RMERF counts, November 09 and 10

Friday, November 09 Mount Lorette [Day 47] 0755-1720 (Caroline Lambert, assisted by Rachel Mackay). The starting temperature was -4C, the high was 3C (1300-1600) and it was 1C at the end of observation. It was calm to 1000 when NW ground winds blew to 1330 after which they were SW gusting to 30 km/h for the rest of the day; ridge winds were strong NW all day. Cloud cover was 100% altostratus and cumulus to 1100 when it reduced to 70% and by 1300 it was 30% cumulus, cirrus and cirrostratus that became 80% cirrostratus and altostratus at 1700. The east was clear all day but the west was obscured 40% of the time on average. A total of 31 eagles, 6 Bald Eagles (3a, 2sa, 1j) and 25 Golden Eagles (13a, 4sa, 8u) migrated between 0835 and 1630 to produce the highest count so far this month. All the birds glided high above the Fisher Range and the maximum hourly count was 8 between 1500 and 1600. Two adult Bald Eagles and 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk were regarded as non-migrants. Other birds were 1 Belted Kingfisher, 1 Hairy Woodpecker, 1 Northern Shrike, 4 Canada Jays, 1 Black-billed Magpie, 8 Common Ravens, 4 Black-capped Chickadees, 2 Mountain Chickadees, 1 Brown Creeper, 2 American Dippers and 4 White-winged Crossbills. A herd of 21 Elk were in the meadow, and there was 1 visitor at the site today.

9.25 hours (484.2) BAEA 6 (180), GOEA 25 (2623) TOTAL 31 (3049)

 

Friday, November 09 Vicki Ridge [Day 44] 0800-1700 (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Hilary Atkinson observing from the Waterton 61 wellsite). The temperature at 0800 was -3C the high was 0C at 1100, 1200 and 1400 and it was -2C at 1700. Winds were WSW-W 30-45 gusting 60-75 km/h all day and cloud cover was 100% altostratus and altocumulus to 1500, that occasionally briefly reduced to 80-90%, after which it quickly cleared from the north and was 30-40% altocumulus and cirrus for the last 2 hours. Light snow fell from 1245 to 1320 and from 1412 to 1440 but it did not appear to interrupt the flow of migrating raptors. There was another fairly strong late-season migration involving 53 birds of 4 species that comprised 23 Bald Eagles (15a, 3sa, 4j, 1u), 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 28 Golden Eagles (27a, 1u) and 1 male Prairie Falcon that moved between 0821 and 1635. Movement was again fairly steady throughout and the highest hourly count was 14 between 1400 and 1500. The resident pair and juvenile Golden Eagle were conspicuous throughout much of the day and were often vigorously mobbed by ravens whereas the migrant eagles were generally left alone. Other birds seen included 25 Bohemian Waxwings, 60 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches, 20 Red Crossbills and 78 Common Redpolls.

9 hours (382.2) BAEA 23 (376), NOGO 1 (90), GOEA 28 (2604), PRFA 1 (9) TOTAL 53 (4535)

 

Friday, November 09 Steeples [NO OBSERVATION] (Vance Mattson). The entire valley was socked-in, combined with wet-snow flurries.

 

Saturday, November 10 Mount Lorette [Day 48] 0705-1710 (Bill Wilson, assisted by Ruth Morrow). The starting temperature was -5C, the high was 1C at 1500 and it was -2C at 1710. Ground winds were S 0-3 gusting 7 km/h to 1300 after which they were SW 3-10 gusting 16 km/h, and ridge winds were light to moderate, NNW to 1000 and then NW. Cloud cover was 90-100% cumulus and altostratus to 0900 when it thinned to 60% cumulus to 1200 and was 10% to trace cumulus throughout the afternoon. The eastern ridges were 70% obscured to 0900 and were then clear for the rest of the day, and the west was 40% obscured to 0800 and then clear. A total of 39 eagles migrated between 1055 and 1624 that comprised 18 Bald Eagles (13a, 3sa, 2j), which is the second-highest count of the season, and 21 Golden Eagles (19a, 1sa, 1u). With the exception of 4 birds most migrants moved along the Fisher Range from Mount Lorette with much soaring flight. Movement was fairly steady throughout with a maximum hourly count of 11 (6 Bald and 5 Golden Eagles) between 1200 and 1300, that was followed by the only zero hour during the movement. Only 3 other bird species were seen: 2 Canada Jays, 8 Common Ravens and 40 Bohemian Waxwings in a single flock, but most of the 28 visitors to the site today were able to observe migrating eagles.

10.08 hours (494.3) BAEA 18 (198), GOEA 21 (2644) TOTAL 39 (3088)

 

Saturday, November 10 Vicki Ridge [Day 45] 0745-1715 (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Hilary Atkinson observing from the Waterton 61 wellsite). The temperature at 0745 was 6C the high at 1500 was 2C and it was -3C at 1715. Winds were light W-SW all day and cloud cover was 80-100% cumulus, altocumulus and stratocumulus to 1230 that produced light snow to 0925 and between 1020 and 1150.The cloud rapidly thinned in the afternoon and was 50-20% cumulus between 1230 and 1500 after which it was cloudless for the rest of the day. Only 1 Golden Eagle was seen before 1218 but then movement became steady with 21 of the day’s 36 migrants occurring after 1500, and 5 moved after 1700. The birds were seen between 0821 and 1706 and comprised 13 Bald Eagles (10a, 1sa, 2j), 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 3 light morph Rough-legged Hawks and 19 Golden Eagles (18a, 1sa). One adult Golden Eagle that roosted overnight in a limber pine snag at the extreme southern end of Vicki Ridge remained perched there until 1308 when it then spent 10 minutes soaring above the ridge before reaching sufficient altitude to glide south. Resident raptors were the Golden Eagle family group (2a and 1j) and other birds seen were 1 male Hairy Woodpecker, 2 Pileated Woodpeckers, 1 Canada Jay, 5 Clark’s Nutcrackers, 4 Black-billed Magpies, 23 Common Ravens, 50 Bohemian Waxwings, 92 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches, 13 Red Crossbills and 40 Common Redpolls.

9.5 hours (391.7) BAEA 13 (389), NOGO 1 (97), RLHA 3 (432), GOEA 19 (2623) TOTAL 36 (4571)

 

Saturday, November 10 Steeples [Day 46] 1200-1630 (Vance Mattson). The temperature was 2C, conditions were calm and cloud cover was 100% altostratus and stratus that heavily shrouded the ridges all day. After an unproductive hour at the site Vance returned to Wasa to see if there was any movement above the valley, but another hour spent there produced nothing, so he returned to the Bill Nye site until 1630. No migrant or resident raptors were seen.

4.5 hours (197) TOTAL 0 (477)

 

 

 

SUMMARY COUNTS, FALL 2018
MOUNT LORETTE September 20-November 15 VICKI RIDGE September 20-November 15 STEEPLES September 20-November 15
DAYS 48 45 46
HOURS 494.3 391.7 197
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0 0 1
OSPREY (OSPR) 3 8 2
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 198 389 115
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 7 15 14
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 68 627 72
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 7 74 4
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 35 97 8
Accipiter sp. (UA) 8 7 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1 24 3
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1 2 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 27 174 75
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 8 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 35 432 3
Buteo sp. (UB) 5 25 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2644 2623 170
Eagle sp. (UE) 31 5 2
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0 12 3
MERLIN (MERL) 3 20 2
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 2 5 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 2 9 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 3 9 0
Falco sp. (UF) 4 2 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 4 4 1
   
TOTALS 3088 4571 477