RMERF counts, October 15

Sunday, October 15 [Day 24] (Bill Wilson, assisted by Lori Anderson, Jon Gazpelumendr and Josh Horwood) 0700-1905. It was a much warmer day today with a starting temperature of 4C, a high at 1600 of 11C and 9C at 1900. Ground winds were 5-25 gusting to 55 all day, SSE to 1100 and SW for the rest of the day, while ridge winds were strong WSW to 1400 and moderate to strong after. Cloud cover was 80-100% altostratus to 1600 which gradually thinned to 50% by 1900. The ridges were essentially clear all day. There was another strong raptor movement with 198 eagles migrating between 0757 and 1815 that comprised 7 Bald Eagles (3a, 4j) and 191 Golden Eagles (91a, 4sa, 17j, 71u). Movement was fairly steady all day with a maximum hourly count of 39 between 1200 and 1300, and most were seen above the Fisher Range having mainly come from Mount Lorette. A few birds were seen on the western route or glided high above the centre of the valley in the morning. The only migrant songbirds recorded were 1 American Pipit, 1 Lapland Longspur and 5 Pine Siskins, and 22 visitors made it to the site today.

12.08 hours (271.9) BAEA 7 (64), GOEA 191 (1975) TOTAL 198 (2229)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 24] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Raymond Toal and Klaus Exner) 0830-1815 (Observation from the Waterton 61 wellsite on the western flank of the ridge). The temperature reached a high of 9C at 1600 and 1700 from a starting low of 2C and was 8C at 1800. Winds were again strong WSW-W all day 45-70 gusting 80 km/h and reaching 90 km/h around 1600, and cloud cover was a 60-100% ever changing kaleidoscope of high-wind clouds (altostratus, altocumulus, lenticular and cumulus) that brought periods of bright sunshine and others of deep gloom. There was a persistent raptor movement all day, with most of the Golden Eagles migrating over Kyllo Ridge to the west of the site, many of which disappeared behind the ridge and it was apparent that many more birds were moving unseen farther west. Between 1600 and 1630 Raymond and Klaus observed on the western side of Kyllo Ridge near the Waterton 68 well site and recorded 12 migrating raptors (1 Bald Eagle, 2 Rough-legged Hawks, 1 unidentified Buteo and 8 Golden Eagles) in 30 minutes, none of which could be seen from the main observation site. The observation also coincided with the strongest winds of the day. The final count of 6 species, including these birds, was 4 Bald Eagles (2a, 1sa, 1j), 10 Sharp-shinned Hawks (6a, 4u), 3 Northern Goshawks (2a, 1u), 8 Red-tailed Hawks (6 calurus: 4 light: 3a, 1j, 2a dark; and 2a dark harlani), 14 Rough-legged Hawks (11 light, 2 dark, 1u), 1 unidentified Buteo and 99 Golden Eagles (40a, 5sa, 12j, 42u). As yesterday the only significant songbird moment was 730 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches in 3 flocks. At 1511 a Sharp-shinned Hawk was seen in the middle of a small cloud of 80 finches and faced with a plethora of targets failed to catch any. It was last seen gliding high and fast to the south above the ridge closely pursued by a tight ball of Rosy-Finches. High winds continue to be forecast so observation will again be from the Waterton 61 site tomorrow.

9.75 hours (198.6) BAEA 4 (50), SSHA 10 (608), NOGO 3 (59), RTHA 8 (205), RLHA 14 (118), UB 1 (15), GOEA 99 (1006), TOTAL 139 (2255)

 

Steeples [Day 18] (Vance Mattson) 1100-1800. The temperature was 9C at 1100, reached a high of 11C and was 10C at 1800. Winds were moderate to strong S-SW all day and cloud cover was originally 50% cumulus, altostratus and cirrus that gradually diminished to 20% cumulus by 1500. As yesterday, a total of 21 raptors were counted between 1130 and 1540, but today 6 species were involved: 14 Bald Eagles (11a, 2sa, 1u), 1 adult Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 2 adult Red-tailed Hawks (1 light calurus and 1 dark harlani), 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk and 2 adult Golden Eagles. The last birds seen were 6 Bald Eagles that moved south together but no further migrants were counted after 1540. Non-migrants were 5 Bald Eagles (4a, 1j), 1 hunting adult Red-tailed Hawk and an adult Golden Eagle that was persistently harassed by a raven near the day’s end.

7 hours (88.5) BAEA 14 (106), SSHA 1 (72), NOGO 1 (8), RTHA 1 (42), RLHA 1 (3), GOEA 2 (47) TOTAL 21 (308)

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

 

DAYS 24

HOURS 271.9

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 1

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 64

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 5

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 71

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 15

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 18

Accipiter sp. (UA) 3

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 28

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 18

Buteo sp. (UB) 8

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1975

Eagle sp. (UE) 3

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 1

MERLIN (MERL) 4

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 5

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 3

Falco sp. (UF) 2

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

 

TOTAL 2229