RMERF counts, October 11

Thursday, October 11 Mount Lorette [Day 18] 0710-1920 (Joel Duncan to 1730 and Caroline Lambert after 1730, assisted by Brian McBride). The temperature at 0800 was -8C, the high was 6C at 1500 and it was 3C at 1920. Ground winds were variable and light to 1400, then SW-W 5-15 gusting 20 km/h to 1730 after which it was calm; ridge winds were SW all day, light to 1900, moderate to 1400 and then strong for the rest of the day. It was cloudless to 1000 when 10% cirrus developed to 1400 after which it was 50-90% altostratus and cirrus for the rest of the day. Despite the favourable winds and viewing conditions there was a disappointing count of only 26 birds of 2 species between 0820 and 1735 that comprised 5 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 20 Golden Eagles (11a, 5sa, 2j, 2u) and 1 unidentified eagle. All the birds glided on the eastern route between Mount Lorette and the Fisher Range and there was little soaring or flapping flight. The highest hourly counts were only 5 birds between 1300 and 1400 and again between 1600 and 1700. Other birds, however, were varied and included the long-staying juvenile Sora that today was seen on a gravel bar in the river, 10 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 1 Varied Thrush, 1 American Dipper, 1 Lapland Longspur, 5 White-winged Crossbills, 2 Purple Finches (2 females, 1 male), 1 Song Sparrow, 2 Swamp Sparrows and 2 Yellow-rumped Warblers. Sixteen visitors were at the site today.

11.5 hours (182) RLHA 5 (14), GOEA 20 (1028), UE 1 (12) TOTAL 26 (1210)

 

Thursday, October 11 Vicki Ridge [Day 15] 0845-1845 (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Denise Cocciolone-Amatto, Raymond Toal and Gord Petersen observing from Waterton 61 wellsite, and Kyllo Ridge from the Waterton 68 wellsite, 1550-1630). Clear skies allowed the temperature to fall to -9C at 0845, but by 1000 it had risen to 0C, reached a high of 7C at 1400 and was still 5C at 1845. It was calm to 1030 when light W winds started that gradually increased in velocity throughout the afternoon reaching 20-30 gusting 50 km/h after 1600. It was cloudless to 1430 when lenticular clouds began to develop which became 60-80% lenticular and cirrus after 1600. A total of 138 migrant raptors of 10 species were counted between 1040 and 1832 that comprised 6 Bald Eagles (3a, 1j), 1 juvenile female Northern Harrier, 10 Sharp-shinned Hawks (7a, 12u), 1u Cooper’s Hawk, 2 light morph Broad-winged Hawks (1a, 1j), 11 Red-tailed Hawks (9 calurus: 6 light (5a, 1u) and 3a dark); and 2 (1a, 1j) dark harlani), 1a light morph Ferruginous Hawk, 8 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 2 unidentified Buteos (1 dark, 1u), 84 Golden Eagles (37a, 12sa, 24j, 11u), 2 unidentified eagles and 1u columbarius Merlin. The totals include 9 birds (1 Bald Eagle, 2 Sharp-shinned Hawks and 6 Golden Eagles) moving above the western edge of Kyllo Ridge that were seen by Denise Cocciolone-Amatto, Raymond Toal between 1550 and 1630). Birds moved fairly steadily and generally high above both Vicki and Kyllo Ridges and peak movement was 27 including 16 Golden Eagles between 1500 and 1600, and 31 including 17 Golden Eagles between 1600 and 1700. Other birds were relatively scarce but a juvenile Swainson’s Thrush feeding with a Grey-cheeked Thrush on chokecherry berries at 0910 was remarkable; other birds included 1 Steller’s Jay, 9 Clark’s Nutcrackers, 2 Red-breasted Nuthatches and 13 Red Crossbills.

10 hours (132.3) BAEA 6 (47), NOHA 1 (13), SSHA 19 (491), COHA 1 (65), BWHA 2 (20), RTHA 11 (140), FEHA 1 (7), RLHA 8 (40), UB 2 (21), GOEA 84 (730), UE 2 (3), MERL 1 (18) TOTAL 138 (1664)

 

Thursday, October 11 Steeples [Day 19] 1300-1800 (Vance Mattson). It was another pleasant day with a temperature of 10C, calm conditions, and cloudless to 1300 after which 70% altocumulus cloud developed that reduced to 20% by 1730. A total of 12 migrants of 3 species moved between 1324 and 1621 comprising 10 Bald Eagles (5a, 5j), 1 juvenile Northern Harrier and 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk. Seven of the Bald Eagles were seen between 1324 and 1336, but no birds were seen between 1409 and 1621 when the last 3 birds, 1 Bald Eagle, 1 Northern Harrier and 1 Sharp-shinned Hawk, were seen. The only resident bird was an adult Golden Eagle that soared above the ridge at 1300.

5 hours (82.5) BAEA 10 (66), NOHA 1 (9), SSHA 1 (64) TOTAL 12 (342)

 

 

SUMMARY COUNTS, FALL 2018
MOUNT LORETTE September 20-November 15 VICKI RIDGE September 20-November 15 STEEPLES September 20-November 15
DAYS 18 15 19
HOURS 182 132.3 82.5
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0 0 1
OSPREY (OSPR) 3 8 2
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 38 47 66
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 6 13 9
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 50 491 64
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 4 65 4
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 18 28 4
Accipiter sp. (UA) 5 4 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1 20 3
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1 2 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 14 140 73
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 7 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 14 40 3
Buteo sp. (UB) 1 19 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1028 730 106
Eagle sp. (UE) 12 3 2
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0 11 3
MERLIN (MERL) 3 18 1
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1 0 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1 7 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 3 3 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1 2 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 3 4 0
   
TOTALS 1210 1664 342