murky conditions.

4.5 hours (94) SSHA3 (340), RLHA 1 (68), GOEA 15 (731), MERL 1 (12) PEFA 1 (4) TOTAL 21 (1391)

 

 

October 21 [Day 31] (George Halmazna, assisted by Dan Parliament, Cindy Parliament and Cliff Hansen) 0730-1900. The starting temperature was 1.5C, rose to a high of 7C at 1600 and was 3C at 1900 when observation ceased. Ground winds were SW all day 5 km/h to 1000 and again after 1400, and 10-15 km/h between 1100 and 1300, while ridge winds were probably moderate SW. Cloud cover varied between 40% cumulus and 90% cumulus and cirrus giving good observing conditions throughout. A total of 101 migrant raptors of 5 species was recorded between 0855 and 1817 comprising 4 Bald Eagles (3a, 1sa), 2u Sharp-shinned Hawks, 2 adult Northern Goshawks, 2 light morph  Rough-legged Hawks and 91 Golden Eagles (53a, 6sa, 16j, 16u). Apart from 2 Golden Eagles that used the western route all birds were seen over the Fisher Range with two-thirds of the eagles gliding an estimated 400m above the northern end of the range when first located. Maximum passage was 1700-1800 when 17 raptors were seen of which 16 were Golden Eagles. Other birds in the area included 2 Common Loons flying south, 1 Northern Pygmy-Owl, 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 1 juvenile Northern Shrike, 6 American Dippers, 4 American Pipits, 105 Bohemian Waxwings in two flocks, 707 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches in ten flocks, 1 Pine Grosbeak and 3 Pine Siskins. The day was shared by 6 visitors to the site.   11.5 hours (330.5) BAEA 4 (66), SSHA 2 (121), NOGO 2 (25), RLHA 2 (13) TOTAL 101 (2313)     Vicki Ridge [Day 18] (Peter Sherrington; Gord Petersen after 1700) 1000-1800 (observation from the well-site on the western flank of the ridge) and Denise Cocciolone-Amatto, Raymond Toal and Merilyn Liddell) 1210-1500  (observation on Vicki Ridge). The temperature was 7C to 1400 after which it was 9C for the rest of the afternoon except for 1800 when it dropped to 8C. Winds were W throughout, 22-30 gusting to 50 km/h and cloud cover was 100% thin altostratus and cumulus all day that produced hazy sunshine and superlative viewing conditions. As on October 19 the final count is a blend of observations from both sites that produced a total of 144 migrants of a remarkable 10 species between 1009 and 1730. The flight comprised 1 adult Bald Eagle, 1 adult male Northern Harrier, 46 Sharp-shinned Hawks (30a, 2j, 14u), 3 Cooper’s Hawks (2a, 1u), 5 Northern Goshawks (3a, 2j), 2 Red-tailed Hawks (1 adult calurus light morph, and 1 dark morph bird of unknown race or age), a season-high 17 Rough-legged Hawks (13 light, 3 dark and 1 undetermined morph), 67 Golden Eagles (47a, 4sa, 7j, 9u), 1 male columbarius Merlin and  1 Prairie Falcon. Movement was steady until 1655 after which only 3 further migrants were seen, and the busiest hours saw the passage of 30 birds between 1200 and 1300, and 27 birds between 1600 and 1700. In the morning movement was more-or-less equally divided between Vicky Ridge and the ridge to the west but subsequently the migration became increasingly concentrated on Vicky Ridge with the exception of Sharp-shinned Hawks many of which flew south over  the valley between the two ridges. Finches identified were 250 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches flying south, 60 Red Crossbills mainly feeding on Douglas Fir cones and 57 Pine Siskins and there were many other flocks of unidentified flying finches.   8 hours (102) BAEA 1 (38), NOHA 1 (6), SSHA 46 (386), COHA 3 (42), NOGO 5 (28), RTHA 2 (92), RLHA 17 (85), GOEA 67 (798), MERL 1 (13), PRFA 1 (3) TOTAL 144 (1635).   Steeples (Vance Mattson) No observation. Vance visited the site between 1500 and 1600 but low cloud completely covered the mountains. On the way to the site he observed 1 adult calurus light morph Red-tailed Hawk and 2 Rough-legged Hawks.

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

DAYS 31

HOURS 330.5

 

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 5

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 666

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 8

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 121

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 8

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 25

Accipiter sp. (UA) 12

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 5

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 24

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 13

Buteo sp. (UB) 6

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1995

Eagle sp. (UE) 2

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 3

MERLIN (MERL) 5

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 6

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 1

Falco sp. (UF) 1

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 5

 

TOTAL 2313

 

October 22 [Day 32] (Jim Davis, assisted by Ruth Morrow) 0800-1850. The temperature reached a high of 8C at 1700 from a morning low of -1C and dropped to 2C at the end of observation. It was calm to 1000 then ground winds were SW 2-10 occasionally gusting to 16 km/h while ridge winds were moderate W all day. Cloud cover was initially 90% stratus which gradually reduced  to 50% at 1500 after which the rest of the afternoon saw 30-10% scattered cumulus which had almost completely disappeared by the end of observation. Ridges were clear all day and both migration and observation conditions were ideal. Raptor migration was strong and varied with 153 birds of 10 species moving between 0856 and 1831. This remarkable flight comprised a season-high  15 Bald Eagles (8a, 3sa, 2j, 2u), 3 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 1j, 1u), 2 light calurus Red-tailed Hawks (1a, 1j), the season’s first Ferruginous Hawk, a well-marked light morph adult, 1 light Rough-legged Hawk, 127 Golden Eagles (61a, 3sa, 30j, 33u), 1 female American Kestrel that was hunting east of the river, 1u columbarius Merlin and 1 juvenile Peregrine Falcon. The Ferruginous  Hawk is only the 7th fall record for the site and is by far the latest, the previous late record being October 1 in 2005. Only 2 birds, a Golden Eagle and the Peregrine Falcon, moved on the western route and the rest were located at the northern end of the Fisher Range with the eagles gliding high above the ridge and the smaller raptors generally moving against the face of the mountains. Movement was steady throughout but kicked into a higher gear after 1600 when 92 of the birds were seen and peaking at the end when 26 were seen between 1800 and 1831, the last bird moving 2 minutes after  official sunset time. A resident adult Northern Goshawk rounded out the list of diurnal raptors but nocturnal raptors also figured in the day. Just before the sun rose above the Fisher Range 2 Northern  Pygmy-Owls started to duet east of the river and a minute later at 0939 a Boreal Owl responded from the NE corner of the meadow and at 0946 a second Boreal Owl joined in from a grove of trees  in the meadow to the west. It was a fitting overture to the big show to come. Other birds noted included 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 1 male Mountain Bluebird, 2 American Robins, 4 American Pipits and  490 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches that flew south in 5 flocks, the largest of which contained about 200 birds. While walking to the site in the early morning Jim was startled by a Grey Wolf howling from  the nearby forest and realised that he was equidistant between the wolf and a couple of White-tailed Deer that the wolf was probably eyeing as breakfast. At 1310 a probable three-year old Grizzly Bear  with an ear tag (# 164) strolled down the trail from the north, saw the observers and without the slightest concern altered course, passed them about 8 metres away and crossed the river to the east. A total of 24 visitors came to the site and shared in what Jim described as “the best day ever!”   10.83 hours (341.3) BAEA 15 (81), SSHA 3 (124), COHA 1 (9), RTHA 2 (26), FEHA 1 (1), RLHA 1 (14), GOEA 127 (2122), AMKE 1 (4), MERL 1 (6), PEFA 1 (7) TOTAL 153 (2466)     Vicki Ridge [Day 19] (Peter Sherrington) 0945-1715 (observation from ridge-top). The minimum temperature was 3.5C at 1100, the high was 7.5C at 1500 and it was 6C at 1700. Winds were W 20-30 km/h to 1200 but increased in the afternoon to W-WSW 30-35 gusting to 45 km/h. Cloud cover was 60% dark cumulus to 1200 producing gloomy conditions, but thinned to 30-50% cumulus in the afternoon giving sunny periods and good observing conditions. Raptor movement was again varied with 66 birds of 8 species moving between 1022 and 1655. The count was 5 Bald Eagles (3a, 2j), 18 Sharp-shinned Hawks (15a, 3u), 2 Northern Goshawks (1a, 1j), 2 adult calurus Red-tailed Hawks (1 light, 1 dark), 10 Rough-legged Hawks (9 light, 1 dark), 25 Golden Eagles (18a, 1sa, 3j, 3u), 3 columbarius Merlins (2 male, 1 female) and 1 adult male Peregrine Falcon. The busiest hours were 16 between 1500 and 1600 and 15 between 1600 and 1700. Other birds on the ridge included  3 Ruffed Grouse, 1 Northern Pygmy-Owl, 49 Bohemian Waxwings (the season’s first), 32 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches, 11 Red Crossbills and 82 Pine Siskins.   7.5 hours (109.5) BAEA 5 (43), SSHA 18 (404), NOGO 2 (30), RTHA 2 (94), RLHA 10 (95), GOEA 25 (823), MERL 3 (16), PEFA 1 (5) TOTAL 66 (1601)     Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1330-1830. The temperature was 6C, the wind was W moderate and the heavy overcast conditions of the past two days lifted at 1330 and by 1400 the sky had cleared to  20% cumulus that persisted for the rest of the day. Despite the apparently ideal conditions only 14 migrants of 5 species were seen between 1401 and 1756: 5 adult Bald Eagles, 3u Sharp-shinned Hawks, 3 Red-tailed Hawks (1 adult light calurus, 1 adult dark harlani and 1 of unknown race, morph or age), 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk and 2 Golden Eagles (1a, 1u). Migration was slow  but steady and, with the exception of the three birds that moved after 1700, was at the highest altitude seen this year. Non-migrants were 2 adult Bald Eagles and 1 adult Sharp-shinned Hawk. On the  way to the site a juvenile Northern Harrier was seen making a successful kill and flying off with a grey rodent that appeared to be larger than a mouse. It dropped the animal once, quickly recovered it  and flew into the adjacent forest.   5 hours (86.5), BAEA 5 (162), SSHA 3 (96), RTHA 3 (42), RLHA 1 (7), GOEA 2 (161) TOTAL 14 (499)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

 

DAYS 32

HOURS 341.3

 

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 5

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 81

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 8

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 124

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 9

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 25

Accipiter sp. (UA) 12

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 5

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 26

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 14

Buteo sp. (UB) 6

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2122

Eagle sp. (UE) 2

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 4

MERLIN (MERL) 6

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 7

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 1

Falco sp. (UF) 1

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 5

 

TOTAL 2466

 

 

October 23 [Day 33] (Bill Wilson, assisted by Lori Anderson) 0730-1900. The temperature at 0730 was a chilly -8C but rose between 1500 and 1700 to a much more pleasant 7C before quickly falling to 1C at the end of the day. Ground winds were variable SE-SW 2-5 km/h to 1300 after which it was W gusting to 18 km/h to 1700 then became light again for the rest of the day; ridge winds were SW light in the morning and moderate in the afternoon. Cloud cover was 90% altostratus and cirrus to 1000, 50-70% altostratus, cirrus and lenticular to 1200, 10-20% to 1500 after which it was 60-80% altostratus and cumulus for the rest of the day. It was another day of strong raptor, and  especially Golden Eagle, migration with 146 birds of 5 species moving between 0830 and 1814. The count was 12 Bald Eagles (6a, 4sa, 1j), 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, 2 juvenile Northern Goshawks, 1 light morph Rough-legged  Hawk and 130 Golden Eagles (96a, 9sa, 14j, 11u). The movement today was exclusively Mount Lorette to the Fisher Range with most birds being located at the northern end of the range. In the light winds of the morning most birds  were seen flying against the face of the mountains, but when winds increased in the afternoon most birds glided high above the ridge. Only 8 migrants were noted before noon, but movement was steady throughout the afternoon and  peaked at 27 birds between 1600 and 1700. One Northern Pygmy-Owl was still singing at the site and other birds noted included 2 American Pipits, 3 Pine Grosbeaks and 2 flocks of 50 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches flying to the south. A single Mountain Goat was at the northern end of the Fisher Range late in the day, and Grizzly Bear # 164 met Bill as he (Bill, not the bear!) was taking the temperature reading. Bill retreated behind the river bank and the bear sauntered slowly by him along the trail towards the north. Twenty-two visitors were at the site today, not including the bear.   11.5 hours (352.8) BAEA 12 (93), SSHA 1 (125), NOGO 2 (27), RLHA 1 (15), GOEA 130 (2252), TOTAL 146 (2612)     Vicki Ridge [Day 20] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Denise Cocciolone-Amatto, Raymond Toal and Patricia Waagner) 0945-1715 (observation from ridge-top), with supplementary information from Gord Petersen (1700-1800). The temperature reached a very welcome 10C at 1500 from a low of 3C and at 1700 it was still 8C. Winds were light (0-8 km/h) to 1400 but soon after increased to W 20-25 gusting to 35 km/h for the rest of the observation period. Cloud cover was initially light, 0-20% altocumulus but after 1130 cirrus and cirrostratus cloud moved from the SW that provided a 100-60% spectacular backdrop for high-flying migrants for the rest of the day. There was again a fairly  strong raptor movement of 117 birds between 0951 and 1749 involving 10 species, but Golden Eagle numbers were again disappointing compared to those at Mount Lorette. The count was a season-high 16 Bald Eagles (9a, 4sa, 3j), 1 juvenile male Northern Harrier, 29 Sharp-shinned Hawks (435), 2 Cooper’s Hawks (1a, 1u), 6 Northern Goshawks (5a, 1j), 1 adult dark morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, a season-high 24 Rough-legged Hawks (23 light and 1 dark), 35 Golden Eagles (22a, 4sa, 5j), 1 unidentified eagle, 1 male richardsonii Merlin which was the first record of the race this season, and 1u Peregrine Falcon. Movement was initially slow in the calm conditions but between 1200 and 1300  25 birds were seen many of which soared very low over our heads providing spectacularly close views of Bald and Golden Eagles. It appeared that a big movement was in the offing but it slowed for the next two hours and only picked up  again after 1500 when 47 more migrants moved high to the south above the ridge. Between 1700 and 1800 Gord Petersen was videoing migrating raptors at a site just west of Vicki Ridge and noted a further 11 migrants that moved after we had left the ridge: 4 Bald Eagles (2a, 2j), 3 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 3 Golden Eagles (2a, 1sa) and the last bird of the day, an unaged Peregrine Falcon at 1749. These data are included in the above narrative and in the final totals below. Other birds moving south included 23 Bohemian Waxwings, 420 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches in 7 flocks and 23 Red Crossbills, and Gord noted a Pileated Woodpecker calling and flying west of the ridge.   8.25 hours (117.75) BAEA 16 (59), NOHA 1 (7), SSHA 29 (433), COHA 2 (44), NOGO 6 (36), RTHA 1 (95), RLHA 24 (119), GOEA 35 (858), UE 1 (8), MERL 1 (17), PEFA 1 (6) TOTAL 117 (1718)     Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1200-1800. The ridges cleared at noon from morning fog and remained clear for the rest of the day. The temperature ranged from 1C at 1200 to 7C at 1800, the wind began as moderate SW but was calm after  1600 and cloud cover was 20-70% altocumulus that provided mainly sunny skies. A total of 22 migrants of 5 species were tallied comprising 1 late-moving Osprey, 10 Bald Eagles (6a, 2sa, 2j), 5 Sharp-shinned Hawks (3a, 2u), 3 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 3 Golden Eagles (2a, 1sa). Thirteen of the birds moved between 1500 and 1600, of which 11 (8 Bald and 2 Golden Eagles) were seen between 1530 and 1600. The latest Osprey record at the site was  November 5, 2011.   6 hours (92.5) OSPR 1 (6), BAEA 10 (172), SSHA 5 (101), RLHA 3 (10), GOEA 3 (164) TOTAL 22 (521)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

