RMERF counts, November 12

Sunday, November 12 [Day 48] (Bill Wilson, assisted by Lori Anderson, Cliff Hansen and Brian McBride) 0655-1710. The morning low temperature was -3C at 0900, the high was 3C from 1300 to 1600 and it was 2C at 1700. Ground winds were S 3-10 km/h that gusted to 28 km/h on a couple of occasions, and ridge winds were WNW all day, moderate to 1000 and moderate to strong thereafter. Cloud cover was 90-100% cumulus and stratus to 1100 that quickly reduced to 10% cumulus to 1400 when it quickly increased to 80% cumulus and stratus that again dwindled to 20% by 1700. The ridges were essentially clear all day. Raptor migration was confined to the two eagle species with 10 moving between 1015 and 1613: 4 Bald Eagles (2a, 2j) and 6 Golden Eagles (2a, 1sa, 3j). Four of the birds were seen between 1500 and 1600, and all birds moved along the Fisher Range having probably originated from Mount Lorette. One or two resident adult Northern Goshawks were also seen. A Great Horned Owl sang early in the morning and other bird species noted included 4 Pine Grosbeaks, 3 Red Crossbills, 7 Common Redpolls and 2 Pine Siskins. Thirteen visitors made it to the site today.

10.25 hours (506.6) BAEA 4 (182), GOEA 6 (3230) TOTAL 10 (3661)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 49] (Peter Sherrington) 0815-1715 (Observation from the Waterton 61 wellsite on the western flank of the ridge). The weather was actually pleasant for the first time this month with a starting temperature of -1C a high of 5C at 1300 and 1400 and it was 1C at the end of observation. Winds were W 10-15 km/h to 1100 after which they were WSW 20-35 gusting to 50 km/h for the rest of the day. Cloud cover was 100-90% altostratus and cumulus to 1000 after which it was 70-80% cumulus that allowed periods of sunshine, but around 1500 the clouds thickened to 90% dark cumulus that produced 15 minutes of light rain and snow. The clouds subsequently quickly thinned and the last 2 hours were 20-30% cumulus which again gave sunshine before the sun dipped below Kyllo Ridge. Observing conditions were excellent all day, and there was another fairly strong mid-November raptor movement involving 59 migrants of 6 species that were recorded between 0905 and 1709. The count was 23 Bald Eagles (18a, 2sa, 2j, 1u), 1 adult Sharp-shinned Hawk, 3 Northern Goshawks (2 adult males and 1 juvenile female), 4 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 27 Golden Eagles (21a, 3sa, 3j) and 1 adult male grey morph Gyrfalcon. Movement was fairly steady throughout with a definite peak between 1300 and 1400 when 19 birds passed. A raven flew rapidly for about 500 m in a dead straight line to vigorously mob the Gyrfalcon that was soaring above Vicky Ridge at 1226, and then tried to pursue it to the south but was hopelessly outpaced by the falcon. The last birds of the day were 3 Bald Eagles that soared high above the western edge of Vicki Ridge at 1709 when daylight was almost completely gone. Other birds included 82 Bohemian Waxwings in three flocks, a single flock of 120 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches and 3 Common Redpolls.

9 hours (394.9) BAEA 23 (297), SSHA 1 (751), NOGO 3 (107), RLHA 4 (506), GOEA 27 (1973), GYRF 1 (5) TOTAL 59 (4144).

 

Steeples [Day 40] (Vance Mattson) NO OBSERVATION (Weather). The weather was almost an exact copy of yesterday: a socked-in valley, entirely obscured mountain ridges, 3C, and calm. Vance watched sporadically between 0900 and 1400 from his house and then drove north as far as the Whiteswan Lake turnoff (35 km from Wasa) but there was never any prospect of raptor migration.

 

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

 

DAYS 48

HOURS 506.6

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 2

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 182

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 6

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 82

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 18

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 30

Accipiter sp. (UA) 3

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 29

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 29

Buteo sp. (UB) 10

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 3230

Eagle sp. (UE) 8

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 3

MERLIN (MERL) 5

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 4

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 7

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 6

Falco sp. (UF) 3

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

 

TOTAL 3661