RMERF counts, November 1 and 2

Thursday, November 01 Mount Lorette [Day 39] 0830-1815 (Joel Duncan, assisted by Lori Anderson). The starting temperature was 0C the high was 4C from 1400-1700 and it was 3C at the end of observation. Ground winds were E-NE 2-5 km/h to 1500 after which they were 4-8 occasionally gusting to 14 km/h, while ridge winds were SW all day, strong to 1600 and then moderate. Cloud cover was initially 80% stratus and cumulus which reduced to 20-30% between 1000 and 1200 and gradually increased throughout the afternoon to 80% cumulus, altocumulus and altostratus by the end. The eastern ridges were initially 40% obscured but were clear after 1000, and the west was initially 100% obscured that dropped to 20% at 1000 and was then clear for the rest of the day. There was 0.5 cm of fresh snow on the ground at the start but there was no further precipitation. A total of 16 eagles were seen between 1145 and 1720 that comprised 2 adult Bald Eagles, 13 Golden Eagles (6a, 3sa, 4u) and 1 unidentified eagle. All birds moved on the eastern route with most birds initially located at the northern end of the Fisher Range and most birds employed flapping flight. Maximum hourly counts were 4 from 1500 to 1600 and again from 1600 to 1700. A non-migrant adult Bald Eagle perched by the river and a resident adult Northern Goshawk soared above the Hay Meadow. Other birds seen were 1 Northern Flicker, 20 Bohemian Waxwings, a single flock of 200 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches, 5 White-winged Crossbills, a remarkable single flock of 23 Cassin’s Finches, 30 Common Redpolls which were the first of the season and 2 Swamp Sparrows. There were 7 visitors today.

9.75 hours (409) BAEA 2 (163), GOEA 13 (2529), UE 1 (30) TOTAL 16 (2933)

 

Thursday, November 01 Vicki Ridge [Day 36] 0815-1745 (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Gord Petersen observing from the Waterton 61 wellsite. The temperature at 0830 was 0C and the high was 5C at 1700 and 1745. Winds were calm or light all day, SW-W to 1600 and then ESE for the rest of the day. Cloud cover was 100-70% generally thin cumulus, stratocumulus and altostratus that allowed hazy sunshine to 1330 when 100% dark stratocumulus moved from the west and gave gloomy conditions for the rest of the day. The calm conditions produced the lowest full-day count of the season with only 15 birds of 2 species seen between 1044 and 1730: 10 Rough-legged Hawks (8 light morphs, 2u) and 5 Golden Eagles (4a, 1sa). By 1600 only 7 birds had been counted but each of the final 2 hours produced 4 birds that were seen soaring to the south of the site after they had glided low from behind the east side of Vicki Ridge. Gord watched at the western edge of Kyllo Ridge near the Waterton 68 wellsite between 1355 and 1520 but only saw a single Rough-legged Hawk that had also been observed soaring over the eastern edge of Kyllo Ridge a couple of minutes earlier. A mixed flock of 12a Tundra and 2a Trumpeter Swans flew high to the west at 1737 and a flock of 50 Canada Geese flew high to the west at 1225. At 1325 a high-flying adult Northern Shrike selected a single Grey-crowned Rosy-Finch from a small flock and pursued it to the north and had almost caught up with it when both birds disappeared behind trees. Other birds seen included 8 Clark’s Nutcrackers, 120 Bohemian Waxwings, 245 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches, 3 Red Crossbills and 193 Pine Siskins.

9.25 hours (327.1) RLHA 10 (412), GOEA 5 (2495) TOTAL 15 (4337)

 

Thursday, November 01 Steeples [Day 38] 1200-1730 (Vance Mattson). The temperature was 6C, conditions were calm and cloud cover was 100% altostratus and dark grey cumulus that obscured the front face of Mount Bill Nye, but the main migration ridge remained clear. Just 2 migrants were noted: an adult Golden Eagle at 1332 and an adult Bald eagle at 1338, and no resident birds were seen.

