RMERF counts, November 14

Wednesday, November 14 Mount Lorette [Day 52] Hay Meadow 0815-1500, Lusk Creek 1615-1650 (Blake Weis, assisted by Heinz Unger). The temperature at 0815 was 2C, the high was 4C (1100-1300) and it was 1C when heavy snow ended observation at Hay Meadow, and when Blake resumed the count at Lusk Creek. Ground winds to 1100 were variable 0-10 gusting 15 km/h and then were W-SW 5-10 gusting 20 and occasionally 50 km/h. Ridge winds were moderate to strong W-NW to 1200 and then W-SW. Cloud cover was initially 50% altocumulus, altostratus, cumulus, cirrus and cirrostratus that increased to 100% from 1200 to 1300 when 100% stratocumulus developed that obscured all ridges and brought moderate snow that became heavy at 1500 when the Hay Meadow count ended for the day. A total of 11 migrant raptors of 3 species were counted between 0924 and 1212 comprising 3 Bald Eagles (2a and 1 undifferentiated immature), 1u Northern Goshawk and 7 Golden Eagles (4a, 3u). All the eagles moved at varying heights along the Fisher Range and maximum hourly counts were 4 between 1000 and 1100 and again between 1100 and 1200. Around 1600 the snow stopped and Blake went to the Lusk Creek site between 1615 and 1650 where the highest foothills ridge was clear and recorded a further 3 migrants: 1 adult Bald Eagle, 1u Northern Goshawk and 1u Golden Eagle. An adult resident Northern Goshawk soared near the Hay Meadow site at 1310, and other birds near the site were a pair of Mallards that flew low to the south above the river, 1u Northern Shrike, 4 Canada Jays, 1 Black-billed Magpie, 2 Clark’s Nutcrackers that flew low to the south, 6 Common Ravens, 3 Black-capped, 3 Mountain and 1 Boreal Chickadee, 12 Bohemian Waxwings, 520 Common Redpolls, most of which were south-bound migrants, 112 White-winged Crossbills, 11 Pine Siskins and 3u Dark-eyed Juncos. Six visitors arrived at the site before the snow started to fall. Tomorrow will be the last day of the fall 2018 count.

7.33 hours (527.3) BAEA 4 (216), NOGO 2 (37), GOEA 8 (2686) TOTAL 14 (3152)

 

Wednesday, November 14 Vicki Ridge [Day 49] 0745-1645 (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Hilary Atkinson observing from the Waterton 61 wellsite, and Gord Petersen observing from the Waterton 68 wellsite, 1415-1600). The temperature at 0745 was 3C, the high was 5.5C at 1300 and it was 0C at 1645. Winds were strong W all day 40-50 gusting 60-70 km/h apart from 1400 and 1500 when they were WSW 60 gusting 80-90 km/h. Cloud cover was initially 20% altocumulus and cirrus to 0900 when it increased to 50% altostratus, altocumulus, cumulus and cirrus that reached 100% at 1100. Between 1200 and 1410 cloud cover was 60-80% cirrostratus, altostratus and altocumulus, but at 1410 stratus cloud quickly moved from the west that brought snow until 1630 when the sky quickly cleared to 30% cumulus. The ridges were partially obscured between 1410 and 1540 and then completely obscured to 1630. There was another fairly strong late-season raptor movement of 30 birds of 3 species between 0804 and 1525 that comprised 7 adult Bald Eagles, 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk, 21 Golden Eagles (15a, 2sa, 1j, 3u) and 1 unidentified eagle. The total includes 4 Golden Eagles (2a, 2u) seen by Gord Petersen between 1429 and 1525 at the western edge of Kyllo Ridge near the Waterton 68 wellsite. The maximum hourly count was 8 between 1000 and 1100 and the last 8 birds moved through steady light snow before heavy snow at 1530 brought all movement to an end. Other birds were scarce apart from about 70 Common Ravens which were continuously in the air until the snow arrived, attracted to the area by gut-piles from recently hunted deer. Tomorrow will be the last day of the fall 2018 count.

9 hours (425.9) BAEA 7 (431), RLHA 1 (435), GOEA 21 (2713), UE 1 (7) TOTAL 30 (4717)

 

Wednesday, November 14 Steeples [NO OBSERVATION] (Vance Mattson). It was consistently overcast with periodic rain all day. Tomorrow will be the last day of the fall 2018 count.

 

 

 

SUMMARY COUNTS, FALL 2018
MOUNT LORETTE September 20-November 15 VICKI RIDGE September 20-November 15 STEEPLES September 20-November 15
DAYS 52 49 49
HOURS 527.3 425.9 209.5
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0 0 1
OSPREY (OSPR) 3 8 2
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 216 431 116
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 7 15 14
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 68 627 72
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 7 74 4
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 37 102 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) 27 176 75
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 8 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 36 435 3
Buteo sp. (UB) 5 25 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2686 2713 177
Eagle sp. (UE) 31 7 2
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0 12 3
MERLIN (MERL) 4 21 3
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 2 5 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 2 9 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 3 10 0
Falco sp. (UF) 4 2 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 4 4 1
   
TOTALS 3152 4717 486