subscribe: Posts | Comments

Mount Lorette Raptor Count, 2016 Spring

With notes from the reconnaissance counts at Beaver Mines and Steeples

www.eaglewatch.ca

PETER SHERRINGTON

Introduction 2016 is the 25th consecutive year that a spring raptor count has been conducted at the Mount Lorette site. In 1992 an eight-day reconnaissance count at the site established that Golden Eagles moved to the northwest in significant numbers through the Rocky Mountain Front Ranges. Most of the birds moved along the Fisher Range, crossing the Kananaskis Valley to Mount Lorette before continuing their migration to the northwest. A 48 day (393 hour) count at the site in the spring of 1993 yielded 4140 migrating Golden Eagles and the following year a seventy day (649 hour) count produced 4213 birds which remains the highest spring count ever for the species at Mount Lorette. Between 1994 and 2007 extensive spring counts averaging 82 days (897 hours) were conducted at the site with a maximum count in 2005 of 94 days (1238 hours). Despite the steady increase in observer effort during this period, the number of migrating Golden Eagles counted has steadily and significantly decreased since 1995. In 2006 RMERF conducted it first complete fall count at the Piitaistakis-South Livingstone site near the Crowsnest Pass in SW Alberta and in 2008-10 also conducted full spring counts there. During this period extensive comparative counts were made at Mount Lorette between March 1 and April 15 which is coincident with the height of the Golden Eagle migration and during which period over 90% of the population moves north. Observer effort from 2008-10 at Mount Lorette averaged 43 days (487 hours) with a maximum count of 46 days (519 hours) in 2010 when no days were lost to inclement weather. In 2011 and subsequent years the count period was extended by 1 week (March 1 to April 22) and we will use the same period this spring.

Last year’s (2015) spring count saw a combined species passage of 2745 birds that was the second highest since 2006, as was the Golden Eagle count of 2459. It should be noted, however, that all counts from 1993-2006 exceeded these totals. The March combined species count of 2455 was just 2.8% below the long-term average for valid counts, but the April total of 290 was 50.8% below average and equaled the lowest ever April total. The Golden Eagle count of 2459 was 18.4% below average, but the highest single day count of 507 on March 20 was the second highest ever. Four species occurred in significantly higher than average numbers: Northern Harrier, Red-tailed Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk and Merlin, while 8 other species were significantly below average.

Last year’s reconnaissance count at Beaver Mines was extended to 39 days (209 hours) and produced 1798 migrants of 17 species, including a single day Golden Eagle count of 429 on March 19. This year will be the third consecutive count at the site which is conducted from Peter Sherrington’s house in Beaver Mines. The 2015 reconnaissance count at the Steeples count on the western flanks of the Rocky Mountains near Cranbrook, BC produced a count of 302 birds which is the lowest ever there, with record low counts of both Bald Eagle (81) and Golden Eagle (200). This year will be the seventh consecutive count at the site.

As last year in western Alberta this winter has been characterized by well above normal temperatures, below average snowfall and strong W-SW downslope “Chinook” winds and these conditions are forecast to extend into the first week of March. In Beaver Mines the first Bald Eagle was seen moving high to the north on February 11 and 3 Golden Eagles moved in a 45 minute period on February 14. At the Steeples site a four-day (13.5 hour) count between February 24 and 27 under clear, sunny, warm and calm conditions yielded a remarkable February count of 44 migrant raptors comprising 21 Bald Eagles (12a, 4sa, 5j), 1 adult Northern Goshawk and 22 Golden Eagles (21a, 1 late subadult).

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

SUMMARY OF RAPTOR SPECIES SPRING OCCURRENCES, MOUNT LORETTE (March 1-April 22. 1993-2014)
species average first occurrence earliest first occurrence average median passage date
TUVU 2 records only: 18 and 31-Mar
OSPR 17-Apr 9-Apr n/a
BAEA 4-Mar 1-Mar 28-Mar
NOHA 4-Apr 24-Mar (3-Mar anomalous) 13-Apr
SSHA 25-Mar 9-Mar (2-Mar anomalous) 13-Apr
COHA 1-Apr 16-Mar 13-Apr
NOGO 12-Mar 1-Mar 30-Mar
BWHA 3 records only: 13, 19 and 24-Apr
SWHA no records during the count period
RTHA 23-Mar 9-Mar 9-Apr
FEHA 3 records only: 6, 9, 15-Apr
RLHA 22-Mar 9-Mar 10-Apr
GOEA 2-Mar 1-Mar 23-Mar
AMKE 16-Apr 7-Apr n/a
MERL 21-Mar 6-Mar 5-Apr
GYRF 25-Mar 12-Mar n/a
PEFA 8-Apr 15-Mar n/a
PRFA 26-Mar 10-Mar n/a

 

March 1 [Day 1] (Brian McBride, assisted by Cliff Hansen) 0730-1800. The count started in a snow-free Kananaskis Valley bottom, with very little snow below the tree line on the Fisher Range to the east. The starting temperature was -2C which fell to -3C at 0900, rose to a high of 2C from 1300 to 1600 and was -1C at the end of observation. Ground winds were generally SW light with occasional gusts to 22 km/h, while ridge winds were SW light to moderate all day. Cloud cover was 100% altostratus and cumulus except at 1600 and 1800 when it reduced to 80% and the ridges were clear all day despite very light snow falling after 1700. Only 2 migrant raptors were seen: an adult Northern Goshawk flying north at 1258 and an adult Golden Eagle gliding NW from the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette at 1341. Other birds were also scarce and comprised an unidentified woodpecker flying to the north, 4 pairs of ravens and 12 White-winged Crossbills. A single elk was seen at the tree line at the northernmost ridge of the Fisher Range.
10.5 hours (10.5) NOGO 1 (1), GOEA 1 (1) TOTAL 2 (2)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1300-1700. It was a very pleasant day with temperatures of 5-6C, W winds 15-21, gusting to 35 km/h between 1400 and 1500 and cloud cover of 100% altostratus and cumulus that reduced to 80% between 1520 and 1630. I had to wait until 1450 for the first migrant, but then movement was fairly steady if sporadic with 11 birds migrating to the NW up to 1620: 1j Bald Eagle, 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk and 9a Golden Eagles. A flock of 70 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches flying high to the NW at 1530 were the only other obvious migrants.
4 hours (4) BAEA 1 (1), RLHA 1 (1), GOEA 9 (9) TOTAL 11 (11)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) No observation because of rain, low cloud and snow flurries. Conditions were the same on February 28 and 29.

March 2 [Day 2] (Joel Duncan, assisted by Rick Robb) 0900-1800. The starting temperature was 2C, rose to a high of 5C at 1500 and was 3C at 1800. Ground winds were SW 5-10 gusting up to 21 km/h, and ridge winds were moderate SW all day. Cloud cover was initially 50% cumulus and altocumulus that reduced to 20% at 1300 before increasing again to 70% by 1800: observing conditions were good all day. A season-high total of 10 migrants were counted between 1318 and 1651 comprising 1a Bald Eagle and 9 Golden Eagles (7a, 1 late sa, 1u). All birds glided high above the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette and on towards the NW. A Ruffed Grouse was seen, and heard drumming, and passerines included 2 Black-capped Chickadees, 4 Mountain Chickadees, 3 Boreal Chickadees and 1 Red-breasted Nuthatch.
9 hours (19.5) BAEA 1 (1), GOEA 9 (10) TOTAL 10 (12)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1300-1700. The temperature oscillated between 6C and 7C (4C above the normal high), winds were W-WSW 35-60 gusting to 80 km/h and cloud cover was 10-30% cumulus and altocumulus giving excellent observing conditions. Raptor movement was strong for early March with a total of 25 migrants moving between 1312 and 1637: 6 Bald Eagles (5a, 1sa), 5 Rough-legged Hawks (2 light, 2 dark, 1u) and 14 adult Golden Eagles. A Prairie Falcon at 1621 was not considered to be a migrant. Two American Robins feeding on the lawn completed the illusion of spring!
4 hours (8) BAEA 6 (7), RLHA 5 (6), GOEA 14 (23) TOTAL 25 (36)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) No observation.

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 2
HOURS 19.5

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

TOTAL 12

 

March 3 [Day 3] (Cliff Hansen, assisted by Kevin Barker) 0730-1830. The temperature rose to a high of 5C from 1300 to 1500 from a starting low of 1C, and was 2C at 1830. Ground winds were generally S-SE all day 3-10 km/h, gusting to 15 km/h after 1000, while ridge winds were moderate SW-WSW all day. Cloud cover was 100% stratus and cumulus to noon after which it began to break up to 80% at 1300 and diminished to 20% cumulus by 1830. All ridges were obscured to 0800 after which the east was 10-20% obscured to 1700 and then completely clear, while the west was 100 to 40% obscured for most of the day only fully clearing around 1800. The first migrant was a small unidentified raptor flying low to the north over the eastern side of the valley at 1040; the only subsequent migrants were 3 single adult Bald Eagles that flew low to the north against the face of the Fisher Range at 1249, 1253 and 1606. Other birds were scarce but included 2 Grey Jays, 1 Common Redpoll and, the highlight of the day, a Northern Shrike which caught a Meadow Vole at the southern end of the Hay Meadow and flew with it to a tree where it was photographed with the prey in its claws by Cliff.
11 hours (30.5) BAEA 3 (4), UU 1 (1) TOTAL 4 (16)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1315-1715. The temperature was 9C throughout the observation period, winds were WSW 50 gusting to 70 km/h and cloud cover was 30-60% altocumulus, cumulus and cirrus again giving excellent observing conditions. Despite the weather being almost identical to that of yesterday only three adult Bald Eagles glided high to the NW: at 1422, 1558 and 1643.
4 hours (12) BAEA 3 (12) TOTAL 3 (39)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1300-1700. The temperature ranged from 6 to 8C, winds were moderate S and cloud cover was 90% cumulus and altostratus that obscured the high ridges throughout the entire afternoon. No migrant raptors were seen, but a non-migrant Bald Eagle and a resident adult Golden Eagle were present.
4 hours (4) TOTAL 0 (0)

 

March 4 [Day 4] (George Halmazna, assisted by Blake Weis) 0645-1845. The temperature at 0645 was -1C, rose to a very pleasant high of 8C at 1600 and was still 6.5C at the end of observation. Ground winds were generally light SW but gusted to 30km/h between 1100 and 1300, while ridge winds were strong WSW after 1000. Cloud cover was initially 10% cirrus but quickly thickened to 90% cirrostratus, altostratus and cumulus by 1000 and varied between 30 and 100% cirrostratus, cirrus and cumulus for the rest of the day. All ridges were clear, but there was extensive blowing snow from the western mountains. A total of 6 migrants were tallied between 1338 and 1806 comprising 1 adult Bald Eagle and 5 adult Golden Eagles all of which traveled high as single birds. Only one birds was located over the Fisher Range, the rest being seen high over either Mount Lorette or Mount McGillivray suggesting that the birds traveled east of the Fisher Range and crossed the valley from the Wasootch Creek area. A resident Northern Goshawk called early in the morning suggesting that it is again occupying the territory in which a pair bred last year, and a resident adult Golden Eagle was also noted. Other birds seen included 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 1 Northern Shrike, 1 Pine Grosbeak, 1 White-winged Crossbill and 1 Pine Siskin, and a Red Fox was seen hunting small mammals in the Hay Meadow.
12 hours (42.5) BAEA 1 (5) GOEA 5 (15) TOTAL 6 (22)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1300-1745. The temperature was 11C throughout with the exception of 1600 when it reached 12C (9 degrees above normal for today!). Winds were mainly WSW 26-30 gusting 40-50 km/h, and cloud cover was 30-80% generally thin altocumulus, altostratus, cumulus and cirrus providing sun or hazy sun and excellent observing conditions. A season high total of 26 migrants were observed between 1337 and 1738 comprising 8 Bald Eagles (6a, 2sa) 6 light morph Rough-legged Hawks and 12a Golden Eagles. Movement was fairly sporadic with 7 birds passing from 1337 to 1400 and 6 from 1717 to 1738 but only a single bird between 1400 and 1503. A Northern Shrike perched in the yard for long enough for me to get some good photographs.
4.75 hours (16.75) BAEA 8 (18), RLHA 6 (12), GOEA 12 (35) TOTAL 26 (65)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1300-1730. The temperature was 12C throughout, winds were mostly S-SE moderate to strong and cloud cover ranged from 90% thin altostratus to 30% scattered cumulus. A total of 25 migrants moved fairly constantly between 1315 and 1702 of which 24 were adult Golden Eagles and there was also 1 subadult Bald Eagle. Most of the Golden Eagles moved in pairs. A resident adult Golden Eagle and 5 non-migrant Bald Eagles (2a, 1sa, 2j) were also seen in the area.
4.5 hours (8.5) BAEA 1 (1), GOEA 24 (24) TOTAL 25 (25)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 4
HOURS 42.5

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

TOTAL 22

 

March 5 [Day 5] (Jim Davis, assisted by Lori Anderson) 0645-1800. The starting temperature was 3C, rose to a high of 11C at 1500 and was still 10C at 1645 when steady rain caused the observation site to be moved down the valley to Barrier Lake. When observation ceased there at 1800 the temperature was 3C. It was calm to 1100 then SW 5-21 km/h to 1500 after which the winds shifted to the S; at Barrier Lake it was calm. Ridge winds were moderate SW to noon then mainly strong W causing blowing snow on the ridges in the afternoon. Cloud cover was 60-70% cumulus with altostratus developing at 1300. Cover diminished to 40% at 1400 then steadily increased to 100% stratus at 1600 bringing fog and rain. At Barrier Lake, which was beyond the cloud front, it was dry and calm. A season high total of 13 birds was recorded between 0835 (an adult Northern Goshawk) and 1604 when 2 Northern Harriers (1a female and 1 probable female juvenile) flew low from the Hay Meadow across the river in the rain, interacting as they moved. This is the second earliest record for the species ever at the site. No birds were seen at Barrier Lake. Other migrants were 3 adult Northern Goshawks and 8 Golden Eagles (7a, 1j) which moved in a haphazard pattern throughout the day, the first goshawk being the only bird to take the “normal” route from the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette. Peak movement was 1000-1110 when 2 Golden Eagles and a goshawk were seen. There was a good variety of other bird species in small numbers including 1 Northern Flicker, 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 4 American Robins, 13 Common Redpolls, 1 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finch (feeding on the ground with redpolls), 2 White-winged Crossbills and 12 Pine Siskins. The warm Saturday weather brought a season-high 29 visitors to the site.
11.25 hours (53.75) NOHA 2 (2), NOGO 3 (4), GOEA 8 (23) TOTAL 13 (35)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1200-1700. The temperature was initially 14C and was then 13C to 1440 when it dropped to 9C when a down-slope squall briefly brought 100% cloud and light rain, and then remained 9-10C for the rest of the day. Winds were WSW-W all day, 40 gusting to 63 km/h, and cloud cover ranged from 20% to 70% cumulus and altocumulus, with the Continental Divide and mountains to the SW obscured all day. Observing conditions were generally excellent and produced a total of 16 migrant raptors between 1234 and 1540 including the season’s first Red-tailed Hawk, an adult dark morph “Harlan’s Hawk” (B.j harlani) which is the earliest Red-tail ever recorded on an RMERF count. The other raptors were 3 light morph Rough-legged Hawks and 12 adult Golden Eagles. A dark morph Rough-legged Hawk hunting over the valley was a bird that has been occupying a winter range here since mid-November. A flock of 35 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches flew to the NW over the house at 1434.
5 hours (21.75) RTHA 1 (1), RLHA 3 (15), GOEA 12 (47) TOTAL 16 (81)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1300-1600. The temperature was 10C but felt cooler because of strong S winds and 100% altostratus and cumulus cloud cover that obscured the ridges all day. The only migrants seen were 4 adult Golden Eagles that moved north between 1408 and 1523, while a non-migrant adult Bald Eagle flew south at 1530.
3 hours (11.5) GOEA 4 (28) TOTAL 4 (29)

 

March 6 [Day 6] (Bill Wilson, assisted by Blake Weis, Karey Suchen and Cliff Hansen) 0645-1845. The temperature was 0C at 0700, rose to a high of 8C at 1500 and was 5C at the end of observation. Ground winds were 0-5km/h to 1400, then SW 5-15 gusting 20 km/h for the rest of the day, while ridge winds were SW moderate to strong in the afternoon. Cloud cover was 100% stratus to 1200 that produced light to moderate rain to 1100 and drizzle to 1400, after which it was dry for the rest of the day. The east ridges were 90-100% obscured to 1300 after which they quickly cleared, and the western ridges were 100% obscured to 1300 and were up to 10% obscured thereafter. Not surprisingly the first migrant, a juvenile Bald Eagle, was not seen until 1322. By 1700 17 Golden Eagles had been noted but between 1700 and 1823 a further 38 migrants passed,36 of which (3 Bald Eagles and 33 Golden Eagles) moved between 1700 and 1800. All the birds migrated from the Fisher Range NW to Mount Lorette at ridge level to 1700 after which they became progressively higher. The season-high count of 60 birds comprised 5 Bald Eagles (4a, 1j), 54 Golden Eagles (49a, 5u) and 1 unidentified eagle. Other birds seen included 1 female Pileated Woodpecker which perched on top of a spruce tree for 40 minutes, 1 Northern Shrike, 30 White-winged Crossbills and 1 drumming Ruffed Grouse, while Cliff found a female Belted Kingfisher at the ponds to the north of the site. Fifty-eight Elk fed in the meadow first thing in the morning, and 18 people visited the site throughout the day.
12 hours (65.75) BAEA 5 (10), GOEA 54 (77) UE 1 (1) TOTAL 60 (95)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1300-1800. There was light rain for much of the morning which stopped around noon. The temperature generally varied between 8 and 10C but reached a high of 12C at 1400 and was 7C at 1800. Winds were strong W-WSW 43-50 gusting to 76 km/h, cloud cover was 70% altostratus, altocumulus and cumulus to 1530 after which it was 90-100% altostratus, and there was a brief light rain shower from 1442 to 1450. Observing conditions were good throughout. Raptors were already moving when observation began with the first Golden Eagle seen at 1304 and when the last Bald Eagle was recorded at 1749 a season high total of 50 birds had been counted. The flight comprised 6 adult Bald Eagles, 4 Northern Goshawks (3a, 1u), 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk and 39 Golden Eagles (38a, 1sa). The birds moved steadily throughout the observation period with the 5 hourly counts being 10, 13, 12, 9 and 6. A flock of 90 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches flew to the NW over the house at 1540.
5 hours (26.75) BAEA 6 (24), NOGO 4 (4), RLHA 1 (16), GOEA 39 (86) TOTAL 50 (131)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) No observation: mountains obscured by cloud all day.

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 6
HOURS 65.75

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 10
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 2
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 0
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 4
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 0
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 0
Buteo sp. (UB) 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 78
Eagle sp. (UE) 0
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 0
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 1

TOTAL 95

 

March 6 [Day 6] (Bill Wilson, assisted by Blake Weis, Karey Suchen and Cliff Hansen) 0645-1845. The temperature was 0C at 0700, rose to a high of 8C at 1500 and was 5C at the end of observation. Ground winds were 0-5km/h to 1400, then SW 5-15 gusting 20 km/h for the rest of the day, while ridge winds were SW moderate to strong in the afternoon. Cloud cover was 100% stratus to 1200 that produced light to moderate snow to 1100 and drizzle to 1400, after which it was dry for the rest of the day. The east ridges were 90-100% obscured to 1300 after which they quickly cleared, and the western ridges were 100% obscured to 1300 and were up to 10% obscured thereafter. Not surprisingly the first migrant, a juvenile Bald Eagle, was not seen until 1322. By 1700 17 Golden Eagles had been noted but between 1700 and 1823 a further 38 migrants passed,36 of which (3 Bald Eagles and 33 Golden Eagles) moved between 1700 and 1800. All the birds migrated from the Fisher Range NW to Mount Lorette at ridge level to 1700 after which they became progressively higher. The season-high count of 61 birds comprised 5 Bald Eagles (4a, 1j), 55 Golden Eagles (50a, 5u) and 1 unidentified eagle. Other birds seen included 1 female Pileated Woodpecker which perched on top of a spruce tree for 40 minutes, 1 Northern Shrike, 30 White-winged Crossbills and 1 drumming Ruffed Grouse, while Cliff found a female Belted Kingfisher at the ponds to the north of the site. Fifty-eight Elk fed in the meadow first thing in the morning, and 18 people visited the site throughout the day.
12 hours (65.75) BAEA 5 (10), GOEA 55 (78) UE 1 (1) TOTAL 61 (96)

 

March 7 [Day 7] (Terry Waters, assisted by Pat Farley) 0730-1830. It was the coldest start to the day so far this season with a temperature of -5C at 0730 (not really cold at all!), that rose to a high of 5C at 1600 and was 0C at the end of observation. Ground winds were light SW all day with the highest gust of 15 km/h at 1300, while ridge winds were moderate SW all day. Cloud cover was initially 10% cumulus, by 1200 it was 50% cirrus which gradually spread to 80% by the end of the day, and the ridges were clear. The first migrant, an adult Bald Eagle, was not seen until 1145 but in the afternoon the pace quickly picked up and when the last migrant was seen at 1759 a season-high count of 184 birds had been achieved: 6 adult Bald Eagles and 179 Golden Eagles (68a, 4sa, 66u). This is the second earliest 100+ Golden Eagle day ever at the site behind the 134 counted on March 6 2006 (see chart below). Up to 1700 all the birds appeared at the northern end of the Fisher Range and glided high and fast to Mount Lorette and on to the NW. After 1700 the birds appeared to originate in the area of Wasootch Creek before moving to Lorette where they generally soared before gliding off to the NW; the biggest kettle seen at this time involved 8 Golden Eagles. The period 1700-1759 saw the passage of 83 migrants (3 Bald and 80 Golden Eagles) and because of the evening lighting conditions most of these birds went unaged. Other birds seen included the long-staying Northern Shrike, 2 Boreal Chickadees, 1 Red-breasted Nuthatch and 30 Pine Siskins, and 8 Bighorn Sheep untypically spent most of the day on the ridge at the northern end of the Fisher Range.
11 hours (76.75) BAEA 5 (15), GOEA 179 (257) TOTAL 184 (280)

 

Earliest 100 GOEA date
Mount Lorette 
1993 March 19 173
1994 March 11 126
1995 March 14 134
1996 March 13 121
1997 March 16 142
1998 March 14 121
1999 March 9 130
2000 March 8 171
2001 March 15 206
2002 March 24 253
2003 March 17 171
2004 March 14 149
2005 March 21 279
2006 March 6 134
2007 March 15 199
2008 March 16 210
2009 March 20 107
2010 March 12 129
2011 March 13 103
2012 March 19 180
2013 March 19 167
2014 March 18 204
2015 March 13 109
2016 March 7 179
Average March 15 162.38

 

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1030-1730. The temperature was 6C at 1030, rose to a high of 10C at 1500 and 1600 and was 8C at the end of observation. Winds were W-WSW throughout, 34-40 gusting to 50 km/h to 1600 and after diminishing to 20 gusting 30 km/h. Cloud cover was very variable ranging from 20% to 90% altostratus, cirrus, altocumulus and cumulus but always thin enough to give sunny periods or hazy sunshine throughout. The mountains to the SW including the Continental Divide were completely clear all day. A total of 73 migrant raptors were counted between 1100 and 1701 comprising 5 Bald Eagles (3a, 2j) 4 adult Northern Goshawks, 1 adult light morph Ferruginous Hawk (by far the earliest ever recorded on a RMERF count), 4 Rough-legged Hawks (3 light, 1 dark) and 59 adult Golden Eagles. Movement was steady between 1100 and 1600 with hourly counts ranging from 10 to 17 birds, but after the excitement of the Ferruginous Hawk soaring in mid-valley at 1559 only one further bird was seen: the last Golden Eagle at 1701. The main Golden Eagle movement obviously occurred farther to the west, probably along the Barnaby Ridge-Carbondale Ridge lineament which was clear all day, suggesting that the Beaver Mines route is, in fact, mainly a displacement movement for Golden Eagles when the ridges to the west are clouded over.
7 hours (33.75) BAEA 5 (29), NOGO 4 (8), FEHA 1 (1), RLHA 4 (20), GOEA 59 (145) TOTAL 73 (204)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) No observation.

