RMERF counts, March 12, 13 and 14

Monday, March 12 Mount Lorette [Day 11] 0725-2005 (George Halmazna, assisted by Dan Parliament). The starting temperature was -14C which rose to a high of 10C at 1700 and was -2C at 2000. Ground winds were light SW to 1400 after which they gusted to 15 km/h to 1800 and then were calm for the last 2 hours of observation, while ridge winds were SW light to moderate all day. The sky was cloudless all day. A total of 23 eagles, 4 adult Bald Eagles and 19 Golden Eagles (17a, 1sa, 1u) migrated between 0830 and 1822 with 5 birds counted between 1300 and 1400 and again between 1600 and 1700. Only 2 birds used the west route, while the rest were initially located over the northern end of the Fisher Range from where they flew either to Mount Lorette or to Skogan Pass. Two adult Bald Eagles and 1 adult Golden Eagle were considered to be residents. Other birds recorded were 1 Canada Goose, 1 Great Horned Owl singing at 1920, 1 Hairy Woodpecker, 3 Grey Jays, 24 Common Ravens, 2 Black-capped Chickadees, 2 Mountain Chickadees and 2 White-winged Crossbills. Despite the spring-like weather only 4 visitors were seen at the site today.

 

12.67 hours (114.5) BAEA 4 (31), GOEA 19 (152) TOTAL 23 (195)

 

 

Monday, March 12 Beaver Mines [Day 16] 0800-1900 (Peter Sherrington, Gord Petersen after 1700). The temperature at 0800 was -3C, the high was 11C at 1500 and it was 7C at 1800. Winds were calm or light SE-NE all day and skies were completely cloudless. The only migrants seen were adult Bald Eagles at 1419, 1425 and 1637, and a light morph Rough-legged Hawk at 1553. Gord spent 2 hours (1400-1600) at the Castle River Bridge in the Castle Provincial Park 12.5 km SW of Beaver Mines, where the wind was light W-SW. He counted 11 migrant eagles, 6 adult Bald Eagles and 5 Golden Eagles (2sa, 3u), that migrated slowly on a broad front from Table Mountain to west of the Carbondale Ridge between 1424 and 1530. This confirmed that migrants do indeed pass in significant numbers to the west of the Beaver Mines site.

 

11hours (146.8) BAEA 3 (63), RLHA 1 (10) TOTAL 4 (162)

 

 

Monday, March 12 Steeples [Day 9] 1515-1900 (Vance Mattson). The temperature reached a high of 11C and it was calm and cloudless throughout the observation period which saw a total of 38 eagles migrate between 1245 and 1824: 3 adult Bald Eagles and 35 Golden Eagles (29a, 1sa, 5j). Six of the birds were seen before 1600 and 15 and 14 were counted between 1600 and 1700, and 1700 and 1800 respectively. More than half the eagles appeared from behind the main ridges, possibly owing to the calm conditions, and many of the birds appeared to move as pairs. Resident birds were 4 Bald Eagles (2a, 2j) and 3 Golden Eagles (1a, 2j). The juveniles of both species were seen together for extended periods with the Bald Eagles indulging in protracted mutual pursuit behaviour.

 

3.75 hours (38) BAEA 3 (53), GOEA 35 (150) TOTAL 38 (203)

 

 

Tuesday, March 13 Mount Lorette [Day 12] 0800-1945 (Blake Weis, assisted by Brian McBride). The temperature at 0800 was -9C, the high was 11C from 1500 to 1800 and it was 5C at the end of observation. Ground winds were variable 0-5 km/h to 1200 after which they were mainly SW 0-5 gusting 15 km/h, while ridge winds were SW, light to 1200 and light to moderate in the afternoon. Cloud cover was 10-20% cirrus all day. Raptor movement again consisted entirely of eagles with 6 Bald Eagles (5a and 1 undifferentiated immature bird) and 17 adult Golden Eagles all migrating steadily on the eastern route between 1418 and 1838, with most birds being initially located over Mount Lorette after presumably originating from the Wasootch Creek area. A single adult resident Golden Eagle was seen mainly soaring over Mount Collembola or Hummingbird Plume Hill. Other birds noted were 5 Grey Jays, 1 Black-billed Magpie, 14 Common ravens, 1 Black-capped Chickadee, 1 Mountain Chickadee, 1 Boreal Chickadee, 1 American Dipper, 1 European Starling, 35 Bohemian Waxwings and 1 Dark-eyed Junco. Four visitors were at the site today.

 

11.75 hours (126.3) BAEA 6 (37), GOEA 17 (169) TOTAL 23 (218)

 

 

Tuesday, March 13 Beaver Mines [Day 16] 0830-1800 (Peter Sherrington). The temperature reached a season-high 14C at 1500 from -1C at 0800, and was still 11C at 1800. Winds were again very variable and generally light, and skies were again cloudless to 1700 after which 10% altostratus developed. Conditions again were not conducive to raptor movement and only 4 migrants were seen: 2 adult Bald Eagles at 1335, the season’s first Red-tailed Hawk, an adult light morph of the race calurus, at 1159 and 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk at 1500. The unseasonably high temperature produced the first butterfly of the year, a probable very early Brown Elfin that was on the wing at 1355. Gord Petersen again spent 2 hours at the Castle Bridge site (1500-1700) but the only migrants seen were an adult Bald Eagle soaring over Table Mountain and an unidentified eagle moving well to the west of the Carbondale Ridge. Several non-migrant Bald Eagles were also noted in the area.