 

DAYS 33

HOURS 352.8

 

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 5

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 93

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 8

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 125

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 9

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 27

Accipiter sp. (UA) 12

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 5

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 26

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 15

Buteo sp. (UB) 6

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2252

Eagle sp. (UE) 2

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 4

MERLIN (MERL) 6

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 7

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 1

Falco sp. (UF) 1

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 5

 

TOTAL 2612

 

October 24 [Day 34] (Terry Waters, assisted by Patrick Farley, Caroline Lambert, Jim St. Laurent and Jennifer Waters) 0830-1830. The temperature at 0830 was -4C, it rose to a high of 8C at 1600  and was still 7C at the end of observation. Ground winds were SW 5km/h to 1300 then switched to NE 5 gusting to 15 km/h, while ridge winds were moderate SW all day. Cloud cover was 100%  stratus to 1500 after which it changed to cirrus with scattered cumulus that reduced to 50% at the end of the day. Apart from the west being 20-30% obscured between 1100 and 1200, the ridges were  clear all day. With the exception of an adult Peregrine Falcon that flew low to the south above the river at 1330, the entire flight comprised 22 Golden Eagles (14a, 2sa, 5j, 1u) that were seen between 1210 and 1730. All the birds were located gliding high above the northern end of the Fisher Range apart from 12 birds that moved from Mount Lorette to the Fisher Range between 1600 and 1700, which  was also the highest hourly count. Only 2 eagles were seen before 1500. Other birds seen included 1 Northern Pygmy-Owl, 8 Snow Buntings, 1 Western Meadowlark and 60 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches.  A Mountain Goat was at the northern end of the Fisher Range, and a school party of 33 grade 3 and 4 students and staff from Louis Riel Elementary School in Calgary visited the site.   10 hours (362.8) GOEA 22 (2274), PEFA 1 (8) TOTAL 23 (2635)     Vicki Ridge [Day 21] (Peter Sherrington) 1030-1730 (observation from ridge-top), with supplementary information from Gord Petersen (1515-1800). The temperature was 6C at 1100, reached a high of  11.5C at 1800 and was still 10C at the end of observation. It was flat calm until 1200 when occasional puffs of wind to 5 km/h mainly from the W were detectable. These conditions persisted to 1535 when  winds became W 3-8 gusting to 15 km/h and it was calm again at the end of observation. Cloud cover was initially 100% uniform grey stratus which persisted to 1300 when it began to thin break up and for  the rest of the day cloud cover was a mixture of 90-70% altostratus, cirrus, altocumulus and cumulus that allowed hazy sunshine and excellent observing conditions. Only 2 migrants were seen before 1320,  a juvenile Northern Goshawk at 1059 and an adult Bald Eagle at 1253, both of which flapped low and laboriously to the south. Clearing skies and light W winds after 1300 produced a fairly strong and varied raptor movement, however, and the final count was 64 birds of 8 species. The flight was 5 adult Bald Eagles, 1 juvenile female Northern Harrier, 11 Sharp-shinned Hawks (9a, 2u), 5 Northern Goshawks (2a, 3j), 6 Red-tailed Hawks (4 calurus: 1a light morph and 3 (2a, 1j) dark morphs; and 2a dark morph harlani), 20 Rough-legged Hawks (19 light and 1 dark), 15 Golden Eagles (12a, 1sa,  1j, 1u) and 1 adult male Peregrine Falcon. Most birds moved high above or to the east of the ridge and the busiest hours saw movement of 18 birds between 1400 and 1500, and 19 between 1500 and 1600.  The last bird, a Bald Eagle, flew high to the south at 1716. Between 1515 and 1800 Gord Petersen was again videoing migrating raptors at a site just west of Vicki Ridge but the only migrants he saw were a Sharp-shinned Hawk, and 5 light morph Rough-legged Hawks which moved between 1622 and 1657, which are included in the final totals. Other birds on the ridge include 18 Bohemian Waxwings, 2 male Dark-eyed Juncos of the race J.h.hyemalis, 860 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches that flew high to the south in several flocks, the season’s first Pine Grosbeak, a female, and 48 Red Crossbills; while lower to the west Gord had a singing Northern Pygmy-Owl and a Pileated Woodpecker.   7 hours (124.75) BAEA 5 (64), NOHA 1 (8), SSHA 11 (443), NOGO 5 (41), RTHA 6 (101), RLHA 20 (139), GOEA 15 (873), PEFA 1 (7) TOTAL 64 (1782)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1515-1830. The ridges were clear all day but Vance could not get to the site until 1515 when the temperature was 7C, it was calm and cloud cover was 20-100% thin altostratus

with minor cirrus and lenticular. A total of 6 migrants were seen between 1642 and 1745: 1 juvenile Northern Harrier, 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, 2 light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks (1a, 1j) and 2 Golden

Eagles (1a, 1sa). The subadult Golden Eagle was seen perched on a near-vertical rock face at 1720 and was still there when Vance left so it was presumably roosting there at the end of the day. The calm

conditions meant that the birds flapped continuously as they moved to the south. Non-migrants were an adult Golden Eagle and an adult Sharp-shinned Hawk.

3.25 hours (95.75) NOHA 1 (7), SSHA 1 (102), RTHA 2 (44), GOEA 2 (166) TOTAL 6 (527)

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

 

DAYS 34

HOURS 362.8

 

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 5

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 93

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 8

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 125

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 9

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 27

Accipiter sp. (UA) 12

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 5

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 26

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 15

Buteo sp. (UB) 6

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2274

Eagle sp. (UE) 2

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 4

MERLIN (MERL) 6

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 8

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 1

Falco sp. (UF) 1

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 5

 

TOTAL 2635

 

 

October 25 [Day 35] (Brian McBride, assisted by Blake Weis and Cliff Hansen) 0745-1815. The temperature was -3C at the start, reached a high of 8C between 1300 and 1600 and was still 6C when observation ceased. Ground winds were NW <5 km/h to 1000, then mainly S 15 gusting 30 km/h for the rest of the day; ridge winds were SW moderate to strong in the morning and SW moderate in the afternoon. Cloud cover was 100% altostratus and cumulus to 0900 which then thinned to 70-90% for the rest of the day. Although migration and observing conditions appeared to be good the flight was a disappointing 18 eagles: 1 adult Bald Eagle and 17 Golden Eagles (14a, 1sa, 1u). Apart from the Bald Eagle that glided high from Mount Lorette to the Fisher Range at 1200, all the rest glided high above the Fisher Range between 1127 and 1650 with 11 of the birds moving between 1400 and 1600. The first Golden Eagle of the day at 1127 was mobbed by a raven and vigorously retaliated by closely chasing the raven about half-way down the range. No further raven mobbing was observed! A single Northern Pygmy-Owl continued to sing east of the river and other birds noted included 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 70 Bohemian Waxwings and 3 Dark-eyed Juncos. There were no visitors today.

10.5 hours BAEA 1 (94), GOEA 17 (2291) TOTAL 18 (2653)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 22] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Denise Cocciolone-Amatto, Raymond Toal, Pat Lucas and 4 visitors) 1030-1730 (observation from ridge-top), with supplementary information from Gord Petersen (1430-1730). The temperature was initially 8C, rose to a high of 9C at 1300 and was 7C after 1600. Winds were strong WSW-W all day 30-50 gusting to 75 km/h, and cloud cover was 20-30% cumulus and altocumulus all day providing excellent viewing conditions and sunshine that made the strong winds tolerable. There was again a fairly strong and varied raptor movement with 66 birds of 10 species migrating between 1059 and 1721. Nearly all the birds moved high to the south above or close to the ridge, and Gord, who was checking sites both to the west and east of the ridge, saw no other raptor movement there. The flight was 5 Bald Eagles (2a, 2sa, 1j), 1 juvenile male Northern Harrier, 15 Sharp-shinned Hawks (13a, 2u), 1 adult Northern Harrier, 2 unidentified Accipiters, 1 remarkably late juvenile light morph Ferruginous Hawk, 8 Rough-legged Hawks (7 light, 1 dark), 28 Golden Eagles (16a, 4sa, 8j), 1u columbarius Merlin and 2 adult male Peregrine Falcons. Forty-three of the birds were seen between 1200 and 1400 with a high hourly count of 17 between 1300 and 1400, after which the pace slowed but remained interesting. Other birds were scarce with the exception of Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches, 410 of which flew to the south in 10 flocks.

7 hours (131.75) BAEA 5 (69), NOHA 1 (9), SSHA 15 (459), COHA 2 (46), NOGO 1 (42), UA 2 (4), FEHA 1 (3), RLHA 8 (147), GOEA 28 (901), MERL 1 (18), PEFA 2 (9) TOTAL 66 (1848)

 

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1300-1800. The ridges cleared at 1300 and remained clear throughout the observation period. The temperature was 9C, winds were strong S-SW and cloud cover was 30-60% altostratus, cumulus and cirrus that gave mainly sunny conditions. A total of 14 migrants were counted between 1401 and 1722 comprising 2 Bald Eagles (1a, 1sa), 2a Northern Goshawks and 10 Golden Eagles (8a, 1sa, 1j). Ten of the birds moved after 1620 with a maximum movement of 7 eagles between 1620 and 1650 that included a soaring kettle of 4 birds at 1625. Several of the Golden Eagles had problems progressing against the strong headwinds and some were propelled backwards, in some cases for a considerable distance, and 2 subadult eagles (1 Bald and 1 Golden) temporarily perched before resuming their flights. The subadult Golden Eagle, which perched between 1700 and 1700, had a whitish square radio transmitter attached to its breast that gave the impression of a bulging crop and which was clearly visible when the bird took off and soared in strong sunlight. Non-migrants seen were 2 Golden Eagles (1a, 1j) and 1 juvenile Bald Eagle.

5 hours (100.75) BAEA 2 (174), NOGO 2 (8), GOEA 10 (176) TOTAL 14 (541)

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

DAYS 35

HOURS 373.3

 

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 5

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 94

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 8

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 125

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 9

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 27

Accipiter sp. (UA) 12

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 5

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 26

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 15

Buteo sp. (UB) 6

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2291

Eagle sp. (UE) 2

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 4

MERLIN (MERL) 6

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 8

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 1

Falco sp. (UF) 1

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 5

 

TOTAL 2653

 

October 26 [Day 36] (Joel Duncan, assisted by Rick Robb and Cliff Hansen) 0830-1830. The temperature at the start was -2C, the high was 6.5C at 1600 and it was 5C at the end of observation. Ground winds were SE-SW 2-5 gusting 9 km/h to 1600 after  which they were SE gusting up to 16 km/h: ridge winds were SW light to moderate all day. Cloud cover was initially 20% cirrus to 1000 which rapidly thickened to cirrostratus and then to 100% altostratus at 1400 for the rest of the day. The ridges were clear to  1700 when the west became 40% obscured and the east also was 40% obscured after 1800. Raptor movement was again light with 21 migrants of 4 species recorded between 1229 and 1648: 1 adult Bald Eagle, 1 adult female Northern Harrier, 1 dark morph  Rough-legged Hawk and 18 Golden Eagles (10a, 4sa, 1j, 3u). A few birds were located over Mount Lorette but most glided or flapped against the face of the Fisher Range which made aging of the eagles much easier than if they had been high against the grey  stratus cloud. Ten of the birds moved between 1500 and 1600. A Northern Pygmy-Owl sang to the south of the site, and the only finches recorded were 1 male Pine Grosbeak and 1 Pine Siskin. A school party of 60 grade 3 and 4 students and staff from Louis  Riel Elementary School in Calgary visited the site today.   10 hours (383.3) BAEA 1 (95), NOHA 1 (9), RLHA 1 (16), GOEA 18 (2309) TOTAL 21 (2674)

 

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 23] (Peter Sherrington) 1040-1620 (observation from ridge-top). At 1100 the temperature was 5C, it rose to a high of 8C at 1400 and was 5C again at 1600. Winds were W 20-24 gusting 37 km/h to 1300 and then WNW 17-21 gusting 34 for the rest of the day. Cloud cover was 100% altostratus and altocumulus all day that thickened and darkened after 1430 bringing light rain to the ridge. The cloud made detection of birds easy, but most high-flying Accipiters were silhouettes and could not be aged. Despite the conditions there was a slow but steady raptor migration with 33 birds of 9 species seen between 1055 and 1548 that comprised 2 adult Bald Eagles, 8 Sharp-shinned Hawks (2a, 6u), 1u Cooper’s Hawk, 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 5 calurus Red-tailed Hawks (1 light juvenile and 4 dark adults), 6 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 8 Golden Eagles (6a, 1sa, 1u), 1 juvenile male Peregrine Falcon and 1 Prairie Falcon. Movement was steady with each hour between 1100 and 1500 producing between 6 and 8 birds, but when the rain started only three further birds were seen. Migrating songbirds were 65 Bohemian Waxwings, 210 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches, 6 Pine Grosbeaks, and 22 Red Crossbills.