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 7
HOURS 76.75

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 15
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 2
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 0
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 4
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 0
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 0
Buteo sp. (UB) 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 257
Eagle sp. (UE) 0
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 0
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 1

TOTAL 280

 

March 7 [Day 7] (Terry Waters, assisted by Pat Farley) 0730-1830. It was the coldest start to the day so far this season with a temperature of -5C at 0730 (not really cold at all!), that rose to a high of 5C at 1600 and was 0C at the end of observation. Ground winds were light SW all day with the highest gust of 15 km/h at 1300, while ridge winds were moderate SW all day. Cloud cover was initially 10% cumulus, by 1200 it was 50% cirrus which gradually spread to 80% by the end of the day, and the ridges were clear. The first migrant, an adult Bald Eagle, was not seen until 1145 but in the afternoon the pace quickly picked up and when the last migrant was seen at 1759 a season-high count of 143 birds had been achieved: 6 adult Bald Eagles and 138 Golden Eagles (68a, 4sa, 66u). This is the second earliest 100+ Golden Eagle day ever at the site behind the 134 counted on March 6 2006 (see chart below). Up to 1700 all the birds appeared at the northern end of the Fisher Range and glided high and fast to Mount Lorette and on to the NW. After 1700 the birds appeared to originate in the area of Wasootch Creek before moving to Lorette where they generally soared before gliding off to the NW; the biggest kettle seen at this time involved 8 Golden Eagles. The period 1700-1759 saw the passage of 83 migrants (3 Bald and 80 Golden Eagles) and because of the evening lighting conditions most of these birds went unaged. Other birds seen included the long-staying Northern Shrike, 2 Boreal Chickadees, 1 Red-breasted Nuthatch and 30 Pine Siskins, and 8 Bighorn Sheep untypically spent most of the day on the ridge at the northern end of the Fisher Range.
11 hours (76.75) BAEA 5 (15), GOEA 138 (257) TOTAL 143 (239)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1030-1730. The temperature was 6C at 1030, rose to a high of 10C at 1500 and 1600 and was 8C at the end of observation. Winds were W-WSW throughout, 34-40 gusting to 50 km/h to 1600 and after diminishing to 20 gusting 30 km/h. Cloud cover was very variable ranging from 20% to 90% altostratus, cirrus, altocumulus and cumulus but always thin enough to give sunny periods or hazy sunshine throughout. The mountains to the SW including the Continental Divide were completely clear all day. A total of 73 migrant raptors were counted between 1100 and 1701 comprising 5 Bald Eagles (3a, 2j) 4 adult Northern Goshawks, 1 adult light morph Ferruginous Hawk (by far the earliest ever recorded on a RMERF count), 4 Rough-legged Hawks (3 light, 1 dark) and 59 adult Golden Eagles. Movement was steady between 1100 and 1600 with hourly counts ranging from 10 to 17 birds, but after the excitement of the Ferruginous Hawk soaring in mid-valley at 1559 only one further bird was seen: the last Golden Eagle at 1701. The main Golden Eagle movement obviously occurred farther to the west, probably along the Barnaby Ridge-Carbondale Ridge lineament which was clear all day, suggesting that the Beaver Mines route is, in fact, mainly a displacement movement for Golden Eagles when the ridges to the west are clouded over.
7 hours (33.75) BAEA 5 (29), NOGO 4 (8), FEHA 1 (1), RLHA 4 (20), GOEA 59 (145) TOTAL 73 (204)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) No observation: overcast all day.

March 8 [Day 8] (Brian McBride, assisted by Cliff Hansen) 0700-1900. The temperature rose to a high of 4C from 1300 to 1600 from a morning low of -3C and fell to 1C at 1900. Ground winds were light and very variable but principally E and SE while ridge winds were moderate W all day. Cloud cover was cumulus and altostratus all day, initially 40% reaching 70% at 1400 and dwindling to 20% after 1600; the ridges were clear all day. The first migrants were 2 adult Golden Eagles at 0925 but subsequent movement was relatively slow until 1700-1800 when 21 Golden Eagles were seen and the last birds were 2 Golden Eagles at 1802. The flight was 2 adult Northern Goshawks and 49 Golden Eagles (45a, 4sa). Up to 1700 most birds passed along the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette but subsequently about 50% of the eagles were located at Mount Lorette and probably originated from the Wasootch Creek area. Non-migrant birds were the resident pair of Northern Goshawks, and an adult Bald Eagle that flew to the S above the Fisher Range. Only a few non-raptor species were seen including a flock of 30 White-winged Crossbills and a single Ruffed Grouse. Twenty-four students and 2 staff from Calgary’s Crescent Heights High School visited the site today.
12 hours (88.75) NOGO 2 (6), GOEA 49 (265) TOTAL 51 (290)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1100-1800. The temperature was 6C to 1600 and fell to 3C at 1800, winds were W-WSW 30-45 gusting up to 63 km/h all day, and cloud cover was 90-60% cumulus stratocumulus and altocumulus to 1500 after which it thinned from 30-10% cumulus. The cloud cover to 1500 was thin enough to provide hazy sunshine and sunny periods, and observing conditions were very good all day. The Continental Divide to the SW was cloud covered for much of the day often moving W to obscure Barnaby Ridge and occasionally Table Mountain. Raptor movement was steady from 1112 to 1500, at which time 28 migrants had been seen. The next 3 hours, however, produced 35, 40 and 23 birds respectively with the day’s last Golden Eagle gliding high to the NW at 1751, that brought the day’s count to a season-high 121 birds. Yet another exceptionally early migrant was the season’s first Sharp-shinned Hawk, an adult bird that mobbed a raven en route at 1712, and the rest of the count was 6 Bald Eagles (4a, 1sa, 1j), 3 Northern Goshawks (2a, 1u), 5 Rough-legged Hawks (4 light and 1 dark) and a season-high 106 Golden Eagles (102a, 4sa). Single resident pairs of Northern Goshawks and Golden Eagles were also observed late in the afternoon.
7 hours (40.75) BAEA 6 (35), SSHA 1 (1), NOGO 3 (11), RLHA 5 (25), GOEA 106 (251) TOTAL 121 (325)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1215-1715. The temperature was 6C with a strong W wind and 80-60% altostratus and cumulus cloud cover that obscured the ridges until 1500. Seven adult Golden Eagles were counted with pairs moving at 1545, 1605 and 1635, and a single bird going north at 1640. Two non-migrant adult Bald Eagles were also seen, and the first (resident) Red-tailed Hawk of the year hunted the fields on the way to the site.
5 hours (16.5) GOEA 7 (35) TOTAL 7 (36)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 8
HOURS 88.75

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 15
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 2
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 0
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 6
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 0
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 0
Buteo sp. (UB) 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 265
Eagle sp. (UE) 0
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 0
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 1

TOTAL 290

 

March 9 [Day 9] (Cliff Hansen, assisted by Kevin Barker) 0720-1900. The starting temperature was -4C, rose to a high of 5C at 1500 and was 1C at the end of observation. Ground winds were mainly S-SSW, 3-10 gusting 20 increasing to 10-15 gusting 30 at 1500 and becoming light in the late afternoon, while ridge winds were WSW-W moderate to strong all day. Cloud cover was 10-40% cumulus to 1500 after which cirrus cloud also began to develop reaching 70% cirrus and cumulus at 1700. Observing conditions were good to excellent all day except in the late afternoon when lighting conditions precluded the age identification of the high-flying eagles. Single adult Golden Eagles at 0805 and 0938 were probably coming off overnight roosting sites and concerted movement did not start until just before noon when 9 Golden Eagles were counted between 1151 and 1200. Migration then became steady peaking at 1600-1700 and 1700-1800 when 37 and 29 Golden Eagles were seen respectively, and a further 17 flew between 1800 and 1854. All birds moved high above the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette where the majority of the birds were located and counted.  The count of 145 raptors comprised 5 Bald Eagles (3a, 2j) and a season-high 140 Golden Eagles (105a, 1sa, 34u). Other birds were scarce and included a calling Pileated Woodpecker, and no visitors were present to enjoy a rather good day of eagle migration.
11.67 hours (100.4) BAEA 5 (20), GOEA 140 (405) TOTAL 145 (435)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Denise Cocciolone-Amatto, Dawn Hall, Pat Lucas and Nel van Kamer) 1140-1810. The temperature at 1140 was 5C, rose to a high of 7C at 1400 and was 3C at the end of observation. Winds were WSW 30-35 gusting 55 km/h to 1330 then W 30-40 gusting to 60 km/h for the rest of the day. Cloud cover was 30-60% cumulus to 1400 after which it was cumulus, altostratus and cirrostratus which thickened from 70% at 1500 to 100% at the end of observation. The Continental Divide to the SW was obscured to 1630 after which it cleared, and the down-slope cloud front periodically shifted to obscure the Barnaby-Carbondale lineament and at 1450 even produced a very brief flurry at the site. A medical appointment in the morning delayed the start of observation to 1140 when birds were already migrating, and 7 Golden Eagles were counted by 1200. Movement continued to be fairly steady throughout the day and was remarkably varied for the time of year with a total of 108 migrants of a season-high 7 (and possibly 8) species seen between 1144 and 1757. The flight comprised a season-high 13 Bald Eagles (10a, 3j), the season’s first Northern Harrier, an adult female at 1647, 2 adult Northern Goshawks, 1 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk (the first record of the subspecies this season), 4 light morph Rough-legged Hawks (all of which moved between 1547 and 1551), 1 undifferentiated dark morph Buteo, 81 Golden Eagles (78a, 3sa), 2 Prairie Falcons (1354 and 1608: the first for the season) and 3 small unidentified raptors that flew very high against thick cloud between 1517 and 1534 which could have been Sharp-shinned Hawks. Peak count was 24 birds (23 Golden Eagles) between 1400 and 1500, and movement became sporadic after 1700. The relatively low Golden Eagle total compared to the 140 counted at Mount Lorette today suggests that there was also significant movement of this species on the ridges to the west.
8.5 hours (49.25) BAEA 13 (48), NOHA 1 (1), NOGO 2 (13), RTHA 1 (2), RLHA 4 (29), UB 1 (1), GOEA 81 (352), PRFA 2 (2), UU 3 (3) TOTAL 108 (433)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) No observation.

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 9
HOURS 100.4

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 20
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 2
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 0
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 6
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 0
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 0
Buteo sp. (UB) 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 405
Eagle sp. (UE) 0
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 0
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 1

TOTAL 435

 

March 10 [Day 10] (Jim Davis, assisted by Rick Robb) 0700-1615. The starting temperature was 2C, reached a high of 6C at 1400 and was 2C again at the end of observation. Ground winds were SW to 20 km/h until 1400 after which they were light SW then NW and finally SE, while ridge winds were strong SW except between 0900 and 1100 when they were very strong, and after 1300 when they were strong NW. Cloud cover was 70% stratus with minor cumulus to 1000 and then 100% stratus for the rest of the day and with the exception of 1400-1500 rain and snow fell all day, and very heavy snow fell after 1500. The eastern ridges were clear between 1100 and 1300 but otherwise obscured and the western ridges were 50-70% obscured to 1000 and subsequently 100% obscured. Between 0936 and 0954 10 Golden Eagles moved from the Wasootch Creek area to Mount Lorette. The observers moved to Wasootch between 1100 and 1200 where they observed 2 adult Bald Eagles and an adult Golden Eagle move towards Lorette, and then returned to the Hay Meadow site. Between 1444 and 1500 4 more Golden Eagles moved from the Fisher Range to Lorette before heavy snow precluded the possibility of further migration. The final count was 2 adult Bald Eagles and 18 Golden Eagles (14a, 1sa, 3u). Other birds seen included a Northern Shrike, 1 American Robin, a pair of White-winged Crossbills and 4 male Pine Grosbeaks, and despite the weather there were 4 visitors to the site.
9.25 hours (109.7) BAEA 2 (22), GOEA 18 (423) TOTAL 20 (455)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 0730-0900 and 1130-1800. The starting temperature was 6C, rose to a high of 11C at 1130 and was 5C at 1800. Winds were mainly WSW-SW 20-50 gusting to 67 km/h that moderated to less than 40 km/h after 1700. Cloud cover from 0730-0900 was 20% altostratus and altocumulus, but all the ridges to the SW were obscured. At 0900 I had to go to Pincher Creek and when I resumed counting at 1130 cloud cover was 100% stratus and it was raining. The stratus persisted for the rest of the day and with a few breaks the rain persisted and turned to sleet after 1445. At 1630 the rain and sleet stopped by 1645 the “Big Hill” was clear and by 1700 all the ridges to the SW, including the Continental Divide, were clear. Between 0731 and 0818 I saw 3 adult Northern Goshawks and 8 (7a, 1u) Golden Eagles, and between 1241 and 1307 I added another adult Northern Goshawk and 4 adult Golden Eagles. No further migrants were seen even after the ridges cleared.
8 hours (57.25) NOGO 4 (17), GOEA 10 (342) TOTAL 14 (447)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1330-1630. The temperature was 6C, winds were strong SW and cloud cover was 50-100% altostratus and cumulus all day giving sunny periods. The ridges were partially obscured throughout the observation period and no migrant raptors were observed. Despite the lack of migrants, a total of 8 adult Bald eagles were recorded including 5 between 1400 and 1410 gliding, soaring and interacting over the south flank of Bill Nye peak. Three Golden Eagles were also seen between 1500 and 1530, including the first seasonal sighting of a juvenile bird, all of which appeared to be hunting along the ridges. The first 2 Mountain Bluebirds were seen on the way to the site, and there wer 66 Tundra Swans on the Wasa wetlands.
3 hours (19.5) TOTAL 0 (36)

March 11 [Day 11] (Joel Duncan, assisted by Blake Weis) 0800-1900 The temperature high was 8C at 1600 from a morning low of 1C, when there was 1 cm of fresh snow on the ground, and it was 4C at the end of observation. Ground winds were SW 5-10 gusting to 27 km/h to 1530 after which they were calm or light, and ridge winds were SW strong to 1530, then moderate to 1800 and after were light. Cloud cover was mainly cirrus which increased from 10% at 0900 to 80% at 1500, after which it was 100% altostratus and cirrus for the rest of the day. A total of 57 migrants moved mainly along the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette between 1033 and 1731 comprising 1 adult Bald Eagle and 56 Golden Eagles (55a, 1u). The resident pair of Northern Goshawks were seen several times during the day, and an adult non-migrant Bald Eagle was also present. A good variety of songbirds were present in small numbers, and there were 5 visitors to the site.
11 hours (120.7) BAEA 1 (23), GOEA 56 (479) TOTAL 57 (512)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 0745-1815. The temperature rose from 0C, with about 2 cm of fresh snow on the ground, to a high of 11C at 1400 and was 7C at 1800, winds were mainly W 30-40 gusting to 50 km/h diminishing to < 30 km/h in the afternoon, and becoming light N-NW after 1700. It was cloudless to start and altostratus and altocumulus formed after 0900 that reached 40% at 1100 and 1200 before completely clearing at 1230. By 1400 it was 70% altostratus and altocumulus and after 1500 it was 100% thick altostratus for the rest of the day. All ridges were clear all day. The first Golden Eagle was seen at 0751 but movement was very slow and by 1400 only 11 migrants had been seen. The next 2 hours saw the movement of 17 and 19 birds respectively but after 1600 only 3 more birds were seen with the last moving at 1659. The flight of 50 migrants was 3 adult Bald Eagles, 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, a season-high 11 Rough-legged Hawks (10 light and 1 dark) and a disappointing 35 Golden Eagles (30a, 2sa, 1j, 2u).
10.5 hours (67.75) BAEA 3 (51), SSHA 1 (1), RLHA 11 (40), GOEA 35 (37) TOTAL 50 (497)

A group from the Crowsnest Pass Conservation Society (Denise Cocciolone-Amatto, Raymond Toal, Chip Reed, and Karen and Doug Nicholson) were on Vicki Ridge between 1030 and 1530 where they saw 35 migrant raptors: 4 adult Bald Eagles, 1 adult male Northern Harrier, 1 dark morph Rough-legged Hawk and 29 Golden Eagles (25a, 3sa, 1j). Unfortunately, passage times were not noted but it seems likely that most, if not all, of these birds were different from the ones seen at Beaver Mines, suggesting that birds were moving on a wide front.

Farther north, east of the Livingstone Range, David McIntyre and Monica Field were hiking about 7 km east of the crest of the range and saw 31 adult Golden Eagles heading due north between 1523 and 1535, paralleling the mountains. On the walk back home further birds were seen and David estimates that at least 40 Golden Eagles moved between 1523 and 1600. Not a single bird was seen on the crest of the Livingstone Range during this period.

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1200-1800. The temperature high was 12C, winds were calm or light and cloud cover varied from 70%-100% thin altocumulus and altostratus giving sunny periods. The count was a season-high 63 migrant raptors of which 60 were Golden Eagles (58a, 1sa, 1j), the other birds being 2 juvenile Bald Eagles and an adult Northern Goshawk. The first migrant, an adult Golden Eagle, moved north at 1250, but movement did not pick up until 1400-1500 when 22 migrants were seen and 1500-1600 which produced another 29 birds. Thereafter movement slowed and the last bird, an adult Golden Eagle soared and moved to the north at 1745. The calm conditions produced much flapping flight and two birds perched, one for an hour and the other for 30 minutes, before resuming their flight. Non-migrant birds were 6 Bald Eagles (3a, 2sa, 1j) and 1 subadult Golden Eagle which was seen three times during the observation period.
6 hours (25.5) BAEA 2 (3), NOGO 1 (1), GOEA 60 (95) TOTAL 63 (99)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

DAYS 11
HOURS 120.7

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 23
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 2
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 0
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 6
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 0
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 0
Buteo sp. (UB) 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 479
Eagle sp. (UE) 1
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 0
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 1

TOTAL 512

 

March 12 [Day 12] (Jim Davis, assisted by Lori Anderson and Cliff Hansen) 0700-1845. The temperature was 0C at 0700, rose to a high of 10C at 1600 and was 7C at the end of the observation period. Ground winds were calm to 0900 then a fairly constant SW 15-20 km/h for the rest of the day, while ridge winds were moderate SW for most of the day becoming light to moderate after 1300. Cloud cover was initially 50-70% stratus with lenticular cloud developing at 0900 and from 1100 onwards it was 100% stratocumulus and cumulus. The western ridges were 30-50% obscured after 1000 while the east was clear all day, and observing conditions were good all day. The day produced a season-high total of 319 migrant raptors between 0737 and 1715, with steady movement throughout the day which peaked at 1200-1300 when 68 birds were seen. The flight comprised a season-high 12 Bald Eagles (8a, 2sa, 2j), the season’s first 2 (unaged) Sharp-shinned Hawks, 2 adult Northern Goshawks, 6 Rough-legged Hawks (3light and 3 dark) which were also the season’s first, a season-high 296 Golden Eagles (267a, 2sa, 11j, 16u) and 1 unidentified eagle. To 1100 most birds moved from the Wasootch area to Mount Lorette except for 9 birds on the western ridges, 2 over the western part of the valley and 4 over the central part of the valley; after 1100 with only a few exceptions all birds moved high from The Fisher Range to Mount Lorette where most soared high before gliding high to the NW. Other birds included an adult Northern Shrike (the long-staying bird reported earlier retained traces of juvenile plumage), and first seasonal records of Varied Thrush (3), Mountain Bluebird (1 male) and Red-winged Blackbird (1 male). A large Bighorn ram was at the northern end of the Fisher Range, 2 American Elk stags fed in the meadow in the early morning and a total of 18 visitors shared a rather good day.
11.75 hours (132.4) BAEA 12 (35), SSHA 2 (2), NOGO 2 (8), RLHA 6 (6) GOEA 296 (775), UE 1 (2) TOTAL 319 (831)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 0730-1800. The starting temperature was 4C rose to a high of 12C at 1100 and 1200 and was 4C at 1800 after an hour of steady rain. Winds were light to 0900 then WSW-W for the rest of the day, 30-40 gusting to 70 km/h and cloud cover was mainly70-100% altostratus and cumulus except around 1500 when it briefly reduced to 50%, and 1700-1800 when it was uniform stratus that produced the rain. The Continental Divide was completely or substantially obscured throughout the day but the other ridges to the east were clear. It was a very disappointing day with only 12 migrants seen between 1004 and 1646: 1 adult Bald Eagle, 2 adult Northern Goshawks, 6 light morph Rough-legged Hawks and only 3 adult Golden Eagles. There was obviously plenty of activity along the ridges to the SW.
10.5 hours (78.25) BAEA 1 (52), NOGO 2 (19), RLHA 6 (46), GOEA 3 (380) TOTAL 12 (509)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1415-1615. It rained in the morning and the mountains were cloud-covered until 1400 after which they cleared until the rain returned at 1615. The temperature was 8C, wind was moderate W and cloud cover was 100% stratus. Only 3 migrants were seen: 1j Bald Eagle and 2a Golden Eagles.
2 hours (27.5) BAEA 1 (4), GOEA 2 (97) TOTAL 3 (102)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 12
HOURS 132.4

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 35
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 2
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 2
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 8
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 0
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 6
Buteo sp. (UB) 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 775
Eagle sp. (UE) 2
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 0
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 1

TOTAL 831

 

NOTE: CHANGE TO MOUNTAIN DAYLIGHT TIME (+ 1 hour). ALL SUBSEQUENT TIMES ARE NOW MDT.

