RMERF counts October 12 and 13

Friday, October 12 Mount Lorette [Day 19] 0820-1900 (Caroline Lambert, assisted by Joel Duncan). The starting temperature was -6C but rose to a high at 1600 of 9C and fell to 3C at the end of observation. Ground winds were W-SW 5-10 gusting 20-40 km/h which diminished to 0-5 gusting 15 km/h by late afternoon, and finally strong NE winds at 1900 when a cold front arrived bringing snow and that ended observation for the day. Ridge winds were W, very strong to 1500 and then strong until the arrival of the front. The east was clear but the west was 20-80% obscured all day. A total of 85 migrants of 5 species moved between 0911 and 1750 comprising 5a Bald Eagles, 1u Cooper’s Hawk, 2 Northern Goshawks (1a, 1u), 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk, 71 Golden Eagles (39a, 5sa, 4j, 23u), 4 unidentified eagles and 1 unidentified raptor. All birds were seen mainly very high above the Fisher Range, but none were seen at Mount Lorette. Movement was steady throughout the day with 37 of the birds recorded between 1500 and 1750. Other birds were 1 Hairy Woodpecker, 10 Common Ravens, 4 Black-capped Chickadees, 2 Boreal Chickadees, 1 Red-breasted Nuthatch, 1 American Dipper, 2 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 2 Red Crossbills, 4 White-winged Crossbills and 2 Pine Siskins. Two Grey Wolves, one of which was black, crossed the river north of the site at 0830, and a male Moose also made an appearance at the site. The 32 visitors included a home-schooling group of 19 students and parents.

10.67 hours (192.7) BAEA 5 (43), COHA 1 (5), NOGO 2 (20), RLHA 1 (15), GOEA 71 (1099), UE 4 (16), UU 1 (4) TOTAL 85 (1295)

 

Friday, October 12 Vicki Ridge [Day 16] 0815-1820 (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Trevor Lewis and Gord Petersen observing from Waterton 61 wellsite). The temperature at 0815 was 5C, the high at 1400 was 10C and it was 7C at the end of observation as light rain began to fall. Winds were strong W all day 50-60 gusting 90km/h which switched to N 15-25 km/h just before 1800 that brought light rain in advance of a rapidly advancing cold front. Cloud cover was cumulus all day, 0-30% to 1100 and 10-70% in the afternoon that gave excellent observing conditions. There was a fairly strong and persistent raptor movement of 140 birds of 9 species that were seen between 0851 and 1815 which comprised a season-high 14 Bald Eagles (4a, 2sa, 5j, 3u), 15 Sharp-shinned Hawks (4a, 11u), 1u Cooper’s Hawk, 1 adult female Northern Goshawk, 1 undifferentiated Accipiter, 1 adult light morph Broad-winged Hawk, 7 Red-tailed Hawks (5a calurus: 3 light, 2 dark, and 2j harlani: 1 light, 1 dark), 8 Rough-legged Hawks (6 light, 1 dark, 1u), 1 unidentified Buteo, 90 Golden Eagles (61a, 7sa, 9j, 13u) and 1 adult male Peregrine Falcon. Birds moved generally high above both ridges and the busiest hour was 1700-1800 when 30 birds moved ahead of the approaching front. The unusual light morph “Harlan’s Hawk” hunted the western flank of Vicki Ridge for a couple of hours before finally moving to the south. Also unusual was a Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel that ran about on the snow in the early afternoon before returning to its hole.

10.08 hours (142.3) BAEA 14 (61), SSHA 15 (506). COHA 1 (66), NOGO 1 (29), UA 1 (5), BWHA 1 (21), RTHA 7 (147), RLHA 8 (48), GOEA 90 (820), PEFA 1 (8) TOTAL 140 (1804)

 

Friday, October 12 Steeples [Day 20] 1200-1730 (Vance Mattson). The temperature was 13C, winds were moderate S, then W and finally N at the end of the day and cloud cover was 40-60% mainly cumulus. Despite these apparently favourable conditions, however, no migrants were seen, although there were two sightings of resident Golden Eagles and 3 non-migrant Bald Eagles were observed.