6.5 hours (138.25) BAEA 2 (71), SSHA 8 (467), COHA 1 (47), NOGO 1 (43), RTHA 5 (106), RLHA 6 (153), GOEA 8 (909), PEFA 1 (10), PRFA 1 (4) TOTAL 33 (1881)

 

Steeples (Vance Mattson) No observation.

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

DAYS 36

HOURS 383.3

 

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 5

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 95

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 9

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 125

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 9

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 27

Accipiter sp. (UA) 12

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 5

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 26

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 16

Buteo sp. (UB) 6

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2309

Eagle sp. (UE) 2

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 4

MERLIN (MERL) 6

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 8

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 1

Falco sp. (UF) 1

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 5

 

TOTAL 2674

 

October 27 [Day 37] (Blake Weis, assisted by Cliff Hansen) 0815-1830. The temperature at 0815 was -4C, the high at 1600 and 1700 was 6C and it was 4C at 1830 when observation ceased. Ground winds were mainly S 5-10 gusting 15-20 km/h and ridge winds were moderate WSW-SW all day. Cloud cover was 100% stratocumulus, altocumulus and altostratus all day with the exception of 1100-1400 when it cleared to 70%, and moderate to light rain fell to 1300 and at 1700 light rain resumed. All ridges were obscured to 0900 after which they slowly cleared and were completely clear by 1400. As on the previous three days raptor movement was light with 18 birds of 4 species moving between 1420 and 1734. The flight was 2a Bald Eagles, 1u Northern Goshawk, 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk and 14 Golden Eagles (11a, 3u). The eagle movement was high gliding from Mount Lorette to the Fisher Range with half the birds detected at Lorette and half detected at the northern end of the Fisher Range. The busiest hour was 9 birds (1 Rough-legged Hawk and 8 Golden Eagles) between 1600 and 1700. Other birds detected included single singing Boreal and Northern Pygmy-Owls, 1 Northern Shrike, 3 Brown Creepers, 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 5 Bohemian Waxwings, 2 Dark-eyed Juncos, 1 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finch and 1 Pine Siskin. Two visitors came to the site today.

10.25 (393.6) BAEA 2 (97), NOGO 1 (28), RLHA 1 (17), GOEA 14 (2323) TOTAL 18 (2692)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 24] (Peter Sherrington) 0930-1730 (observation from the Waterton 61 well-site on the western flank of the ridge); Gord Petersen 1510-1805 (observation from the Waterton 68 well-site to the west of Vicki Ridge). The high temperature for the day was 11.5C at 1000, but fell to 8.5C at 1200 as steady rain fell. It recovered to 9.5C for most of the afternoon and was 7C at 1800. Winds were mainly W, and occasionally NW or SSW 35-45 gusting to 70 km/h except between 1200 and 1300 when they were 65-75 gusting to 90 km/h (which is why I wasn’t on the ridge today!). Cloud cover was 100% altostratus with minor altocumulus and cumulus which was generally thinner to the east, and light to moderate rain fell until 1515. At 1510 Gord moved about 2 km to the west where he recorded 26 raptors moving south and these are added to the 33 I recorded to give a total count of 59 birds of 7 species that moved between 1039 and 1803. The flight was 11 Bald Eagles (8a, 3j), 5 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 4u), 1u Cooper’s Hawk, 3 adult Northern Goshawks, 22 Rough-legged Hawks (21 light, 1 dark), 16 Golden Eagles (10a, 4sa, 2j) and 1u columbarius Merlin. Movement was initially very slow and by 1500 only 10 birds had been seen, but after the rain stopped and the wind velocity diminished the pace quickened and 1500-1600 produced 21 migrants and the following hour 19 migrants. Other birds seen included 2 Common Loons that flew high to the south above Vicki Ridge at 1510, 1 juvenile Northern Shrike, a flock of 40 Bohemian Waxwings that was in the area all day, a total of 1470 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches that flew south in 12 flocks, 1 Pine Grosbeak, 35 Red Crossbills, and 6 Pine Siskins. On four occasions the waxwing and finch flocks attracted the attention of two of the goshawks, a Sharp-shinned Hawk and the Merlin.

8.58 hours (146.8) BAEA 11 (82), SSHA 5 (472), COHA 1 (48), NOGO 3 (46), RLHA 22 (175), GOEA 16 (925), MERL 1 (19) TOTAL 59 (1940)

 

Steeples (Vance Mattson) No observation. Rain all day, all mountains obscured.

 

 

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

DAYS 37

HOURS 393.6

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 5

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 97

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 9

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 125

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 9

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 28

Accipiter sp. (UA) 12

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 5

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 26

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 17

Buteo sp. (UB) 6

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2323

Eagle sp. (UE) 2

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 4

MERLIN (MERL) 6

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 8

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 1

Falco sp. (UF) 1

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 5

 

TOTAL 2692

 

October 28 [Day 38] (George Halmazna, assisted by Dan Parliament) 0750-1800. The starting temperature was -2C, the high at 1600 was 2C and it was 1C at the end of observation. It was essentially calm all day and ridge winds were also calm or light. Cloud cover was 100% stratus to 1445 after which it thinned slightly to 90-80% stratus and cumulus for the rest of the day. All ridges were obscured to almost 1500 when the east began to clear and after 1700 it was 10-20% obscured; the west was 90% obscured to 1700 and was 70% obscured for the last hour of observation. Snow that turned to drizzle mixed with snow fell to 1100. Not surprisingly movement was very sparse with only 5 Golden Eagles (3a, 1sa, 1j) moving between 1530 and 1635. All 5 birds were located in the face of the northern end of the Fisher Range from where they soared to ridge level before moving slowly down the range. Other birds noted included 2 Belted Kingfishers, 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 2 American Pipits, 1 American Tree Sparrow, 4 Dark-eyed [Oregon] Juncos and 1 Pine Grosbeak. No visitors were seen today.

10.16 hours (403.7) GOEA 5 (2328) TOTAL 5 (2697)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 25] (Peter Sherrington) 0915-1745 (observation from ridge-top); Gord Petersen (observing at Waterton 68 well-site 1400-1440, 1515-1545 and 1605-1630, and from Waterton 61 well site on the west flank of Vicki Ridge 1440-1515 and 1545-1605.) The temperature at 0915 was 2C rose to a high of 8C from 1330 to 1615 and was 5C at 1730. Winds were W all day gusting to 30-43 km/h between 1100 and 1300, but 18-30 km/h for the rest of the day except at 1730 when they were light. Cloud cover was initially 10% cumulus but quickly increased reaching 80% at 1400, and was then 20-50% for the rest of the day. It was mainly sunny and observing conditions were excellent throughout. By contrast, the Pincher Creek area to the east was foggy or overcast all day with moderate E winds and a high of only 5C. There was again a fairly strong and varied raptor migration involving 67 birds of 8 species that moved almost exclusively above the ridge between 1032 and 1716. The bird of the day was an unaged Tukey Vulture that flew low to the south just west of the ridge at 1506, which was almost missed as all the other migrants were flying high to very high. This is the first record for the season and a very late bird: last year 2 Turkey Vultures were seen in nearby Beaver Mines on October 8. The rest of the count comprised 4 Bald Eagles (2a, 1sa, 1j), 2u female Northern Harriers that flew south together, 18 adult Sharp-shinned Hawks, 2 adult Northern Goshawks, 24 light morph Rough-legged Hawks which equals the highest count this season, 14 Golden Eagles (9a, 5sa), a distant unidentified eagle and 1 adult female Peregrine Falcon. Movement was steady throughout and peaked at 15 birds between 1600 and 1700. Gord spent 1.58 hours at the Waterton 68 site but saw no migrant raptors and almost an hour below the ridge but saw no additional birds from there. Songbirds seen included 35 Bohemian Waxwings and 5 species of finch: 230 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches that flew south in 4 flocks, 1 male Pine Grosbeak, 10 Red Crossbills, 3 White-winged Crossbills which were the first of the season and 7 Pine Siskins.

8.5 hours (155.3) TUVU 1 (1), BAEA 4 (86), NOHA 2 (11), SSHA 18 (490), NOGO 2 (48), RLHA 24 (199), GOEA 14 (939), UE 1 (9), PEFA 1 (11) TOTAL 67 (2007)

 

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1200-1745. The temperature was 10C, it alternated between calm conditions and light S winds, and low cloud clung to the ridges with the exception of 1400-1415 and 1530-1630 when they cleared, but no migrant raptors were seen. During these periods, however, 1 adult Northern Goshawk and 4 Bald Eagles (2a, 1sa, 1j) were seen but all moved to the north!

5.75 hours (106.5) TOTAL 0 (541)

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

 

DAYS 38

HOURS 403.7

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 5

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 97

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 9

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 125

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 9

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 28

Accipiter sp. (UA) 12

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 5

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 26

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 17

Buteo sp. (UB) 6

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2328

Eagle sp. (UE) 2

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 4

MERLIN (MERL) 6

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 8

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 1

Falco sp. (UF) 1

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 5

 

TOTAL 2697

 

October 29 [Day 39] (Jim Davis, assisted by Ruth Morrow) 0830-1830. The starting temperature was -6C, rose to a high of 4C at 1500 and 1600 and was again -6C at the end of observation. Ground winds were light or calm except for 1500-1600 when they were SW 15 km/h, while ridge winds were light to 1400 and after were moderate SW. Cloud cover was 20% altostratus to noon, 100% altostratus and cirrus to 1500 that diminished to 30% cirrus and cirrostratus at the end of observation and which provided excellent observation conditions. Raptor migration was, however, again weak with only 17 birds of 3 species seen between 1441 and 1808, 10 of which moved between 1600 and 1800. The flight was 4 Bald Eagles (3a, 1j), 11 Golden Eagles (2a, 1sa, 6j, 2u), 1 unidentified eagle and 1u Peregrine Falcon. There was little lift in the dead air and the first eagle took 10 minutes to fly from Lorette to the north end of the Fisher Range. Most birds attempted to soar but failed to gain elevation and flapped their way south. Other birds included 1 female or juvenile Harlequin Duck flying to the north over the river, 2 Pileated Woodpeckers, a Northern Shrike that chased a single Snow Bunting, 1 American Robin, 66 Bohemian Waxwings, 1 Dark-eyed Junco and a pair of Pine Grosbeaks. There were 10 visitors today.

10 hours (413.7) BAEA 4 (101), GOEA 11 (2339), UE 1 (3), PEFA 1 (9) TOTAL 17 (2714)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 26] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Raymond Toal) 0930-1730 (observation from ridge-top). The temperature was -1C at 0930 but rose to a pleasant high of 9C at 1500 before falling to 6C at 1700. Winds were WNW-W 3-8 km/h to 1100 that gradually increased in the afternoon and peaked at 18-24 km/h at 1700. Cloud cover was mainly 100-80% cirrostratus, cirrus and altocumulus with the exception of 40% cirrus and altocumulus between 1400 and 1500 that produced hazy sunshine and excellent observing conditions all day. There was a fairly strong and varied raptor migration with 32 birds of 7 species seen between 0949 and 1713: 3 Bald Eagles (2a, 1sa), 1 adult male Northern Harrier, 1a Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1a, Cooper’s Hawk, 3 Northern Goshawks (2a, 1j), 4 Rough-legged Hawks (3 light, 1 dark) and 19 Golden Eagles (10a, 4sa, 5j). Movement was steady after 1100 and peaked at 9 birds between 1600 and 1700. Other birds recorded included 1 briefly singing Northern Pygmy-Owl, 1 calling Pileated Woodpecker, 35 Bohemian Waxwings, 310 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches and 48 Red Crossbills. While climbing to the ridge-top through aspen woodland around 1300 Raymond noted 3 Polygonia butterflies on the wing which were probably Zephyr Commas.

8 hours (163.3) BAEA 3 (89), NOHA 1 (12), SSHA 1 (491), COHA 1 (49), NOGO 3 (51), RLHA 4 (203), GOEA 19 (958) TOTAL 32 (2039)

 

Steeples (Vance Mattson, assisted by Gaby Zezulka) 1315-1815. The temperature was 10C, winds were light S or calm and cloud cover was 80-100% low stratus, altostratus and cumulus that obscured the ridges to 1815. Two adult Golden Eagles migrated low in front of the cloud cover, one at 1620 and the other at 1651.

5 hours (111.5) GOEA 2 (178) TOTAL 2 (543)

 

October 30 [Day 40] (Bill Wilson, assisted by Lori Anderson) 0750-1845. The temperature high was 6C at 1600 and it was -1C at both the start and end of observation. Ground winds were SW all day: 3-15 km/h to 1000, 10-20 gusting to 35 km/h to 1400, 5-15 km/h to 1600 after which they were 2-5 km/h; ridge winds were also SW, moderate to strong to 1100, moderate to 1700 after which they became light. Cloud was 30-60% altostratus and cumulus to 1100, that became less than 5% to 1400 and cloudless to 1700 with 50% cirrostratus developing late in the day. The total of 25 migrants of 4 species seen between 0915 and 1737 was the highest for a week but still disappointing. The flight comprised 4 Bald Eagles (1a, 3sa), 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, 2 light morph Rough-legged Hawks and 18 Golden Eagles (10a, 3sa, 4j, 1u). Movement was slow but steady after 1100 and 14 of the birds were seen after 1500. Six of the birds moved SE above the centre of the valley while the rest glided from Lorette to the Fisher Range with soaring flight only occurring late in the day. Other birds included 2 Common Loons that flew high above the Fisher Range at  1812, 1 singing Northern Pygmy-Owl, 1 female Belted Kingfisher, 4 Bohemian waxwings and 1 Pine Grosbeak. Thirteen visitors made it to the site today.

