RMERF counts, March 15 and 16

Thursday, March 15 Mount Lorette (Blake Weis). NO OBSERVATION (Weather). Blake was at the Hay Meadow 0810-0940 (0C) and again at Lorette Ponds 1050-1120 (1C) but heavy snow persisted under calm conditions and the mountains were completely obscured all day.

 

 

Thursday, March 15 Beaver Mines [Day 19] 1150-1310 (Peter Sherrington). Rain started early in the morning and turned to light snow at 0830. The ridge was obscured all day with the exception of 1150-1310 when precipitation ceased, the temperature was 1C and the ridge completely cleared, but no raptors were seen.

 

1.33 hours (169.6) TOTAL 0 (227)

 

 

Thursday, March 15 Steeples (Vance Mattson). NO OBSERVATION (Weather). Low cloud obscured the valley and mountains all day.

 

 

Friday, March 16 Mount Lorette 0830-2010 (Caroline Lambert, assisted by Rick Robb). Caroline drove to the site in dense fog, was greeted by 30 cm of fresh snow and had to snowshoe to the Hay Meadow site. The temperature at 0830 was -3C, the high at 1600 and 1700 was 3C and it was 2C at 2000. Ground winds were light and very variable all day and ridge winds were moderate SW to 1200, moderate S to 1600 and then E moderate to light for the rest of the day. Cloud cover was 20-30% cumulus to 1500 after which it thickened to 70-100% cumulus and altostratus to the end of observation. The eastern route was clear to 1100, was 20% obscured to 1500 and was then variably 40-70% obscured. The west was clear to 0900 and was then was very variably obscured 20-100% throughout the rest of the day. Fortunately no further snow fell. Despite the conditions a season-high 153 eagles migrated between 1130 and 1850, 150 of which were a season-high count of Golden Eagles. The flight comprised 3 adult Bald Eagles and 150 Golden Eagles (89a, 4sa, 5j, 52u). The hourly counts were 2 (1130-1200), 3 (12-1300), 8 (13-1400), 9 (14-1500), 47 (15-1600, including kettles of 8 and 10 eagles), 50 (16-1700, including kettles of 9, 16 and 13), 30 (17-1800) and 4 (1800-1850). Much of the movement was on the western route with kettles forming over Hummingbird Hill and Mount Lorette where birds often soared into low cloud. Other birds later in the day moved from the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette. One resident Bald Eagle and the resident pair of Golden Eagles were also noted. Other birds seen were 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 1 Grey Jay, 14 Common Ravens, 1 Black-capped Chickadee, 1 Mountain Chickadee, 1 American Dipper and 2 Pine Grosbeaks. Five visitors made it to the site.

 

11.67 hours (149.8) BAEA 3 (42), GOEA 150 (357) TOTAL 153 (412)

 

 

Friday, March 16 Beaver Mines [Day 20] 0800-2000 (Peter Sherrington). The temperature at 0800 was -1C, reached a high of 6C from 1200 to 1600 and was 0C at 1800. Winds were WSW 15-25 km/h to 1100 and then became variable and light for the rest of the day. Cloud cover was 20-70% thin altostratus to 1100 and 100% thin stratus for the rest of the day which gave hazy sunshine and excellent observing conditions. Ten migrants (1 Bald and 9 Golden Eagles) moved high to the NW between 0820 and 1054, but once the moderate WSW winds ceased only 4 more raptors were seen between 1355 and 1636, all of which flapped low to the NNW. The count was 2 adult Bald Eagles, 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk and 11 Golden Eagles (10a, 1sa).

 

12 hours (181.6) BAEA 2 (71), RLHA 1 (28), GOEA 11 (137) TOTAL 14 (241)

 

 

Friday, March 16 Steeples [Day 12] 1300-1915 (Vance Mattson). The temperature was 8C, conditions were calm and cloud cover was initially 40% cumulus concentrated behind the ridges that changed to 70% cumulus, stratus, and altostratus by 1400. By 1630 the high peaks were also clear with 40% cumulus, thin altostratus and lenticular cloud, which changed again to 70% thin altostratus and lenticular by 1800. A season-high 117 migrants, all eagles, migrated between 1315 and 1854 comprising 16 Bald Eagles (7a, 9j) and a season-high 101 Golden Eagles (96a, 5j). At first movement was direct gliding flight, but after 1700 soaring was the dominant mode with 2 kettles of 6 birds seen between 1700 and 1800 and another of 5 birds at 1814. Many eagles again appeared to move as pairs. Hourly counts were 15 (1315-1400), 17 (14-1500), 3 (15-1600), 26 (16-1700), 48 (17-1800) and 8 (1800-1854). Non-migrant activity was also plentiful and comprised 6 Bald Eagles (4a, 1sa, 1j) including a courtship soaring and pursuit display by an adult pair seen on two occasions, and 5 sightings of Golden Eagles (3a, 2j) that included an adult that perched unconcernedly while several conspecific migrants passed directly overhead. An American Robin and 5 Dark-eyed Juncos were also seen for the first time at the site.

 

6.25 hours (49) BAEA 16 (75), GOEA 101 (266) TOTAL 117 (341)

 

 

 

 

SUMMARY COUNTS, SPRING 2018
MOUNT LORETTE March 1- BEAVER MINES   February 25- STEEPLES     March 1-
DAYS 14 20 12
HOURS 149.8 181.6 49
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0 0 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0 0 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 42 71 75
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 28 0
Buteo sp. (UB) 0 0 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 357 137 266
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 412 241 341