RMERF counts, October 14

Sunday, October 14 Mount Lorette [Day 21] 0650-1945 (Bill Wilson, assisted by Lori Anderson and Patrick Farley). The temperature at the start was -8C, it reached a high of 6C at 1700 and was 0C at the end of observation. Ground winds were SW 0-5 gusting 8 km/h all day, and ridge winds were moderate SW. Cloud cover was altostratus all day, 90-100% to 1500 that diminished to 10% at 1700 and 1800 before increasing to 60% at the end of the day. The ridges were clear all day. Ideal migration conditions produced a strong raptor movement that saw the second-highest Golden Eagle count of the season with 230 birds of 6 species moving between 0948 and 1915. The count was 1 adult Bald Eagle, 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, 3 Northern Goshawks (1a, 1u), 2 adult calurus Red-tailed Hawks (1light, 1 dark), 3 Rough-legged Hawks (1 light, 2u), 1 unidentified Buteo and 230 Golden Eagles (147a, 11sa, 27j, 45u). All the birds glided at ridge level or lower along the Fisher Range and appeared to have originated from the Heart Mountain area rather than from Mount Lorette. By 1400 only 13 Golden Eagles had been seen but the rate steadily increased and 185 birds moved after 1600 with hourly counts of 61 (1600-1700), 52 (1700-1800) and 64 (1800-1900), and 8 birds between 1900 and 1915 when it was almost too dark to see. Other birds included a pair of Great Horned Owls that duetted as the observers were preparing to leave at 1919, 12 migrating Clark’s Nutcrackers, 12 White-winged Crossbills, 3 Dark-eyed Juncos, and 1 Song Sparrow and 1 Palm Warbler that were seen at Lorette Ponds. A pair of Moose was in the Hay Meadow and about 3 wolves howled to the SE of the site at 1300. There was plenty to entertain the 42 visitors to the site today.

12.92 hours (214.3) BAEA 1 (44), SSHA 1 (51), NOGO 2 (22), RTHA 2 (16), RLHA 3 (18), UB 1 (5), GOEA 230 (1329) TOTAL 240 (1535)

 

Sunday, October 14 Vicki Ridge [Day 18] 0900-1830 (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Hilary Atkinson and Raymond Toal, observing from the Waterton 61 wellsite). The forecast called for a relatively warm sunny day, but it turned out to be a mainly cold gloomy one. The temperature was -2C at 0900 and reached a high of 4C at 1300 which persisted to the end of observation but it felt much cooler with W winds that were 20-35 gusting to 50 km/h all day. There were a few sunny breaks in the 40-80% altostratus and cirrus cloud cover in the morning, but the afternoon saw mainly 100% altostratus and uniform grey stratus that thinned at 1800 to 70% altocumulus and altostratus and provided some welcome patches of blue sky at the end of the day. A total of 67 raptors of 7 species migrated between 0929 and 1822 that comprised 6 adult Bald Eagles, 4u Sharp-shinned Hawks, 1 adult probable female Northern Goshawk, 1 adult dark morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 6 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 48 Golden Eagles (32a, 4sa, 11j, 1u) and the first Gyrfalcon of the season, a probable male grey morph bird. Most of the birds moved high above Vicki Ridge and the maximum hourly count was 13 (all Golden Eagles) between 1700 and 1800.

9.5 hours (155.8) BAEA 6 (67), SSHA 4 (519), NOGO 1 (30), RTHA 1 (148), RLHA 6 (59), GOEA 48 (885), GYRF 1 (1) TOTAL 67 (1903)

 

Sunday, October 13 Steeples [Day 22] 1200-1730 (Vance Mattson). It was a beautiful sunny day with a temperature of 3C rising to a high of 7C, calm conditions and an initial cloud cover of 60% altostratus that dwindled to 0% by 1500. Just 10 migrants of 4 species were seen, with 8 of the birds moving before 1432, and the last migrant, an unidentified small raptor, was seen at 1556. The count was 2 adult Bald Eagles, 1 adult female or juvenile Northern Harrier, 3 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 2u), 3 Golden Eagles (2a, 1u) and 1 small raptor that was probably either a Sharp-shinned Hawk or a Merlin. Non-migrant or resident birds were 1adult Bald Eagle, 2 adult Northern Goshawks that soared together, 1 juvenile light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk and 1 adult Golden Eagle.

5.5 hours (99) BAEA 2 (82), NOHA 1 (12), SSHA 3 (70), GOEA 3 (112), UU 1 (1) total 10 (378)

 

 

 

SUMMARY COUNTS, FALL 2018
MOUNT LORETTE September 20-November 15 VICKI RIDGE September 20-November 15 STEEPLES September 20-November 15
DAYS 21 18 22
HOURS 214.3 155.8 99
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0 0 1
OSPREY (OSPR) 3 8 2
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 44 67 82
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 6 13 12
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 51 519 70
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 5 67 4
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 22 30 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) 16 148 74
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 7 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 18 59 3
Buteo sp. (UB) 5 22 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1329 885 112
Eagle sp. (UE) 16 3 2
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0 11 3
MERLIN (MERL) 3 18 2
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1 1 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1 8 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 3 3 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1 2 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 4 4 1
TOTALS 1535 1903 378