10.92 hours (424.7) BAEA 4 (105), SSHA 1 (126), RLHA 2 (19), GOEA 18 (2357) TOTAL 25 (2739)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 27] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Hilary Atkinson) 1150-1705 (observation from the Waterton 61 well-site on the western flank of the ridge); Gord Petersen, assisted by Cathy Scrimshaw (observing at Waterton 68 well-site 3.83 hours between 1150 and 1705). The temperature ranged from 7C to 8C, winds were W 25-30 gusting to 40 km/h and cloud cover was 70-100% cumulus, cirrostratus, altostratus and cumulus that produced occasional sunny breaks and periods of very light rain. Between the two sites a total of 26 migrants of 5 species were seen between 1245 and 1703, 18 of which were seen at the Waterton 68 site 2 km west of Vicki Ridge. The flight was 3 Bald Eagles (1a, 2j), 7u Sharp-shinned Hawks, 1a Northern Goshawk, 2 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 11 Golden Eagles (10a, 1j) and 2 unidentified eagles. Other birds seen included 70 Bohemian Waxwings and 170 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches.

5.25 hours (168.5) BAEA 3 (92), SSHA 7 (498), NOGO 1 (52), RLHA 2 (205), GOEA 11 (969), UE 2 (11) TOTAL 26 (2065)

 

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1515-1745. Yesterday’s low cloud persisted to 1515 but by 1745 the ridges were obscured again. The temperature was 8C, it was calm and cloud cover was 60-100% altostratus and cumulus. Three subadult Golden Eagles that soared together at 1555 before moving slowly to the south were the only raptors seen.

2.5 hours (114) GOEA 3 (181) TOTAL 3 (546)

 

October 31 [Day 41] (Terry Waters, assisted by Diane Stinson and Patrick Farley) 0830-1800. The temperature was -3C at 0830, rose to a high of 5C at 1500 and was 2C when observation ceased. It was calm to noon, the SW 10 gusting 20 km/h to 1400 and then 10 km/h for the rest of the day, while ridge winds were W moderate to strong all day. Cloud cover was 100% stratus and cumulus all day with the exception of 1300 when it briefly reduced to 80%. There was hazy sunshine all day, the eastern ridges were clear but the west was 10-30% obscured all day. A total of 30 migrants of 3 species occurred between 1038 and 1652 including the biggest Golden Eagle count since October 23. The flight comprised 3 Bald Eagles (2a, 1j), 2a Sharp-shinned Hawks and 25 Golden Eagles (17a, 1j, 7u). Most of the birds glided high above the northern end of the Fisher Range before disappearing to the SSE behind the range, and 18 of the birds moved between 1500 and 1652. Other birds recorded included 1 male Common Merganser, 1 adult Herring Gull that flew south above the river and 50 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches. No visitors were spotted today.

9.5 hours (434.2) BAEA 3 (108), SSHA 2 (128), GOEA 25 (2382) TOTAL 30 (2769)

Lorette October summary (October 1-31), with variances to 1993-2015 averages (excluding 1997, 2002, 2006, 2007 and 2008) Days 30 (=) Hours 312.8 (-1.51%) Osprey 2 (+322%), Bald Eagle 91 (-37.6%), Northern Harrier 5 (-5.9%), Sharp-shinned Hawk 42 (-45.8%), Cooper’s Hawk 3 (-72.3%), Northern Goshawk 9 (-70.5%), Broad-winged Hawk 2 (-49.3%), Red-tailed Hawk 9 (-37.1%), Ferruginous Hawk 1 (+850%), Rough-legged Hawk 17 (-60.8%), Golden Eagle 1923 (-32.36%), American Kestrel 1 (+18.8%), Merlin 4 (-11.6%), Peregrine Falcon 7 (+115%), Prairie Falcon 1 (-17.4%), UA 3 (-5%), UB 3 (+29.5%), UE 2 (-30.9%), UF 1 (-20.8%), UU 2 (-13.6%), TOTAL 2128 (-33.47%). Most species occurred in significantly below average numbers with only the 7 Peregrine Falcons being significantly above average. The Golden Eagle count was the second-lowest October count ever, just slightly above the 1831 counted in 2009 and the combined species count was also the second-lowest ever ahead of the 1979 counted in 2009.

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 28] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Hilary Atkinson) 1345-1730 (observation from the Waterton 61 well-site on the western flank of the ridge). The temperature ranged from 5 to 6C wind was W 30-40 gusting to 50 km/h and cloud cover was 100% altostratus and cumulus that was slightly broken to the west that allowed a brief period of bright sunshine at the end of the day. Rain fell for most of the morning and there were light rain showers in the afternoon. A total of 18 migrants of 3 species were seen between 1401 and 1716, 9 of which moved between 1600 and 1700. The flight was 5 Bald Eagles (4a, 1sa), 3 Rough-legged Hawks (2 light, 1 dark) and 10 adult Golden Eagles. The only other migrants were 450 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches that flew south in 2 flocks.

3.75 hours (172.3) BAEA 5 (97), RLHA 3 (208), GOEA 10 (979) TOTAL 18 (2083)

Vicki Ridge October Summary (October 3 and 11-31) 22 days (131 hours) Turkey Vulture 1, Bald Eagle 90, Northern Harrier 7, Sharp-shinned Hawk, 229, Cooper’s Hawk 13, Northern Goshawk 45, Broad-winged Hawk 4, Red-tailed Hawk 54, Ferruginous Hawk 1, Rough-legged Hawk, 203, Golden Eagle 790, American Kestrel 1, Merlin 12, Peregrine Falcon 9, Prairie Falcon 3, UA 2, UB 1, UE 11 TOTAL 1476.

 

Steeples (Vance Mattson) No observation.

Steeples October Summary (October 2 -30) 18 days (87.5 hours) Turkey Vulture 1, Osprey 5, Bald Eagle 147, Northern Harrier 5, Sharp-shinned Hawk, 80, Northern Goshawk 8, Red-tailed Hawk 29, Rough-legged Hawk 10, Golden Eagle 171, American Kestrel 6, Merlin 1, Peregrine Falcon 1, Prairie Falcon 1 TOTAL 465.

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

 

DAYS 41

HOURS 434.2

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 5

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 108

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 9

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 128

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 9

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 28

Accipiter sp. (UA) 12

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 5

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 26

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 19

Buteo sp. (UB) 6

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2382

Eagle sp. (UE) 3

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 4

MERLIN (MERL) 6

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 9

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 1

Falco sp. (UF) 2

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 5

 

TOTAL 2769

 

 

November 1 [Day 42] (Brian McBride, assisted by Blake Weis and Cliff Hansen) 0800-1830. The temperature reached a high of 3C at 1500 from a starting low of -4C and was 1C at the end of observation. Ground winds were very light W in the morning and S 5-10 km/h in the afternoon, while ridge winds were WSW all day, light in the morning and moderate in the afternoon. Cloud cover was 70-80% stratocumulus, altostratus and cirrus to 1400 and was 50% stratocumulus and cumulus after 1600. The western ridges were 20% obscured after 1000 but the east was clear all day. There was 1.5 cm of fresh snow on the ground at 0800 but there was no further precipitation. There was a fairly strong raptor movement for November 1 with 67 birds recorded between 1106 and 1749. The flight was 4 Bald Eagles (1a, 3sa), 1a Sharp-shinned Hawk, 67 Golden Eagles (49a, 3sa, 7j, 7u), 1a Prairie Falcon and 1 unidentified large falcon. Both the combined species and the Golden Eagle count were the highest since October 23. The count includes 7 birds (2sa Bald Eagles, 1a Sharp-shinned Hawk and 4a Golden Eagles) recorded by Blake Weis between 1214 and 1235 south of Barrier Lake on HW 40 as he was stuck behind a truck that was blocking the highway because of the icy conditions. No migrants were seen at the Hay Meadow site between 1200 and 1300. Birds were initially detected at the northern end of the Fisher Range up to 1500 and subsequently were seen to move from Mount Lorette to the Fisher Range. Lift was generally poor with many birds having to flap to cross the valley but only 10-15% of the birds failed to clear the top of the range. Movement was steady throughout and peaked at 21 (all Golden Eagles) between 1500 and 1600. Other birds recorded included 1 juvenile Northern Shrike, 3 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 1 Brown Creeper, 5 Dark-eyed Juncos, 100 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches and 6 Pine Siskins. Two visitors were at the site today.

10.5 hours (444.7) BAEA 4 (112), SSHA 1 (129), GOEA 67 (2449), PRFA 1 (2), UF 1 (3) TOTAL 74 (2843)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 29] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Hilary Atkinson) 1115-1245 (observation from the Waterton 61 well-site on the western flank of the ridge); (Denise Cocciolone-Amatto, Raymond Toal and Merilyn Liddell) 1345-1535 (Ridge-top); Gord Petersen 1425-1730 (Waterton 61, except 1536-1602 at Waterton 68). The temperature varied between 4 and 5C, winds were W-WSW 25-35 gusting to 50 km/h and cloud cover was 50-70% cumulus, altocumulus and cirrostratus to 1400 which thickened to 100% stratocumulus and altostratus after 1430 that brought p[periods of light rain. The combined count for the site was 20 raptors of 7 species seen between 1115 and 1638 that comprised 2 Bald Eagles (1sa, 1j), 2a Sharp-shinned Hawks, 1a Northern Goshawk, 1 dark morph Red-tailed Hawk of unknown subspecies or age, 2 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 11 Golden Eagles (10a, 1sa) and 1 large unidentified eagle. Only one of these birds, a Rough-legged Hawk, was seen at the Waterton 68 site between 1536 and 1602. Other birds seen included a single flock of 500 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches and 10 Red Crossbills.

5.25 hours (177.5) BAEA 2 (99), SSHA 2 (500), NOGO 1 (53), RTHA 1 (107), RLHA 2 (210), GOEA 11 (990), UF 1 (1) TOTAL 20 (2103)

 

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1030-1830. The temperature was 8C, winds were strong S-SW and cloud cover was 30-70% altostratus and cumulus that gave sunny periods. The ridges were clear although the high peaks remained shrouded in cloud. It was the first morning in some time that the mountains were visible, but the first migrants, 2 juvenile Golden Eagles, were not seen until 1315 and by 1500 only 9 migrants had been counted. Movement then increased significantly and the final count when the last birds passed at 1758 was 39 comprising 1 late Osprey, 27 Bald Eagles (11a, 7sa, 9j), 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1a Northern Goshawk, 2 calurus Red-tailed Hawks (1a light, 1 juvenile dark) and 7 Golden Eagles (4a, 2j, 1u). Non-migrants were 1a Sharp-shinned Hawk and 1a Northern Goshawk, and a male American Kestrel was seen hunting the fields on the way to the site. It was a good start to the month.

8 hours (122) OSPR 1 (7), BAEA 27 (201), SSHA 1 (103), NOGO 1 (9), RTHA 2 (46), GOEA 7 (188), TOTAL 39 (585)

 

November 2 [Day 43] (Blake Weis, assisted by Rick Robb) 0830-1840. It was a warm day with a temperature high of 8C at 1400 and 1500 from a low at 0830 of 4C and it was still 7C at 1840. Ground winds were SW 5-10 gusting 15 km/h to 1000 then 5-15 gusting 25 km/h for the rest of the day; ridge winds were strong SW all day. Cloud cover was 50-70% stratocumulus, cumulus, altocumulus and cirrus that allowed sunny periods and good viewing conditions all day. Light rain fell to 0900 and the western ridges were 50-20% obscured to noon and 40-20% obscured in the afternoon. A total of 24 migrants of 3 species were observed between 0955 and 1750 comprising 7 Bald Eagles (4a, 2sa, 1j), 1a Sharp-shinned Hawk and 16 Golden Eagles (8a, 5j, 3u). Most of the Golden Eagles were detected at ridge level at the northern end of the Fisher Range, and the Bald Eagles mainly moved high over the centre or east-centre of the valley. Movement was slow but steady throughout with a high hourly count of 3 Bald Eagles and 4 Golden Eagles between 1300 and 1400. There was a fair variety of other bird species including 100 Canada Geese that flew south in 3 flocks, 31 male Common Mergansers that flew south in 2 flocks, 1 singing Northern Pygmy-Owl, 1 Brown Creeper, 7 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 44 Bohemian Waxwings, 8 Dark-eyed Juncos, a single Grey-crowned Rosy-Finch that fed near the site and 2 Pine Siskins. There were no visitors today.

10.16 hours (454.8) BAEA 7 (119), SSHA 1 (130), GOEA 16 (2465) TOTAL 24 (2867)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 30] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Hilary Atkinson) 1130-1720 (observation from the Waterton 61 well-site on the western flank of the ridge). The temperature was 4-4.5C to 1500 and was 6C for the rest of the day. Winds were WSW 20-35 gusting to 48 km/h and cloud cover was 100% stratus, cumulus and stratocumulus to 1530 when it began to break and at 1700 it was 70% cumulus although many of the cloud remained dark. Steady light rain fell to 1420 and there were subsequent light showers to 1600. Despite the rain there was a steady movement of Golden Eagles along the ridge and it was only when the rain ceased that other species of raptor started to move. The final count of 38 birds of 7 species was 4 Bald Eagles (3a, 1sa), 1 adult male Northern Harrier, 2 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 1u), 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 5 Rough-legged Hawks (4 light, 1 dark), 24 Golden Eagles (19a, 3sa, 1j, 1u) and 1 male columbarius Merlin. The busiest hours were 10 Golden Eagles between 1300 and 1400, and 14 birds of 5 species between 1500 and 1600. The Golden Eagle count was the highest since October 25. Other birds seen included 25 Bohemian Waxwings, 20 Red Crossbills and a single flock of about 600 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches that moved to the south close the ridge-top of the ridge to the west like a bowling ball rolling down an alley.