March 13 [Day 13] (Bill Wilson, assisted by Blake Weis and Cliff Hansen) 0750-2020. The temperature at 0800 was -1C, rose to a high of 4.5C at 1500 and was 1C at the end of observation. Ground winds were ESE 5-10 gusting 17 km/h to 1100, then SW 5-15 gusting to 41 km/h becoming light after 1900, while ridge winds were SW moderate to strong all day. Cloud cover was initially 100% stratus that obscured the mountains and brought moderate to heavy snow that became light at 0900 and finally stopped at 1100, leaving 3 cm of fresh snow on the ground which had largely melted from the Hay Meadow by the end of the day. The eastern ridges were clear by 1100 and the west by 1400. After 1100 cloud cover was 50-60% cumulus and altostratus to 1800 when it thickened to 90%. It was another strong day of mainly Golden Eagle migration with 208 birds (157a, 5sa, 46u) moving between 1006 and 1930. Other migrants seen were 4 adult Bald Eagles and 1 adult Northern Goshawk giving a total of 213 migrants. Maximum passage was 1700-1800 when 70 Golden Eagles were counted, and movement was steady throughout the day once the snowfall had diminished. With the exception of a couple of birds movement was exclusively along the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette with most birds gliding high, and only a few soaring above the Fisher Range after 1600. Probably because of the morning weather other birds were relatively scarce but included the season’s first American Crows (2), 1 Brown Creeper, 17 White-winged Crossbills in two flocks and 10 Common Redpolls. Forty American Elk fed in the meadow early in the morning, and the morning weather was probably responsible for only 5 visitors to the site today.
12.5 hours (144.9) BAEA 4 (39), NOGO 1 (9), GOEA 208 (983) TOTAL 213 (1044)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 0330-1830. The temperature at 1230 was 4C, rose to a high of 7C from 1500 to 1700 and was 5C at 1830. Winds were, as usual, WSW-W 30-50 gusting to 63 km/h diminishing to < 30 km/h after 1700, and cloud cover was 20-30% cumulus to 1500 when there was a brief cloudless period after which it rapidly thickened to 80-100% altostratus and cumulus for the rest of the day. The ridges to the SW were clear until 1800 when the Continental Divide became obscured. It was an interesting but very sporadic migration involving 7 species that moved between 1241 and 1819, with 25 of the day’s 45 migrants occurring between 1400 and 1500. Twenty-seven of the day’s 29 Golden Eagles (28a, 1sa) flew high to the NW between 1322 and 1516 and, apart from the first and last birds of the day, no others were seen and presumably the movement was otherwise west of the site. After 1500, however, there was the following interesting procession of birds: 1516 1 adult Golden Eagle, 1519 2 adult Bald Eagles, 1523 1 adult light morph Ferruginous Hawk, 1526 1 Prairie Falcon and 1527 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk. The final count was 5 adult Bald Eagles, 1 adult male Northern Harrier, 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 1 Ferruginous Hawk, 7 Rough-legged Hawks (6 light, 1 dark) 29 Golden Eagles and 1 Prairie Falcon.
6 hours (84.25) BAEA 5 (57), NOHA 1 (2) NOGO 1 (20), FEHA 1 (2), RLHA 7 (53), GOEA 29 (409) PRFA 1 (3) TOTAL 45 (554)

Steeples (Vance Mattson, assisted by Virginia Rasch) 1230-1800. The temperature was 6C, winds were W strong that until the end of observation when it became calm and cloud cover was 60% cumulus becoming 100% stratus as cloud began to drape the ridges which were completely obscured by 1730. A total of 11 adult Golden Eagles migrated to the north between 1340 and 1722, and 8 non-migrant Bald Eagles (6a, 1sa, 1j) moved to the south. Resident Golden Eagles were also seen on three occasions.
5.5 hours (33) GOEA 11 (108) TOTAL 11 (113)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 13
HOURS 144.9

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 39
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 2
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 2
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 9
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 0
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 6
Buteo sp. (UB) 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 983
Eagle sp. (UE) 2
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 0
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 1

TOTAL 1044

 

March 14 [Day 14] (Terry Waters, assisted by Patrick and Patricia Farley and Cliff Hansen) 0800-1900. There was little temperature variation with -2C at the start, a high of 2C at 1700 and 1C at the finish. Ground winds were SW 5-15 all day with gusts to 20 km/h around 1300, and ridge winds were strong SW-W all day. Initial cloud cover was 100% stratus that became 90% stratocumulus by 1100, 50% scattered cumulus at 1300, 30% cumulus and cirrus at 1600 and 10% cirrus at the end of observation, giving good observing conditions throughout. Snow, that obscured all ridges, fell from 1000 to 1100 and the west remained obscured to 1300. After two days of strong Golden Eagle movement expectations were high today, but the first migrant did not appear until 1215 and by 1640 just 33 Golden Eagles (26a, 1sa, 1j, 5u) had been counted with peak movement of 14 birds between 1200 and 1300. Although conditions remained good for the rest of the day no further migrants were seen, although at 1830 a resident Golden Eagle displayed above the centre of the valley. Other birds were also scarce and included 2 singing Varied Thrushes and a pair of Red Crossbills, as were visitors that just numbered two today.
11 hours (155.9) GOEA 33 (1016) TOTAL 33 (1077)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1015-1515, 1630-1830. The starting temperature was 2C, rose to a high of 6C at 1300 and was 4C at the end of observation. Winds were WSW-W 45-50 gusting to 75 km/h to 1600 after which they were WNW-W 30-50 gusting 60 km/h, and cloud cover was 30-10% cumulus to 1400 after which it thickened to 70-80% altostratus and cumulus for the rest of the day. I had to suspend the count between 1515 and 1630 to attend a meeting, and during this period it snowed between 1545 and 1620 so probably few birds were missed. Raptor movement was slow but remarkably regular with single and occasionally 2 eagles gliding high to the NW about every 15 minutes. The final count was 3 Bald Eagles (2a, 1j), 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 27 adult Golden Eagles and, at 1735, the first Merlin of the season, an adult female of the race columbarius. The last Golden Eagle was seen at 1813.
7 hours (91.25) BAEA 3 (60), NOGO 1 (21), GOEA 27 (436), MERL 1 (1) TOTAL 32 (586)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) No observation.

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 14
HOURS 155.9

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 39
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 2
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 2
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 9
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 0
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 6
Buteo sp. (UB) 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1016
Eagle sp. (UE) 2
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 0
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 1

TOTAL 1077

 

March 15 [Day 15] (Jim Davis, assisted by Phil Quinn and Cliff Hansen) 0800-2010. The morning temperature low was -2C, reached a high of 4C at 1500 and was 0C at 2010. Ground winds were very light or calm all day except at 1300 when a gust of 12 km/h was recorded, and ridge winds were NW all day, light to 1200 after which they were moderate for the rest of the day, Cloud cover was 90-70% stratus and cumulus to 1800 after which it rapidly cleared and by the end of observation it was only 10%. The western ridges were 20-50% obscured by snow between 1400 and 1700 but otherwise ridges were clear all day. The day’s first migrant at 0926 was an adult male Merlin showing the character of F.c suckleyi (“Black” Merlin) which flew low (about 10 m) above the observers to the north above the centre of the valley. This is the first record of this race for the site. The subspecies is mainly coastal, but there are scattered inland winter records for northern Idaho and Montana, and I recorded a perched adult male showing this form at Frank on October 10 2009 during the fall 2009 Piitaistakis-South Livingstone count. Movement was initially slow with only 3 birds seen by 1300 and 26 by 1800, but the next two hours saw the passage of 28 and 32 birds respectively to give a final total of 86. The flight was 7 Bald Eagles (3a, 4sa), 1 adult Northern Goshawk, the season’s first Red-tailed Hawk, an adult light morph of the race calurus, 4 Rough-legged Hawks (3 light, 1 unknown), 72 Golden Eagles (64a, 2sa, 1j, 54u) and the season’s first Merlin. Apart from 4 birds all the eagles glided high from the northern end of the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette. Other birds included a flock of 28 Canada Geese migrating high towards the north, 2 drumming Ruffed Grouse, 3 American Three-toed Woodpeckers (located by Cliff near the wetlands north of the site), 3 Northern Flickers, 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 2 Northern Shrikes (one of which retained some juvenile plumage, but was not the same bird as reported earlier), 1 Varied Thrush, 1 American Robin, 3 Dark-eyed [Oregon] Juncos, 2 White-winged Crossbills, 14 Common Redpolls and 75 Pine Siskins. Two tourists from Northern Ireland were the only visitors to the site; they had previously been here 10 years ago during the fall migration.
12.16 hours (168.1) BAEA 7 (46), NOGO 1 (10), RTHA 1 (1), RLHA 4 (10), GOEA 72 (1088), MERL 1 (1) TOTAL 86 (1163)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1020-1800. The starting temperature was 2C, rose to a high of 6C at 1500 and fell to 2C at 1800. Winds were mainly WSW-W (occasionally WNW) 30-45 gusting to 60 km/h, and cloud cover was 80% altostratus, altocumulus and cirrus to 1100, then mainly 20-60% cumulus and altostratus for the rest of the day, giving good to excellent viewing conditions throughout. With the exception of the Continental Divide the ridges to the SW were clear all day apart from 1700-1800 when they were obscured by snow squalls, which between 1740 and 1745 reached the site and ended the movement for the day. The first migrant was seen at 1021 and migration, although sporadic at times was fairly steady throughout and peaked at 34 birds between 1500 and 1600, and 1700 and 1800: in fact 87 of the day’s 115 migrants occurred between 1500 and 1736 when the last Rough-legged Hawk flew north ahead of the rapidly approaching snow front. The flight comprised 5 Bald Eagles (4a, 1j), 2 adult Northern Goshawks, 1 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 5 Rough-legged Hawks (3 light, 2 dark), 99 Golden Eagles (96a, 2sa, 1u), 2 columbarius Merlins (1 adult male, 1u) and the season’s first Gyrfalcon, a grey morph bird that flew north at 1205.
9.67 hours (100.9) BAEA 5 (65), NOGO 2 (23), RTHA 1 (3), RLHA 5 (58), GOEA 99 (535), MERL 2 (3), GYRF 1 (1) TOTAL 115 (701)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1230-1730. The temperature was 6-8C, winds were moderate to strong S-SE and cloud cover was initially 50% cumulus that became 100% stratus by 1500 producing snow flurries to 1600, after which it cleared to 50% cumulus again. A total of 7 migrants, 1 juvenile Bald Eagle and 6 Golden Eagles (5a, 1j), moved to the north between 1305 and 1648. Also seen were 3 adult non-migratory Bald Eagles and the pair of resident Golden Eagles that produced some interaction and a brief display flight from the larger female bird.
5 hours (38) BAEA 1 (5), GOEA 6 (114) TOTAL 7 (120)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 15
HOURS 168.1

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 46
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 2
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 2
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 10
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 1
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 10
Buteo sp. (UB) 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1088
Eagle sp. (UE) 2
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 1
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 1

TOTAL 1163

 

March 16 [Day 16] (Joel Duncan, assisted by Rick Robb, Cliff Hansen and Kevin Barker) 0915-1930. The temperature rose to a high of 4C at 1700 from a morning low of -1C, and was1C at the end of observation. Ground winds were SW 5-10 km/h occasionally gusting to 30 km/h in the afternoon, and ridge winds were moderate to strong SW all day. Cloud cover was cumulus all day, initially 30% that increased to 60% between 1300 and 1700 after which it was 20% for the rest of the day. The first Golden Eagle was seen at 1015 but migration was very slow and by 1600 only 19 migrants had been recorded. The next 2 hours, however, produced 21 and 15 migrants respectively and 1800-1836 saw the passage of 20 migrants. The final count of 75 raptors comprised 1 late subadult Bald Eagle, 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk and 73 Golden Eagles (61a, 1sa, 11u). All birds moved from the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette. There were no new arrivals amongst the songbirds, but the adult Northern Shrike was in full song. There were no visitors today.
10.25 hours (178.3) BAEA 1 (47), RLHA 1 (11) GOEA 73 (1161) TOTAL 75 (1238)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1015-1900. The temperature at 1015 was 2C, rose to a high of 6C from 1400 to 1700 and was 3C at the end of observation. Winds were W-WSW 28-40 gusting up to 60 km/h and cloud cover was 0-30% cumulus to 1500 and 50-80% for the rest of the day, occasionally reducing to 10%. There were 2 very brief (< 1min) snow flurries at 1715 and 1724 but otherwise everything was clear all day. Raptor movement was initially slow with only 2 Golden Eagles seen between 1021 and 1200. In the afternoon, however, there was steady movement with peak counts of 31 (1400-1500) and 18 (1800-1900). The highlight of the day was 2 adult Turkey Vultures seen at 1830 which was a first March record for the area and the earliest by far on a raptor count in SW Alberta. The earliest records for the species on the three  Piitaistakis-South Livingstone spring counts were April 9 (2008), April 22 (2009) and April 23 (2010). At Steeples in the Rocky Mountain Trench, where the species is common and widespread, the earliest recorded migrant was March 27, 2015 (which is the only March record to date) and the average first occurrence date (2008-2015) is April 10. The rest of the count of 115 birds was 6 adult Bald Eagles, 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 1 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 6 light morph Rough-legged Hawks and, for the second day in a row, 99 Golden Eagles (93a, 2sa, 4u), the last of which flew to the NW at 1844.
8.75 (107.7) TUVU 2 (2), BAEA 6 (71), NOGO 1 (24), RTHA 1 (4), RLHA 6 (64) GOEA 99 (634) TOTAL 115 (816)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) No observation.

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 16
HOURS 178.3

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 47
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 2
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 2
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 10
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 1
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 11
Buteo sp. (UB) 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1161
Eagle sp. (UE) 2
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 1
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 1

TOTAL 1238

 

March 17 [Day 17] (Jim Davis, assisted by Chris Hunt and Ken and June Moore) 0900-1915. The temperature was initially -6C, rose to a high of 1C and was -1C at the end of observation. It was calm until 1300 after which ground winds were E 20-30 for the rest of the day, while ridge winds were light N to 1700, light NE to 1300 and moderate NE to 1915. Cloud cover was low stratus all day that occasionally lifted and there were periods of snow all day interspersed with periods when the ridges were clear as they were 1100-1200, and 1500-1700. At 1300 the east ridges were 50% obscured and at 1400 the west was 30% obscured. Despite the conditions there was a reasonably steady raptor movement between 1028 and 1821 that comprised 7 Bald Eagles (4a, 3j), 77 Golden Eagles (68a, 3j, 6u) and the season’s first Gyrfalcon, a light grey bird that flew low to the north about 10 m from the observers at noon. Eight birds were seen between 1028 and 1100, mainly originating from the Wasootch Creek area, but subsequent movement occurred mainly during clear periods with peak counts of 28 birds between 1300 and 1400, and 22 and 18 between 1500 and 1600, and 1600 and 1700 respectively. A total of 15 birds originated from Wasootch, 10 moved above the western part of the valley or the western ridges, 4 were overhead in the centre of the valley and the rest moved low in front of the northern end of the Fisher Range to the north but not to Lorette. Soaring was common in the relatively calm conditions and birds often disappeared in the clouds. Other birds were scarce but included 1 American Robin and 3 European Starlings.
10.25 hours (188.6) BAEA 7 (54), GOEA 77 (1238), GYRF 1 (1) TOTAL 85 (1323)

Beaver Mines (Denise Cocciolone-Amatto, assisted by Nel van Kamer, Keith Linton, and Karen and Doug Nicholson) 1150-1730. The temperature fluctuated between -3C and 1C depending on whether or not it was snowing, winds were very variable and light, and cloud cover was 60-100% stratus and cumulus. Because of the conditions raptor movement was sporadic and involved 16 birds seen between 1215 and 1712: 2 adult Bald Eagles, 1 adult male Northern Harrier, 1 unidentified Accipiter, 3 Rough-legged Hawks (2 light, 1 dark), 8 adult Golden Eagles and 1 unidentified eagle.
5.67 hours (113.3) BAEA 2 (73), NOHA 1 (3), UA 1 (1), RLHA 3 (67), GOEA 8 (642), UE 1 (1) TOTAL 16 (832)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1315-1915. It was a sunny day with a temperature of 6C, moderate to strong SE winds that later became W, 30-50% cumulus cloud cover and clear ridges. A total of 34 migrants, the second highest count of the season, were seen between 1335 and 1850 comprising a season-high 13 Bald Eagles (10a, 1sa, 2j) and 21 Golden Eagles (20a, 1sa). Eleven eagles moved between 1700 and 1800 and 12 during the following hour. Of note was an adult (probable) California Gull that flew to the north above the ridge at 1740, which was the first gull that Vance had ever seen at the site.
6 hours (38) BAEA 13 (18), GOEA 21 (135) TOTAL 34 (154)

March 18 [Day 18] (George Halmazna, assisted by Doug Petersen and Blake Weis) 0700-2000. The temperature at 0700 was a season-low -14C, rose to a high of 2C at 1700 and 1800 and was  -4C at 2000. Ground winds were very light or calm for most of the day, gusting to 15 km/h at 1500 and 1600, while ridge winds were light to moderate W-WSW. The sky was cloudless except in mid-afternoon when up to 50% cumulus developed and after 1700 it was again cloudless that made it a challenge to locate the high-flying eagles during this period. Raptor movement was strong with the 237 migrants recorded being the second highest of the season so far. The flight comprised 1 adult Bald Eagle, 1 adult Northern Goshawk and 235 Golden Eagles (220a, 4sa, 4j, 7u) that moved between 0708 and 1928. Most of the eagles (55 out of 62) moved over the west side of the valley until 1400, after which the birds switched to the east side usually flying high directly from Mount Old Baldy to Mount McGillivray until the last couple of hours when they flew from the Fisher Range to Lorette. By noon 43 Golden Eagles had been counted, by 1500 only 24 more had been added, but the last 5 hours yielded a further 169 Golden Eagles. The busiest hour was 1800-1900 when 54 Golden Eagles were seen. A flock of 60 gulls flying high to the east over the Fisher Range were probably California Gulls. Other birds seen included 1 adult Northern Shrike, 2 Varied Thrushes, 2 Brown Creepers, 20 White winged Crossbills and 58 Common Redpolls. Five visitors came to the site today.
13 hours (201.6) BAEA 1 (55), NOGO 1 (11), GOEA 235 (1473) TOTAL 237 (1560)

Beaver Mines (Denise Cocciolone-Amatto, assisted by Nel van Kamer, Chip Reed and Pat Lucas) 1130-1730. The temperature at 1130 was -4C and rose to a high of 4C at 1700, winds were again light and variable but principally S-SE and cloud cover was 10-60% cumulus providing sunny skies. Despite the good observing conditions only 20 migrants were seen between 1153 and 1710: 1 adult dark morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk and 19 Golden Eagles (18a, 1sa), of which 11 moved between 1600 and 1700.
6 hours (119.3) RTHA 1 (5), GOEA 19 (661) TOTAL 20 (852)

Steeples (Vance Mattson, assisted by Daryl Calder) 1145-1845. The temperature rose from 0C at 1200 to 7C at 1700, winds were moderate to strong SE-E and it was almost cloudless with up to 10% cumulus developing on occasion. A total of 20 migrants were seen: 10 Bald Eagles (7a, 1sa, 2j) and 10 adult Golden Eagles. Resident Bald Eagles were seen throughout the observation period with a pair soaring for long periods throughout the afternoon, and the first resident adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk soared low above the site. An American Robin was the first of the season at the site.
6 hours (38) BAEA 10 (28), GOEA 10 (145) TOTAL 20 (174)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 18
HOURS 201.6

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 55
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 2
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 2
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 11
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 1
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 11
Buteo sp. (UB) 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1473
Eagle sp. (UE) 2
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 1
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 1

TOTAL 1559

 

March 19 [Day 19] (Jim Davis, assisted by Doug Pedersen and Cliff Hansen) 0800-2020. The temperature at 0800 was -7C but rose to a high of 10C at 1700 and 1800 and was -1C at the end of observation. Ground winds were light to calm all day except between 1400 and 1600 when they were W 2-14 km/h, while ridge winds were SW-WSW light to 1000 then moderate for the rest of the day. Cloud cover was 20% lenticular altocumulus to noon after which it was 10% altostratus and lenticular for the rest of the day. It was another strong raptor movement with 223 migrants of 6 species moving steadily between 1012 and 1946, with the hourly counts during this period ranging from 9 to 38. The flight comprised a season-high 14 Bald Eagles (10a, 4sa), 1 adult female Northern Harrier, 1 juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk, 204 Golden Eagles (171a, 3sa, 8j, 22u), which is the fourth highest count so far, and the season’s first Peregrine Falcon, an adult, which equals the second earliest occurrence date for the species at the site. With a few exceptions movement was exclusively from the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette, with much soaring flight early in the day but becoming high gliding flight in the afternoon. Nineteen other bird species were noted including an adult Northern Shrike that sang continuously for an hour in the morning, but the most amazing record was of the first Double-crested Cormorant of the year around 1830. Not only is the species rare in the mountains and is unlikely to be seen anywhere in the province before mid-April, but it was actively pursued by a Golden Eagle as it flew above the northern end of the Fisher Range. It managed to avoid three hunting passes made at it by the eagle before flying off to the north as fast as its wings would carry it. A total of 33 visitors made it to the site and most stayed for long periods to enjoy the almost continuous procession of raptors on show.
12.33 hours (213.9) BAEA 14 (69), NOHA 1 (3), SSHA 1 (3), RLHA 1 (12), GOEA 204 (1677), UE 1 (3), PEFA 1 (1) TOTAL 223 (1783)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Nel van Kamer) 1000-1900. The starting temperature was 2C, rose to a high of 11C at 1700 and 1800 (which is 5C above normal maximum) and was still 9C at 1900. Winds were W-WSW throughout, 20-40 gusting to 55 km/h and cloud cover was initially 20% altocumulus and altostratus which rapidly thickened and the cover for the rest of the day was 60-100% altocumulus (lenticular), altostratus and cirrus which made the location of birds easy but identification tricky. The ridges to the SW were completely clear all day which probably accounts for the relative dearth of eagles which must have been moving there in significant numbers today. What we lacked in numbers, however, was compensated by variety and the total of only 25 migrants comprised 3 adult Bald Eagles, a season-high 4 Northern Harriers (3 adult females, 1u) which flew to the north as two couples at 1336 and 1418, 1 adult Northern Goshawk, a season-high 3 calurus Red-tailed Hawks (2 light: 1a, 1u; 1 adult dark), 3 light morph Rough-legged Hawks which were the last birds of the day moving between 1751 and 1825, and only 11 adult Golden Eagles.
9 hours (128.3) BAEA 3 (76), NOHA 4 (7), NOGO 1 (25), RTHA 3 (8) RLHA 3 (70), GOEA 11 (672) TOTAL 25 (876)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1230-1900. The temperature ranged from 4C to 12C and conditions were calm and sunny with 5-60% altocumulus cloud cover. The total of 60 migrants recorded between 1235 and 1844 was the second-highest of the season and included an adult Turkey Vulture, which was the first of the season and the earliest ever at the site by 8 days, and 24 days earlier than the average first occurrence of the species. Other birds were a season-high 14 Bald Eagles (10a, 2sa, 2j), the season’s first Sharp-shinned Hawk (an adult), and 44 adult Golden Eagles, which is the second-highest total for the season. The calm conditions resulted in slow and steady movement that provided great views of the birds for the 19 visitors from the Rocky Mountain Naturalists group that were visiting the site. A total of 16 non-migrant Bald Eagles (11a, 2sa, 3j) were also seen throughout the observation period, mainly moving to the south, and a pair of Red-tailed Hawks and 3 adult resident Golden Eagles, one of which displayed, were also present.
6.5 hours (56.5) TUVU 1 (1), BAEA 14 (42), SSHA 1 (1), GOEA 44 (189) TOTAL 60 (234)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 19
HOURS 213.9

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 69
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 3
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 3
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 11
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 1
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 12
Buteo sp. (UB) 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1677
Eagle sp. (UE) 3
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 1
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 1

TOTAL 1783

 

March 20 [Day 20] (Bill Wilson, assisted by Blake Weis, Frank Wood, Karey Suchen, Jim St.Laurent and Brian McBride) 0650-2030. The temperature at 0715 was -3C, the high of 12C at 1600 and 1700 was 7C above normal for this date, and it was 5.5C at 2030. Ground winds were SW 5-10 gusting to 21 km/h, and ridge winds were SW light to moderate all day. Cloud cover was 100% altostratus that reduced to 90% for a couple of hours in mid-afternoon, and produced hazy sunshine which made the aging of high-flying eagles impossible by late afternoon as the birds were just silhouettes. It was another strong day of raptor migration with 221 birds moving between 0952 and 1852: the third consecutive day that the count has exceed 200 birds. The flight comprised 3 adult Bald Eagles, a season-high 5 Northern Goshawks (2a, 3u) and 212 Golden Eagles (132a, 3sa, 4j, 73u). Until around 1400 birds mainly migrated along the western route from Mount Kidd to Mount Allan and over Skogan Pass; after 1400 the movement shifted to the east and the birds glided from the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette at increasing heights as the day progressed. Movement was strong throughout the day with peaks of 48 (45 Golden Eagles) from 1200-1300, 36 Golden Eagles 1500-1600, 39 (37 Golden Eagles) 1700-1800 and 25 Golden Eagles (1800-1852). A Great Horned Owl sang early in the morning and a Clark’s Nutcracker may have been the first record for the season. There were 16 visitors to the site today.
13.67 (227.6) BAEA 3 (72), NOGO 5 (16), GOEA 212 (1889), UU 1 (2) TOTAL 221 (2004)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Nel van Kamer) 1000-1815. The temperature at 1000 was 9C, reached a high of 16C at 1500 and 1600 (10C above normal) and was 14C at the end of observation. Winds were mainly W-WSW 15-30 gusting 40 km/h and cloud cover was 90-100% altocumulus, altostratus and cirrus that was thin enough to give hazy sunshine all day. The bright clouds again made the location of birds easy but identification a challenge. The ridges to the SW were completely clear all day and were probably the preferred route for the bulk of the eagle migration. The count was 46 birds of a season-high 8 species that moved sporadically between 1008 and 1736 with hourly counts ranging from 3 to 9 birds. The flight comprised 6 adult Bald Eagles, 2 adult female Northern Harriers, 2 unaged Sharp-shinned Hawks, 4 Northern Goshawks (2a, 2u), a season-high 7 calurus Red-tailed Hawks (6 adult light morphs and 1u dark morph), 6 Rough-legged Hawks (3 light and 3 dark), 2 unidentified Buteos, 16 Golden Eagles (15a, 1sa) and 1 adult female grey Gyrfalcon that flew to the NNW overhead at 1135.
8.25 hours (136.6) BAEA 6 (82), NOHA 2 (9), SSHA 2 (4), NOGO 4 (28), RTHA 7 (15), RLHA 6 (76), UB 2 (3), GOEA 16 (688), GYRF 1 (2) TOTAL 46 (922)

A group from the Crowsnest Pass Conservation Society (Denise Cocciolone-Amatto, Raymond Toal, Chip Reed, Keith Linton and Doug Nicholson) were again on Vicki Ridge, which is 3 km WNW of the Beaver Mines site, between 1130 and 1550 where they saw 17 migrant raptors: 2 adult Northern Goshawks, 1 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 11 Golden Eagles (9a, 1sa, 1u) between 1130 and 1521 (compared to 5 seen in the same period at Beaver Mines), 1 unidentified eagle, 1 female American Kestrel (the first seen on any RMERF count this season) and 1 adult female dark morph Gyrfalcon. As on March 11 it seems likely that most, if not all, of these birds were different from those seen at Beaver Mines during the same period.

