RMERF counts, November 11

Sunday, November 11 Mount Lorette [Day 49] 0855-1700 (Blake Weis, assisted by Lori Anderson). The temperature at the start was -7C, the high was -2C (1400-1600) and it was -3C at 1700. Ground winds were 0-5 km/h all day, mainly WSW to 1300 and then N, and ridge winds were moderate NW all day. Cloud cover was 100-80% stratocumulus to 1200 that produced heavy to light snow, quickly cleared between 1200 and 1300 to 40% cumulus, altocumulus and cirrus before returning to 100% stratocumulus and moderate snow between 1300 and 1400; the rest of the day was 30% cumulus, altocumulus and cirrus. Both the eastern and western ridges were 100% obscured to 1200. The east was 40% obscured to 1300, 100% to 1400 and 30-0% thereafter, while the west was 90% obscured to 1300, 100% to 1400 and 20-0% thereafter. Despite the weather there was a fairly strong late-season count of 33 birds of 4 species between 1148 and 1550 that comprised 10 Bald Eagles (6a, 3sa, 1j), 1u Rough-legged Hawk, 21 Golden Eagles (16a, 3sa, 2u) and 1u columbarius Merlin. All the eagles moved in the face of the Fisher Range or at ridge level and there was much flapping and soaring flight. The maximum hourly count was 13 (2 Bald and 11 Golden Eagles) between 1400 and 1500. A non-migrant adult Bald Eagle perched by the river for 2 hours and an adult resident Golden Eagle traversed the Fisher Range from north to south before crossing the valley to Mount Lorette. Other birds identified were 1 male Hairy Woodpecker, 1 female American Three-toed Woodpecker, 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 5 Canada Jays, 7 Common Ravens, 1 Black-capped and 1 Mountain Chickadee, 1 Golden-crowned Kinglet, 50 Common Redpolls, 3 White-winged Crossbills, 2 Pine Siskins and 1u Dark-eyed Junco. A total of 18 visitors made it to the site after the snow stopped falling.

8.08 hours (502.4) BAEA 10 (208), RLHA 1 (36), GOEA 21 (2665), MERL 1 (4) TOTAL 33 (3121)

 

Sunday, November 11 Vicki Ridge [Day 46] 0945-1645 (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Hilary Atkinson and Gord Petersen observing from the Waterton 61 wellsite). Snow started to fall at dawn and quickly obscured the ridges but at 0930 it became light so we went to the site and found both Vicki Ridge and Kyllo Ridge essentially clear. The ridges remained visible but partially obscured until 1100 when heavier snow returned and the ridges again disappeared. At 1300 the snow abruptly stopped and within minutes both ridges were clear and by 1310 cloud cover was 40% cumulus and there was hazy sunshine. The temperature at 0945 was -4C, the high was -3C at 1400 and 1500 and it was -6C at 1645 under a completely cloudless sky. Winds were variable light to calm all day. The first migrant was an adult female columbarius Merlin that flew low and rapidly to the south on the western flank of Vicki Ridge at 1326 but the main movement of 25 of the day’s 27 migrants occurred between 1339 and 1524 and involved 19 Bald Eagles (10a, 2sa, 7j), 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk and 5 adult Golden Eagles. Most of the birds soared high above the valley between the two ridges and drifted and glided slowly to the south and up to 7 birds were seen at one time. The only other migrant was an unidentified eagle that flew south at 1608 against the face of the setting sun. Four geese that flew high from NE to SW over Kyllo Ridge at 1611 were probably Greater White-fronted Geese, and other birds seen were 1 Canada Jay, 10 Common Ravens, 1 American Robin that flew high to the NW, 14 Bohemian Waxwings, 12 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches and 4 Red Crossbills.

7 hours (398.7) BAEA 19 (408), RLHA 1 (433), GOEA 5 (2628), UE 1 (6), MERL 1 (21) TOTAL 27 (4598)

 

Sunday, November 11 Steeples [Day 47] 1200-1700 (Vance Mattson). The temperature was 1C, conditions were calm, cloud cover was 60-40% stratus and cumulus and once again the ridge was obscured although it was otherwise a sunny day. A total of 7 adult eagles, 1 Bald Eagle and 6 Golden Eagles, moved sporadically low to the south in front of the ridge and beneath the cloud between 1322 and 1548. Soaring birds at times disappeared into the base of the cloud before gliding south in front of the shrouded ridge.

5 hours (202) BAEA 1 (116), GOEA 6 (176) TOTAL 7 (484)

 

 

 

SUMMARY COUNTS, FALL 2018
MOUNT LORETTE September 20-November 15 VICKI RIDGE September 20-November 15 STEEPLES September 20-November 15
DAYS 49 46 47
HOURS 502.4 398.7 202
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0 0 1
OSPREY (OSPR) 3 8 2
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 208 408 116
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) 36 433 3
Buteo sp. (UB) 5 25 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2665 2628 176
Eagle sp. (UE) 31 6 2
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0 12 3
MERLIN (MERL) 4 21 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 3121 4598 484