RMERF counts, April 3

Tuesday, April 3 Mount Lorette [Day 30] 0730-2000 (Blake Weis assisted by Brian McBride, Caroline Lambert and Ethan Denton). The temperature at 0730 was -17C, the high at 1400-1500 and again at 1700-1900 was -1C and it was -2C at the end of observation. Ground winds were SW 0-5 km/h all day that gusted to 15 km/h after 1100, and ridge winds were moderate SW all day. Cloud cover was altostratus, cumulus and altocumulus throughout, 30-60% to 1300 after which it was 80-90%. The east ridges were clear to 1900 after which they were up to 30% obscured, and the west was clear in the morning but variably 20-80% obscured in the afternoon. There were occasional snow flurries between 1400 and 1600. A total of 40 migrant raptors were recorded between 0910 and 1822 comprising 4 Bald Eagles (3a, 1j), 1 unidentified large Accipiter, 4 calurus Red-tailed Hawks (3 light morphs: 1a, 2u, and 1 adult dark morph), and 31 Golden Eagles (24a, 3sa, 1j, 3u). The first 6 Golden Eagles were located over Mount Lorette and probably came from Wasootch Creek, but with a few exceptions after 1100 all the birds glided along the Fisher Range across to Mount Lorette, and soaring flight was seen in only the early and late migrants. Nine migrants were seen before 1100, only 3 moved in the next 2 hours and the main movement was 23 between 1300 and 1600 with a maximum hourly count of 13 (1400-1500); only 5 more birds were seen after 1600. Non-migrant raptors were an adult Bald Eagle, a pair of Northern Goshawks, one of which pursued a flock of American Robins over the Hay Meadow, and the resident pair of Golden Eagles that displayed together over Mount Old Baldy. Other bird species were 3 Common Goldeneyes, 5 Common Mergansers, 1 Hairy Woodpecker, 1 Northern Flicker, 17 Common Ravens, 1 Townsend’s Solitaire, 1 Black-capped Chickadee, 1 Mountain Chickadee, 1 Boreal Chickadee, 2 Red-breasted Nuthatches, 14 American Robins and 1 Dark-eyed Junco. Five visitors came to the site today.

12.5 hours (337.5) BAEA 4 (132), UA 1 (1), RTHA 4 (11), GOEA 31 (1859) TOTAL 40 (2061)

 

Tuesday, April 3 Beaver Mines [Day 38] 0700-2000 (Peter Sherrington). The starting temperature was -13C the high was 2C (1300-1500) and it was -1C at 2000. Winds were WNW 10-20 km/h to 1020 when they switched to W-WSW for the rest of the day, 20-35 gusting to 50 km/h, but becoming light (<5 km/h) at the end of the day. Cloud cover was initially 20% altostratus and altocumulus that quickly increased to 70-90% to 1030 when it was 10-20% cumulus to 1500, and then 70-100% altostratus and minor cumulus for the rest of the day. There were light snow flurries between 1520 and 1530, and 1805 and 1815, but they did not affect the good observing conditions that prevailed all day. A total of 64 migrant raptors of 6 species moved between 0731 and 1910 that comprised 6 adult Bald Eagles, 2 adult Northern Goshawks, the season’s first Broad-winged Hawk, an adult light morph bird, 5 adult calurus Red-tailed Hawks (3 light, 2 dark), 4 Rough-legged Hawks (1 light 3 dark) and 46 Golden Eagles (40a, 3sa, 3j). The first birds seen were 2 Rough-legged Hawks at 0731 but the main movement did not begin until the WSW winds began to blow after which migration was steady with a high hourly count of 10 (1300-1400). The last birds at 1910 were a kettle of 5 Golden Eagles that soared high above the ridge for several minutes before gliding to the NW. The Golden Eagle total to-date of 1170 is a new spring high count for the species at the site, one more than the 1169 counted in 2015. This probably reflects the higher number of observation hours rather than an increase in the number of migrating birds.

13 hours (371.7) BAEA 6 (203), NOGO 2 (17), BWHA 1 (1), RTHA 5 (40), RLHA 4 (76), GOEA 46 (1170) TOTAL 64 (1547)

 

Tuesday, April 3 Steeples [Day 25] 1545-1745 (Vance Mattson). The temperature was 3C, cloud cover was 100% altostratus and cumulus and winds were strong S. The only migrants were 1 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk at 1545 and 1 adult Golden Eagle at 1620. The only other raptor seen was a resident adult Golden Eagle at 1717. More exiting events occurred on the way to and from the site, at a lagoon at the south end of Wasa Lake where 10 Bald Eagles (4a, 4 late subadults and 2 juveniles) were pulling small fish from the shallow water. When not fishing they perched in adjacent trees, or on the ice, sharing the lagoon with groups of mainly Tundra Swans and other waterfowl. About 30% of the eagles’ dives were successful, and because of the abundance of fish only minor conflicts between the birds were seen. The swans were unfazed by all this activity but the ducks took to diving when eagles approached.

2 hours (109) RTHA 1 (1), GOEA 1 (524) TOTAL 2 (645)

 

 

 

 

SUMMARY COUNTS, SPRING 2018
MOUNT LORETTE March 1- BEAVER MINES   February 25- STEEPLES     March 1-
DAYS 30 38 25
HOURS 337.5 371.7 109
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0 0 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0 0 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 128 203 119
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 0 1 0
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 7 8 0
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0 2 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 9 17 1
Accipiter sp. (UA) 1 0 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 2 1 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0 0 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 11 40 1
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 4 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 9 76 0
Buteo sp. (UB) 0 5 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1859 1170 524
Eagle sp. (UE) 21 3 0
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0 1 0
MERLIN (MERL) 0 6 0
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 7 6 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1 1 0
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2 1 0
Falco sp. (UF) 0 0 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 0 2 0
   
TOTALS 2061 1547 645