5.5 hours (165.3) BAEA 1 (92), GOEA 1 (145) TOTAL 2 (427)

 

Friday, November 02 Mount Lorette [Day 40] 0900-1830 (Caroline Lambert, assisted by Joel Duncan). The temperature at 0900 was 5C, the high at 1400 was 10C and it was 4C at 1830. Ground winds were SW 0-5 km/h to 1200 then variable gusting to 20 km/h to 1400 after which they were N 0-10 gusting 20 for the rest of the day; ridge winds were strong all day, SW to 1000, NW to 1500 and NNW to the end. Cloud cover was 80-100% mainly cumulus and altostratus all day that produced 20-minute light rain showers around 1500 and 1600. The eastern ridges were occasionally lightly draped by cloud, but the west was on average 40% obscured all day. A total of 18 migrants of 3 species moved between 1022 and 1752 comprising 1u Bald Eagle, 1u Northern Goshawk and 16 Golden Eagles (5a, 2sa, 1j, 8u). All eagles glided high above the Fisher Range and probably originated from Mount Lorette. Ten birds, all Golden Eagles, were seen before 1200 but afternoon movement was slow and sporadic. An adult Bald Eagle perched on its usual tree by the river, and 2u Northern Goshawks flying high to the west were considered resident. Three unidentified swans flew high towards the north, 3 Common Loons flew high to the south and other birds seen included 1u Northern Shrike, 1 Brown Creeper, 1 Golden-crowned Kinglet, 2 Bohemian Waxwings, 15 White-winged Crossbills, 2 Pine Siskins, and 10 Dark-eyed Juncos that included 2 cismontanus (“Slate-coloured” morphs) and 2 montanus (“Oregon” morphs). Only 4 visitors were seen today.

9.5 hours (418.5) BAEA 1 (164), NOGO 1 (35), GOEA 16 (2545) TOTAL 18 (2951)

 

Friday, November 02 Vicki Ridge [Day 37] 1140-1800 (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Hilary Atkinson observing from the Waterton 61 wellsite). It was a late start as we had to drive back from Calgary. At 1140 the temperature was 8C, the high was 8.5C at 1300 and 1400 and it fell to 5C at 1800. Winds were strong W 40-50 gusting to 80 km/h to 1600 when they moderated and at the end of the day they were light SSE. Cloud cover was 70% altostratus and cumulus that gave sunny periods to 1400 after which it was 100% stratocumulus that produced almost continuous very light rain that only became steady light rain at 1800. There was a fairly steady movement of 39 raptors of 3 species between 1203 and 1746 that comprised 16 Bald Eagles (10a, 1sa, 3j, 1 undifferentiated immature and 1u), 6 Rough-legged Hawks (4 light, 2u) and 17 Golden Eagles (15a, 1sa, 1u). The highest hourly counts were 11 (1300-1400) and 10 (1500-1700). Other birds were relatively scarce in the high winds but included 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 1 Clark’s Nutcracker, 37 Bohemian Waxwings, 100 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches and 32 Pine Siskins.

6.33 hours (333.4) BAEA 16 (330), RLHA 6 (418), GOEA 17 (2512) TOTAL 39 (4376)

 

Friday, November 02 Steeples [Day 39] 1315-1800 (Vance Mattson). The morning was rainy and overcast but it began to clear at 1230 although the front face of Mount Bill Nye again remained obscured all day. On arrival the temperature was 12C, winds were moderate S and cloud cover was stratus and cumulus, but by 1600 conditions were calm and 40% cumulus and lenticular cloud cover gave mainly sunny conditions for the rest of the day. A total of 4 migrant Golden Eagles were seen: 2 adults migrating together at 1612 and adult and a juvenile that also migrated together at 1612. The juvenile’s two outer left retrices had been somehow shorn off in a clean line that gave the tail a paddle-like appearance. A non-migrant adult Bald Eagle soared high above the ridges and moved to the north at 1559.

4.75 hours (170) GOEA 4 (149) TOTAL 4 (431)

 

 

 

SUMMARY COUNTS, FALL 2018
MOUNT LORETTE September 20-November 15 VICKI RIDGE September 20-November 15 STEEPLES September 20-November 15
DAYS 40 37 39
HOURS 418.5 333.4 170
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0 0 1
OSPREY (OSPR) 3 8 2
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 164 330 92
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 7 15 14
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 65 626 72
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 7 74 4
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 35 93 6
Accipiter sp. (UA) 8 7 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1 24 3
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1 2 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 27 173 75
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 8 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 35 418 3
Buteo sp. (UB) 5 25 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2545 2512 149
Eagle sp. (UE) 30 5 2
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0 12 3
MERLIN (MERL) 3 20 2
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 2 4 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 2 9 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 3 5 0
Falco sp. (UF) 4 2 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 4 4 1
   
TOTALS 2951 4376 431