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1215-1745. The temperature range was 4C to 12C, conditions were calm and cloud cover ranged from 30-100% altostratus. The count of 17 migrant raptors included the season’s first Northern Harrier, an adult female, and the first migrant calurus Red-tailed Hawk, a light morph adult. Other migrants were 12 Bald Eagles (6a, 2sa, 4j) and 2 adult Golden Eagles. Because of the calm conditions many of the birds flapped their way north, and 14 of the 17 migrants occurred between 1400 and 1500. Seven non-migrant Bald Eagles (4a, 1sa, 2j), 2 adult resident Golden Eagles and 1 resident Red-tailed Hawk were also noted.
5.5 hours (62) BAEA 12 (54), NOHA 1 (1), RTHA 1 (1), GOEA 2 (191), UE 1 (1) TOTAL 17 (251)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 20
HOURS 227.6

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 72
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 3
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 3
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 16
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 1
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 12
Buteo sp. (UB) 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1889
Eagle sp. (UE) 3
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 1
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

TOTAL 2004

 

March 21 [Day 21] (Terry Waters, assisted by Patrick Farley and Diane Stinson) 0745-1900. The starting temperature was 3C, the high was 6C at 1400 and it was 4C at the end of observation. Ground winds were light SW all day except at 1400 when they were 15 gusting 20 km/h, and ridge winds were SW, moderate to 1300 then strong for the rest of the day. There was low stratus cloud that obscured all the mountains to 1000 which subsequently thinned to 100% altostratus which in the afternoon became variable altostratus and altocumulus for the rest of the day. Snow flurries occurred between 1700 and 1800. The eastern ridges were 50% clear by 1100 and fully clear by noon, while the west was 20-50% obscured all day. Not surprisingly, the first migrant was not seen until 1206 but there was then a steady movement of mainly Golden Eagles that generally glided high and fast from the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette until 1820. The count was 1 adult Bald Eagle and 89 Golden Eagles (68a, 3sa, 1j, 17u). Maximum movement was late in the afternoon with 48 Golden Eagles migrating between 1600 and 1800. The resident pair of Golden Eagles was seen over the Fisher Range where the male displayed, after which they flew west to Mount Allan. Other birds were scarce but included 13 Canada Geese that flew north in 3 small flocks, 1 Northern Shrike, 1 American Crow and 3 singing Varied Thrushes. Three Mountain Goats spent the day at the northern end of the Fisher Range.
11.25 hours (238.8) BAEA 1 (73), GOEA 89 (1978) TOTAL 90 (2094)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1000-1830. There were rain showers to 1000 when observation began, but it was then clear and dry for the rest of the day. The temperature at 1000 was 7C which rose to a high of 12C at 1500 and was 8C at the end of observation. Winds were mainly W and occasionally WSW 35-50 km/h with a maximum gust of 80 km/h at 1300. Cloud cover was 80-90% stratocumulus giving hazy sunshine to 1200, and the afternoon was 10-30% cumulus which provided excellent observation conditions. The ridges to the SW were clear all day except for 1500-1530 when they were obscured by snow. It was an interesting day of raptor watching with a season-high 11 species moving fairly steadily between 1028 and 1812. The flight was a season-high 20 Bald Eagles (17a, 1sa, 2j), 1 adult female Northern Harrier, 1 unaged Sharp-shinned Hawk, 4 adult Northern Goshawks, a season-high 10 adult Red-tailed Hawks (light morph calurus 9, dark morph harlani 1), a season-high 2 adult Ferruginous Hawks (a dark morph at 1428 followed by a light morph at 1433), 5 light Rough-legged Hawks, 33 Golden Eagles (31a, 2sa), the first 2 American Kestrels of the season (both females), 1 light grey Gyrfalcon that flew overhead at 1532, 1 Prairie Falcon, and 1 small unidentified raptor (either an Accipiter or a small falcon), that soared high and disappeared in cloud at 1213. Maximum movement was 18 birds between 1600 and 1700. A resident adult Golden Eagle displayed a few times over the “Big Hill” to the SE. It was an entertaining day.
8.5 hours (145.1) BAEA 20 (102), NOHA 1 (10), SSHA 1 (5), NOGO 4 (32), RTHA 10 (25), FEHA 2 (4), RLHA 5 (81), GOEA 33 (721), AMKE 2 (2), GYRF 1 (3), PRFA 1 (4), UU 1 (4) TOTAL 81 (1003)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) No observation.

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 21
HOURS 238.8

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 73
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 3
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 3
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 16
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 1
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 12
Buteo sp. (UB) 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1978
Eagle sp. (UE) 3
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 1
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

TOTAL 2094

 

March 22 [Day 22] (Jim Davis, assisted by Cliff Hansen) 0800-1930. The temperature high was 6C at 1600 and both the starting and finishing temperatures were -2C. It was calm in the valley to 1100 after which the wind was NE 12-27 km/h, while ridge winds were NE all day, moderate to 1400 and then strong. There was fog and freezing rain to 1000 and all mountains were obscured by low stratus cloud cover to 1200, after which they rapidly cleared and cloud cover was 20-40% cumulus for the rest of the day. The first migrant was not seen until 1432 but by 1700 45 raptors had been counted and another “big” day appeared to be in the offing. Only a further 6 birds appeared, however, and when the last Golden Eagle was seen at 1801 the day’s total was 51: 3 Bald Eagles (1a, 2sa), a season-high 6 Rough-legged Hawks (5 light, 1 dark) that were all seen between 1500 and 1600, and 42 Golden Eagles (31a, 3j, 8u). The 3 earliest birds were seen on the western route and, with the exception of a couple of birds that flew overhead, the rest mainly soared high above the Fisher Range and glided to Mount Lorette. Other birds noted included a singing Northern Pygmy-Owl, 1 Northern Shrike, 3 American Crows, 12 Mountain Bluebirds, 15 American Robins, 6 Varied Thrushes, and 8 Dark-eyed [“slate-coloured” morph] Juncos of the race cismontanus. Six Bighorn Sheep rams butted heads throughout the day at the northern end of the Fisher Range.
11.5 hours (250.3) BAEA 3 (76), RLHA 6 (18), GOEA 42 (2020) TOTAL 51 (2145)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) No observation. The temperature ranged from -2C to 2C, fog and freezing drizzle persisted all morning and winds were light all day. Cloud cover was uniform low stratus in the afternoon and although the ridge was visible casual observation failed to detect any raptor movement.

Steeples (Vance Mattson, assisted by Virginia Rasch) 1300-1900. The temperature ranged from 9C to 15C, winds were moderate W becoming calm towards the end of observation, and an initial cloud cover of 100% altostratus quickly cleared to 30-50% cumulus for the rest of the day that gave excellent observing conditions.  A total of 42 migrants moved between 1345 and 1837 comprising the second adult Turkey Vulture of the season, a season-high 19 Bald Eagles (9a, 10j) and 22 Golden Eagles (18a, 4j). Most of the eagle movement was very high and fast. As usual non-migrant/resident activity was persistent including soaring and interaction between 11 Bald Eagles (9a, 2j), brief sightings of the resident Golden Eagle pair, and the first observation of Red-tailed Hawk copulation this year. At one time four adult Red-tailed Hawks were soaring high together calling persistently when one pair clasped talons and cartwheeled hundreds of metres to the ground almost to treetop level before releasing their grip. Subsequently all four birds continued to soar high and call continuously.
6 hours (68) TUVU 1 (2), BAEA 19 (73), GOEA 22 (213) TOTAL 42 (293)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 22
HOURS 250.3

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 76
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 3
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 3
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 16
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 1
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 18
Buteo sp. (UB) 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2020
Eagle sp. (UE) 3
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 1
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

TOTAL 2145

 

March 23[Day 23] (Joel Duncan, assisted by Rick Robb) 0830-2000. The temperature reached 8C at 1600 from a morning low of -2C, and it was 4C at 2000. Ground winds were predominantly SW, light to 1200 then 10-15 km/h for the rest of the day with a maximum gust of 35 km/h at 1500, while ridge winds were SW all day, moderate to 1400 and thereafter strong. Cloud cover was 50% cumulus, altostratus and cirrus to 1100 which thickened to 70-90% to 1900 and was 30% for the last hour, giving good observing conditions throughout. The east ridges were clear all day, but the west was 30-80% obscured throughout and cleared only during the last hour. Despite the apparently favourable conditions raptor movement was disappointing with only 15 eagles moving between 1010 and 1904: 2 adult Bald Eagles and 12 Golden Eagles (10a, 1sa, 1u). All birds glided from the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette and most were very high. The resident Golden Eagle pair soared high above the eastern side of the valley where the male displayed. Sixteen other species of bird were recorded including an adult Northern Shrike that caught a vole in the Hay Meadow, 20 adult probable California Gulls that flew high to the north, 4 male Mountain Bluebirds, 1 American Robin and 1 Common Redpoll. Among the 30 visitors to the site were 21 students and 4 staff from the Calgary Waldorf School.
11.5 hours (261.8) BAEA 2 (78), GOEA 12 (2032) TOTAL 14 (2159)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1000-1900. The temperature at 1000 was 5C, rose to a high of 10C at 1200 and 1300 and was again 5C at the end of observation. Winds were WSW-W throughout, 25-45 gusting 50-60 km/h, and cloud cover was 40-90% cumulus, altostratus and altocumulus all day giving sunny conditions or hazy sun all day and generally good observing conditions. The ridges to the SW were mainly clear with the exception of the Continental Divide (Flathead Range) which was obscured for much of the day. Raptor movement occurred sporadically throughout the observation period with 53 birds of 9 species recorded: Bald Eagle 4 (3a, 1j), a season-high 3 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 2u), a season-high 6 Northern Goshawks (5a, 1u), 5 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks, 3 Rough-legged Hawks (2 light, 1 dark), 29 Golden Eagles (23a, 5sa, 1j), 1 female American Kestrel, 1 adult male columbarius Merlin and 1 Prairie Falcon.
9 hours (154.1) BAEA 4 (106), SSHA 3 (8), NOGO 6 (38), RTHA 5 (30), RLHA 3 (84), GOEA 29) (750), AMKE 1 (3), MERL 1 (4), PRFA 1 (5) TOTAL 53 (1056)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) No observation.

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 23
HOURS 261.8

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 78
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 3
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 3
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 16
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 1
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 18
Buteo sp. (UB) 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2032
Eagle sp. (UE) 3
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 1
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0
Falco sp. (UF) 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

TOTAL 2159

 

March 24 [Day 24] (George Halmazna, assisted by Rosemary Power) 0645-1930. The temperature at 0645 was 3C but dropped to 2C at 0900 and 1000, the high was 8C at 1700 and was 5C at the end of observation. It was calm to 1000, then SW (and occasionally NW) 5-15 gusting up to 25 km/h to 1900 when it was NE 2 km/h; after 1000 ridge winds were moderate to strong. Cloud cover was 100% stratus, cumulus, altostratus and cirrus all day, the west ridges were up to 80% obscured all day, and the east was clear until 1900 when a frontal system moved in from the NW and quickly obscured all the mountains. Raptor migration was disappointing with only 15 birds moving between 0911 and 1707: 1 adult Bald Eagle, 13 Golden Eagles (12a, 1sa) and the season’s first Prairie Falcon. Four of the Golden Eagles were seen between 0911 and 1000, and all birds moved to Mount Lorette either from Wasootch Creek or the Fisher Range. At 1502 a resident Golden Eagle with a branch in its talons flew over its mate that was perched on the SW ridge of Mount Lorette, and headed towards the south side of Olympic Summit on Mount Allan. Other birds recorded included 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 1 Northern Shrike, 2 male Mountain Bluebirds, 2 Varied Thrushes and 5 American Robins.
12.45 (274.3) BAEA 1 (79), GOEA 13 (2045), PRFA 1 (1) TOTAL 15 (2174)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1100-1900. The temperature at 1100 was 8C, reached a high at 1400 and 1600 of 9C and was 5C at the end of observation. Winds were WSW-W 30-46 gusting 60 km/h, that dropped to 24 km/h at 1900. Cloud cover was 60-70% cumulus and altocumulus to 1400 after which it was 80-100% altostratus and cumulus until 1850 when low stratus developed that brought snow. The Continental Divide was obscured by snow for much of the day, and the snow front periodically moved to the east to obscured Barnaby Ridge and Table Mountain. Raptor movement was initially slow and the first 3 hours produced only 7 birds, but after 1400 the pace quickened, although it was still sporadic, with 1500-1700 seeing the passage of 18 birds. A total of 40 migrants moved between 1144 and 1845 including the first Peregrine Falcon of the season, an adult male that flew rapidly overhead to the NNW at 1715. Other birds were 13 Bald Eagles (9a, 1sa, 3j), 1 adult female Northern Harrier, 3 Northern Goshawks (1a, 2u), 5 Red-tailed Hawks (4 adult light morph calurus, and 1 dark bird of unknown race or age), 4 Rough-legged Hawks (3 light and 1 dark), 11 Golden Eagles (9a, 1sa, 1j), and 1 adult male columbarius Merlin that spent a couple of minutes unsuccessfully pursuing redpolls in my yard before continuing its migration .
8 hours (162.1) BAEA 13 (119), NOHA 1 (11), NOGO 3 (41), RTHA 5 (35), RLHA 4 (88), GOEA 11 (761), MERL 1 (5), PEFA 1 (1), UU 1 TOTAL 40 (1096)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1300-1730. It was a cloudy day with 100-80% altostratus and dark cumulus that produced light rain and hail between 1350 and 1415, and partially obscured the ridges throughout most of the observation period; the temperature was 9C. Just 3 migrants were seen: 2 adult Bald Eagles and 1 adult Golden Eagles, and a resident Golden Eagle perched high on the ridge from 1630 to 1650.
4.5 hours (72.5) BAEA 2 (75), GOEA 1 (214) TOTAL 3 (296)

March 25 [Day 25] (George Halmazna, assisted by Blake Weis) 0645-1900. The temperature was -5C at the start, rose to a high of 5C at 1700 and was 3C at 1900. It was calm in the valley to 1200 after which ground winds were NE 5-10 km/h, gusting up to 28 km/h between 1600 and 1630, and were light NE after 1700. Ridge winds appeared to be mainly calm in the morning and light NE in the afternoon. Cloud cover was 60-100% cumulus and altocumulus all day that brought snow flurries between 1200 and 1700. The ridges were clear only between 1700 and 1900. Not surprisingly given the conditions only 2 migrants were seen: a juvenile Bald Eagle at 1020 and a subadult Bald Eagle at 1542. The resident pair of Golden Eagles were seen perching south of Olympic Summit and a resident goshawk was heard. Twenty-two of species of bird were recorded including the season’s first Song Sparrow, and 7 Bighorn Sheep rams spent much of the day on the ridge at the northern end of the Fisher Range.
12.25 hours (286.5) BAEA 2 (81) TOTAL 2 (2176)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1400-1815. It snowed to around noon leaving about 5 cm of snow on the ground and cloud cover was still 100% stratocumulus when observation began at 1400. After 1430, however, cloud cover was 20-40% cumulus and the temperature rose to 3C that melted all the snow by the end of the day. Winds were light ESE throughout, although after 1715 a gentle W drift was detected in the higher cumulus clouds. As at Lorette, the conditions were not conducive to raptor movement and only 2 Golden Eagles were seen: a juvenile at 1545 that spent 10 minutes soaring before slowly drifting off to the NW, and an adult that continuously flapped its way low to the NNW at 1730.
4.25 hours (166.3) GOEA 2 (763) TOTAL 2 (1098)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1215-1815. The temperature was 7-12C, winds were strong NE that became calm by 1700, and cloud cover was 30-50% cumulus. Unlike at the eastern flank sites there was some raptor movement with 19 birds moving between 1234 and 1737: 13 Bald Eagles (8a, 1sa, 4j), 1 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 4 adult Golden Eagles and 1 unidentified eagle. Moment was sporadic up to 1648 after which 11 of the 19 birds were seen. Non-migrant raptors were 1 adult Turkey Vulture, 12 Bald Eagles (7a, 1sa, 4j) and 1 adult Golden Eagle.
6 hours (78.5) BAEA 13 (88), RTHA 1 (2), GOEA 4 (218) UE 1 (2) TOTAL 19 (315)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 25
HOURS 286.5

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 81
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 3
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 3
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 16
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 1
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 18
Buteo sp. (UB) 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2045
Eagle sp. (UE) 3
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 1
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 1
Falco sp. (UF) 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

TOTAL 2176

 

March 26 [Day 26] (Cliff Hansen, assisted by Karey Suchan (0730-1130); Jim Davis, assisted by Lori Anderson (1130-2045)) 0730-2045. The temperature rose to a high of 6C at 1600 from a morning low of -7C, and was 3C at 2045. Ground winds were SW 15-25 all day, while ridge winds were moderate and possibly strong SW all day. Cloud cover was 10-20% cumulus to 1600 after which it was 40-60% cirrostratus for the rest of the day, giving excellent observing conditions throughout. After three thin days there was a reasonable raptor movement today with 120 birds moving between 1143 and 2011, which is the latest that a migrant has been seen this season. The flight comprised 6 Bald Eagles (4a, 1sa, 1j), 1 unaged Sharp-shinned Hawk, 3 Northern Goshawks (2a, 1j), 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk, 108 Golden Eagles (88a, 3sa, 4j, 13u) and 1 unidentified eagle. All but 3 of the birds glided high to very high above the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette. Movement was initially slow and by 1600 only 19 birds had been tallied, but the rate then steadily increased and peaked at 29 (1800-1900) and 28 (1900-2000). Other birds were relatively scarce but included a single Evening Grosbeak which was the first for the season, and 5 Bighorn Sheep rams again occupied the ridge at the northern end of the Fisher Range. Easter Saturday brought a total of 31 visitors to the site.
13.25 (299.8) BAEA 6 (87), SSHA 1 (4), NOGO 3 (19), RLHA 1 (19) GOEA 108 (2153), UE 1 (4) TOTAL 120 (2296)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Doug and Teresa Dolmen) 1200-1930. The temperature at 1200 was 4C, rose to a high of 7C at 1700 and was 5C at the end of observation. Winds were W-WSW 26-32 gusting 50 km/h and cloud cover was initially 90% cirrus and cumulus that reduced to 20% cumulus at 1500 before increasing to 70-90% altocumulus, cirrus, altostratus and cumulus for the rest of the day. Observing conditions were excellent throughout. Migration started slowly with just 3 eagles seen between 1209 and 1300, but it steadily increased throughout the afternoon and peaked at 19 birds from 1700 to 1800. When the last bird, a Rough-legged Hawk, was seen at 1919 a total of 85 raptors of 11 species had been recorded, which is the highest count since March 16. The count was a season-high 22 Bald Eagles (18a, 1sa, 3j), 4 adult Northern Harriers (3 female, 1 male), 1 unaged Northern Goshawk, 6 Red-tailed Hawks (5a light morph calurus and 1 dark bird of unknown race or age), 2 adult Ferruginous Hawks (1 light, 1 dark), 5 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 40 Golden Eagles (31a, 6sa, 3u) which is also the highest count since March 16, 1 unaged American Kestrel, 1 adult male columbarius Merlin, 2 grey morph Gyrfalcons (1 female, 1u) that flew together to the NW at 1747, and an adult male Peregrine Falcon.
9.5 hours (175.8) BAEA 22 (141), NOHA 4 (15), NOGO 1 (42), RTHA 6 (41), FEHA 2 (6), RLHA 5 (93), GOEA 40 (803), AMKE 1 (4), MERL 1 (6), GYRF 2 (5), PEFA 1 (2) TOTAL 85 (1183)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1200-1800. The temperature was 6-12C, winds were mostly W light to strong and cloud cover was 20-40% cumulus giving sunny conditions. The first migrant, and adult Golden Eagle moved north at 1251, but no other migrants were seen until 1520-1558 when 7 migrants were seen. The count was 2 Bald Eagles (1a, 1j) and 6 adult Golden Eagles. The local pair of Red-tailed Hawks were seen carrying branches to their nest on three occasions.
6 hours (84.5), BAEA 2 (90), GOEA 6 (224) TOTAL 8 (323)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 26
HOURS 299.8

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 87
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 3
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 4
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 19
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 1
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 19
Buteo sp. (UB) 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2153
Eagle sp. (UE) 4
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 1
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 1
Falco sp. (UF) 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

TOTAL 2296

 

March 27 [Day 27] (Bill Wilson, assisted by Blake Weis) 0645-2035. The temperature at 0700 was -3.5C, rose to a high of 7C at 1700 and was 3C at the end of observation. Ground winds were mostly SW 2-10 with a maximum measured gust of 28 km/h, while ridge winds were moderate SW all day. Cloud cover was 80-100% altostratus and cumulus giving good locating conditions but making the aging of high-flying eagles impossible late in the day. The western ridges were 10-20% obscured at 1400 and 1500 but otherwise the mountains were completely clear. It was another good day of eagle migration with a total of 166 raptors moving between 0837 and 1953 that included 158 Golden Eagles (84a, 5sa, 8j, 51u), which was the 5th  highest count of the season and the 9th count of over 100 birds so far. The other migrants were 6 Bald Eagles (3a, 2j and 1 undifferentiated immature bird) and 2 juvenile light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks. All but a few birds glided high or very high above the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette. Movement was steady all day, with the exception of 1500-1600 when only 2 Golden Eagles were seen, and peaked at 1300-1400 with the passage of 5 Bald and 38 Golden Eagles; a further 23 Golden Eagles moved very high to Mount Lorette between 1900 and 1953. Other birds were relatively scarce but included 2 drumming Ruffed Grouse, 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 1 American Crow, 2 singing Varied Thrushes, a flock of 12 American Robins flying high to the north and 16 White-winged Crossbills. The 5 Bighorn Sheep rams were again at the northern end of the Fisher Range and a Red Fox trotted unconcernedly by the observers, who were joined by 20 visitors throughout the day.
13.83 hours (315.6) BAEA 6 (93), RTHA 2 (3), GOEA 158 (2311) TOTAL 166 (2462)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1100-1830. The starting temperature was 6C, rose to a high of 7C from 1400 to 1800 and was 5C at 1830. Winds were W-WSW 20-35 gusting to 43 km/h and cloud cover was 80-100% altostratus and cumulus which dropped to 50% at 1800. Raptor movement was sporadic with most birds moving very high to the NW or NNW. A total of 35 migrants were seen between 1120 and 1815, the last bird being a Rough-legged Hawk that soared very high and disappeared into a cumulus cloud. The flight comprised 5 Bald Eagles (4a, 1j), a season-high 5 adult Northern Harriers (2 females, 3 males), 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 1 dark morph Red-tailed Hawk of unknown race or age, 4 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 1 undifferentiated Buteo, 17 Golden Eagles (14a, 1sa, 2u) and one undifferentiated eagle. Maximum hourly passage was 10 birds from 1200 to 1300 and again from 1500-1600.
9.5 hours (185.3) BAEA 5 (146), NOHA 5 (20), NOGO (43), RTHA 1 (42), RLHA 4 (97), UB 1 (4), GOEA 17 (820) UE 1 (2) TOTAL 35 (1218)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) No observation. The ridges were totally obscured all day.

