RMERF counts, November 4

Saturday, November 4 [Day 40] (Jim Davis, assisted by Heinz Unger) 0840-1545. Observation was conducted at Wasootch Creek due east of the Hay Meadow site on Highway 40 where there was 30 cm of snow on the ground and the starting temperature was -23C (with a wind-chill of -32C) with a high of -16C at 1100, 1200 and 1545. Ground winds were light SW, ridge winds were probably moderate SW and cloud cover was initially 20% cumulus that gradually increased throughout the day and became 100% at 1530 that brought steady snow. The east ridges were clear to 1530 when they became 100% obscured, and the west was 60% obscured to 1100 after which it was completely cloud-covered. Despite the apparently favourable migration conditions for much of the day only 2 migrants were seen: 1 adult Bald Eagle that flew south from Mount Lorette over the centre of the valley at 1315, and 1u Golden Eagle that flew from Lorette low against the face of the Fisher Range at 1406. Other birds were 2 Northern Pygmy-Owls duetting at 1344, 2 American Robins and 1 female Pine Grosbeak, and 3 Grey Wolves crossed Wasootch Creek: 1 completely black, 1 mainly black with brown underparts and 1 brown with light tan underparts. Two visitors were also surprisingly recorded.

7.08 hours (433.4) BAEA 1 (155), GOEA 1 (3173) TOTAL 2 (3569)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 41] (Peter Sherrington) 1145-1345. (Observation from the Waterton 61 wellsite on the western flank of the ridge). The forecast called for clearing today which it appeared to be doing so I managed to get to The Waterton 61 site where there was about 50 cm of snow on the ground. The temperature was -15C, winds were light W to calm and cloud cover was 80% cumulus although light snow still fell and the clouds were nearly obscured by an ice-crystal haze. The ridges were clear, however, until 1330 when steady snow began to fall that obscured the ridges again for the rest of the day. No migrants were seen and the only birds recorded were 1 perched Common Raven and, much more surprisingly, 1 perched male Mountain Bluebird.

2 hours (334.8) TOTAL 0 (3841)

 

Steeples [Day 34] (Vance Mattson) 1300-1700. The valley was heavily overcast most of the day, but it looked as if things might clear around 1300 when observation began, as yesterday, from the Kootenay River site since the mountains were still heavily shrouded. The temperature was -5C and it was calm throughout the observation period. Four adult Bald Eagles and one juvenile dark morph calurus Red-Tailed Hawk were seen, though none of these birds were migrating. As the mountains began to clear Vance returned to the regular site from 1400 to 1445, but the ridges quickly became entirely shrouded again, and the Rockies to the north were fully concealed so he decided to go back to the valley and observed again from the Kootenay River site from 1500 to 1700 after which the overcast conditions thickened and covered the entire valley. Only 2 migrants were counted there, however: one light morph Rough-legged Hawk at 1501 and one adult Bald Eagle at 1605. Both migrants exhibited the same pattern as yesterday’s later birds with flapping flight low over the river.

4 hours (158.5) BAEA 1 (248), RLHA 1 (13) TOTAL 2 (565)

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

 

DAYS 40

HOURS 433.4

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 2

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 155

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 6

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 81

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 18

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 27

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) 27

Buteo sp. (UB) 10

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 3173

Eagle sp. (UE) 6

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 3569