5.83 hours (183.4) BAEA 4 (103), NOHA 1 (13), SSHA 2 (502), NOGO 1 (54), RLHA 5 (215), GOEA 24 (1014), MERL 1 (20) TOTAL 38 (2141)

 

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1515-1715. The temperature was 10C, winds were strong SW and the high peaks, but not the ridges, were obscured. Two hours of observation produced neither migrant nor resident raptors.

2 hours (124) TOTAL 0 (585)

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

 

DAYS 43

HOURS 454.8

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 5

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 119

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 9

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 130

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 9

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 28

Accipiter sp. (UA) 12

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 5

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 26

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 19

Buteo sp. (UB) 6

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2465

Eagle sp. (UE) 3

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 4

MERLIN (MERL) 6

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 9

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2

Falco sp. (UF) 3

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 5

 

TOTAL 2867

 

 

 

 

 

November 3 [Day 44] (Joel Duncan, assisted by Cliff Hansen) 0830-1830. The unseasonably warm weather continued with a temperature high of 13C and starting and finishing temperatures of 10C. Ground winds were WSW-SW 15-25 gusting to 42 km/h that diminished to 3-10 gusting 15 km/h after 1500, while ridge winds were SW all day, strong to 1500 then moderate. Cloud cover was initially 20% cumulus, but in the afternoon it was cloudless with occasional traces of cumulus. A total of 24 eagles were counted between 0915 and 1749 comprising 3 adult Bald Eagles and 21 Golden Eagles (15a, 2sa, 4u). All birds were initially located at the northern end of the Fisher Range where most kited high in the strong winds and were lost to view in the pure blue sky. Seventeen of the birds migrated after 1600. Other birds noted included a Boreal Owl singing south of the site at 1600, 1 Brown Creeper, 2 Dark-eyed Juncos, a flock of 50 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches, 1 Pine Grosbeak and 3 Pine Siskins. Four visitors came to the site today.

10 hours (464.8) BAEA 3 (122), GOEA 21 (2486) TOTAL 24 (2891)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 31] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Hilary Atkinson) 1045-1715 (observation from the Waterton 61 well-site on the western flank of the ridge). The temperature reached a high of 13.5C at 1500 and was 11C and 12C at the start and finish respectively. Winds were W-WSW 30-37 gusting to 63 km/h to 1500 after which they moderated to 15-20 km/h, and cloud cover was 0% with traces of cirrus and cumulus to 1500 after which 20-40% altostratus and cirrus developed. Migrants were difficult to detect against the cloudless sky but there was a steady movement of 27 raptors of 5 species between 1128 and 1710 that peaked at 7 birds between 1400 and 1500. The flight was 3 Bald Eagles (1a, 1sa, 1j), 2a Sharp-shinned Hawks, 4a Northern Goshawks, 6 Rough-legged Hawks (5 light, 1 dark) and 12 Golden Eagles (9a, 2sa, 1j). Other birds seen included 10 Bohemian Waxwings, 1 flock of 200 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches, 22 Red Crossbills and a single flock of 60 Pine Siskins. Yesterday (November 2) Cornell VanRyk photographed a female grey morph Gyrfalcon feeding on a drake Mallard about 4 km W of Pincher Creek, which was the first record in the area this season. The species has yet to be recorded this season at any of our three counts.

6.5 hours (189.9) BAEA 3 (106), SSHA 2 (504), NOGO 4 (58), RLHA 6 (221), GOEA 12 (1026) TOTAL 27 (2168)

 

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1515-1745. The temperature reached 15C, winds were strong SW and it was the first truly sunny day in a long time with just 5-20% cumulus and cirrus cloud cover. Five migrants of 3 species were counted between 1643 and 1710: 2 adult Bald Eagles, 2 light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks (1a, 1u) and 1 adult Golden Eagle). An adult Bald Eagle that flew to the west was also observed.

2.5 hours (126.5) BAEA 2 (203), RTHA 2 (48), GOEA 1 (189) TOTAL 5 (590)

 

November 4 [Day 45] (George Halmazna, assisted by Dan Parliament, Rosemary Power, Eric Langshaw and Peter Perren) 0750-1900. The temperature reached a high of 12.5C from a morning low at 1000 of -2C and it was still 6.5C at the end of observation at 1900. Ground winds were light WSW-SSW 0-10 km/h all day, while ridge winds were mainly SW moderate all day. It was cloudless to 1100 after which cirrus and cirrostratus started to develop that reached a maximum of 90% cirrostratus and altostratus during the afternoon. There was a remarkable November movement of 118 raptors of 3 species that were recorded between 0950 and 1826, comprising 6 Bald Eagles (3a, 2sa, 1j), 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk and 111 Golden Eagles (85a, 3sa, 6j, 7u). This is the highest ever November Golden Eagle count at the site and only the 5th time that over 100 Golden Eagles have been counted in November, the others being 106 (2000, Nov 1), 108 (2009, Nov 8), 105 (2012, Nov 6) and 101 (2014, Nov 2). The 215 Golden Eagles counted in 4 days already equals the average November Golden Eagle count at the site. Because of the relatively calm conditions birds were flying slower than usual and flapped throughout the day. Most birds were detected at the northern end of the Fisher Range and it was only after 1800 that birds were seen to come from Mount Lorette and pass 200-400 m above the Fisher Range. Other birds noted were 221 Canada Geese flying south in 4 flocks, 1 Northern-Pygmy Owl seen perched at 1515, 1 Northern Shrike and 23 Pine Siskins. In addition to the observers there were 7 visitors to the site.

11.16 hours (476) BAEA 6 (128), GOEA 111 (2597) TOTAL 118 (3009)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 32] (Denise Cocciolone-Amatto, assisted by Raymond Toal, Merilyn Liddell and Judy Cook) 1320-1715 (observation from ridge-top). The temperature was 15C that dropped to 13C at 1700, winds were W 30-35 gusting 45 km/h and it was cloudless with occasional traces of cirrus. Twelve migrants of 5 species were seen between 1455 and 1701 comprising 2 adult Bald Eagles, 1 juvenile Northern Harrier, 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, 2 light morph Rough-legged Hawks and 6 Golden Eagles (5a, 1sa). Five of the birds moved between 1400 and 1500. Other birds seen on the ridge were 20 Bohemian Waxwings and 25 Pine Siskins.

3.92 hours (193.8) BAEA 2 (108), NOHA 1 (14), SSHA 1 (505), RLHA 2 (223), GOEA 6 (1032) TOTAL 12 (2180)

 

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1300-1800. The temperature was 10C, winds were light SW or calm, and cloud cover was 5-40% scattered cumulus and cirrus that gave sunny conditions throughout.  The first migrant was a light morph Rough-legged Hawk at 1320, but only two birds were counted between 1400 and 1600: an adult female Northern Harrier and a juvenile Bald Eagle. At 1605, however, a soaring kettle of 9 Bald Eagles (4a, 2sa, 3j) was seen and an adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk rounded out the day’s count at 1626. A flock of 40 Canada Geese flew over the ridge to the SW at 1618.

5 hours (131.5) BAEA 10 (213), NOHA 1 (8), RTHA 1 (49), RLHA 1 (11) TOTAL 13 (603)

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

 

DAYS 45

HOURS 476

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 5

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 128

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 9

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 131

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 9

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 28

Accipiter sp. (UA) 12

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 5

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 26

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 19

Buteo sp. (UB) 6

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2597

Eagle sp. (UE) 3

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 4

MERLIN (MERL) 6

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 9

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2

Falco sp. (UF) 3

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 5

 

TOTAL 3009

 

November 5 [Day 46] (Jim Davis, assisted by Blake Weis) 0730-1840. Temperatures were again well above seasonal norms with 11C at 0730, a high of 15C and 13C at the end of observation. Ground winds were WSW 11-24 km/h to 1600 after which they were calm for the rest of the day, while ridge winds were WSW strong to 1100 and subsequently very strong. Today saw another strong November raptor movement with 77 birds of 5 species moving between 0915 and 1820. The flight was 9 Bald Eagles (2a, 4sa, 3j), 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1a Northern Goshawk, 3 Rough-legged Hawks (2 light, 1 dark), 1 unidentified light morph Buteo, 60 Golden Eagles (24a, 5sa, 11j, 20u) and 2 unidentified eagles. Five birds used the western route (4 before 1100), about 6 were located above Mount Lorette and most of the rest were initially located to the north in the centre of the valley where they were gliding very high, probably from Heart Mountain, to the northern end of the Fisher Range. The height of the passage accounts for the relatively high percentage of unaged Golden Eagles. Movement was steady throughout with 44 of the birds recorded after 1500. The last bird of the day was an unidentified eagle that flew in near-darkness at 1820. Other notable bird sightings were 6 Bohemian Waxwings, 2 late Lincoln’s Sparrows, 42 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches and 4 Common Redpolls which were the first for the season. The unseasonably warm weather brought 34 visitors to the site.

11.16 hours (487.1) BAEA 9 (137), SSHA 1 (132), NOGO 1 (77), RLHA 3 (22), UB 1 (7), GOEA 60 (2657), UE 2 (5) TOTAL 77 (3086)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 33] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Miles Tindal, Patricia Waagner, Denise Cocciolone-Amatto, Raymond Toal and Merilyn Liddell) 0930-1800 (observation from ridge-top). The temperature at 1000 was 10C, rose to a high of 14C between 1300 and 1600 and was 11C at 1745. Winds were W 22-27 gusting to 35 km/h to 1200 and WSW 22-35 gusting to 51 km/h in the afternoon. Cloud cover was 70-100% altocumulus, altostratus and cirrus for much of the day except between 1400 and 1600 when it thinned to 50-20%. Hazy sunshine prevailed all day and viewing conditions were superlative to 1600 and merely excellent for the rest of the day. After yesterday’s record November Golden Eagle count at Mount Lorette expectations were high for a reasonable migration and we were not disappointed with a total of 139 raptors of 5 species that moved between 0957 and 1735. The flight comprised 9 Bald Eagles (5a, 1sa, 3j), 4 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 1j, 2u), 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 4 Rough-legged Hawks (3 light and 1 dark) and 121 Golden Eagles (88a, 9sa, 13j, 11u). The 3 one-hour periods between 1000 and 1400 yielded 28, 31 and 24 migrants respectively and by 1500 112 birds had been seen. The movement subsequently slowed but remained steady until the last Golden Eagle went south at 1735. The combined species count is the highest since October 21, and the Golden Eagle count is the highest since October 15. Migratory songbirds were scarce: 12 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches, 6 Red Crossbills and 6 Pine Siskins.

8.5 hours (202.3) BAEA 9 (117), SSHA 4 (509), NOGO 1A (59), RLHA 4 (227), GOEA 121 (1153) TOTAL 139 (2319)

 

Steeples (Vance Mattson, assisted by Virginia Rasch) 1230-1730. It was a beautiful day with a temperature of 13C, calm conditions and 20-50% cumulus, altocumulus and altostratus cloud cover, but no migrant or resident diurnal raptors were seen. A Northern Pygmy-Owl was seen perched near the site, however, and a second bird sang nearby. Also notable was a Polygonia butterfly, either a Hoary or Zephyr Comma that fluttered about the site for two hours and landed several times on the spotting scope.

5 hours (136.5) TOTAL 0 (603)

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

 

DAYS 46

HOURS 487.1

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 5

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 137

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 9

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 132

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 9

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 29

Accipiter sp. (UA) 12

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 5

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 26

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 22

Buteo sp. (UB) 7

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2657

Eagle sp. (UE) 5

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 4

MERLIN (MERL) 6

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 9

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2

Falco sp. (UF) 3

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 5

 

TOTAL 3086

 

NOTE Change from Mountain Daylight Time (MDT) to Mountain Standard Time (MST)

November 6 [Day 47] (Bill Wilson, assisted by Lori Anderson and Cliff Hansen) 0640-1740. The temperature was 6C at 0700, dropped to 5C at 0800, rose to a high of 8C at 1400 and was 2C at the end of observation. Ground winds varied between SSE and SSW 3-10 gusting 25 km/h all day, while ridge winds were moderate SW to 1300 and moderate to strong SW for the rest of the day. Cloud cover was 90-100% stratus and cumulus to 1500 which subsequently thinned to 70-50% cumulus. Rain fell to 0730 and again between 0900 and 0940 and 1400 to 1500 during which times all ridges were obscured. Otherwise the west was up to 40% obscured to 1500 and the east was 10% obscured to 1400. After a couple of days of strong migration today’s count of 22 birds of 5 species was disappointing but may have been affected by the weather. Birds moved between 1029 and 1648 and comprised 4 Bald Eagles (3a, 1j), 1 unidentified large Accipiter, 1 light Rough-legged Hawk, 13 Golden Eagles (9a, 1j, 3u), 2 unidentified eagles and 1 adult Peregrine Falcon. Most birds originated from Mount Lorette and moved high above the centre of the valley or above the Fisher Range, with birds soaring in the morning but gliding high later in the day. Twelve of the birds moved after 1500. Other birds recorded included a migrating flock of 21 Common Mergansers, a distant Great Horned Owl singing at dusk, 1 Lapland Longspur, 104 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches in 4 flocks, 2 Pine Grosbeaks and 1 Pine Siskin. Nine visitors came to the site today.