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 27
HOURS 313.6

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 93
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 3
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 4
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 19
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 3
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 19
Buteo sp. (UB) 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2311
Eagle sp. (UE) 4
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 1
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 1
Falco sp. (UF) 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

TOTAL 2462

 

March 28 No observation. Snow obscured the ridges all day

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1400-1600.It snowed to around noon after which the clouds lifted. At 1400 the temperature was 5C which fell to 3C at 1600. Winds were NNE 25 gusting 40 km/h and cloud cover was 100% stratus that produced occasional snow flurries, but the ridge was clear. At 1505 steady light snow began again and by 1540 the ridge was obscured. No migrant raptors were seen.
2 hours (187.3) TOTAL 0 (1218)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1330-1730. The temperature ranged from 6C to 10C, winds were strong NE and cloud cover was 70-90% cumulus and altostratus. Yesterday’s overcast conditions persisted to 1330 when the ridges began to clear, but subsequently only 3 migrant raptors were seen, all between 1634 and 1648: 2 Bald Eagles (1a, 1j) and 1 adult Golden Eagle. Also in the area was a non-migrant juvenile Bald Eagle and the resident pair of Red-tailed Hawks.
4 hours (88.5) BAEA 2 (92), GOEA 1 (225) TOTAL 3 (326)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 27
HOURS 313.6

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 93
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 3
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 4
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 19
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 3
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 19
Buteo sp. (UB) 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2311
Eagle sp. (UE) 4
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 1
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 1
Falco sp. (UF) 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

TOTAL 2462

 

March 28 No observation. Snow obscured the ridges all day

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1400-1600.It snowed to around noon after which the clouds lifted. At 1400 the temperature was 5C which fell to 3C at 1600. Winds were NNE 25 gusting 40 km/h and cloud cover was 100% stratus that produced occasional snow flurries, but the ridge was clear. At 1505 steady light snow began again and by 1540 the ridge was obscured. No migrant raptors were seen.
2 hours (187.3) TOTAL 0 (1218)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1330-1730. The temperature ranged from 6C to 10C, winds were strong NE and cloud cover was 70-90% cumulus and altostratus. Yesterday’s overcast conditions persisted to 1330 when the ridges began to clear, but subsequently only 3 migrant raptors were seen, all between 1634 and 1648: 2 Bald Eagles (1a, 1j) and 1 adult Golden Eagle. Also in the area was a non-migrant juvenile Bald Eagle and the resident pair of Red-tailed Hawks.
4 hours (88.5) BAEA 2 (92), GOEA 1 (225) TOTAL 3 (326)

March 29 [Day 28] (Brian McBride, assisted by Cliff Hansen and Jack Agele) 0715-2015. The temperature reached a high of 11C at 1700 and 1800 from a morning low of -2C, and was 5C at 2015. Ground winds were mostly light SE while ridge winds appeared to be light NE all day. Cloud cover was initially 100% stratocumulus that quickly broke up to 10-20% cumulus, altocumulus and cirrus to 1500 after which it was cloudless. A total of 30 migrant raptors were seen between 1106 and 1937 comprising 6 Bald Eagles (5a, 1sa), 1 adult Northern Goshawk and 23 Golden Eagles (13a, 3sa, 7j). All the Golden Eagles moved NW from the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette, while the Bald Eagles went north from the end of the Fisher Range. Many of the eagles soared above the mountains in the calm conditions. The maximum hourly count was 1900-2000 when 3 Bald and 16 Golden Eagles moved. Resident birds were 2 Bald Eagles (1a, 1sa), 1 adult Golden Eagle that displayed above the Fisher Range at 1624, and a pair of Northern Goshawks. Other birds included 6 Mountain Bluebirds (4 male, 2 female) and 13 American Robins that fed in the Hay Meadow. A Red Fox spent about 1 hour in the early morning examining rocks on the river gravel banks and finally unearthed a large piece of meat. There were 7 visitors to the site.
13 hours (326.6) BAEA 6 (99), NOGO 1 (20), GOEA 23 (2334) TOTAL 30 (2492)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1000-1715. The temperature at 1000 was 2C but rose to a high of 9C at 1600 and 1700, winds were mainly light NNE-E that became ESE-SSE after 1600, and cloud cover was 70-100% stratocumulus and cumulus to 1500 when it thinned to 60% cumulus and at 1700 it was down to 10% cumulus. The first migrant was not seen until 1306 but movement gradually increased with 25 of the day’s 30 migrants seen between 1509 and 1658. The flight comprised 7 Bald Eagles (6a, 1j), 1 juvenile female Northern Harrier, 1 adult Sharp-shinned Hawk, 15 Red-tailed Hawks (calurus 14: light morph 12 (11a, 1u), dark morph 2 adults; harlani 1 adult dark morph), 2 dark Rough-legged Hawks, 3 Golden Eagles (2a, 1sa) and 1 dark Gyrfalcon.
7.25 hours (194.6) BAEA 7 (153), NOHA 1 (21), SSHA 1 (9), RTHA 15 (57), RLHA 2 (99), GOEA 3 (823), GYRF 1 (6) TOTAL 30 (1248)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1200-1800. The temperature ranged from 9C to 15C, winds were strong NE and it was mainly cloudless. A total of 13 migrants were seen comprising 8 Bald Eagles (7a, 1j), 1 unaged Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1 adult Northern Goshawk, the season’s first Rough-legged Hawk, a dark morph bird, and 2 adult Golden Eagles. Non-migrants birds were 9 adult Bald Eagles and 3 local Red-tailed Hawks, one of which was seen to make a hunting stoop.
6 hours (94.5) BAEA 8 (100), SSHA 1 (3), NOGO 1 (2), RLHA 1 (1), GOEA 2 (227), TOTAL 13 (339)

March 30 [Day 29] (Joel Duncan, assisted by Rick Robb) 0915-1830. The starting temperature was 3C, reached a high of 10C between 1500 and 1700 and was still 9C at the end of the day. Ground winds were predominantly SW 5-10 gusting to 20 km/h to 1400 after which they switched to N-NE 10-15 gusting 26 km/h becoming light at the end of the day, while ridge winds were moderate, SW-W to 1500 and then NW. Cloud cover was 100% altostratus becoming stratocumulus later in the day, ridges were clear to 1800 when both east and west started to be covered in cloud as the afternoon showers turned to increasingly heavy rain. Only 2 migrants were seen: an adult Golden Eagle at 1052 and a distant unidentified large falcon at 1402. Non-migrant raptors were 1 adult Bald Eagle, 1 adult Northern Goshawk and the resident pair of Golden Eagles. Although raptor migration was poor, gulls were moving in good numbers in the mid-afternoon flocks of 15 and 45 California Gulls and a flock of 20 probable Herring Gulls. A party of 27 students and 2 teachers from Crescent Heights High School in Calgary visited the site.
9.25 hours (335.9) GOEA 1 (7335), UF 1 (1) TOTAL 2 (2494)

Beaver Mines (Denise Cocciolone-Amatto, assisted by Nel van Kamer) 1145-1730. The temperature ranged from 10C to 13C, winds were W-SW 15-25 km/h to 1500 after which they became light and variable, and cloud cover was 80-100% stratus which produced drizzle and then light rain after 1700. A total of 12 migrants raptors were seen between 1225 and 1620 with 10 of the birds moving before 1545. The flight comprised 2 adult Bald Eagles, 2 calurus Red-tailed Hawks (1 light u and 1 dark adult) and 8 Golden Eagles (7a, 1sa). The highlight of the day, however, came at 1238 when 2 smaller dark birds were seen flying with 2 Common Ravens. Their identity remained a mystery at the time but an excellent field description left little doubt that the birds were dark morph Parasitic Jaegers. One bird actively pursued the other in front of the “Big Hill” with very deep wing beats, and the shape and length of the wings and tail were consistent with the species. Also clearly visible were the white flashes on the upper wing surface that suggested the birds were juveniles. The species is only rarely recorded as a spring migrant in southern Alberta, although I saw a single bird flying north along the Livingstone Ridge on March 26, 2009 during the spring raptor count there.
5.75 hours (200.4) (BAEA 2 (155), RTHA 2 (59), GOEA 8 (831) TOTAL 12 (1260)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) No observation.

March 31 [Day 29] (Cliff Hansen, assisted by Kevin Barker) 0730-2030. The temperature reached a high of 11C at 1700 from a morning low of -1C and was 2C at the end of observation. Ground winds were SW-W light to 1400, then NE light with occasional gusts to 15 km/h, while ridge winds were moderate NW all day. Cloud cover was 100% stratus, altocumulus and altostratus to 1500, then 70% altocumulus to 1700 which dwindles to 20% cumulus with a trace of cirrus at the end of observation. The eastern ridges were 10-20% obscured to 1000 and the west 80% obscured and was not fully clear until 1400. Very light granular snow fell to 0900 but there was no accumulation. It was a disappointing day of raptor movement with the first 3 Golden Eagles seen soaring above Mount Lorette at 1737 and a 4th bird being seen there at 1815. The only other migrant was an adult male columbarius Merlin that flew low to the north above the site at 1912. Resident pairs of Bald Eagle, Northern Goshawk and Golden Eagle were also in the area. A single Tree Swallow was the first for the year and other birds included 6 Mountain Bluebirds (5 male, 1 female), 22 American Robins, 15 White-winged Crossbills and 2 Pine Siskins. Two Wood Frogs and 3 Long-toed Salamanders seen in the small pond near the site attested to the unseasonably warm weather so far this spring. The site saw 18 visitors today.
13 hours (348.9) GOEA 4 (2339), MERL 1 (2) TOTAL 5 (2499)

March Summary, with percentage variance from the average counts 1993 to 2015, excluding the anomalously low counts in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012, in parentheses : 30 days (+4.01), 348.9hours (+13), BAEA 99 (-9.5), NOHA 3 (+375), SSHA 4 (+65.2), NOGO 20 (+83.6), RTHA 3 (-32.9), RLHA 19 (+439; equals the highest ever March count set last year), GOEA 2339 (-5.03, but the highest count since 2011), MERL 2 (-17.4), GYRF 1 (+35.7), PEFA 1 (+280; just the 6th March record for the site); UE 4 (+90), UF 1 (+280), UU 2 (+280), TOTAL 2499 (-4.02) (11 species)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Denise Cocciolone-Amatto and Nel van Kamer) 1130-1815. The temperature ranged from 5C to 8C, winds were light E-SE to 1630 after which it was calm and cloud cover was 100% stratocumulus to 1500 that became 70% cumulus and altocumulus to 1600 and by 1800 was down to 30% altocumulus and cumulus. Observing conditions were good throughout. Migration was slow but steady with 15 birds of 7 species moving between 1218 and 1648, 8 of which occurred between 1524 and 1546. The flight was 4 adult Bald Eagles, 1 adult female Northern Harrier, 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 6 calurus Red-tailed Hawks (4 light (1a, 3u), 2 dark (1a, 1u), 1 light Rough-legged Hawk (that was the 100th of the season), 1 unaged/unsexed American Kestrel and 1 grey morph Gyrfalcon, the 7th of the season. A pair of Sandhill Cranes flew to the NNE at 1318, although the first pair was seen in the area on March 20.
6.75 hours (207.1) BAEA 4 (159), NOHA 1 (22), NOGO 1 (44), RTHA 6 (65), RLHA 1 (100), AMKE 1 (5), GYRF 1 (7) TOTAL 15 (1275)

March Summary 30 days (207.1) TUVU 2, BAEA 159, NOHA 22, SSHA 9, NOGO 44, RTHA 65, FEHA 6, RLHA 100, GOEA 831, AMKE 5, MERL 6, GYRF 7, PEFA 2, PRFA 5, UA 1, UB 4, UE 2, UU 5 TOTAL 1275 (14 spp.)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1315-1745. The temperature reached a season-high 17C, winds were strong to moderate N and it was a sunny day with 40-60% cumulus, altostratus and lenticular cloud cover. Despite the pleasant conditions only 2 migrant Bald Eagles were seen (1sa, 1j) although a high number of resident/non-migrants were seen: 2 Turkey Vultures, 9 Bald Eagles (7a, 2sa), 1 adult Sharp-shinned Hawk, a pair of Red-tailed Hawks (again carrying nest material) and a single resident adult Golden Eagle.
4 hours (98.5) BAEA 2 (102) TOTAL 2 (341)

March Summary 20 days (98.5 hours) TUVU 2, BAEA 102, NOHA 1, SSHA 2, NOGO 2, RTHA 2, RLHA 1, GOEA 227, UE 2, TOTAL 341 (8 spp.)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 30
HOURS 348.9

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 99
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 3
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 4
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 20
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 3
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 19
Buteo sp. (UB) 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2339
Eagle sp. (UE) 4
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 2
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 1
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

TOTAL 2499

 

April 1 [Day 31] (George Halmazna, assisted by Dan Parliament) 0640-2030. The temperature reached a high of 15C at 1700 from a morning low at 0800 of -6C and was 9C at 2030 when observation ceased. It was calm in the valley to 1200, then light SW for the rest of the day except at 1500 when it gusted to 15 km/h for 30 minutes and after 1900 when it was again calm; ridge winds were probably moderate SW all day. The was an 80% cirrus cloud cover at 0800 which quickly dissipated leaving cloudless skies for the rest of the day. It was a day of pure eagle migration with 3 Bald Eagles (1a, 2sa) and 31 Golden Eagles (17a, 5sa, 7j, 2u) moving between 1301 and 1935, 18 of which were seen between 1900 and 2000. The first Golden Eagle was not seen until 1634 and all but 2 birds were initially located to the north either over Mount Lorette or Mount McGillivray. All birds moved very slowly. Eighteen other bird species were recorded but there were no new arrivals, although the first butterflies of the season, a Mourning Cloak and a species of Comma (Anglewing), added to the spring-like conditions which were also enjoyed by 10 visitors to the site.
13.83 (362.7) BAEA 3 (102), GOEA 31 (2370) TOTAL 34 (2533)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1000-1950. The temperature at 1000 was 7C but rose to a high of 18C (10C above normal for the date) at 1500-1700 and was still 14C at the end of observation. Winds were W-SW 22-34 gusting to 43 km/h and cloud cover was 10-30% altocumulus and cirrus to 1200 and cloudless throughout the afternoon. A total of 37 migrants of 9 species were seen between 1013 and 1915, with 12 of the birds occurring between 1100 and 1200. Migration was slow but steady with 1600-1700 the only hour without migrants. The count was 14 Bald Eagles (10a, 4j), the second-highest of the season, 2 juvenile Northern Harriers (1 male, 1 female), 1 adult Sharp-shinned Hawk, 2 Northern Goshawks (1j, 1u), 7 calurus Red-tailed Hawks (6 light: 3a, 3u, and 1 dark adult), 3 light Rough-legged Hawks, 6 Golden Eagles (3a, 1sa, 1j, 1u), 1 female American Kestrel and 1 male Prairie Falcon. A resident pair of light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks were prominent all day with the male sky-dancing on several occasions, and at 1503 the pair locked talons and free-fell spiraling almost to the valley floor in a spectacular courtship display. Two Tree Swallows were the first for the season.
9.5 hours (216.6) BAEA 14 (173), NOHA 2 (24), SSHA 1 (10), NOGO 2 (46), RTHA 7 (72), RLHA 3 (103), GOEA 6 (837), AMKE 1 (6), PRFA 1 (6) TOTAL 37 (1312)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1300-1700. The temperature was a season-high 18C, winds were calm or light W and the sky was cloudless. The only migrants seen were 1 juvenile Bald Eagle and 1 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, while non-migrants/residents were 1 adult Turkey Vulture and 4 Bald Eagles (3a, 1sa).
4 hours (102.5) BAEA 1 (103), RTHA 1 (3) TOTAL 2 (343)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 31
HOURS 362.7

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 102
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 3
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 4
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 20
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 3
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 19
Buteo sp. (UB) 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2370
Eagle sp. (UE) 4
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 2
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 1
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

TOTAL 2533

 

April 2 [Day 32] (Jim Davis, assisted by Lori Anderson) 0715-2030. The starting temperature was 1C, reached a high of 16C at 1600 and was 7C at the end of observation. It was calm to 0800 after which the ground winds were SW 10-25 km/h for the rest of the day, while ridge winds were SW moderate to 1300 and strong thereafter. Cloud cover was 10% cumulus in the morning and 50-80% cumulus and cirrus in the afternoon giving excellent observing conditions. Although the first Golden Eagle was seen gliding low from Wasootch Creek to Mount Lorette at 0944 movement was very slow and by 1800 only 13 migrants had been seen. The following hour, however, produced 17 of the day’s 32 migrants and the last bird was a Bald Eagle seen at 1941. The flight was 5 Bald Eagles (3a, 1sa, 1j), 1 unaged Sharp-shinned Hawk, 2 adult Northern Goshawks, 5 Rough-legged Hawks (3 light, 2 dark), 18 Golden Eagles (14a, 1j, 3u) and 1 unidentified eagle. With the exceptions of the first bird of the day and an eagle that flew above the centre of the valley at 1427, all birds glided high above the Fisher Range over to Mount Lorette. Resident raptors were 1 adult Bald Eagle, 1 adult Northern Goshawk and a pair of Golden Eagles. A Trumpeter Swan flew overhead calling, a Pileated Woodpecker drummed west of the Hay Meadow and songbirds included 1 Tree Swallow, 3 Mountain Bluebirds (2 male, 1 female), 10 American Robins, 7 Varied Thrushes and 1 male Red-winged Blackbird. The warm Saturday weather brought a total of 65 visitors to the site.
13.25 (375.9) BAEA 5 (107), SSHA 1 (5), NOGO 2 (22), RLHA 5 (24), GOEA 18 (2388), UE 1 (5) TOTAL 32 (2565)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1000-1930. The temperature again reached a high of 18C at 1600 and 1700 and it was 14C at both the start and finish of observation. Winds were strong WSW to W all day, 40-60 gusting to 80 km/h, and cloud cover was 10-20% cumulus to 1445, 70-40% altostratus and cumulus to 1700, 30% cumulus at 1800 that quickly thickened to 80% after 1900. Viewing conditions were very good throughout and a total of 83 migrants of 10 species were observed between 1009 and 1926. Birds moved steadily throughout the observation period with between 6 and 9 birds recorded during each of the first 7 hours and in the last half hour, with peak counts of 11 (1700-1800) and 13 (1800-1900). The flight comprised a season-high 33 Bald Eagles (27a, 2sa, 4j), 5 Northern Harriers (1 adult male, 1 adult female, 1 juvenile male and 2 unaged females), a season-high 4 Sharp-shinned Hawks (3a, 1u), 1 adult Cooper’s Hawk, the first for the season, 2 adult Northern Goshawks, a season-high 21 Red-tailed Hawks (calurus light 13a, 3u, calurus dark 2a, 2u and harlani dark 1a), 4 Rough-legged Hawks (3 light, 1 dark), 11 Golden Eagles (4a, 3sa, 3j, 1u), 1 adult male columbarius Merlin and 1 adult male Peregrine Falcon. It was interesting that the first 24 Bald Eagles recorded were all adults and the first immature bird was not seen until 1834. Pairs of Greater Sandhill Cranes flew to the NW at 1022 and 1526.
9.5 hours (226.1) BAEA 33 (206), NOHA 5 (29), SSHA 4 (14), COHA 1 (1), NOGO 2 (48), RTHA 21 (93), RLHA 4 (107), GOEA 11 (848), MERL 1 (7), PEFA 1 (3) TOTAL 83 (1395)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1200-1700. The temperature reached a season-high 20C, winds were strong SW and cloud cover was 50-80% cumulus giving mostly sunny conditions. Five migrants moved between 1402 and 1537 comprising 4 Bald Eagles (2a, 2j) and 1 adult Golden Eagle. Non-migrants/residents were 2 Turkey Vultures, 6 Bald Eagles (4a, 1j) and 1 Red-tailed Hawk. Songbirds seen included a pair of Mountain Bluebirds and common flocks of Red Crossbills and Pine Siskins.
5 hours (107.5) BAEA 4 (107), GOEA 1 (228) TOTAL 5 (348)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 32
HOURS 375.9

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 107
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 3
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 5
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 22
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 3
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 24
Buteo sp. (UB) 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2388
Eagle sp. (UE) 5
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 2
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 1
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

TOTAL 2565

 