5.5 hours (87.5) TOTAL 0 (342)

 

Saturday, October 13 Mount Lorette [Day 20] 0845-1800 (Blake Weis). The temperature was -1C at the start and rose to 0C after 1000, winds were N all day, cloud cover was 90-100% stratus which mainly obscured the ridges and light, moderate or heavy snow fell all day. Blake remained in the Hay Meadow until 1445 then moved to Barrier Lake and finally to Lusk Creek where the highest foothills ridge was clear but still no migrant raptors were seen. Other birds seen, however included 1 Brown Creeper, 5 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 1 American Robin, 1 Mountain Bluebird, 30 White-winged Crossbills, 3 Pine Siskins, 2 Lapland Longspurs, 5 American Tree Sparrows, 6 Dark-eyed Juncos and 1 Yellow-rumped Warbler. Ten visitors made it to the Hay Meadow site, and although they saw no migrant raptors most were able to observe a pair of Moose near the parking area.

8.75 hours (201.4) TOTAL 0 (1295)

 

Saturday, October 13 Vicki Ridge [Day 17] 1245-1500 and 1615-1800 (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Hilary Atkinson observing from the Waterton 61 wellsite). Steady snow fell to 1130 and the ridges were obscured until noon when they rapidly began to clear. There was 16 cm of fresh snow at the site, the ridges were clear, the temperature was 0C and it was calm when observation began at 1245. Seventeen raptors were counted between 1301 and 1427 after which heavy snow again began to fall which persisted to 1615 when the site was re-occupied with a further 4 cm of fresh snow on the ground, and the temperature remained at -2C with 100% stratocumulus cloud cover and light NE to SE winds for the rest of the day. The ridges remained clear, however, and a further 15 migrants were counted, the last being at 1737. The final count of 32 raptors of 4 species was 9 Sharp-shinned Hawks (2a, 7u), 1u Cooper’s Hawk, 5 Rough-legged Hawks (8a, 3sa, 6j) and 17 Golden Eagles (8a, 3sa, 6j). Fourteen birds were seen between 1300 and 1400 and 13 between 1700 and 1800.

4 hours (146.3) SSHA 9 (515), COHA 1 (67), RLHA 5 (53), GOEA 17 (837) TOTAL 32 (1836)

 

Saturday, October 13 Steeples [Day 21] 1200-1800 (Vance Mattson). The temperature was 8C, it was initially calm with 60% cumulus cloud cover which produced a slow soaring raptor movement; by1500, however winds were strong N and cloud cover was 100% altostratus and cumulus which reduced to 50% by 1630 which again gave partially sunny conditions. There was a varied raptor movement of 26 birds of 9 species which included the first ever record of a Gyrfalcon for the site: an adult light grey morph bird at 1353 which soared above and in front of the ridge before being chased south by 2 aggressive ravens,. Other migrants were 14 Bald Eagles (9a, 1sa, 4j), 2 Northern Harriers (1 adult female, 1j), 3 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 2u), 1j Northern Goshawk, 1 juvenile light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 3 Golden Eagles (2a, 1u) and 1u columbarius Merlin. Thirteen migrants moved between 1300 and 1400 after which the pace slowed and the last bird was a juvenile Bald Eagle at 1707. Non-migrants were 3 adult Bald Eagles and the resident pair of Golden Eagles that included display flights by both birds with that of the larger bird (female) being particularly vigorous.

6 hours (93.5) BAEA 14 (80), NOHA 2 (11), SSHA 3 (67), NOGO 1 (5), RTHA 1 (74), GOEA 3 (109), MERL 1 (2), GYRF 1 (1) TOTAL 26 (368)

 

 

 

SUMMARY COUNTS, FALL 2018
MOUNT LORETTE September 20-November 15 VICKI RIDGE September 20-November 15 STEEPLES September 20-November 15
DAYS 20 17 21
HOURS 201.4 146.3 93.5
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0 0 1
OSPREY (OSPR) 3 8 2
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 43 61 80
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 6 13 11
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 50 515 67
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 5 67 4
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 20 29 5
Accipiter sp. (UA) 5 5 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1 21 3
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1 2 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 14 147 74
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 7 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 15 53 3
Buteo sp. (UB) 1 22 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1099 837 109
Eagle sp. (UE) 16 3 2
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0 11 3
MERLIN (MERL) 3 18 2
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1 0 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1 8 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 3 3 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1 2 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 4 4 0
TOTALS 1295 1836 368