11 hours (498.1) BAEA 4 (141), UA 1 (13), RLHA 1 (23), GOEA 13 (2670), UE 2 (7), PEFA 1 (10) TOTAL 22 (3108)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 34] (Peter Sherrington) 0820-1640 (observation from ridge-top) and Raymond Toal 1055-1140 (observation from west of Waterton 68 well-site). The temperature was 5-6C that fell to 3C at 1630. Winds were W-WSW 40-50 gusting up to 64 km/h for most of the day only diminishing to 21-26 km/h after 1600. Cloud cover was very varied, starting at 20% cumulus but then varying between 100% and 70% stratus, altocumulus and cumulus to 1330 after which it was 50-10% cumulus that gave mainly sunny conditions. Rain fell between 0940 and 1000, and there were occasional showers for the next two hours. A total of 54 migrants of 7 species were seen between 0851 and 1557, with a maximum passage of 19 birds between 1100 and 1200 that included 9 birds (including 7 Golden Eagles) that were seen by Raymond flying low to the south, west of the ridge to the west of Vicky Ridge. The combined count was 10 Bald Eagles (6a, 1sa, 3j), 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, 3 adult Northern Goshawks, 1 adult dark morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 37 Golden Eagles (26a, 4sa, 2j, 5u) and 1 male Prairie Falcon. When the rain ceased at 1000 a spectacular rainbow formed an arch across the ridge under which 3 adult Golden Eagles glided between 1006 and 1008 providing an unforgettable magical sight! Other birds seen included 70 Bohemian Waxwings, 20 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches, 3 female Pine Grosbeaks, 12 Red Crossbills and 25 Pine Siskins. At 1515 a flock of 20 large gulls flew slowly west into the strong wind. They included a uniformly dark juvenile bird that strongly suggested that they were Herring Gulls.

8.33 hours (210.6) BAEA 10 (127), SSHA 1 (510), NOGO 3 (62), RTHA 1 (108), RLHA 1 (228), GOEA 37 (1190), PRFA 1 (5) TOTAL 54 (2373)

 

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1300-1715. It was overcast and raining when Vance arrived, but the skies cleared quickly to 50-20% cumulus that gave sunny conditions for the rest of the observation period. The temperature was 11C and winds were moderate to strong SW. A total of 9 eagles were seen, 6 Bald Eagles (2a, 2sa, 1j, 1u) and 3 Golden Eagles (1a, 1j, 1u), only three of which moved before 1600. The last 6 birds migrated during a short period up to 1650. A non-migrant Sharp-shinned Hawk was seen briefly and a resident Golden Eagle surveyed the ridges between 1420 and 1430.

4.25 hours (140.8) BAEA 6 (219), GOEA 3 (192) TOTAL 9 (612)

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

 

DAYS 47

HOURS 498.1

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 5

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 141

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 9

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 132

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 9

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 29

Accipiter sp. (UA) 13

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 5

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 26

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 23

Buteo sp. (UB) 7

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2670

Eagle sp. (UE) 7

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 4

MERLIN (MERL) 6

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 10

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2

Falco sp. (UF) 3

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 5

 

TOTAL 3108

 

November 7 [Day 48] (Terry Waters, assisted by Diane Stinson and Cliff Hansen) 0800-1730. It was another unseasonably warm day with a high of 10C at 1500 from a low of 3C and it was still 8C at 1730. Ground winds were SW all day, 10-15 gusting 20-30 km/h in the morning and averaging 10 km/h in the afternoon, while ridge winds were also SW, moderate to strong to 1100 and strong thereafter. Cloud cover was initially 80% altostratus forming a Chinook Arch that reduced to 60% at 1100, after which it was 100% altostratus, cirrus and lenticular for the rest of the day. There was another very strong November raptor movement with a total of 121 migrants of 5 species moving between 0830 and 1650. The flight comprised 4 Bald Eagles (2a, 2j), 2u Sharp-shinned Hawks, 1a Northern Goshawk, 1 dark morph unidentified Buteo, 111 Golden Eagles (69a, 9sa, 8j, 25u), 1 unidentified eagle and 1 adult Peregrine Falcon. The Golden Eagle count equals the highest ever November count for the species at the site which occurred 3 days ago on November 4, and is the 6th time that 100+ birds has been counted in November. The 7-day November count of 399 Golden Eagles is already the highest ever and is 84.5% above average. All movement was on the eastern route but only 2 birds were initially located over Mount Lorette. Most of the movement was high above the Fisher Range until late in the day, and movement was steady all day but peaked at 27 birds between 1400 and 1500, and 26 birds from 1500 to 1600. Other birds were not numerous but included 1 migrating flock of 15 Canada Geese, 1 flock of 20 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches and 10 crossbills of undetermined species. There were 6 visitors today.

9.5 hours (507.6) BAEA 4 (145), SSHA 2 (134), NOGO 1 (30), UB 1 (8), GOEA 111 (2781), UE 1 (8), PEFA 1 (11) TOTAL 121 (3229)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 35] (Peter Sherrington) 0830-1615 (observation from the Waterton 61 well-site on the western flank of the ridge) and Raymond Toal and Patricia Waagner 1300-1600 (observation from ridge 500 m north of Waterton 68 well-site). The temperature was 4C at 0830, rose to a high of 9C at 1400 and 1500 and was 8C at 1615. Winds were W-WSW 25-50 gusting 70 km/h and cloud cover was 70-100% altostratus and altocumulus that formed a Chinook Arch above the ridge all day. The cloud thinned to the west and allowed hazy sunshine after 1220. There was another strong late-season raptor movement with 72 birds of 8 species moving south between 0853 and 1641 comprising 9 Bald Eagles (7a, 1sa, 1u), 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, 5a Northern Goshawks, 9 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 42 Golden Eagles (37a, 3sa, 2u), 2 unidentified eagles, 1 female American Kestrel, the season’s first Gyrfalcon, a grey morph adult male and 2 juvenile Peregrine Falcons (1 male, 1 female). The count includes 5 Bald Eagles, 25 Golden Eagles and 1 unidentified eagle observed by Raymond and Patricia between 1300 and 1600 that flew to the south, west of their site which is situated about 2 km west of where I was watching. The highest hourly count was 19 between 1300 and 1400. As we realised last fall, most of the Golden Eagle movement that we observed in the past at the Piitaistakis-South Livingstone site migrates to the west of Vicki Ridge, especially during strong westerly wind conditions, and Gord and Raymond’s observations this season have demonstrated this. The occurrence of three falcon species on Vicki Ridge was remarkable and I had not seen either American Kestrel or Peregrine Falcon in the Beaver Mines area later than October before. The adult male grey morph Gyrfalcon glided low above the ridge at considerable speed at 1237; at 1332 I was watching an adult male goshawk glide to the south against the face of the ridge when it was surprised by a sudden attack by a juvenile female peregrine, which it managed to evade; at 1356 I was determining the age a soaring Golden Eagle through the spotting scope when I noticed that it was being persistently mobbed by a female American Kestrel in a spectacular size mismatch; and the male juvenile peregrine briefly interrupted its flight south at 1420 to vigorously harass a raven for about ten seconds. It was quite the falcon show!

7.45 (218.1) BAEA 9 (136), SSHA 1 (511), NOGO 5 (67), RLHA 9 (237), GOEA 42 (1232), UE 2 (14), AMKE 1 (17), GYRF 1 (1), PEFA 2 (13) TOTAL 72 (2445)

 

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1515-1700. The temperature was 7C, it was calm and cloud cover was 100% altostratus. Three adult Golden Eagles were the only migrants seen.

1.75 (142.5) GOEA 3 (195) TOTAL 3 (615)

 

November 8 [Day 49] (Brian McBride, assisted by Blake Weis) 0715-1715. The warm weather continued with a high at 1400 and 1500 of 14C from a morning low of 5C, and it was still 12C at 1700. Ground winds were variable but mainly S and W that were <5 km/h in the morning but 15 gusting to 35 km/h in the afternoon, while ridge winds were SW moderate to strong all day. Cloud cover was initially a complex mixture of altostratus, altocumulus, cumulus, cirrus and cirrostratus which gradually diminished to 10% altostratus, cirrostratus and cumulus at 1300 that persisted to the end of observation. All the 22 migrants seen were eagles: 20 Golden Eagles (5a, 2sa, 8j, 5u), and 2 unidentified eagles that were the first birds seen at 1213. Birds were mainly initially located at various places along the Fisher Range including the southernmost peaks, and late in the day the birds glided extremely high and fast and were often lost against the blue sky. Movement, once it started, was fairly steady with a maximum hourly count of 6 between 1300 and 1400, and the last Golden Eagle of the day was seen at 1636. Two Bald Eagles (1a, 1j) were considered to be non-migrants, and other birds noted included 3 Brown Creepers, 20 Bohemian Waxwings, 4 Dark-eyed Juncos and 1 Pine Grosbeak. Only 4 visitors came to the site, but all stayed for long periods and contributed to the locating of the migrants.

10 hours (517.6) GOEA 20 (2801), UE 2 (10) TOTAL 22 (3251)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 36] (Peter Sherrington) 0930-1700 (observation from the Waterton 61 well-site on the western flank of the ridge) and Raymond Toal 1230-1600 (observation from ridge 500 m north of Waterton 68 well-site).  The temperature was already 10C at 0930, rose to a remarkable high of 16C at 1500 and was 13C at the end of observation. Winds were W-WSW all day 35-40 gusting to 60 km/h and cloud cover was 60-80% altostratus, altocumulus and lenticular for most of the day that gave excellent viewing conditions. A total of 58 migrants of 4 species were counted between 0933 and 1641 comprising 4 Bald Eagles (3a, 1sa), 2 adult Northern Goshawks, 4 light morph Rough-legged Hawks and 48 Golden Eagles (38a, 6sa, 4j). Seventeen of the birds (1 Bald Eagle and 16 Golden Eagles were seen from the site 2 km to the west). Movement was steady throughout with maximum hourly counts of 12 between 1300 and 1400 and again between 1500 and 1600.

7.5 hours (218.1) BAEA 4 (140), NOGO 2 (69), RLHA 4 (241), GOEA 48 (1280) TOTAL 58 (2503)

 

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1130-1645. It was another beautiful day with a temperature of 13C, calm conditions and a cloudless sky, but the only migrants seen were 2 Golden Eagles: a juvenile at 1411 and an adult at 1440. A resident Golden Eagle also soared low in front of the ridge at 1600. The Polygonia butterfly, either a Hoary or Zephyr Comma, which was noted on November 5 was again present and spent ten minutes perched on the spotting scope.

5.25 hours (147.8) GOEA 2 (197) TOTAL 2 (617)

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

 

DAYS 49

HOURS 517.6

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 5

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 145

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 9

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 134

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 9

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 30

Accipiter sp. (UA) 13

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 5

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 26

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 23

Buteo sp. (UB) 8

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2801

Eagle sp. (UE) 10

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 4

MERLIN (MERL) 6

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 11

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2

Falco sp. (UF) 3

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 5

 

TOTAL 3251

 

November 9 [Day 50] (Joel Duncan, assisted by Rick Robb and Angela Luck) 0800-1715. It was yet another warm day with a temperature of 13C at 0800 that rose to a high of 16C at 1300 and was still 13C at the end of observation. Ground winds were WSW-SW 3-10 gusting 15 km/h to 1100 and 5-10 gusting to 47 km/h to 1500, after which it was calm to 1700 when winds switched to NW and gusted to 30 km/h; ridge winds were SW strong becoming light to moderate after 1500. Cloud cover was 80% altostratus on arrival, but after 1000 it was 0-10% to 1600 when 40-60% altocumulus and altostratus developed which brought light rain as the observers departed. The persistent November raptor movement continued with 54 migrants of 3 species moving between 0915 and 1625 comprising a season high 25 Bald Eagles (18a, 2sa, 7u), 1 dark morph unidentified Buteo, 27 Golden Eagles (18a, 2sa, 7u) and 1 unidentified eagle. Only 2 birds were seen to originate at Mount Lorette and the rest were located at the northern end of the Fisher Range where most birds glided high to very high to the SE. Maximum movement was between 1400 and 1500 that included the passage of 16 Bald Eagles. The November count of Golden Eagles is now 446 which is 106.3% above average for the month. Other birds were relatively scarce but included 6 Common Mergansers flying to the north, 1 Ruffed Grouse, 12 Bohemian Waxwings, 3 Pine Grosbeaks and 2 Common Redpolls. Four visitors were at the site today.

9.25 hours (526.9) BAEA 25 (170), UB 1 (9), GOEA 27 (2828), UE 1 (11) TOTAL 54 (3305)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 37] (Peter Sherrington) 0830-1700 (observation from ridge-top) and Raymond Toal, Denise Cocciolone-Amatto, Merilyn Liddell and Pat Lucas 1300-1600 (observation from ridge 500 m north of Waterton 68 well-site). The temperature reached a November high for Vicki Ridge of 16C between 1315 and 1500 from a low at 0900 of 11C and it was still 13C when I left at 1700. Winds were WSW 33-46 gusting to 60 km/h to 1400 when they shifted slightly to W-WSW 25-35 gusting to 51 km/h. Initial cloud cover was 40% altocumulus which reduced to 10% at 1300 after which it was cloudless for the rest of the day. There was another strong November raptor movement with 64 birds of 6 species recorded between 0906 and 1641 which includes 16 birds (4 Bald Eagles, 2 Northern Goshawks, 2 unidentified Accipiters, 2 Rough-legged Hawks and 6 Golden Eagles) recorded between 1300 and 1600 from the west ridge site. The combined count was 1 very late Osprey which soared over the ridge to the west at 1045 before gliding to the south, 13 Bald Eagles (10a, 2sa, 1j), 3 adult Sharp-shinned Hawks, 4 Northern Goshawks (3a, 1j), 2 unidentified Accipiters (1 large, 1 small), 4 Rough-legged Hawks (3 light, 1 dark) and 37 Golden Eagles (30a, 6sa, 1j). The busiest hour was 0900-1000 when 14 Golden Eagles were recorded, and counts were between 5 and 13 birds an hour throughout the rest of the day. Other birds on Vicki Ridge included 1 Northern Shrike, 127 Bohemian Waxwings, 2 Pine Grosbeaks and 6 Red Crossbills.

8.5 hours (234.1) OSPR 1 (3), BAEA 13 (153), SSHA 3 (514), NOGO 4 (73), UA 2 (6), RLHA 4 (245), GOEA 37 (1317) TOTAL 64 (2567)

 

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1500-1630. Observation was from the South Lakit site where the temperature reached 15C, winds were light SW then SE and cloud cover was 30-40% cumulus and lenticular. No migrant or resident raptors were seen.