April 3 [Day 33] (Bill Wilson, assisted by Blake Weis and Karey Suchan) 0630-2035. The temperature reached a high of 13.5C at 1600 and 1700 from a morning low of 3C and was 9.5C at the end of observation. Ground winds were variably NNE-NNW 5-10 gusting 22 km/h to 1000, then NNE-SE to 1400 after which they were mainly SW, while ridge winds were moderate SW all day. Cloud cover was initially 100% stratocumulus that brought light to moderate rain and snow to 1830 which obscured all ridges. After 0900 cloud cover was cumulus that decreased to 40% at 1700 after which it was 50-100% altostratus and cumulus for the rest of the day. The eastern ridges remained 10% obscured to 1300, while the west was clear after 1200. A total of 45 migrant raptors moved between 1150 and 1947, which is the highest count since March 27. The flight comprised a season-high 15 Bald Eagles (14a, 1sa), 1 adult male Northern Harrier, 4 Northern Goshawks (3a, 1j), 23 Golden Eagles (15a, 5sa, 1j, 2u), 1 Prairie Falcon and 1 distant unidentified raptor. Most of the movement was on the western route to 1400 after which it switched to the east with birds gliding high from the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette or moving from the northern end of the Fisher Range to Skogan Pass and thence the NW. Twenty-four other species of bird were recorded but none were new for the season, although a flock of 30 Bohemian Waxwings were the first seen for some time. Seventeen visitors came to the site today.
14.08 hours (390) BAEA 15 (122), NOHA 1 (4), NOGO 4 (26), GOEA 23 (2411), PRFA 1 (2), UU 1(3) TOTAL 45 (2610)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1000-1815. The temperature was initially 9C and rose to a high of 17C at 1700 and 1800. Winds were unfavourable E-SSE 10-20 gusting 30 km/h to 1500, after which they switched to W-WSW 15-30 km/h. Initial cloud cover was 100% stratocumulus which quickly broke up to 60-80% cumulus cover for the rest of the day. Despite the excellent observing conditions raptor movement was very slow and sporadic with only 7 birds seen between 1016 and 1808: 1 adult Bald Eagle, 1 unaged female Northern Harrier, 1 adult Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk and 2 Golden Eagles (1a, 1u). At 1413 a resident male Northern Harrier performed a vertical diving display above a low flying female on the ridge, and low-intensity display was seen from time to time by the resident male Red-tailed Hawk.
8.25 hours (234.3) BAEA 1 (207), NOHA 1 (30), SSHA 1 (15), RTHA 1 (94), RLHA 1 (108), GOEA 2 (859) TOTAL 7 (1402)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1300-1700. Vance observed today from the Lakit Lake site which is approximately 2 km south of the Bill Nye site which is his usual observation location. The temperature again reached 20C, winds were strong S-SE and 50% cumulus cloud cover gave sunny conditions. Raptor movement was again slow with only an adult Bald Eagle seen at 1313, a juvenile Golden Eagle at 1414 followed by a juvenile Bald Eagle at 1418. Non-migrant/resident birds at the site were 3 Turkey Vultures, 5 Bald Eagles (2a, 2sa, 1j), 1 adult female Northern Harrier and a pair of light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks.
4 hours (111.5) BAEA 2 (109), GOEA 1 (229) TOTAL 3 (351)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 33
HOURS 390

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 122
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 4
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 5
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 26
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 3
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 24
Buteo sp. (UB) 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2411
Eagle sp. (UE) 5
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 2
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 2610

 

April 4 [Day 34] (Terry Waters, assisted by Jennifer Waters) 0800-1830. The temperature at 0800 was 0C, reached a high of 13C at 1400 and was 10C at 1830. Ground winds were SW all day, generally moderate with a maximum velocity of 25 gusting 40 km/h at 1400, while ridge winds were WSW moderate to 1300 and then strong for the rest of the day. Cloud cover was 100% stratocumulus all day with the exception of 1100 to 1300 when it was 50-60% cumulus that allowed the only sunny periods of the day. At 1500 light rain began which persisted to the close of observation. The western ridges were clear to 1600 when they began to cloud over and were 80% obscured by 1800; the east was clear until 1800 and was 10% obscured at 1830. Only 2 migrant raptors were seen, both unaged Golden Eagles that glided high from the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette at 1205 and 1235. A resident Golden Eagle perched close to a Mountain Goat at the northern end of the Fisher Range for about an hour from 1505, after which it flew across the valley to Mount Allan. Other birds were also scarce but included 3 Mountain Bluebirds (1 male, 2 females), 4 Varied Thrushes, 19 American Robins and 10 Dark-eyed Juncos.
10.5 hours (400.5) GOEA 2 (2413) TOTAL 2 (2612)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1000-2000. The temperature at 1000 was 10C, reached a high of 12C at 1100, 1200 and again at 1600, and was 7C at 2000. Winds were WSW-W moderate to 1200 then strong in the afternoon 30-50 gusting to 75 km/h. Cloud cover was 100-70% stratocumulus forming a Chinook arch to 1600 after which it was 70-100% altostratus and cumulus to 1900 as the arch moved to the east, and at 2000 it was 40% altostratus. Viewing conditions were excellent throughout except during three brief rain showers in the afternoon. A total of 94 migrant raptors of 10 species were recorded between 1049 and 1933 which is the highest count since March 16. The flight comprised 17 Bald Eagles (16a, 1j), 4 Northern Harriers (2 adult males, 2 females: 1a, 1u), a season-high 8 Sharp-shinned Hawks (2a, 6u), 1 unaged Cooper’s Hawk, 1 adult Northern Goshawk, a season-high 34 Red-tailed Hawks (26 calurus light 22a, 4u, 7 calurus dark 6a, 1j, harlani dark 1a), 9 Rough-legged Hawks (7 light, 2 dark), 16 Golden Eagles (8a, 5sa, 3j), 1 unidentified eagle, 1 adult male columbarius Merlin and a season-high 2 adult Peregrine Falcons (1 male, 1 female). Movement was fairly steady all day with a peak movement of 22 birds between 1800 and 1900
10 hours (244.3) BAEA 17 (224), NOHA 4 (34), SSHA 8 (23), COHA 1 (2), NOGO 1 (49), RTHA 34 (128), RLHA 9 (117), GOEA 16 (866), MERL 1 (8), PEFA 2 (5) UE 1 (3) TOTAL 94 (1496)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) No observation.

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 34
HOURS 400.5

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 122
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 4
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 5
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 26
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 3
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 24
Buteo sp. (UB) 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2413
Eagle sp. (UE) 5
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 2
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 2612

 

April 5 [Day 35] (Brian McBride, assisted by Cliff Hansen) 0720-2020. The temperature reached a high of 8C at 1500 (which was close to normal for the first time in a while) from a morning low of 2C and it was 6C at the end of observation. Ground winds were SW-W gusting to 15 km/h in the morning and 15-30 gusting to 50 km/h in the afternoon, while ridge winds were moderate SW in the morning becoming strong in the afternoon. Cloud cover was 20% cumulus and altostratus to 1000 which increased to 80% to 1700 after which it was 100%. The ridges were clear all day. Despite the good observing conditions only 5 migrant raptors were seen between 1110 and 1532: 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk and 3 Golden Eagles (2a, 1sa), all of which moved from the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette. Resident birds were 3 Bald Eagles (2a, 1sa) one of which displayed over Mount Lorette at 0920, a pair of Golden Eagles one of which flew west from the Fisher Range at 0700, and a Merlin that flew south along the Fisher Range at 1620. Other birds were also scarce but a Blue Jay heard calling was the first of the season.
14 hours (414.5) NOGO 1 (27), RLHA 1 (25), GOEA 3 (2416) TOTAL 5 (2617)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1000-1930. The temperature reached a high of 11C at 1500 and 1600 and was 8C both at the start and end of the count. Winds were strong W-WSW all day gusting to over 70 km/h after 1400 and reaching 90 km/h by 1900. Cloud cover was initially 10-30% cumulus and altocumulus, with 60-90% cirrostratus, altocumulus and cumulus developing to 1700 after which it was 100% uniform altostratus with some cumulus for the rest of the day. Like yesterday there was a fairly steady stream of migrant raptors between 1026 and 1710 after which no further birds were seen, possibly because of the high wind velocities. The count of 56 birds was 9 Bald Eagles (7a, 1sa, 1j), 3 adult Northern Harriers (2 females, 1 male), 2 unaged Sharp-shinned Hawks, 3 Northern Goshawks (1a, 2j), 23 adult calurus Red-tailed Hawks (20 light, 3 dark), 1 dark morph Rough-legged Hawk, 12 Golden Eagles (7a, 3sa, 2u), 1 female American Kestrel and 2 Peregrine Falcons (1 adult male and 1u).
9.5 hours (253.8) BAEA 9 (233), NOHA 3 (37), SSHA 2 (25), NOGO 3 (52), RTHA 23 (151), RLHA 1 (118), GOEA 12 (878), AMKE 1 (7), PEFA 2 (7) TOTAL 56 (1552)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1300-1700. The temperature ranged from 11C to 13C, winds were strong SW and cloud cover was 50-80% altostratus and cumulus giving partly sunny conditions. The only migrant seen was an adult calurus light morph Red-tailed Hawk at 1612. There were, however, plenty of non-migrant and resident raptors to enjoy: 4 Turkey Vultures, 7 Bald Eagles (5a, 2j) and the resident pair of Red-tailed Hawks.
4 hours (115.4) RTHA 1 (4) TOTAL 1 (352)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 35
HOURS 414.5

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 122
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 4
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 5
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 27
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 3
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 25
Buteo sp. (UB) 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2416
Eagle sp. (UE) 5
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 2
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 2617

 

April 6 [Day 36] (Joel Duncan, assisted by Rick Robb) 0645-2000. The starting temperature was 5C, rose to a high of 12C at 1600, 1700 and 1800 and was 10C at the end of observation. Ground winds were SW all day, 5-15 km/h but gusting to 34 km/h between 1200 and 1500, while ridge winds were strong W-SW all day. Cloud cover was 50-80% cumulus with minor cirrus all day giving excellent detecting conditions. The western ridges were up to 50% obscured initially but were clear by 1100 and the eastern route was clear all day. The first migrant, a Golden Eagle, was seen at 0718 and the last, a Bald Eagle, at 1827 which suggests a long day of migration but the final total was only a disappointing 3 birds: 1 adult Bald Eagle and 2 unaged Golden Eagle. All birds were detected over the Fisher Range with the Golden Eagles gliding to Mount Lorette to the NW, and the Bald Eagle flew directly to the north. Only 10 migrants have been recorded at the site in the last 3 days. The male resident Golden Eagle displayed above the southern flank of Mount Allan during the afternoon. Thirty American Robins flew to the north in small flocks, as did a flock of 30 Bohemian Waxwings, and 2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets sang near the site for the first time this year.
13.75 hours (428.3) BAEA 1 (123), GOEA 2 (2418) TOTAL 3 (2620)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Klaus Exner) 1000-1915. The starting temperature was 9C, rose to a high of 15C at 1600 and 1700 at was 12C at the end of observation. Winds were W-WSW 30-45 gusting to 60 km/h and cloud cover was 100% altostratus and cumulus all day with the exception of 1800 when it briefly reduced to 80%. Detecting and identification conditions were very good throughout. The total of 96 migrant raptors of 11 species was the highest count at the site since March 16th. Birds moved consistently between 1026 and 1847 with maximum hourly counts of 18 (1200-1300) and 17 (1300-1400). The flight included season-high counts of 6 Northern Harriers (1 adult male, 5 females : 2a, 2j, 1u), 2 adult Coopers Hawks, 43 adult Red-tailed Hawks (42 calurus, 37 light, 5 dark, and 1 dark harlani, and 4 columbarius Merlins (2 male, 1a, 1u, and 2u females). Eight Sharp-shinned Hawks (3a, 5u) and 2 American Kestrels (1 male, 1 female) equaled seasonal highs. Other migrants were 7 adult Bald Eagles, 4 Northern Goshawks (1a, 2j, 1u), 2 Rough-legged Hawks (1 light, 1 dark), 1 undifferentiated dark Buteo, 16 Golden Eagles (6a, 4sa, 4j, 2u) and 1 adult Peregrine Falcon. The last three days have yielded 246 birds of 11 species including 100 Red-tailed Hawks. At 1256 a pair of Greater Sandhill Cranes flew to the SW and flocks of 35 and 20 Grey-crowned Rosy- Finches flew NNW at 1525 and 1536 respectively.
9.25 hours (263.1) BAEA 7 (240), NOHA 6 (43), SSHA 8 (33), COHA 2 (4), NOGO 4 (56), RTHA 43 (194), RLHA 2 (120), UB 1 (5), GOEA 16 (894), AMKE 2 (9), MERL 4 (12), PEFA 1 (8) TOTAL 96 (1648)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) No observation.

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 36
HOURS 428.3

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 123
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 4
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 5
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 27
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 3
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 25
Buteo sp. (UB) 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2418
Eagle sp. (UE) 5
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 2
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 2620

 

April 7 [Day 37] (Cliff Hansen, assisted by Kevin Barker and Ethan Denton). 0735-2035. Clear skies allowed the temperature to drop to -6C at 0730, but it rose to a high of 16C at 1700 and 1800 and was 9C at the end of observation. Ground winds were initially light W but after 1100 were S 5-10 occasionally gusting to 20 km/h, while ridge winds were probably moderate SW for most of the day. Cloud cover was 10% cirrus to 1400 after which it was cloudless giving challenging observation conditions. The first of the day’s 7 Golden Eagles (1a, 2j, 4u) arrived at 1130 but the other 6 were not seen until after 1900 and the last departed to the NW at 1951. All the birds flew from the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette. Resident raptors were single sightings of adult Bald Eagle, adult Northern Goshawk, adult Red-tailed Hawk and adult Golden Eagle. There was a good variety of other bird species around the Hay Meadow but 2 Golden-crowned Kinglets were the only first spring appearance. The highlight of the day was a Canada Lynx that was observed catching a vole in the meadow. It later walked slowly south following the path to the Stoney Trail parking area. Despite the unseasonably warm weather only 3 visitors made it to the site today.
13 hours GOEA 7 (2425) TOTAL 7 (2627)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1000-2000. The temperature at 1000 was 9C, reached a high between 1500 and 1800 of 19C and was 13C at 2000 when observation ceased. Winds were light E –S to 1300 after which they were mainly WSW-W 20 gusting to 37 km/h. Cloud cover was initially 60-80% thin cirrus that diminished to 10% at 1200, then 80-40% thin altostratus and altocumulus to 1500. It was cloudless from 1600 to 1650 when 40-60% altocumulus developed that dwindled to 10% at 2000. Observing conditions were often challenging as raptor movement was sporadic and usually at very high altitudes throughout the day. A total of 29 migrants of 7 species were seen between 1023 and 1937 comprising 4 Bald Eagles (2a, 2j), 2 adult male Northern Harriers, 2 juvenile Northern Goshawks, 10 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks, 1 dark morph Rough-legged Hawk and 8 Golden Eagles (3a, 2sa, 3j). The highest hourly count was only 5 birds between 1400 and 1500, and migrants were seen during each of the 10 hourly periods.
10 hours (273.1) BAEA 4 (244), NOHA 2 (45), SSHA 2 (35), NOGO 2 (58), RTHA 10 (204), RLHA 1 (121), GOEA 8 (902) TOTAL 29 (1677)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1400-1700. The temperature was a season high 21C, winds were light to moderate S-SW and it was mostly cloudless. No migrant raptors were seen and resident birds were 3 Turkey Vultures, 1 adult Bald Eagle, a pair of Red-tailed Hawks and a pair of Golden Eagles, one of which performed a display flight.
3 hours (118.5) TOTAL 0 (352)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 37
HOURS 441.3

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 123
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 4
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 5
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 27
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 3
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 25
Buteo sp. (UB) 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2425
Eagle sp. (UE) 5
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 2
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 2627

 

April 8 [Day 38] (Bill Wilson, assisted by Dan Parliament) 0615-2045. The temperature reached a high of 18.5C from a morning low of -2C and was 16C at the end of observation. Ground winds were SW all day, 2-5 km/h to 1300 then 5-10 gusting 35 km/h, with a maximum gust of 60 km/h at 1830; ridge winds were also SW, light to moderate to 1400 and then strong for the rest of the day. Cloud cover was 100% altostratus to 1300, 80-90% altostratus and cirrus forming a Chinook Arch to 1700 which then reduced to 10% cumulus by the end of the day as the arch moved to the NE. After four days of poor movement today there was a slow but steady migration of eagles between 0838 and 2018. The flight was 5 Bald Eagles (2a, 2j and 1 undifferentiated immature bird), 1 adult male Northern Harrier, 25 Golden Eagles (7a, 2sa, 6j, 10u) and 1 undifferentiated eagle. Movement was on the eastern route to 1200 when they switched to the west until 1500, after which they again glided high from the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette. The busiest hour was 1800-1900 when 1 Bald Eagle and 4 Golden Eagles were seen. A Prairie Falcon hunted low above the meadow before flying high to the south, and a resident Golden Eagle displayed once above Olympic Summit. Fifteen other bird species were recorded but the only new arrival was a single Northern Rough-winged Swallow. Three Bighorn rams were again at the northern end of the Fisher Range and the now regular Red Fox attempted to liberate Dan’s lunch from his backpack. Five visitors came to the site today.
14.5 hours (455.8) BAEA 5 (128), NOHA 1 (5), GOEA 25 (2450), UE 1 (6) TOTAL 32 (2659)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1000-1930. The temperature reached a season-high 23C (14C above normal for this date!) from a starting temperature of 18C and at 1930 it was still 21C. Winds were W-WSW 35-50 gusting to 65 km/h, and cloud cover was 70-100% fairly thin altostratus and altocumulus to 1530 that provided excellent observing conditions, and 50-80% thin altostratus for the rest of the day that gave superlative conditions with extremely high-soaring birds easily located and identified well into the evening. Raptor movement was steady all day with 77 migrants of 8 species seen between 1031 and 1926. The flight comprised 7 Bald Eagles (4a, 3j), 2 adult Northern Harriers (1 male, 1 female), a season-high 14 Sharp-shinned Hawks (6a, 1j, 7u), 1 adult Cooper’s Hawk, 28 Red-tailed Hawks (27 calurus: 25 light morph: 23a, 2u and 2 adult dark morphs, and 2 adult dark morph harlani), 10 Rough-legged Hawks (9 light, 1 dark) 9 of which moved after 1807, 14 Golden Eagles (7a, 2sa, 5j) and 1 adult male Peregrine Falcon. Resident birds were 1 adult male Northern Harrier that displayed a couple of times, 1 adult Northern Goshawk and 2 pairs of Red-tailed Hawks that were conspicuous all day interacting or displaying. One pair was still soaring high at 1945.
9.5 hours (282.6) BAEA 7 (251), NOHA 2 (47), SSHA 14 (49), COHA 1 (5), RTHA 28 (232), RLHA 10 (131), GOEA 14 (916), PEFA 1 (9) TOTAL 77 (1754)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1330-1700. Observation was from the Lakit Lake site where the temperature reached a season-high 24C and it was calm under virtually cloudless skies. No migrants were seen, but local birds were 5 Turkey Vultures, 3 adult calurus Red-tailed Hawks (2 light and 1 rufous morph) and 1 adult Golden Eagle.
3.5 hours (122) TOTAL 0 (352)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 38
HOURS 455.8

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 128
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 5
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 5
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 27
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 3
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 25
Buteo sp. (UB) 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2450
Eagle sp. (UE) 6
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 2
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 2659

 

April 9 [Day 39] (Jim Davis, assisted by Lori Anderson) 0700-2040. The temperature reached a high of 14C at 1500 from a morning low of -1C and it was 8C at the end of observation at 2040. Ground winds were calm to 0900 and then NE 5-15 gusting to 22 km/h for the rest of the day, while ridge winds were moderate NE all day. It was cloudless to 1100 after which cumulus cloud developed and progressively thickened reaching 90% stratocumulus at the end of the day when all ridges began to be draped by cloud and light rain began to fall. Despite the NE winds there was a fairly steady movement of raptors involving a season-high 8 species with 23 birds migrating between 1008 and 1936. The flight comprised 4 Bald Eagles (2a, 1sa, 1j), 2 Northern Harriers (1 adult male and 1u), 2u Sharp-shinned Hawks, 1 juvenile Cooper’s Hawk, which was the first for the season, 2 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks, 3 Rough-legged Hawks (2 light. 1 dark), 8 Golden Eagles (5a, 2j, 1u) and a juvenile Peregrine Falcon that flew north at 1101. Because of the wind direction migration tended to be diffuse and movement was usually slow. In the morning most birds were initially located soaring above Mount Lorette or Mount McGillivray to the north, or moved on the western ridges. In the afternoon most movement was on the eastern ridges until 1821 when low cloud moving from the NW forced the last 7 birds of the day back to the western route. Birds seen for the first time this season were 2 Lesser Yellowlegs and 2 male Rusty Blackbirds, and other sightings included 2 Northern Rough-winged Swallows, 3 Mountain Bluebirds (2 male, 1 female), 23 American Robins, 6 Varied Thrushes, 1 Bohemian Waxwing, 7 Dark-eyed Juncos all of the race J.h.cismontanus and 140 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches, 100 of which flew over and 40 perched nearby in a tree which revealed that most of the birds were of the coastal race L.t.littoralis (“Hepburn’s Rosy-Finch”). There were 39 visitors to the site today.
13.67 hours (469.4) BAEA 4 (132), NOHA 2 (7), SSHA 2 (7), COHA 1 (1), RTHA 2 (5), RLHA 3 (28), GOEA 8 (2458), PEFA 1 (2) TOTAL 23 (2682)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1000-1730. The temperature at 1000 was 10C and rose to a high of 14 C at 1700. Winds were E-ENE all day 10-20 gusting 30 km/h, and cloud cover was initially 0% but cumulus cloud moved from the NE and was 40% at 1030 and quickly thickened to 100% stratocumulus at 1400, after which it quickly broke up and was completely cloudless again after 1700. Easterly winds are not conducive to raptor movement here and despite generally good viewing conditions only 8 birds were seen between 1039 and 1705. The count did produce one highlight, however, the season’s first Swainson’s Hawk, a light morph adult bird that soared high and glided to the NW at 1243. This is the earliest ever record of the species on a RMERF count and is 13 days earlier than the previous earliest bird seen here on April 22 last year. The earliest seen on the Piitaistakis-South Livingstone counts were single birds on April 30 in both 2008 and 2009, and the species has never been recorded at Mount Lorette during the current standard observation period that finishes on April 22. Other migrants recorded were 1 adult Bald Eagle, 1 unaged Sharp-shinned Hawk, 3 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks and 2 adult Golden Eagles. Three Bald Eagles (1a, 1 late sa and 1 j) fed on carrion in the valley for much of the day, the two pairs of resident Red-tailed Hawks were conspicuous all day and often displayed, as did the resident adult male Northern Harrier on a couple of occasions.
7.5 hours (290.1) BAEA 1 (252), SSHA 1 (50), SWHA 1 (1), RTHA 3 (235), GOEA 2 (918) TOTAL 8 (1762)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1300-1700. It was another warm day with the temperature reaching 22C, winds were W light to moderate and the sky was cloudless. Just 4 migrants were seen: 1 subadult Bald Eagle, 2 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks and 1 juvenile Golden Eagle. Between 8 and 10 Turkey Vultures were on the wing all afternoon, the resident pair of Red-tailed Hawks were only seen once in the late afternoon and a non-migrant juvenile Golden Eagle moved south along the ridge. Virginia Rasch reported the first Osprey of the year along the Kootenay River this evening, and 2 Columbia Ground Squirrels were reported above ground for the first time this year.
4 hours (126) BAEA 1 (110), RTHA 2 (6), GOEA 1 (230) TOTAL 4 (356)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 39
HOURS 469.4

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 132
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 7
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 7
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 1
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 27
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 35
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 25
Buteo sp. (UB) 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2458
Eagle sp. (UE) 6
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 2
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 2
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 2682

 

