RMERF counts, November 5

NOTE CHANGE FROM MOUNTAIN DAYLIGHT TIME (MDT) TO MOUNTAIN STANDARD TIME (MST): -1 HOUR.

Sunday, November 5 [Day 41] (Bill Wilson, assisted by Lori Anderson) 0655-1720. The temperature at 0700 was -14C, the high was -9C at 1500 and it was -10C at the end of observation. Ground winds were variable but mainly N 0-3 km/h to 1100, then 2-6 gusting 10 km/h for the rest of the day, while ridge winds were probably light NE-ENE all day. Cloud cover was 100%, often thin, stratus all day except when it briefly reduced to 70% around 1400. The eastern ridges were slightly draped with cloud to 1200, were 20% occluded to 1500 after which they were 60-70% obscured for the rest of the day, while the west was 60-90% obscured for most of the day. Very light snow fell to 1000 and again after 1600. After four days of an almost total shut-down there was finally a reasonable raptor movement with 27 migrants of 3 species counted between 1318 and 1558 that comprised 2 Bald Eagles (1a, 1sa), 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 23 Golden Eagles (21a, 1sa, 1j) and 1 unidentified eagle that was the last migrant of the day. The hourly counts during the movement were 6 (1318-1400), 15 (1400-1500) and 6 (1500-1558). With the exception of the adult Bald Eagle that was seen to the west, all birds used the eastern route with much flapping flight in the calm conditions and some soaring, mainly against the face of the Fisher Range but with occasional birds rising well above the ridge. Several bird flocks flew high to the south above the valley comprising 51 Canada Geese, 120 Mallards, 37 Northern Pintails, 1 Common Loon, and 4 European Starlings, while other birds present near the site were 1 Belted Kingfisher, 1 American Dipper, 1 Snow Bunting, 1 Pine Grosbeak and 20 Common Redpolls. Fifty-two Elk fed on the slopes of the ski-hill, and 7 visitors skied to the site today.

10.42 hours (443.8) BAEA 2 (157), NOGO 1 (28), GOEA 23 (3196), UE 1 (7) TOTAL 27 (3596)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 42] (Peter Sherrington) 1345-1615 (Observation from the Waterton 61 wellsite on the western flank of the ridge, and east of ridge from Seven Gates Road). Light snow continued to fall all day and the ridges were obscured until around 1330 when hazy sunshine suggested the possibility of movement. The temperature was -12C throughout the observation period, winds were calm or light SE, cloud cover was 100% stratus and the ridges were mainly clear. No migrant raptors were seen, however, and when I drove to the north later in the day the Livingstone Range and adjacent foothills were completely obscured. Apart from 12 ravens that mainly flew westwards to roost the only birds seen was a flock of 60 Bohemian Waxwings.

2.5 hours (337.3) TOTAL 0 (3841)

 

Steeples [Day 35] (Vance Mattson) 1000-1715. As the Rocky Mountains to the east and the Purcell Ranges to the west were fully obscured all day, Vance again observed from the valley center at the Kootenay River Site. The starting temperature was -5C at 1100, reached a high of -2C and dropped to -3C at the end of observation. Winds were light to moderate NW, and cloud cover was 80-100% altostratus, though cloud was thinner throughout the center of the valley and provided hazy sunshine throughout most of the day. There was again a fairly strong movement of 32 migrants of 5 species that comprised 20 Bald Eagles (10a, 8j, 2u), 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 1 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 1 dark morph Rough-legged Hawk, 8 Golden Eagles (3a, 5j) and 1 unidentified eagle. The first migrants seen were adults of each eagle species at 1020, although no further migrants were seen until 1206 when a juvenile Golden Eagle and the Red-tailed Hawk soared and flapped low over the fields east of the river. Ten further migrants were counted before 1300, although the next three hours produced only 5, 2, and 5 migrants, respectively. The last hour, from 1600 to 1700, saw a late movement of 6 Bald Eagles, including the last, a juvenile, at 1639. Today’s flight was a combination of soaring and flapping, with flapping flight becoming more prevalent as the day progressed.

7.25 hours (165.8) BAEA 20 (268), NOGO 1 (13), RTHA 1 (51), RLHA 1 (14), GOEA 8 (128), UE 1 (2) TOTAL 32 (597)

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

 

DAYS 41

HOURS 443.8

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 2

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 157

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 6

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 81

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 18

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 28

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) 3196

Eagle sp. (UE) 7

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 3596