1.5 hours (149.3) TOTAL 0 (617)

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

 

DAYS 50

HOURS 526.9

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 5

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 170

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 9

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 134

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 9

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 30

Accipiter sp. (UA) 13

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 5

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 26

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 23

Buteo sp. (UB) 9

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2828

Eagle sp. (UE) 11

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 4

MERLIN (MERL) 6

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 11

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2

Falco sp. (UF) 3

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 5

 

TOTAL 3305

 

 

November 10 [Day 51] (Blake Weis, assisted by Cliff Hansen) 0730-1755. It was yet another day of unseasonable warm weather with the temperature reaching a high of 14C at 1500 from a morning low of -4C and on departure it was still 8C. Ground winds were mainly SW 5-15 gusting to 25 km/h apart from before 1000 and again after 1700 when winds were light to calm, while ridge winds were SW all day, light to moderate to 1000, moderate to strong to 1200 and strong throughout the afternoon. Cloud cover was initially 70% altocumulus, cirrus, cirrostratus and altostratus that gradually dwindled to <5% at 1300 before increasing again and reaching 60% altostratus and altocumulus at the end of the day. Strong late-season eagle migration continued with 95 birds, 18 Bald Eagles (10a, 2sa, 3j, 3u) and 77 Golden Eagles (65a, 1sa, 6j, 5u), mainly moving high above the Fisher Range between 0902 and 1713. Thirteen of the Bald Eagles were seen between 0900 and 1100, and 62 of the Golden Eagles moved between 1500 and 1700. The Golden Eagle count in November has now reached 523 which is 142% above average for the month, while the combined species count of 631 is just over double (+102%) the average count. One Bald Eagle, 1 Northern Goshawk and 2 Golden Eagles, all adults, were considered to be resident or non-migrants, and amongst other birds seen there was a good variety of finches comprising 4 White-winged Crossbills, 1 Evening Grosbeak, 38 Common Redpolls and 1 Pine Siskin. A family group of 5were the only visitors to the site today.

10.42 hours (537.3) BAEA 18 (188), GOEA 77 (2905) TOTAL 95 (3400)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 38] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Doug and Teresa Dolmen) 0840-1650 (observation from ridge-top) and Raymond Toal 1250-1615 (observation from ridge north of the Waterton 68 well-site). There was frost on the ground at the bottom of the ridge but the temperature at the top was already 4C at 0900 and rose to a high of 13C at 1400, falling to 9C at the end of observation. There was finally a respite from strong winds and today they were W 0-16 km/h to 1315 after which they increased to W 16-28 km/h and became light again after 1630. Cloud cover was 100% cirrostratus and altocumulus to 1030 which diminished to 30% at 1200, and it was essentially cloudless with traces of cirrus until 1600 when 20% cirrus developed for the rest of the day. It is interesting to note that the winds east of the ridge were light ESE for most of the day. The conditions produced a strong and varied late-season raptor movement of 122 birds of 7 species that were seen between 0923 and 1627. The count comprised a season-high 64 Bald Eagles (48a, 9sa, 7j), 1 juvenile female Northern Harrier, 4 Sharp-shinned Hawks (2a, 2u), 2 adult Northern Goshawks 6 adult Red-tailed Hawks (calurus 4: 1 light, 1 rufous and 2 dark; harlani 2 dark), 24 Rough-legged Hawks (23 light, 1 dark) and 21 Golden Eagles (16a, 3sa, 2j). The count includes 11 birds (2a Bald Eagles, 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, 3 light Rough-legged Hawks and 4a Golden Eagles seen between 1319 and 1556 by Raymond on the ridge west of Vicki Ridge. During the same period 85 birds moved high above or to the east of Vicki Ridge. During the light wind conditions before 1315 movement was very slow and sporadic and lift was very poor (one Golden Eagle at 1225 soared more-or-less in the same spot for 12 minutes before gliding to the south!) and by 1300 only 14 birds had been counted. Once the wind velocity increased so did the rate of raptor movement which peaked at 46 birds between 1500 and 1600. Other birds on the ridge included 2 Pileated Woodpeckers, 1 Northern Shrike, 79 Bohemian Waxwings, 10 Red Crossbills and 16 Pine Siskins; and a single small Polygonia butterfly (probably a Hoary Comma) was on the wing. The respite from the strong winds appears likely to be short-lived, however, as winds gusting to 60 km/h are forecast for tomorrow, but it was sure nice while it lasted!

8.16 hours (242.2) BAEA 64 (217), NOHA 1 (15), SSHA 4 (518), NOGO 2 (75), RTHA 6 (114), RLHA 24 (269), GOEA 21 (1338) TOTAL 122 (2689)

 

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1400-1615. Observation today was from the Horseshoe Lake site which is situated at the north end of the Steeples ridge. At the site the temperature was 15C, it was calm and cloud cover was 5-30% altocumulus, cirrus and lenticular and the mountains were completely clear. The valley starting 1 km west of the site, however, was completely shrouded in low cloud and the temperature was only 4C. No migrants were seen, but a non-migrant adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk was at the site when Vance arrived.

2.25 hours (151.8) TOTAL 0 (617)

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

 

DAYS 51

HOURS 537.3

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 5

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 188

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 9

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 134

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 9

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 30

Accipiter sp. (UA) 13

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 5

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 26

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 23

Buteo sp. (UB) 9

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2905

Eagle sp. (UE) 11

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 4

MERLIN (MERL) 6

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 11

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2

Falco sp. (UF) 3

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 5

 

TOTAL 3400

 

 

November 11 [Day 52] (George Halmazna to 1200 and Blake Weis after 1200, assisted by Dan and Cindy Parliament) 0730-1745. The temperature reached a high of 14.5C at 1400 from a morning low of 10C, which was also the temperature at the end of observation. Ground winds were SW all day, 15-20 km/h to 1300, 5-15 gusting 30 km/h to 1500 and 0-15 km/h for the rest of the day; ridge winds were strong SW to 1600 after which they were moderate to strong. Cloud cover was 50-70% altostratus and altocumulus all day. As yesterday the raptor migration involved only the two eagle species with 12 Bald Eagles (8a, 2j and 2 undifferentiated immature birds) and 44 Golden Eagles moving between 0927 and 1720. One Bald Eagle flew low to the south over the centre of the valley, 2 birds used the western route and the rest generally glided very high above the Fisher Range, about 12 of which were seen to fly from Mount Lorette. Movement was steady throughout and peaked at 15 birds, 6 Bald and 9 Golden Eagles, between 1600 and 1700. Resident raptors were an adult Northern Goshawk and 2 adult Golden Eagles that flew from the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette against the flow of migrant traffic. Other birds were relatively scarce but included 27 Bohemian Waxwings and 13 Pine Siskins, and Remembrance Day brought a total of 26 visitors to the site.

10.25 hours (547.6) BAEA 12 (200), GOEA 44 (2949) TOTAL 56 (3456)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 39] (Peter Sherrington) 0840-1650 (observation from ridge-top) and Raymond Toal and Merilyn Liddell 1250-1425 (observation from ridge north of the Waterton 68 well-site).  The temperature at 0900 was 10C, rose to a high of 15C from 1300 to 1530 and was 13C at the end of observation. Winds were WSW all day generally 25-35 gusting to 50-65 km/h in the early afternoon, and cloud cover was 70-90% altostratus, cirrus, altocumulus, lenticular and cumulus all day which provided excellent viewing conditions. There was another strong late season raptor movement with 92 birds of 7 species migrating between 0840 and 1634. The flight was 14 Bald Eagles (7a, 3sa, 3j, 1u), 1 juvenile male Northern Harrier, 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, 2 adult Northern Goshawks, 1 adult dark morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 15 Rough-legged Hawks (12 light, 1 dark, 2u) and 58 Golden Eagles (47a, 6sa, 3j 2u). Raymond and Merilyn watching on the ridge to the west added 7 birds to the total in 1.25 hours of observation: 1a Bald Eagle, 1a Northern Goshawk, 1 light Rough-legged Hawk and 4a Golden Eagles. Forty birds were counted by 1100 with a high hourly count of 21 between 1000 and 1100, but the subsequent movement slowed and became more sporadic although each remaining hour produced between 5 and 14 migrants. The most surprising songbird migrant was a single American Robin that flew high to the south in the company of 5 Pine Siskins at 0931, and the only other migrants was a flock of 13 Red Crossbills. Plants still in flower on the ridge in the last couple of days include Long-stalked Starwort, Field Chickweed, Prairie Crocus, Common Harebell, Common Dandelion and Parry’s Townsendia.

8.16 hours (250.4) BAEA 14 (231), NOHA 1 (16), SSHA 1 (519), NOGO 2 (77), RTHA 1 (115), RLHA 15 (284), GOEA 58 (1396) TOTAL 92 (2781)

 

Steeples (Vance Mattson) No observation. Vance was at the site between 1400 and 1500 but everything was entirely fogged in and there was zero visibility.

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

 

DAYS 52

HOURS 547.6

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 5

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 200

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 9

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 134

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 9

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 30

Accipiter sp. (UA) 13

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 5

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 26

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 23

Buteo sp. (UB) 9

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2949

Eagle sp. (UE) 11

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 4

MERLIN (MERL) 6

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 11

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2

Falco sp. (UF) 3

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 5

 

TOTAL 3456

 

November 12 [Day 53] (Jim Davis, assisted by Ruth Morrow and Cliff Hansen) 0800-1630. The temperature was 8C at both the beginning and end of observation and reached a high at noon of 13C. After a calm first hour ground winds were SW 11-19 km/h, while ridge winds were very strong SW all day. Cloud cover was 50-70 % stratocumulus and altocumulus in the morning and 100% stratus in the afternoon. Cloud 50-80% obscured the western ridges after 0900 but the east remained clear all day. Rain fell all day with the exception of 1030-1320 during which time 15 of the day’s 20 migrant raptors were seen. The birds of 6 species moved between 0907 and 1538 and comprised 7 Bald Eagles (5a, 1sa, 1j), 2a Cooper’s Hawks that migrated together, 2a Northern Goshawks, 1 adult dark morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 7 Golden Eagles and 1u columbarius Merlin. Most birds appeared to be arriving at the northern end of the Fisher Range from the Heart Mountain area to the NNE and flew against the face of the mountain before kiting up quickly in the strong winds and gliding to the SE at a moderate altitude above the ridges. Other birds observed at the site included 2 Grey Jays mobbing a perched Boreal Owl, 50 Grey-crowned Rosy Finches, 1 Pine Grosbeak and a female Purple Finch. Twenty-eight visitors came to the site today but few lingered in the inclement weather.

8.5 hours (556.1) BAEA 7 (207), COHA 2 (11), NOGO 2 (32), RTHA 1 (27), GOEA 7 (2956), MERL 1 (7) TOTAL 20 (3476)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 40] (Peter Sherrington) 0845-1600 (observation from the Waterton 61 well-site on the western flank of the ridge). A high wind warning had me observing from the western flank of the ridge where the temperature was initially 10C, reached a high of 11.5C at 1100 and was 8C when the count was abandoned for the day at 1600. Winds were W-WSW all day, 20-50 km/h with peak gusts of 60-70km/h after 1300. Cloud cover was initially 60-70% altostratus and altocumulus with an ominous wall of black stratocumulus to the west that obscured Rocky Mountains. After 1100 this wall moved to the east bringing rain and gloom under the 80-100% cloud cover, but Vicki Ridge remained clear all day. A total of 35 migrants of only 4 species were seen between 0852 and 1444, 28 of which were recorded before noon. The flight was 11 Bald Eagles (8a, 3j), 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, 3 Rough-legged Hawks (2 light, 1 dark), 18 Golden Eagles (16a, 2sa) and 2 unidentified eagles. A low-flying adult Northern Goshawk was probably hunting and was regarded as a resident. The high winds are forecast to persist for at least the next two days so it is unlikely that I shall be on top of the ridge!

7.25 hours (257.6) BAEA 11 (242), SSHA 1 (520), RLHA 3 (287), GOEA 18 (1414), UE 2 (15) TOTAL 35 (2816)

 

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1230-1700. The temperature was 9C, winds were strong SW all day and cloud cover was 80-100% dark altostratus and cumulus that brought a brief light rain shower at 1445. A total of 8 eagles were counted between 1355 and 1645 comprising 1 adult Bald Eagle which was the last bird of the day, and 7 Golden Eagles (6a, 1j), 4 of which were seen between 1540 and 1554.

4.5 HOURS (156.3) BAEA 1 (220), GOEA 7 (204) TOTAL 8 (625)

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

 

DAYS 53

HOURS 556.1

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 5

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 207

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 9

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 134

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 11

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 32

Accipiter sp. (UA) 13

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 5

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 27

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 23

Buteo sp. (UB) 9

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2956

Eagle sp. (UE) 11

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 4

MERLIN (MERL) 7

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 11

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2

Falco sp. (UF) 3

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 5

 

TOTAL 3476

 

 

November 13 [Day 54] (Bill Wilson, assisted by Lori Anderson and Peter Perren) 0725-1725. Temperatures began to cool but still remained above seasonal normal reaching 7C at 1300 and 1400 from a morning low at 0900 of 4C, and was 5C at the end of observation. Ground winds were SW 2-10 gusting 20 km/h that increased to 33 km/h at the end of the day, while ridge winds were WSW strong to 1000 and moderate to strong for the rest of the day. Cloud cover was 0-10% cumulus to noon when 50% altostratus and lenticular developed that reached 100% at 1500 and then changed to 100% altostratus and cumulus for the rest of the day. The total of 15 migrant raptors counted between 0808 and 1637 was the lowest since October 28 and probably results from deteriorating weather conditions and the fact most birds may have already gone south. The count was 5 Bald Eagles (4a and 1 undifferentiated immature bird) and 10 Golden Eagles (7a, 2j, 1u). At least one bird moved during every hourly period, but the maximum count was only 3 birds between 0800 and 0900. The eagles moved either high or low above the Fisher Range and only 2 of the last 3 birds were seen to originate from Mount Lorette. Few other birds were seen or heard but included 1 Brown Creeper and 1 Golden-crowned Kinglet. Sunday brought 19 visitors to the site.

