RMERF counts, October 11 and 12

Wednesday, October 11 [Day 20] (Caroline Lambert) 0800-1200. The temperature was -2C at 0800 and rose to 0C at 1200. Winds were light NE and cloud cover was 100% low stratus. The west was 100% obscured throughout but the east was 30% clear to 1000 after which all ridges were obscured. Snow began to fall at 1030 and when a heavy snowfall warning was issued at 1200 the count was abandoned for the day. Birds seen were 1 Black-billed Magpie, 4 Common Ravens, 22 Mountain Chickadees, 3 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 1 American Dipper and 2 Dark-eyed Juncos of the race hyemalis.

4 hours (227.8) TOTAL 0 (1757)

[Addendum to October 10: Forty-five visitors were at the site today, one for every migrant raptor seen!]

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 21] (Peter Sherrington) 0910-1420 (Observation from the ridge top). The temperature was 4C to 1100, rose to a high of 6C at 1200 and was 4C again at 1400, Winds were WSW-SW 25-30 gusting 40 km/h, and cloud cover was 100% altostratus and cumulus to 1300 after which it rapidly thinned and was 20% and sunny after 1330. There was a slow but steady raptor movement throughout with 23 migrants of 6 species seen between 0941 and 1401 comprising 2 Bald Eagles (1a, 1j), 4 adult Sharp-shinned Hawks, 1u Cooper’s Hawk, 3 Red-tailed Hawks (2a calurus (1 light, 1 dark) and 1 silhouetted bird of unknown race, morph or age), 8 Light morph Rough-legged Hawks and 5 Golden Eagles (1a, 1sa, 3j). The 5 Golden Eagles glided to the south above Kyllo Ridge between 1031 and 1057, while the rest of the movement was above Vicki Ridge. A juvenile Northern Shrike was on the ridge, and the only migrant songbirds were a flock of 40 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches that flew low to the south overhead at 1352. I left at 1420 to drive to Calgary.

5.16 hours (173.3) BAEA 2 (42), COHA 1 (78), RTHA 3 (189), RLHA 8 (85), GOEA 5 (851) TOTAL 23 (2014)

 

Steeples (Vance Mattson) NO OBSERVATION

 

Thursday, October 12 [Day 21] (Joel Duncan, assisted by Rick Robb) 1000-1915. There was 8 cm of fresh snow on the ground and the temperature was -3C at 1000 which rose to a high of 1C between 1300 and 1700 before falling to -1C at 1900. Ground winds were SW 5-10 occasionally gusting to 20 km/h in mid-afternoon, while ridge winds were moderate to strong SW all day. Cloud cover was initially 70-80% cumulus and stratocumulus that slowly diminished to 60% between 1400 and 1600, and 10% cumulus at 1700-1800, that increased to 30% for the last hour. A total of 35 raptors of 4 species moved between 1051 and 1830 comprising 1u light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk, 1u dark morph Buteo, 30 Golden Eagles (15a, 5sa, 4j, 6u), 1 unidentified eagle and 1 unidentified small falcon. Movement was slow up to 1400 after which the rate steadily increased and peaked at 8 birds between 1700 and 1800. Only 2 eagles were initially located over Mount Lorette, the rest appearing at the northern end of the Fisher Range from where they slowly glided and flapped to the SE at ridge level. Other birds seen included 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 1 Lapland Longspur, 2 Dark-eyed Juncos, 3 White-winged Crossbills and 1 Pine Siskin. A total of 41 visitors included a party of 32 students and staff of the grade 11 science class from Father Lacombe School in Calgary.

9.25 hours (237.5) RTHA 1 (27), RLHA 1 (14), UB 1 (8), GOEA 30 (1565), UE 1 (3) UF 1 (2) TOTAL 35 (1792)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 22] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Raymond Toal) 1200-1815 (Observation from the Waterton 61 wellsite on the western flank of the ridge). There was extensive fog and low cloud to mid-morning but the Livingstone Range was already clear as I was driving back from Calgary in the late morning. The temperature at 1200 was 2C, rose to a high of 6C at 1400 and was 1C at 1800. Winds were WSW-WNW 20-35 gusting to 50 km/h and cloud cover was 40-80% cumulus to 1500 that reduced to 10-30% until 1800 when it quickly increased to 80% as a snow squall swept down from the west. There was a slow but steady stream of 42 migrant raptors of 8 species that moved between 1217 and 1808 and comprised 2 adult Bald Eagles, 7 Sharp-shinned Hawks (5a, 2u), 2 adult Northern Goshawks, 4 Red-tailed Hawks (3a calurus (2 light, 1 dark) and 1 dark adult harlani), 16 Rough-legged Hawks (14 light, 2 dark), 9 Golden Eagles (4a, 3j, 2u), 1 adult female columbarius Merlin and 1 juvenile female Peregrine Falcon. Peak movement was 11 between 1200 and 1300) and 9 birds were seen during two other hours (1400-1500 and 1700-1800). An adult Northern Shrike that perched at the site was the only other bird of note.

6.25 hours (179.6) BAEA 2 (44), SSHA 7 (596), NOGO 2 (56), RTHA 4 (193), RLHA 16 (101), GOEA 9 (860), MERL 1 (16), PEFA 1 (12) TOTAL 42 (2056)

 

Steeples [Day 16] (Vance Mattson) 1330-1730. The temperature was 8C that dropped to 6C at 1730, winds were moderate to strong S that became almost calm after 1600, and cloud cover was 50-90% altostratus and cumulus that produced wet snow flurries between 1430 and 1435. A total of 11 eagles, 8 Bald Eagles (3a, 5j) and 3 adult Golden Eagles, migrated up to 1601 with 8 of the birds recorded between 1530 and 1555. The only non-migrant was an adult Golden Eagle seen at 1702

4 hours (75) BAEA 8 (74), GOEA 3 (42) TOTAL 11 (266)

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

 

DAYS 21

HOURS 237.3

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 1

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 51

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 5

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 66

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 14

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 16

Accipiter sp. (UA) 3

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 27

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 14

Buteo sp. (UB) 8

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1565

Eagle sp. (UE) 3

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 1

MERLIN (MERL) 4

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 5

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2

Falco sp. (UF) 2

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

 

TOTAL 1792