April 10 [Day 40] (Cliff Hansen, assisted by Blake Weis) 0730-2030. It was one of the few days this month where the temperature was below normal with a high of 7C at 1600 and 1700 from a morning low of -2C, and it was 4C at 2000. Ground winds were very light or calm to 0900, then NE for the rest of the day, 5-20 km/h to 1300 after which they were 5-15 occasionally gusting to 25 km/h before becoming light again at the end of the day; ridge winds were moderate NE all day. Cloud cover was 100% stratus and altocumulus to 1200 that completely obscured both the eastern and western ridges to 0900. Cloud draping of 50-90% persisted on both ridge systems to 1500 under an 80% altocumulus cloud cover which gave way after 1400 to 50-20% cumulus until 1800 when it was 60% cirrus and cirrostratus. A combination of NE winds and low cloud cover for much of the day is usually a recipe for poor raptor movement but this was not the case today as 55 migrants of 8 species moved between 1115 and 1859, which is the highest count since March 27. The first bird of the day was an adult Turkey Vulture that flew low to the north west of the Hay Meadow. This was not only the first record of the season but the first ever for April, the previous two records of the species having been on March 18 and 31. At 1558 a second adult bird flew north above the Hay Meadow. The rest of the count comprised 9 Bald Eagles (6a, 2sa, 1j), 2 adult Sharp-shinned Hawks, 2 Cooper’s Hawks (1a, 1u), 4 adult Northern Goshawks, 2 unidentified small Accipiters, 4 Red-tailed Hawks (2 adult light morph calurus, 1 adult “Krider’s” Red-tailed Hawk (B.j borealis var “krideri”) and 1 juvenile dark morph harlani), 4 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 1 unidentified Buteo and 25 Golden Eagles (16a, 1sa, 3j, 5u). Because of the cloud cover birds moved slowly low above the valley or to the west to 1400, which afforded excellent views of the birds. After 1400 the eagles migrated from the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette although most of the smaller birds continued to move above the valley. Movement was fairly steady throughout the afternoon with 9 birds seen between 1300 and 1400, and 1500-1600, and 8 between 1700 and 1800. Other birds moving north were 75 American Robins and 150 European Starlings; . Eighteen American Pipits feeding on the river gravels were the first for the season and other birds included 4 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 10 Mountain Bluebirds (7 males, 3 females), 70 Bohemian Waxwings and 5 lingering Common Redpolls. A total of 25 visitors shared a rather good day.
13 hours (482.4) TUVU 2 (2), BAEA 9 (141), SSHA 2 (9), COHA 2 (3), NOGO 4 (31), RTHA 4 (9), RLHA 4 (32), UB 1 (1), GOEA 25 (2483) TOTAL 55 (2737)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1000-1915. The temperature at 1000 was 2C, and rose to a high of 9C from 1500-1900. Winds were variable but mainly ESE-SSE 5-11 km/h and cloud cover was 100% stratocumulus and altostratus to 1500 after which it rapidly broke up and by 1800 it was cloudless with occasional “cirrus” from degraded aircraft contrails. The light adverse winds again produced a slow day of raptor migration and only 9 birds were seen between 1222 and 1618, of which 5 occurred between 1222 and 1257. The highlight of the day was the season’s first Broad-winged Hawk, a dark morph adult that soared very high over the “Big Hill” before gliding very high to the NNW. It also proved to be the last migrant of the day. Other migrants were 1 adult male Northern Harrier, 1 unaged Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1 adult Cooper’s Hawk, 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk, 1 unidentified distant Buteo and 3 subadult Golden Eagles. Two pairs of Red-tailed Hawks were conspicuous throughout the day with frequent display behaviour.
9.25 hours (299.6) NOHA 1 (48), SSHA 1 (51), COHA 1 (6), BWHA 1 (1), RLHA 1 (132), UB 1 (6), GOEA 3 (921) TOTAL 9 (1771)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1300-1700. The temperature was 18C, winds were light SW and cloud cover was 50% cumulus becoming cloudless by the end of observation. No migrant raptors were seen, but local birds were 5 Turkey Vultures, 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk and 1 Red-tailed Hawk that either perched or displayed.
4 hours (130) TOTAL 0 (356)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 40
HOURS 482.4

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 2
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 141
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 7
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 9
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 3
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 31
Accipiter sp. (UA) 2
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 9
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 32
Buteo sp. (UB) 1
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2483
Eagle sp. (UE) 6
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 2
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 2
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 2737

 

April 11 [Day 41] (Terry Waters, assisted by Diane Stinson and Jennifer Waters) 0800-1930. The temperature high was 15C from a morning low of -5C and was 10C at the end of observation. Ground winds were SW all day, 5-10 gusting to 30 km/h by mid-afternoon and falling to 15 km/h at the end of the day, while ridge winds were moderate SW to 1400 after which they were strong. Cloud cover was 10% lenticular and cirrus to 1300 after which it was 100% stratocumulus for the rest of the day. The western ridges were up to 50% obscured to 1800, but the east was clear all day and observing conditions were good. A total of 9 eagles, 1 adult Bald and 8 Golden (4a, 1sa, 1j, 2u), appeared at the northern end of the Fisher Range and glided high to Mount Lorette between 1310 and 1838. Three of the birds moved between 1400 and 1500, and 4 between 1700 and 1800. There were 21 non-raptor species recorded near the site including 111 American Robins that flew to the north in 3 flocks, but there were no new seasonal arrivals. The local Red Fox was seen trotting along the path with a deer leg in its jaws, and there were 6 visitors to the site today.
11.5 hours (493.9) BAEA 1 (142), GOEA 8 (2491) TOTAL 9 (2746)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1000-1700. The temperature at the start of observation was 12C and reached a high of 19C at 1400 that persisted to the end of observation at 1700. Winds were W-WSW 18-40 gusting to 60 km/h, and cloud cover was 10-60% altostratus, altocumulus and lenticular to 1300 when the skies briefly were completely clear, but were subsequently 100-30% altostratus altocumulus and cumulus. Observing conditions were generally very good and a steady stream of 50 migrant raptors moved to the NW between 1027 and 1651. The flight comprised 2 Bald Eagles (1a, 1j), 1 adult female Northern Harrier, 12 Sharp-shinned Hawks (5a, 7u), a season-high 4 Cooper’s Hawks (3a, 1u), 2 small unidentified Accipiters, 19 calurus Red-tailed Hawks (15a and 1j light morphs, 1 adult rufous morph and 2 adult dark morphs), 2 light Rough-legged Hawks, 1 unidentified dark Buteo, 3 Golden Eagles (1a, 1j, 1u), 1 female American Kestrel, 1 juvenile grey morph Gyrfalcon, 1 Prairie Falcon and 1 small unidentified raptor. Three pairs of resident Red-tailed Hawks were conspicuous throughout with much interaction, displaying and leg-dangling behaviour.
7 hours (306.6) BAEA 2 (254), NOHA 1 (49), SSHA 12 (63), COHA 4 (10), UA 2 (3), RTHA 19 (254), RLHA 2 (134), UB 1 (7), GOEA 3 (924), AMKE 1 (10), GYRF 1 (8), PRFA 1 (7), UU 1 (6) TOTAL 50 (1821)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) No observation.

April 12 [Day 42] (Brian McBride, assisted by Cliff Hansen) 0715-2015. The temperature at 0715 was -2C, reached a high of 13C at 1700 and was 8C at 2000. Ground winds were E < 5 km/h to 1200 then SW 10-15 gusting to 25 km/h, and ridge winds were SW all day, light to 1000, moderate to 1500 then strong for the rest of the day. Cloud cover was 100% altostratus and cumulus to 1600 after which it broke up and reduced to 50% at the end of the day. The only migrant raptor seen was 1 adult Golden Eagle above the Fisher Range at 1419. Resident single Northern Goshawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk and Golden Eagle were seen, and only 9 non-raptor bird species were recorded. It was a spectacularly dull day that was shared in part by 6 visitors to the site.
13 hours (506.9) GOEA 1 (2492) TOTAL 1 (2747)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1030-1900. The temperature ranged between 14C and 16C all day, winds were W-SW 20-50 gusting to 70 km/h and cloud cover was 70-100% cumulus, altocumulus, cirrostratus and altostratus generally giving good observing conditions. Raptor movement was again fairly strong with a total of 35 birds of 8 species moving between 1115 and 1828. The count was 7 Bald Eagles (2a, 3sa, 2j), 8 Sharp-shinned Hawks (2a, 6u), 1 unaged Cooper’s Hawk, 1 unidentified small Accipiter, 1 light morph adult Broad-winged Hawk that soared high for 4 minutes before gliding to the NNW, 5 Red-tailed Hawks (calurus light 2a, 1u and rufous 1j, harlani dark 1 a), 2 light Rough-legged Hawks, 3 unidentified Buteos (1 dark, 2u), 6 Golden Eagles (2a, 2sa, 2j) and 1 adult male columbarius Merlin. A resident adult male Northern Harrier was seen hunting on a couple of occasions and the six resident Red-tailed Hawks were again conspicuous all day. A pair of Greater Sandhill Cranes flew high to the NW at 1250, a single bird soared high into the base of a cumulus cloud at 1334 before gliding high to the NW and at 1348 an adult Whooping Crane flew fairly low to the NNW furnishing the first ever record of the species for the area, and was definitely the highlight of the year so far.
8.5 hours (315.1) BAEA 7 (261), SSHA 8 (71), COHA 1 (11), UA 1 (4), BWHA 1 (2), RTHA 5 (259), RLHA 2 (136), UB 3 (10), GOEA 6 (930) MERL 1 (13) TOTAL 35 (1856)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1345-1645. The long period of hot clear weather gave way to overcast skies, a temperature of 13C and strong SW winds. The ridge was obscured to 1345 when observation began, but three hours of watching produced no migrant raptors. The only residents seen were a Turkey Vulture and a Red-tailed Hawk, but the first pair of resident American Kestrels were seen on the drive home.
3 hours (133) TOTAL 0 (356)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 42
HOURS 506.9

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 2
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 142
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 7
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 9
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 3
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 31
Accipiter sp. (UA) 2
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 9
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 32
Buteo sp. (UB) 1
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2492
Eagle sp. (UE) 6
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 2
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 2
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 2747

 

April 13 [Day 43] (George Halmazna, assisted by Blake Weis) 0630-1930. The temperature at 0630 was -2C, rose to a high of 10C at 1800 and was 6.5C when observation ceased at 1930. Ground winds were SW 5-10 km/h to 1100, 10-15 km/h to 1500 and the light WSW for the rest of the day; ridge winds were moderate W-WSW all day. Cloud cover was 50-100% cumulus to 0900 that produced snow flurries, then 80% cumulus and cirrostratus to 1600 and 60% cumulus for the rest of the day. The western ridges were up to 80% obscured in the morning and were not clear until after 1300, and the eastern ridges were clear after 1100. A total of 14 migrant raptors of 5 species were seen between 1048 and 1828 with 5 of the birds moving between 1700 and 1800. The flight comprised 1 juvenile Bald Eagle, 1 adult Northern Goshawk, a season-high 5 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks, 1u Rough-legged Hawk and 6 Golden Eagles (2a, 4j). All the birds moved from the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette. New birds for the season were 1 Red-naped Sapsucker, 1 Western Meadowlark and a Pacific Wren that Blake heard singing near Troll Falls.
13 hours (519.9) BAEA 1 (143), NOGO 1 (32), RTHA 5 (14), RLHA 1 (33), GOEA 6 (2498), TOTAL 14 (2761)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1000-1830. The temperature reached a high of 12C at 1600 from 8C at 1000, and was 11C at 1830. Winds were W-WSW all day, 20-40 gusting to 54 km/h, and cloud cover was 100% altostratus and cumulus to 1500 after which it was 60-30% altocumulus and cumulus giving sunny and excellent observation conditions. The first migrant, an adult Bald Eagle, was not seen until 1236 but subsequently there was a fairly steady flow of birds with the 30th bird, the day’s only migrant harrier, moving north at 1817. The count involving 10 species was 3 adult Bald Eagles, 1 juvenile female Northern Harrier, 6 Sharp-shinned Hawks (4a, 2u), 1 juvenile Cooper’s Hawk, 1 adult light morph Broad-winged Hawk, 6 adult Red-tailed Hawks (5 light morph calurus and 1 dark morph harlani), 2 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 6 Golden Eagles (2a, 1sa, 5j), 1 adult male columbarius Merlin and 1 male Prairie Falcon. Klaus Exner dropped by briefly and reported that he had seen 3 Ospreys in the area earlier in the day: 1 perched at the Mill Creek bridge, 5 km ENE of Beaver Mines, 1 on a nest platform on HW 775 near Marna Lake and 1 on a nest platform at the W end of Beauvais Lake, 8 km SW of Beaver Mines. He also reported that the first Osprey at Beauvais Lake was seen by his neighbour Peter Churchill on April 10. Osprey is the only regularly occurring raptor species that has not yet been seen on the Beaver Mines count this season.
8.5 hours (323.6) BAEA 3 (264), NOHA 1 (50), SSHA 6 (77), COHA 1 (12), BWHA 1 (3), RTHA 6 (265), RLHA 2 (138), GOEA 8 (938), MERL 1 (14), PRFA 1 (8) TOTAL 30 (1886)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) No observation.

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 43
HOURS 519.9

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 2
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 143
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 7
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 9
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 3
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 32
Accipiter sp. (UA) 2
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 14
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 33
Buteo sp. (UB) 1
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2498
Eagle sp. (UE) 6
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 2
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 2
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 2761

 

April 14 [Day 44] (Cliff Hansen, assisted by Kevin Barker) 0730-1830. There was little temperature range with -2C at 0730, a high of 3C at 1300 and 2C at 1830. Ground winds were light, mainly S to 1200 and then NE 5-10 gusting 15-20 km/h for the rest of the day, while ridge winds were light to moderate NE all day. The morning cloud cover was 100% low stratus and cumulus which obscured all ridges to 1000; after 1000 the cloud level rose but was still 100% altocumulus and cirrus to 1700 which allowed the eastern route to clear to 80% and the west to 40%, but after 1700 low stratus again completely enveloped the mountains. Moderate snow fell to 0900 which was succeeded by light flurries to 1700 after which steady light snow fell for the rest of the day but none accumulated on the ground. The only migrant raptor seen was a juvenile Bald Eagle which was seen at Lorette Ponds slowly flapping to the north at treetop level in the snow at 0736. A single adult resident Northern Goshawk was seen on three occasions, and a resident Red-tailed Hawk was also noted. Fortunately for the observers there was a reasonable variety of non-raptor species around the site including a male Red-naped Sapsucker, 1 Northern Shrike, 4 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 3 Mountain Bluebirds (2 males and 1 female), 23 American Robins, 4 Varied Thrushes, 15 American Pipits, a flock of 100 Bohemian Waxwings and 1 Western Meadowlark.
11 hours (530.9) BAEA 1 (144) TOTAL 1 (2762)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 0900-1800. The temperature at 0900 was 4C, rose to a high of 8.5C at 1500 and was 4C when observation ended at 1800. Winds were NNE-N all day 15-35 gusting to 50 km/h at 1700, and cloud cover was 100% stratus all day. All ridges were clear to 1450 when the ridges to the SW disappeared in cloud, but the “Big Hill” remained clear until 1800 when the forecast rain and sleet finally arrived. Despite the conditions there was a slow raptor migration of 14 birds between 1110 and 1713 that comprised a season-high 8 Northern Harriers (4 males (1a, 2j, 1u), 3 females (1j, 2u), and 1 bird of indeterminate sex and age), 2 adult Red-tailed Hawks (1 light calurus and 1 dark harlani), 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk, 2 Golden Eagles (1sa, 1j) and 1 Prairie Falcon. Up to 6 resident Red-tailed Hawks (2 or 3 pairs) were conspicuous after 1100 and because of the north wind they often kited high above the hill, facing me and giving the impression of approaching migrants although they never moved farther north than the centre of the valley. There was almost constant courtship or agonistic behaviour between the birds including pursuit flights, sky dancing, leg dangling and occasional aerial “fights”. At 1505 a female bird perched on a Douglas Fir near the top of the hill and at 1521 a male flew down and immediately copulated with her for a matter of seconds before leaving to perform what appeared to be a triumphal sky-dance high above the hill.
9 hours (332.6) NOHA 8 (58), RTHA 2 (267), RLHA 1 (139), GOEA 2 (940), PRFA 1 (9) TOTAL 14 (1900)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1345-1615. The temperature was 12C, conditions were calm and cloud cover was 100% stratus that brought light rain and covered the ridge by 1600. The only migrant raptor was the first Osprey of the year, and the only other bird seen was a resident Turkey Vulture.
2.5 hours (135.5) OSPR 1 (1) TOTAL 1 (357)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 44
HOURS 530.9

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 2
OSPREY (OSPR) 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 144
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 7
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 9
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 3
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 32
Accipiter sp. (UA) 2
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 14
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 33
Buteo sp. (UB) 1
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2498
Eagle sp. (UE) 6
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 2
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 2
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 2762

 

April 15 [Day 45] (George Halmazna, assisted by Dan Parliament) 0700-2015. The temperature was -6.5C at 0700, rose to a high of 10C at 1800 and was 4C at 2000. Ground winds were light or calm all day, SE to 1400 and then SW, while ridge winds were SW-WSW light to 1500 then moderate for the rest of the day. Cloud cover was initially 60% low stratus that obscured the east ridges to 20% and the west to 40%, but they quickly cleared and by 0800 there was 10% cumulus cover which slowly increased to 80% cumulus and cirrus at 1800, and was 50% cumulus at the end of observation. A total of 18 raptor migrants of 6 species was counted between 1115, which was the first Osprey of the season, and 1908, which was the 13th Golden Eagle of the day (3a, 8j, 2u). The rest of the count was 1 subadult Bald Eagle, 1 adult female Northern Harrier, 1 adult Cooper’s Hawk and 1 adult “Krider’s” Red-tailed Hawk (B.j borealis var “krideri”). All the eagles moved high and fast above the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette, with 5 recorded between 1800 and 1900. Resident Northern Goshawk, Red-tailed Hawk and Golden Eagle were also seen. A total of 32 non-raptor bird species were also recorded including 6 Tree Swallows and 1 Northern Rough-winged Swallow, and a visit to the beaver pond complex north of the site yielded 13 American Wigeon, 17 Green-winged Teal, 5 Bufflehead and 3 Common Goldeneye. Wood Frogs were vocalising all day and were seen laying egg masses, and a single Green Comma butterfly was also recorded.
13.25 hours (544.2) OSPR 1 (1), BAEA 1 (145), NOHA 1 (8), COHA 1 (4), RTHA 1 (15), GOEA 13 (2511) TOTAL 18 (2780)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1130-1830. Three centimetres of wet snow fell overnight, but neighbours living near the top of the Gladstone Valley Road to the SSE reported 30 cm. Light rain continue to fall until 1030 and low stratus obscured the ridges, but by 1130 when observation began the ridge was clear although the mountains to the SW remained obscured until noon. The temperature at 1130 was 5C and rose to a high of 11.5C at 1800. Winds were S-SSW all day 5-15 km/h, and cloud cover was initially 100% thin altostratus and cumulus which gave way to 30% altocumulus and cumulus to 1300 after which it was completely cloudless for the rest of the day. There was a fairly strong raptor movement involving 7 species that migrated between 1145 and 1706 after which movement completely ceased. The flight was 3 Bald Eagles (2a, 1 late subadult), 1 juvenile female Northern Harrier, 6 Sharp-shinned Hawks (3a, 3u), 2 adult Cooper’s Hawks, 5 light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks (3a, 2j), 12 Golden Eagles (2a, 4sa, 5j, 1u) and 1 pure white morph Gyrfalcon. The Gyrfalcon glided fast to the NNW at 1616 and then soared briefly very close to me showing its immaculate white body and underwings (except for the black primary tips) before continuing its migration. This is the first time that I have personally recorded this rare morph on a raptor count. Still no Osprey though!
7 hours (340) BAEA 3 (267), NOHA 1 (59), SSHA 6 (83), COHA 2 (14), RTHA 5 (272), GOEA 12 (952), GYRF 1 (9) TOTAL 30 (1930)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) No observation.

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 45
HOURS 544.2

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 2
OSPREY (OSPR) 1
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 145
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 8
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 9
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 4
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 32
Accipiter sp. (UA) 2
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 15
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 33
Buteo sp. (UB) 1
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2511
Eagle sp. (UE) 6
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 2
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 2
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 2780

 

April 16 [Day 46] (Jim Davis, assisted by Lori Anderson) 0700-1945. The temperature reached a high of 16C at 1700 from a morning low of 0C and was still 13C at the end of observation at 1945. Ground winds were calm or light SW all day with the exception of 1500-1600 when there were gusts up to 24 km/h, while ridge winds were SW light in the morning and moderate in the afternoon. Cloud cover was 10-30% cumulus to 1900 when it reduced to 10% cirrostratus, and observing conditions were excellent all day. A total of 16 migrants of 7 species were seen between 0937 and 1837which included a season-high count of 7 adult calurus Red-tailed Hawks (6 light morphs and 1 dark morph which proved to be the last bird of the day). The rest of the count was 1 adult Bald Eagle, 1 adult male Northern Harrier, 1 unaged Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1 juvenile Northern Goshawk, 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk and 4 Golden Eagles (3a, 1u). With the exception of 1200-1300 and 1900-1945 at least one migrant was recorded each hour with a peak count of 5 between 1400 and 1500. Because of the calm conditions 10 of the birds were initially located on the western route from where most bird moved across the valley to the NE before migrating towards the north. Only 5 birds used the eastern ridges with 4 initially located over the northern end of the Fisher Range and 1 over Mount Lorette. One bird flew high above the centre of the valley. There was a good selection of non-raptor species around the site but the only first record for the season was a White-breasted Nuthatch. A Great Horned Owl sang at 0700, a single flock of about 250 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches flew high to the north above the eastern side of the valley and the Wood Frogs were in good voice. A total of 40 visitors shared the delightful spring day.
12.75 (556.9) BAEA 1 (146), NOHA 1 (9), SSHA 1 (10), NOGO 1 (33), RTHA 7 (22) RLHA 1 (34), GOEA 4 (2515) TOTAL 16 (2796)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1015-1915. It was another warm sunny day with a starting temperature of 11C that reached a high of 16C at 1700 and 1800, winds were steady W-SW 13-28 km/h with only occasional gusts to 40 km/h, and cloud cover was 80-40% altostratus, altocumulus and cumulus to 1200, 40-60% cumulus to  1700 after which it reduced to 10% cumulus. Observing conditions were very good throughout but movement was sporadic and between 1156 and 1646 only three migrants were recorded. Most birds soared and glided very high throughout the day and although the sky conditions were excellent locating and identifying them was challenging. The count was 25 migrants of 7 species that moved between 1024 and 1856: 1 subadult Bald Eagle, 1 adult female Northern Harrier, 4 Sharp-shinned Hawks (2a, 2u), 6 calurus Red-tailed Hawks (5 light morphs (1a, 2j, 2u) and 1 unaged dark morph), 4 Rough-legged Hawks (3 light and 1 dark) that moved at very high altitudes between 1704 and 1750, 2 unidentified Buteos and 7 Golden Eagles (1a, 1sa, 3j, 2u).
9 hours (348.6) BAEA 1 (268), NOHA 1 (60), SSHA 4 (87), RTHA 6 (278), RLHA 4 (143), UB 2 (12), GOEA 7 (959) TOTAL 25 (1955)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1300-1600. The temperature was 18C, conditions were mainly calm and cloud cover was 50% cumulus. Just one migrant, a Red-tailed Hawk, was seen that moved just as Vance arrived at the site and as he had not set up his spotting scope he could not further define it. Non-migrant and resident birds at the site were 5 Turkey Vultures, 2 interacting adult Bald Eagles, 1 hunting adult female Northern Harrier and 1 adult Golden Eagle.
3 hours (138.5) RTHA 1 (7) TOTAL 1 (358)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 46
HOURS 556.9