10 hours (566.1) BAEA 5 (212), GOEA 10 (2966), TOTAL 15 (3491)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 41] (Peter Sherrington) 0840-1630 (observation from the Waterton 61 well-site on the western flank of the ridge) and Raymond Toal and Merilyn Liddell 1250-1600 (observation from ridge north of the Waterton 68 well-site).  The temperature briefly reached a high of 8C at 1200 from a morning low of 6C and it was 5.5C at 1600. Winds were mainly W and occasionally WSW all day 50 to 65 gusting to 84 km/h to 1400 after which they moderated slightly to 30-40 gusting to 65 km/h for the rest of the observation period. Cloud cover was 0-20% cumulus and cirrus to 1100, but then quickly clouded over and was 100% altostratus, cirrostratus, cumulus and lenticular throughout the afternoon that thinned to 70% at 1600. Just 13 migrants were counted between 0907 and 1529 which is the lowest full-day count of the season. The count was 1 adult Bald Eagle, 1 adult dark morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 5 light morph Rough-legged Hawks and 6 Golden Eagles (5a, 1sa). Movement was very sporadic with 2-4 birds counted during even numbered hours and zero birds during the intervening odd numbered hours. Only 2 adult Golden Eagles were seen from the west ridge in 4.16 hours of observation. A resident adult Golden Eagle was seen to be hunting on a couple of occasions and a resident adult Northern Goshawk harassed a raven at 1344 seemingly just for the fun of it!

7.83 hours (265.5) BAEA 1 (243), RTHA 1 (116), RLHA 5 (292), GOEA 6 (1420) TOTAL 13 (2829)

 

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1030-1600. The temperature reached 7C, winds were strong SW and cloud cover began at 70% altocumulus and cumulus but by 1530 it was 100% stratus that produced light rain and overcast conditions that completely obscured the ridges by 1600. Only 4 migrant eagles were counted between 1202 and 1453: 2 adult Bald Eagles and 2 Golden Eagles. A Northern Pygmy-Owl perched in the forest adjacent to the site at 1502.

(1a, 1u) 5.5 hours (161.8) BAEA 2 (222), GOEA 2(206), TOTAL 4 (629)

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

 

DAYS 54

HOURS 566.1

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 5

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 212

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 9

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 134

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 11

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 32

Accipiter sp. (UA) 13

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 5

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 27

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 23

Buteo sp. (UB) 9

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2966

Eagle sp. (UE) 11

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 4

MERLIN (MERL) 7

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 11

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2

Falco sp. (UF) 3

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 5

 

TOTAL 3491

 

November 14 [Day 55] (Terry Waters, assisted by Patrick Farley, Jennifer Waters and Cliff Hansen) 1300-1600. The Mount Lorette area was completely obscured by low cloud and rain and sleet was steadily falling. By 1230 the situation had not improved so the observers moved to the Lusk Creek site which proved to be east of the rain front and where the temperature was 3C and winds were SW 20 gusting 30 km/h. There they recorded 9 migrant raptors between 1300 and 1500: 1 adult Bald Eagle, 1 dark morph Rough-legged Hawk and 7 Golden Eagles (1a, 6u).

3 hours (569.1) BAEA 1 (213), RLHA 1 (24), GOEA 7 (2973) TOTAL 9 (3500)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 41] (Peter Sherrington) 0840-1630 (observation from the Waterton 61 well-site on the western flank of the ridge). The temperature was 3C to 1500 reached a high of 4C at 1500 and 1600 and was 3.5C at 1700. The forecast high winds did not materialize until late in the afternoon when it was W-WSW gusting 50-60 km/h, but up to 1500 winds were mainly WSW 10-25 km/h. Cloud cover was 100% stratocumulus and cumulus all day except between 1400 and 1530 when there were brief periods when it cleared to 70-90%. Light to moderate rain persisted all day. Despite the miserable conditions Vicki Ridge remained clear and there was a migration of 11 birds between 1412 and 1615 comprising 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, 7 Rough-legged Hawks (5 light, 1 dark, 1u), 2 adult Golden Eagles and 1u columbarius Merlin. The forecast for tomorrow, which is the last day of the count, calls for periods of snow all day.

 

Steeples (Vance Mattson) No Observation. The mountains were completely obscured by low cloud.

8.5 hours (274) SSHA 1 (521), RLHA 7 (299), GOEA 2 (1422), MERL 1 (21) TOTAL 11 (2840)

 

Steeples (Vance Mattson)

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

 

DAYS 55

HOURS 569.1

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 5

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 213

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 9

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 134

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 11

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 32

Accipiter sp. (UA) 13

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 5

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 27

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 24

Buteo sp. (UB) 9

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2973

Eagle sp. (UE) 11

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 4

MERLIN (MERL) 7

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 11

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2

Falco sp. (UF) 3

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 5

 

TOTAL 3500

 

 

 

November 14 [Day 55] (Terry Waters, assisted by Patrick Farley, Jennifer Waters and Cliff Hansen) 1300-1600. The Mount Lorette area was completely obscured by low cloud and rain and sleet was steadily falling. By 1230 the situation had not improved so the observers moved to the Lusk Creek site which proved to be east of the rain front and where the temperature was 3C and winds were SW 20 gusting 30 km/h. There they recorded 9 migrant raptors between 1300 and 1500: 1 adult Bald Eagle, 1 dark morph Rough-legged Hawk and 7 Golden Eagles (1a, 6u).

3 hours (569.1) BAEA 1 (213), RLHA 1 (24), GOEA 7 (2973) TOTAL 9 (3500)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 42] (Peter Sherrington) 0830-1700 (observation from the Waterton 61 well-site on the western flank of the ridge). The temperature was 3C to 1500 reached a high of 4C at 1500 and 1600 and was 3.5C at 1700. The forecast high winds did not materialize until late in the afternoon when it was W-WSW gusting 50-60 km/h, but up to 1500 winds were mainly WSW 10-25 km/h. Cloud cover was 100% stratocumulus and cumulus all day except between 1400 and 1530 when there were brief periods when it cleared to 70-90%. Light to moderate rain persisted all day. Despite the miserable conditions Vicki Ridge remained clear and there was a migration of 11 birds between 1412 and 1615 comprising 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, 7 Rough-legged Hawks (5 light, 1 dark, 1u), 2 adult Golden Eagles and 1u columbarius Merlin. The forecast for tomorrow, which is the last day of the count, calls for periods of snow all day.

8.5 hours (274) SSHA 1 (521), RLHA 7 (299), GOEA 2 (1422), MERL 1 (21) TOTAL 11 (2840)

 

Steeples (Vance Mattson) No Observation. The mountains were completely obscured by low cloud.

 

November 15 [Day 56] (Brian McBride, assisted by Blake Weis and Cliff Hansen) 0745-1545. The temperature at 0800 was -4C, rose to a high of -2C between 1100 and 1400 and was -3C at the end of the count. This is the only time this season that the temperature has remained below freezing all day. Ground winds were NW <5 km/h all day, and ridge winds were light SW. Cloud cover was 100% stratus all day with the exception of a brief period around 1300 when it reduced to 80%. All ridges were initially clear but by 1000 they were all obscured and remained so all day. Very light snow started at 0900 that turned to heavy wet snow that deposited 2 cm between 1000 and 1100; light snow then fell to 1400 after which heavy snow deposited a further 2cm before the observers gave up on the day. No migrant or resident raptors were seen. Other birds seen included 2 flocks each of 45 Canada Geese that flew to the north, 2 unidentified gulls, 1 Golden-crowned Kinglet, 2 Bohemian Waxwings and 7 Common Redpolls. Unsurprisingly there were no visitors today.

8 hours (577.1) TOTAL 0 (3500)

Mount Lorette November summary (November 1-15), with variances to 1993-2015 averages (excluding 1997, 2002, 2006, 2007 and 2008) 15 days (+5.4%), 142.9 hours (+10.5%), Turkey Vulture 0, Osprey 0, Bald Eagle 105 (+39.3%), Northern Harrier 0, Sharp-shinned Hawk 6 (+200%), Cooper’s Hawk 2 (+142.9%), Northern Goshawk 4 (-39.3%), UA 1, Broad-winged Hawk 0, Swainson’s Hawk 0, Red-tailed Hawk 1 (+30.8%), Ferruginous Hawk 0, Rough-legged Hawk 5 (-22%), UB 0, Golden Eagle 591 (+173.3%), UE 4, American Kestrel 0, Merlin 1 (+142.9%), Gyrfalcon 0, Peregrine Falcon 2 (+325%), Prairie Falcon 1 (+466.7%), UF 1 TOTAL 731 (+133.9%). The Golden Eagle and combined species counts are the highest ever for November, and the Bald Eagle count is the fourth highest ever.

Vicki Ridge [Day 43] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Gord Petersen) 0800-1640 (observation from the Waterton 61 well-site on the western flank of the ridge). The temperature was 1C to 1300 with the exception of 1000 when it briefly dropped to 0C, but after 1400 it rose steadily and reached a high of 5C at 1640 when observation ceased. Winds were variable and light to 1400 after which they were SW steadily increasing to 25 gusting to 35 km/h after 1600. Cloud cover was 100% stratus and cumulus that produced snow to 1200 and rain to 1430 when the clouds began to break and diminished to 40% cumulus after 1530. Vicki Ridge remained clear all day except for brief periods of heavy snow in the morning, but probably because of the initially light winds the first migrant was not seen until 1417 as the westerly winds started to increase. Subsequently movement was strong and peaked at 16 migrants between 1500 and 1600, with the last bird of the season, a Rough-legged Hawk, logged at 1625. The count of 28 birds comprised 10 Bald Eagles (7a, 1sa, 2j), 1 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 14 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 2 Golden Eagles (1a, 1j) and 1 female columbarius Merlin. Two resident adult Golden Eagles hunted low against the western slope of the ridge and a resident adult Northern Goshawk was seen harassing up to three ravens at a time. The migration, which lasted for just over two hours, was lit by brilliant late-afternoon sunshine and provided a wonderful contrast to the gloom of the first six hours, and was a fitting climax to a very interesting fall count. Other birds seen included a single Common Loon that flew west over the southern end of the ridge at 1026 and a total of 360 Bohemian Waxwings including one flock of 200 birds.

8.67 hours (282.6) BAEA 10 (253), RTHA 1 (117), RLHA 14 (313), GOEA 2 (1424), MERL 1 (22) TOTAL 28 (2868)

Vicki Ridge November Summary 15 days (110.4 hours) Turkey Vulture 0, Osprey 1, Bald Eagle 156, Northern Harrier 4, Sharp-shinned Hawk 23, Cooper’s Hawk 0, Northern Goshawk 25, UA 6, Broad-winged Hawk 0, Swainson’s Hawk 0, Red-tailed Hawk 11, Ferruginous Hawk 0, Rough-legged Hawk 105, UB 0, Golden Eagle 445, UE 4, American Kestrel 1, Merlin 3, Gyrfalcon 1, Peregrine Falcon 2, Prairie Falcon 1, UF 1 TOTAL 785

Vicki Ridge Final Count Summary 43 days (282.6 hours) Turkey Vulture 1, Osprey 3, Bald Eagle 253, Northern Harrier 16, Sharp-shinned Hawk 521, Cooper’s Hawk 49, Northern Goshawk 77, UA 6, Broad-winged Hawk 7, Swainson’s Hawk 0, Red-tailed Hawk 117, Ferruginous Hawk 3, Rough-legged Hawk 313, UB 0, Golden Eagle 1424, UE 15, American Kestrel 17, Merlin 22, Gyrfalcon 1, Peregrine Falcon 13, Prairie Falcon 5, UF 1 TOTAL 2868

 

Steeples (Vance Mattson) No Observation. It snowed all day and the mountains were completely obscured.

Steeples November Summary 12 days (47.75 hours) Turkey Vulture 0, Osprey 1, Bald Eagle 48, Northern Harrier 1, Sharp-shinned Hawk 1, Cooper’s Hawk 0, Northern Goshawk 1, UA 0, Broad-winged Hawk 0, Swainson’s Hawk 0, Red-tailed Hawk 5, Ferruginous Hawk 0, Rough-legged Hawk 1, UB 0, Golden Eagle 25, UE 4, American Kestrel 0, Merlin 0, Gyrfalcon 0, Peregrine Falcon 0, Prairie Falcon 0, UF 0 TOTAL 83

Steeples Final Count Summary 37 days (161.75 hours) Turkey Vulture 1, Osprey 7, Bald Eagle 222, Northern Harrier 8, Sharp-shinned Hawk 103, Cooper’s Hawk 2, Northern Goshawk 9, UA 0, Broad-winged Hawk 0, Swainson’s Hawk 0, Red-tailed Hawk 49, Ferruginous Hawk 0, Rough-legged Hawk 11, UB 0, Golden Eagle 206, UE 15, American Kestrel 6, Merlin 2, Gyrfalcon 0, Peregrine Falcon 2, Prairie Falcon 1, UF 0 TOTAL 629

 

 

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15) (with percentage variances from the long-term averages for the period 1993-1996, 1998-2001, 2003-2005 and 2009-2015)

 

DAYS 56 (+2.6%)

HOURS 577.1 (+2.7%)

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0 (-100%)

OSPREY (OSPR) 5 (+91.5%)

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 213 (-11.5%)

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 9 (-15.2%)

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 134 (-2.8%)

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 11(-52.9%)

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 32 (-29%)

Accipiter sp. (UA) 13 (+98.3%)

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 5 (-21.1%)

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1 (+200%)

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 27 (-20.3%)

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1 (+200%)

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 24 (-54.9%)

Buteo sp. (UB) 9 (+184.2%)

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2973 (-14.2%)

Eagle sp. (UE) 11 (+241.4%)

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 4 (+63.6%)

MERLIN (MERL) 7 (-10%)

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0 (-100%)

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 11 (+92.2%)

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2 (=)

Falco sp. (UF) 3 (+116%)

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 5 (+25%)

 

TOTAL 3500 (-13.6%)


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