 

10 hours (156.8) BAEA 2 (65), RTHA 1 (1), RLHA 1 (11) TOTAL 4 (166)

 

 

Tuesday, March 13 Steeples [Day 10] 1515-1845 (Vance Mattson). The temperature was 7C, conditions were calm and sunny, and cloud cover was 40-60% thin altostratus and cirrus. A total of 21 migrant eagles moved between 1531 and 1825 that comprised 6 Bald Eagles (4a, 2j) and 15 adult Golden Eagles. Ten of the birds migrated between 1600 and 1700, and movement was slow, low and involved much soaring flight. Resident or non-migrant birds were four sightings of Bald Eagles (2a, 1sa, 1j) and three sightings of adult Golden Eagles.

 

3.5 hours (41.5) BAEA 6 (59), GOEA 15 (165) TOTAL 21 (224)

 

 

Wednesday, March 14 Mount Lorette [Day 13] 0805-1945 (Blake Weis, assisted by Cliff Hansen). The temperature at 0805 was -6C, the high was 10C at 1500-1800 and it was 4C at the end of observation. Ground winds were S-SW 0-5 km/h to 1400 and then N-NE 0-5 gusting 15 km/h, while ridge winds were SW all day, light to 1400 and then light to moderate. Cloud cover was 70-90% cirrus, altocumulus and occasional altostratus to 1500 when it briefly reduced to 40% cirrus and altocumulus before thickening again to 100% altostratus, altocumulus and cirrus by 1800. The ridges were clear all day. There was again a steady movement of 41 migrant raptors between 1338 and 1924 comprising 2 adult Bald Eagles, 38 Golden Eagles (32a, 6u) and the season’s first Prairie Falcon. Unusually, most of the movement was on the western route, with the exception of 10 birds that moved from the northern end of the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette, and the exceptionally late adult Bald Eagle recorded at 1924 that glided above the centre of the valley. The busiest hour was 1600-1700 when 20 birds (1 Bald Eagle and 19 Golden Eagles) moved. One resident adult Bald Eagle soared over Mount Old Baldy and a resident adult Golden Eagle was seen perched on Mount Lorette. Other birds present were 1 Hairy Woodpecker, 5 Grey Jays, 2 Black-billed Magpies, 13 Common Ravens, 1 Black-capped Chickadee, 1 Townsend’s Solitaire that sang near the parking area early in the morning, 1 European Starling, 20 Bohemian Waxwings, 1 Red Crossbill and 8 Common Redpolls. Six Bighorn Sheep were seen on Olympic Summit, and 6 visitors came to the site today.

 

11.83 hours (138.1) BAEA 2 (39), GOEA 38 (207), PRFA 1 (1) TOTAL 41 (259)

 

Wednesday, March 14 Beaver Mines [Day 17] 0800-1930 (Peter Sherrington). The temperature at 0800 was -1C, the high was 10C at 1600 and it was 5C when observation finished at 1930. Winds were generally light WNW-NE to 1430 when 10-15 km/h WSW winds developed that gradually increased to 30-40 km/h by 1900. Cloud cover was 60-80% altostratus, altocumulus and cumulus to 1500 after which it was 100% altostratus and cirrus to 1800 and then 100% uniform grey stratus for the rest of the day. No migrant raptors were seen up to 1435, but as soon as the moderate WSW winds started a steady stream of a season-high 61 birds of 3 species moved high to the NW up to 1854. The flight comprised 4 Bald Eagles (3a, 1j), a season-high 16 Rough-legged Hawks (15 light, 1 dark) that were seen between 1541 and 1738, and a season-high 41 Golden Eagles (40a, 1j). Nineteen birds moved between 1700 and 1800 and again between 1800 and 1854. Denise Cocciolone-Amatto also spent 2 hours (1415-1615) observing the Livingstone Ridge from the Frank site where she saw 75 eagles, 2 adult Bald Eagles and 73 Golden Eagles (72a, 1j), gliding to the north above the ridge. All the birds seen today were moving ahead of a northward-moving front that is expected to arrive tomorrow morning bringing rain and heavy snow to the area.

 

11.5 hours (168.3) BAEA 4 (69), RLHA 16 (27), GOEA 41 (126) TOTAL 61 (227)

 

 

Wednesday, March 14 Steeples [Day 11] 1630-1745 (Vance Mattson). The temperature was 2C, conditions were calm and cloud cover was 100% stratus with periodic light rain and snow flurries. The clouds lifted at 1630 but at 1745 the mountains were again obscured and light rain resumed. No migrants were seen.

 

1.25 hours (42.75) TOTAL 0 (224)

 

 

 

 

SUMMARY COUNTS, SPRING 2018
MOUNT LORETTE March 1- BEAVER MINES   February 25- STEEPLES     March 1-
DAYS 13 18 10
HOURS 138.1 168.3 41.5
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0 0 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0 0 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 39 69 59
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 0 0 0
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 3 0 0
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0 0 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 3 3 0
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0 0 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0 0 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0 0 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 0 1 0
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 0 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 3 27 0
Buteo sp. (UB) 0 0 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 207 126 165
Eagle sp. (UE) 0 0 0
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0 0 0
MERLIN (MERL) 0 0 0
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 3 1 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0 0 0
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 1 0 0
Falco sp. (UF) 0 0 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 0 0 0
   
TOTALS 259 227 224