RMERF counts, October 15

Monday, October 15 Mount Lorette [Day 22] 0650-1945 (George Halmazna, assisted by Dan Parliament and Caroline Lambert). The starting temperature was -3C, the high was 10.5C at 1600 and it was still 9C at the end of observation. Ground winds were light SW all day apart from 1300-1600 when there were gusts up to 15 km/h, and ridge winds were SW light to moderate all day. Cloud cover was 30-90% cirrus and cumulus to 0900 and then averaged 60% cirrus for the rest of the day that provided excellent observing conditions. There was another strong raptor movement of 278 birds of 4 species between 0815 and 1902 that included the second-highest Golden Eagle count of the season. The count comprised 7 Bald Eagles (6a, 1j), 1 unidentified Accipiter, 5 Red-tailed Hawks (1j light morph calurus and 4 dark morph harlani: 1a. 2j, 1u) and 265 Golden Eagles (147a, 30sa, 77j, 11u). All eagles moved mainly at ridge level along the Fisher Range having again probably originated from Heart Mountain as none were seen at Mount Lorette. Movement was steady with 46 Golden Eagles moving up to 1300 when the rate increased with subsequent maximum hourly counts of 54 (1400-1500) and 48 (1700-1800). Other birds included first seasonal records of Bohemian Waxwings (25) and Harris’s Sparrow ( an adult male), and a late record of 2 Yellow Warblers; other species included 2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 1 American Robin, 3 White-winged Crossbills, 7 American Tree Sparrows and 3 Dark-eyed Juncos. The warm day also produced 2 Mourning Cloak butterflies on the wing. There were 26 visitors to the site including a party of 18 students and staff from Clearwater Academy in Calgary.

12.5 hours (226.8) BAEA 7 (51), UA 1 (6), RTHA 5 (24), GOEA 265 (1594) TOTAL 278 (1813)

 

Monday, October 15 Vicki Ridge [Day 19] 0830-1845 (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Hilary Atkinson, Gord Petersen, Raymond Toal, Denise Cocciolone-Amatto and Pat Lucas, observing from the Waterton 61 wellsite). The temperature at 0830 was 3C, the high at 1600 was 11C and it was still 8C when the count closed at 1845. Winds were moderate to strong W-WSW 30-40 km/h regularly gusting to 50 km/h after 1330, and cloud cover was 70-100% thin cirrostratus and cirrus with minor altocumulus and cumulus throughout the day which gave hazy sunshine and excellent observing conditions. A site-record 675 migrant raptors of 7 species were recorded between 0910 and 1842 that included a record count of 611 Golden Eagles. The count was a season-high 17 Bald Eagles, 19 Sharp-shinned Hawks (2a, 17u), 2 adult Cooper’s Hawks, 1u Northern Goshawk, 1a dark morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 1 unidentified Buteo and 611 Golden Eagles (475a, 15sa, 73j, 48u). All birds moved high mainly above Vicki Ridge although there was an increasing use of Kyllo Ridge to the west in the late afternoon which resulted in a high number of unaged birds that were silhouetted against the lowering sun. Forty-six birds were seen before noon then 81 (79 Golden Eagles) moved between 1200 and 1300 and then peaked during the following hour when a remarkable 166 raptors moved of which 157 were Golden Eagles. The next 3 hours produced 122, 110 and 70 raptors respectively and then things calmed down with only 43 and 37 birds moving during the last 2 hours of observation. It was a busy day but thanks to the excellent assistants I just managed to keep on top of things.

10.25 hours (166.1) BAEA 17 (84), SSHA 19 (538), COHA 2 (69), NOGO 1 (31), RTHA 1 (149), RLHA 23 (82), UB 1 (23), GOEA 611 (1496) TOTAL 675 (2578)

 

Monday, October 15 Steeples [Day 23] 1530-1800 (Vance Mattson). It was another beautiful day with a temperature of 12C, calm conditions and 10-40% thin altostratus cloud cover, but only 5 migrant raptors were seen: 1 adult Bald Eagle, 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1 adult intermediate morph harlani Red-tailed Hawk and 2 Golden Eagles (1a, 1j).

2.5 hours (101.5) BAEA 1 (83), SSHA 1 (71), RTHA 1 (75), GOEA 2 (114) TOTAL 5 (383)

 

 

 

SUMMARY COUNTS, FALL 2018
MOUNT LORETTE September 20-November 15 VICKI RIDGE September 20-November 15 STEEPLES September 20-November 15
DAYS 22 19 23
HOURS 226.8 166.1 101.5
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0 0 1
OSPREY (OSPR) 3 8 2
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 51 84 83
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 6 13 12
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 51 538 71
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 5 69 4
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 22 31 5
Accipiter sp. (UA) 6 5 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1 21 3
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1 2 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 21 149 75
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 7 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 18 82 3
Buteo sp. (UB) 5 23 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1594 1496 114
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 1813 2578 383