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 2
OSPREY (OSPR) 1
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 146
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 9
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 10
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 4
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 33
Accipiter sp. (UA) 2
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 22
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 34
Buteo sp. (UB) 1
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2515
Eagle sp. (UE) 6
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 2
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 2
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2
Falco sp. (UF) 1
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 2796

 

April 17 [Day 47] (Bill Wilson, assisted by Blake Weis) 0625-2100. The temperature was -2C at the start, rose to 18.5C at 1700 and was 10C at 2100 when observation ended. Winds were SW 2-5 km/h to 0900, SE 2-10 km/h to 1300 then SW for the rest of the day, 5-10 gusting 30 km/h to 1800 after which they were 2-5 km/h.; ridge winds were moderate SW all day. Cloud cover was 50-90% thin altostratus to 1100 that changed to 30-20% cirrus to 1300 after which it was cloudless until 30% cirrus developed again after 1900. Raptor movement was very slow and by 1700 only 3 birds had been seen. Three more occurred between 1700 and 1800 and a late “rush” of 7 birds between 1900 and 2000 brought the final total to 13. The count was 2 Bald Eagles (1j, 1u), 1 juvenile female Northern Harrier, 1 unaged Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1 adult calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 7 Golden Eagles (1a, 2sa, 2j, 2u) and 1 unidentified falcon that was the last bird of the day seen at 1959. Thirty-one other species of bird were recorded including 4 unidentified gulls flying high over the Fisher Range, first records of single Wilson’s Snipe, Yellow-rumped [Myrtle] Warbler and Fox Sparrow, and the Pacific Wren was again heard singing at Troll Falls. A Milbert’s Tortoiseshell butterfly was also a first for the season. There were 28 visitors to the site today.
14.58 hours (571.5) BAEA 2 (148), NOHA 1 (10), SSHA 1 (11), RTHA 1 (23), GOEA 7 (2522), UF 1 (2) TOTAL 13 (2809)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1000-1800. The temperature at 1000 was 13C and reached a high of 19.5C at 1700; winds were W 13-22 km/h to 1200 then light ESE-E for the rest of the day, and cloud cover was 80-90% thin altostratus to 1100, then 30-10% altocumulus to 1300 and finally cloudless after 1500. A combination of light E winds and cloudless skies for much of the day resulted in a poor count of only 7 birds between 1044 and 1604, comprising 1 juvenile Bald Eagle, 1 adult female Northern Harrier, 4 calurus Red-tailed Hawks (3 light morphs (1a, 2j) and 1 adult dark morph) and 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk. Late in the day the only birds seen in the clear blue sky were up to 6 resident Red-tailed Hawks.
8 hours (356.6) BAEA 1 (269), NOHA 1 (61), RTHA 4 (282), RLHA 1 (144) TOTAL 7 (1962)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1200-1700. The temperature reached 21C, with calm or light SW winds and a cloudless sky. Three juvenile migrant Golden Eagles were seen: 2 at 1522 and a third at 1614. Resident Turkey Vultures were in the air all afternoon including a kettle of 6 at 1645.
5 hours (143.5) GOEA 3 (233) TOTAL 3 (361)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 47
HOURS 571.5

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 2
OSPREY (OSPR) 1
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 148
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 10
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 11
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 4
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 33
Accipiter sp. (UA) 2
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 23
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 34
Buteo sp. (UB) 1
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2522
Eagle sp. (UE) 6
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 2
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 2
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2
Falco sp. (UF) 2
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 2809

 

April 18 [Day 48] (Jim Davis, assisted by Heinz Unger) 0800-2100. The temperature reached a high of 22C at 1700 from a morning low of -2C and it was 14C at 2100 at the end of observation. Ground winds were mainly light SW all day except for 1200 and 1400 when gusts of 15 km/h were measured, and ridge winds were probably SW light to moderate all day. It was cloudless to 1900 after which 10-20% cirrus, and lenticular cloud developed to the north behind Mount Lorette. Although the first migrant, a Golden Eagle, was seen at 0937, movement was very slow and by 1700 only 6 birds had been recorded. The following hour, however, produced 7 migrants and after another blank hour 1900 to 2000 produced 8 Golden Eagles and the final Golden Eagle of the day flew to the NW at 2005. The final count was 1 subadult Bald Eagle, 1 adult Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1 juvenile Northern Goshawk, 9 Red-tailed Hawks (7 calurus adults (6 light and 1 dark morph), 1 adult “Krider’s” Red-tailed Hawk (B.j borealis), and 1 undifferentiated dark morph bird), and 10 Golden Eagles (2a, 1j, 7u). All the Red-tailed Hawks and the Sharp-shinned Hawk moved low to the north above the centre of the valley between 1700 and 1800, and after 1905 all but one of the day’s Golden Eagles originated from the Wasootch Creek area and glided very high to Mount Lorette. No new bird arrivals were noted, but 10 Milbert’s Tortoiseshell butterflies added colour to a splendid spring day.
13 hours (584.5) BAEA 1 (149), SSHA 1 (12), NOGO 1 (34), RTHA 9 (32), GOEA 10 (2532) TOTAL 22 (2831)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1000-1900. The temperature at 1000 was 11C and reached a high of 22C at 1600 and 1700 and was 20C at 1900. Winds were E-ESE generally light to 1500 but then increased to 15-25 km/h for the rest of the day, and it was completely cloudless all day. The day started briskly with 7 migrants between 1000 and 1100 and a further 4 before noon, but movement then slowed and the final count was 20 raptors of 9 species that were seen between 1032 and 1737. The count was 4 Bald Eagles (1a, 3j), 3 juvenile Northern Harriers (1 male, 2 females), 3 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 2u), 1 adult Cooper’s Hawk, 1 juvenile Northern Goshawk, 1 light morph Swainson’s Hawk, 4 light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks (3a, 1j), 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk and 2 Golden Eagles (1a, 1j). Up to 6 resident Red-tailed Hawks soared, interacted and displayed above the ridge to 1700.
9 hours (365.6) BAEA 4 (273), NOHA 3 (64), SSHA 3 (90), COHA 1 (15), NOGO 1 (59), SWHA 1 (2), RTHA 4 (286), RLHA 1 (145), GOEA 2 (961) TOTAL 20 (1982)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) No observation.

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 48
HOURS 584.5

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 2
OSPREY (OSPR) 1
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 149
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 10
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 12
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 4
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 34
Accipiter sp. (UA) 2
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 32
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 34
Buteo sp. (UB) 1
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2532
Eagle sp. (UE) 6
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 2
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 2
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2
Falco sp. (UF) 2
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 2831

 

April 19 [Day 49] (Brian McBride, assisted by Cliff Hansen) 0700-2100. The temperature reached a season-high 23C at 1700 and 1800 from a morning low of 2C and was 15C at 2100. Ground winds were light SW-W all day, occasionally gusting to 15 km/h in the early afternoon and ridge winds were also mainly light SW all day. Cloud cover was 80-90% altostratus to 1200 which diminished to 50% to 1700 and was then 80% thin altostratus which gave hazy sunshine for the rest of the day. A total of 14 migrant raptors were seen between 1115 and 1840 comprising 2 juvenile Bald Eagles, 2 adult Sharp-shinned Hawks, 3 adult calurus Red-tailed Hawks (1 light, 2 dark), 2 light morph Rough-legged Hawks and 5 Golden Eagles (1sa, 4j). With the exception of the 2 dark Red-tailed Hawks which were the first migrants of the day that flew low to the north above the centre of the valley, the other migrants were located, often at a considerable altitude above the Fisher Range, from where the Golden Eagles moved to the NW to Mount Lorette or Skogan Pass, while most of the other raptors flew directly north. Five of the migrants, 2 Bald Eagles, 1 Sharp-shinned Hawks and 2 Golden Eagles, occurred between 1500 and 1600. At 1345 a pair of resident Red-tailed Hawks flew from the west, sky-danced over the eastern side of the valley after which the male presented the female with food (probably a ground squirrel) in mid-air. At 2005 the season’s first Brown-headed Cowbird, a male, was seen feeding on insects disturbed by a herd of 6 White-tailed Deer feeding in the meadow, repeatedly jumping up between their hind legs to catch its prey. At 2010 a three-point stag Elk and an older, larger stag that had recently shed its antlers arrived at the meadow to feed. Eight visitors were at the site today.
14 hours (598.5) BAEA 2 (151), SSHA 2 (14), RTHA 3 (35), RLHA 2 (36), GOEA 5 (2537) TOTAL 14 (2845)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 0915-1215, 1345-1630, 1800-2000. The temperature high was a remarkable 26.5C at 1700 which is 15.5C above normal for this date. At 0915 it was already 15C and at the end of observation it was still 21C. Winds were quite variable from NW to S, mainly light to 1700, but subsequently W-SW 20-25 km/h. Cloud cover was 60-40% altostratus to 1100 and then it was cloudless for the rest of the day. Only 7 migrants were seen between 0957 and 1529 and 4 of these occurred between 0957 and 1047. The count was 1 unaged female Northern Harrier, 2 unaged Sharp-shinned Hawks, 2 Cooper’s Hawks (1a, 1j) and 2 juvenile light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks. Once again resident Red-tailed Hawks, probably up to 8 birds, were almost continuously in the air, soaring high above the ridge usually in pairs with occasional displays, or hunting above the valley. A bird was still gliding high above the ridge at 2000 when observation ended. The most amazing observation of what was otherwise a very slow day, however, was a Red Admiral butterfly at 1430 which is the earliest I have ever seen in the area by a couple of months and they are rarely seen anywhere in Alberta until the second week of May. A Brown Elfin also made its first appearance more-or-less on schedule!
7.75 hours (373.3) NOHA 1 (65), SSHA 2 (92), COHA 2 (17), RTHA 2 (288) TOTAL 7 (1989)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) No observation.

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 49
HOURS 598.5

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 2
OSPREY (OSPR) 1
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 151
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 10
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 14
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 4
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 34
Accipiter sp. (UA) 2
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 35
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 36
Buteo sp. (UB) 1
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2537
Eagle sp. (UE) 6
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 2
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 2
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2
Falco sp. (UF) 2
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 2845

 

April 20 [Day 50] (George Halmazna, assisted by Dan Parliament) 0700-2030. The temperature at 0700 was -1.5C, reached a high of 1700 at 1600 and 1700 and was 13C at 2000. It was calm to 1000 then ground winds were mainly NE 5-15 gusting to 23 km/h in mid-afternoon that became very light after 1900, while ridge winds were E-NE light to moderate all day. Cloud cover was 30-70% cirrus all day. A total of 8 raptors migrated between 0907 and 1745 comprising 1 adult Bald Eagle, 1 adult female Northern Harrier, 1 juvenile Northern Goshawk, 1 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 1 Rough-legged Hawk of unknown morph and 3 juvenile Golden Eagles. Apart from 1 Golden Eagle seen on the western route all birds moved from the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette or over Skogan Pass. A roosting Osprey seen at Lorette Ponds at 2010 was regarded as a migrant, but this could be revised if the bird proves to be a resident. A total of 36 non-raptor bird species were recorded including first records of Townsend’s Solitaire, Orange-crowned Warbler and 6 Savannah Sparrows.
13.5 hours (612) OSPR 1 (2), BAEA 1 (152), NOHA 1 (11), NOGO 1 (35), RTHA 1 (36), RLHA 1 (37), GOEA 3 (2540) TOTAL 9 (2854)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1000-1900. The temperature ranged from 14C at 1000 to a high of 18C at 1700 and 1800, winds were E-ENE 10-17 km/h with occasional gusts to 30 km/h, and cloud cover was 10-20% thin altostratus and cirrus all day. It was a very slow day of migration with only 6 birds seen between 1025 and 1424: 1 adult light morph Broad-winged Hawk and 5 juvenile light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks. Three pairs of resident Red-tailed Hawks were prominent until mid-afternoon after which they essentially vanished. An adult male Northern Harrier hunting low over the valley was mobbed by a Red-tailed Hawk at 1700 and a resident Sharp-shinned Hawk mobbed a Red-tail over the ridge at 1440. The forecast for next two days (the last of the count) is for SW winds and possible thundershowers before three days of rain begins on Saturday. This should produce a decent migration that will raise the total above 2000 and might even produce the long awaited Osprey which will complete the “Grand Slam” of 18 raptor species for the count.
9 hours (382) BWHA 1 (4), RTHA 5 (293) TOTAL 6 (1995)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) No observation.

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 50
HOURS 612

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 2
OSPREY (OSPR) 2
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 152
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 11
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 14
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 4
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 35
Accipiter sp. (UA) 2
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 36
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 37
Buteo sp. (UB) 1
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2540
Eagle sp. (UE) 6
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 2
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 2
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2
Falco sp. (UF) 2
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 2854

 

April 20  Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 1000-1900. The temperature ranged from 14C at 1000 to a high of 18C at 1700 and 1800, winds were E-ENE 10-17 km/h with occasional gusts to 30 km/h, and cloud cover was 10-20% thin altostratus and cirrus all day. It was a very slow day of migration with only 6 birds seen between 1025 and 1424: 1 adult light morph Broad-winged Hawk and 5 calurus Red-tailed Hawks (4 light morph juveniles and 1 dark morph adult). Three pairs of resident Red-tailed Hawks were prominent until mid-afternoon after which they essentially vanished. An adult male Northern Harrier hunting low over the valley was mobbed by a Red-tailed Hawk at 1700 and a resident Sharp-shinned Hawk mobbed a Red-tail over the ridge at 1440. The forecast for next two days (the last of the count) is for SW winds and possible thundershowers before three days of rain begins on Saturday. This should produce a decent migration that will raise the total above 2000 and might even produce the long awaited Osprey which will complete the “Grand Slam” of 18 raptor species for the count.
9 hours (382) BWHA 1 (4), RTHA 5 (293) TOTAL 6 (1995)

April 21 [Day 51] (Cliff Hansen, assisted by Kevin Barker and Chris Hunt) 0730-2030. It was another pleasant spring day with the temperature reaching a high of 20C between 1400 and 1700 from a morning low of 2C, and it was still 13C at 2030. Ground winds were calm or light S to 1500 after which they changed to NE 5-10 gusting to 35 km/h for the rest of the day only lessening towards the end of the count; ridge winds were WSW-SW light to moderate all day. Cloud cover was 100% altostratus to 1400 after which it became thin and broken with cumulus increasingly developing which became cumulonimbus to the west bringing rain and thunder to Mount Allan at 2000, although the valley to the east remained dry. A total of 9 migrants of 5 species were recorded between 1044 and 1339 all of which moved fairly low with much flapping along the western route to Skogan Pass and on to the NW. Nothing was seen after 1339 which may be blamed on the shift of the lower winds to the NE. The flight was 2 Bald Eagles (1a, 1j), 2 adult Sharp-shinned Hawks, 1 adult Cooper’s Hawk, 2 light morph Rough-legged Hawks and 2 juvenile Golden Eagles that were the first migrants of the day. Five of the birds moved between 1044 and 1100. There were plenty of other bird to keep the observers busy, however, and 37 non-raptor species were reported including the first 4 Yellow-rumped [Audubon’s] Warblers of the season, and the first Great Blue Herons that flew to the north above the river. Ten visitors came to the site today, and tomorrow is the last day of the spring 2016 count so it will be the last chance to join the observers and enjoy the area and, maybe, at the end of the day to help in the removal or storage of equipment.
13 hours (625) BAEA 2 (154), SSHA 2 (16), COHA 1 (5), RLHA 2 (39), GOEA 2 (2542) TOTAL 9 (2863)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 0945-1915. It was another hot day for the time of year with the temperature reaching a high of 24C from 1500 to 1800. Winds were initially calm to light SE to just before 1300 when they changed to WSW 10-20 gusting up to 28 km/h for the rest of the day. Cloud cover was 100% altostratus all day that became thinner with development of cumulus cloud after 1500 giving excellent observing conditions for the rest of the day. Before the wind shift at 1500 only 3 migrants had been recorded: 2 unaged Sharp-shinned Hawks and 1 adult Cooper’s Hawk. Between 1553 and 1756, however, 9 raptors, 4 Bald Eagles (3a, 1j), 3 calurus Red-tailed Hawks (2 light (1j, 1u) and 1 unaged dark morph), 1 male columbarius Merlin of undetermined age and 1 adult male Peregrine Falcon. The flow then stopped for over an hour until at 1901 an adult female Peregrine Falcon flew overhead to the NNW in perfect evening light as the last migrant of the day. The only butterfly was the season’s first Spring Azure, which was the earliest I had ever seen here. Tomorrow will also be the last day of the Beaver Mines count.
9.5 hours (391.8) BAEA 4 (277), SSHA 2 (94), COHA 1 (18), RTHA 3 (296), MERL 1 (15), PEFA 2 (11) TOTAL 13 (2008)

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1215-1715. It was also a hot day on the western flanks of the Rocky Mountains where the temperature reached 25C, conditions were calm or light W winds and 100-60% thin altostratus cloud cover gave hazy sunshine. The conditions produced the first double-digit count at the site since March 29 with 11 migrants of 4 species moving between 1215 and 1645 comprising 1 Osprey, 7 Bald Eagles (3a, 1sa, 3j), 2 unaged Sharp-shinned Hawks and 1 juvenile light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk. Six of the migrants were seen before 1300. As usual at the site non-migrant birds were common and conspicuous including 12 Turkey Vultures (5 of which kettled at one point, and 3 soared high with 2 Bald Eagles late in the day), 11 adult Bald Eagles, 1 adult Sharp-shinned Hawk and a pair of Red-tailed Hawks. April 22 I will also be the last day of the Steeples count which is an excellent place to observe raptor behaviour even when no active migration is occurring.
5 hours (148.5) OSPR 1 (2), BAEA 7 (117), SSHA 2 (4), RTHA 1 (8) TOTAL 11 (372)

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)
DAYS 51
HOURS 625

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 2
OSPREY (OSPR) 2
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 154
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 11
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 16
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 5
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 35
Accipiter sp. (UA) 2
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 36
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 39
Buteo sp. (UB) 1
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2542
Eagle sp. (UE) 6
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0
MERLIN (MERL) 2
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 2
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2
Falco sp. (UF) 2
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 3

TOTAL 2863

 

April 22 [Day 52] (George Halmazna, assisted by Dan Parliament) 0700-1700. The temperature at 0700 was 2C, rose to a high of 10C from 1400 to 1700. Winds were NE all day, 5-15 km/h at 0700, calm to 2 km/h to 1100 then 10-30 km/h for the rest of the day, while ridge winds were moderate NW all day. It was 100% overcast to 1000 after which it was 80-100% cirrus and cumulus for the rest of the day. Light rain fell in the valley between 1200 and 1300 and there were snow flurries to the west but the ridges were clear all day. Only 2 migrating raptors were seen: an unaged Sharp-shinned Hawks at 1047 and an adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk at 1107. A total of 30 non-raptor bird species were noted but a male Brewer’s Blackbird was the only new species for the season. No visitors came to celebrate the end of a very successful and well conducted count, but Cliff Hansen and Heinz Unger arrived to clean up the site and remove the equipment.
10 hours (635) SSHA 1 (17), RTHA 1 (37) TOTAL 2 (2865)
April Summary, with percentage variance from the average counts 1993 to 2015, excluding the anomalously low counts in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012, in parentheses : 22 days (+ 9.1), 286 hours (+24.5), TUVU 2 (+4500), OSPR 2 (+24.3), BAEA 55 (-16.2), NOHA 8 (+145), SSHA 13 (-34.7), COHA 5 (-8.73), NOGO 15 (+44.4), RTHA 34 (+51.6), RLHA 20 (+62), GOEA 203 (-55.95), PEFA 1 (+15), PRFA 1 (-8), UA 2 (+24.3), UB 1 (-14.8), UE 2 (+64.3), UF 1 (+109), UU 1 (-4.2) TOTAL 366 (-40.5)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) 0945-1915. The temperature at 0945 was 9C, rose to a high at 1600 of 15C and was 12C at 1915. Winds were mainly SE-ESE 10-20 km/h to 1400 then E-NE 17-22 gusting to 34 km/h for the rest of the day, and cloud cover was 100% altostratus and cumulus or altocumulus all day giving excellent observing conditions. Despite the apparently unfavourable winds there was a fairly persistent raptor movement of 29 birds between 0957 and 1833 involving 9 species. The count comprised 1 adult Bald Eagle, 3 Northern Harriers (1 adult male and 2 juvenile females), 4 unaged Sharp-shinned Hawks, a season-high 5 Broad-winged Hawks (1 unaged light morph bird and 4 undifferentiated birds that soared so high at 1344 that they vanished), a season-high 3 adult light morph Swainson’s Hawks, 3 light Rough-legged Hawks, 2 unidentified Buteos (1 light and 1 dark), 2 Golden Eagles (1a, 1sa) and 1 adult male columbarius Merlin. No Osprey was seen so the “Grand Slam” of 18 species was not achieved.
9.5 hours (401.3) BAEA 1 (278), NOHA 3 (68), SSHA 4 (98), BWHA 5 (9), SWHA 3 (5), RTHA 5 (301), RLHA 3 (148), UB 2 (14), GOEA 2 (963), MERL 1 (16) TOTAL 29 (2037)
April Summary: 22 days (194.25 hours) BAEA 119, NOHA 46, SSHA 89, COHA 18, NOGO 15, UA 3, BWHA 9, SWHA 5, RTHA 236, RLHA 48, UB 10, GOEA 132, UE 1, AMKE 5, MERL 10, GYRF 2, PEFA 9, PRFA 4, UU 1 TOTAL 762
Final Count 52 days (401.34 hours) TUVU 2, OSPR 0, BAEA 278, NOHA 68, SSHA 98, COHA 18, NOGO 59, UA 4, BWHA 9, SWHA 5, RTHA 301, FEHA 6, RLHA 148, UB 14, GOEA 963, UE 3, AMKE 10, MERL 16, GYRF 9, PEFA 11, PRFA 9, UU 6 TOTAL 2037

Steeples (Vance Mattson) 1300-1600. Observation today was from the South Lakit site where the temperature was 21C, winds were light W and cloud cover was 60-90% altostratus and cumulus. No migrant raptors were seen, and resident birds were 5 Turkey Vultures and 1 Red-tailed Hawk
3 hours (151.5) TOTAL 0 (372)
April Summary: 14 days (53 hours) OSPR 2, BAEA 15, SSHA 2, RTHA 6, GOEA 6 TOTAL 31
Final count 34 days (151.6 hours) TUVU 2, OSPR 2 BAEA 117, NOHA 1, SSHA 4, NOGO 2, RTHA 8, RLHA 1, GOEA 233, UE 2 TOTAL 372

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22) (with percentage variances from the long-term averages for the period 1993-2007, 2011 and 2013-15)
DAYS 52 (+4.7)
HOURS 635 (+15.5)

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 2 (+1167)
OSPREY (OSPR) 2 (+5.6)
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 154 (-15.5)
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 11 (+145.9)
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 17 (-32.6)
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 5 (-26.9)
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 35 (+56.5)
Accipiter sp. (UA) 2 (-2.6)
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0 (-100)
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0 (never recorded during the count period)
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 37 (+31.6)
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 (-100)
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 39 (+112.9)
Buteo sp. (UB) 1 (-48.6)
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2542 (-14.9)
Eagle sp. (UE) 6 (+81.0)
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0 (-100)
MERLIN (MERL) 2 (-71.2)
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1 (-17.4)
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 2 (+81)
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2 (-7.3)
Falco sp. (UF) 2 (+153.3)
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 3 (+72.7)

TOTAL 2865 (-13.1)


Comments are closed.