RMERF counts, October 16

Tuesday, October 16 Mount Lorette [Day 23] 0730-1930 (Dan Parliament, assisted by Rosemary and Cindy Parliament). The temperature was -5C at 0730 but rose to a high of 13C at 1600 and fell to 0C at 1930. Ground winds were SW light (0-10 km/h) all day, and ridge winds were probably SW light to possibly moderate. There was 10% altostratus cloud to 1000 after which it was cloudless. Today saw another fairly strong raptor movement with 144 migrants of 5 species moving between 1040 and 1904 comprising 12 Bald Eagles (7a, 2sa, 3j), 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, 2u light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks, 4 light morph Rough-legged Hawks and 125 Golden Eagles (93a, 1sa, 22j, 9u). All the eagles moved along the Fisher Range with much soaring flight in the calm conditions but most birds failed to rise higher than the ridge. Only 2 birds were initially located over Mount Lorette so again they were probably originating in the vicinity of Heart Mountain farther to the north. Only 2 Golden Eagles were seen in the morning but movement was steady throughout the afternoon and peaked at 36 birds between 1600 and 1700. Other birds seen included 28 Canada Geese that flew high to the south in 2 flocks, 1 Ruffed Grouse, 1 Belted Kingfisher, 1 American Dipper, 1 Golden-crowned Kinglet and 25 Bohemian Waxwings. About 3 wolves howled to the east of the site at 0844. Only 5 visitors made it to the site today.

12 hours (238.8) BAEA 12 (63), SSHA 1 (52), RTHA 2 (23), RLHA 4 (22), GOEA 125 (1719) TOTAL 144 (1957)

 

Tuesday, October 16 Vicki Ridge [Day 20] 0845-1830 (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Hilary Atkinson, Doug and Teresa Dolman, Gord Petersen and Raymond Toal, observing from the Waterton 61 wellsite). We finally had a pleasant day with a starting temperature of 6C that reached a high at 1400 of 16C and was still 11C at 1830. Winds were moderate W-WSW all day 25 km/h that gusted to 35 km/h until 1300 and it was completely cloudless. There was another strong raptor movement with 319 birds of 10 species migrating between 1057 and 1827 that comprised 14 Bald Eagles (9a, 5sa), 15 Sharp-shinned Hawks (4a, 11u), 1 adult Cooper’s Hawk, 3 adult Northern Goshawks, 1 juvenile light morph Broad-winged Hawk, 3 Red-tailed Hawks (1u light calurus, 2a dark harlani), a season-high 59 Rough-legged Hawks (49 light, 8 dark, 2u), 2 unidentified Buteos (1 light, 1 dark), 218 Golden Eagles (139a, 14 sa, 45j, 20u), 1 probable female columbarius Merlin and 2u grey morph Gyrfalcons. Fifty-eight of the Rough-legged Hawks were seen after 1621 and 13 moved after 1800. Movement was steady throughout the afternoon and peaked at 73 birds (69 Golden Eagles) from 1300-1400 and 64 birds (55 Golden Eagles) during the next hour. The warm weather also produced 5 butterflies: 1 probable Hoary Comma and 4 Mourning Cloaks.

9.75 hours (175.8) BAEA 14 (98), SSHA 15 (553), COHA 1 (70), NOGO 3 (34), BWHA 1 (22), RTHA 3 (152), RLHA 59 (141), UB 2 (25), GOEA 218 (1714), MERL 1 (19), GYRF 2 (3) TOTAL 319 (2897)

 

Tuesday, October 16 Steeples [Day 24] 1245-1845 (Vance Mattson). The beautiful weather continued with a temperature of 12C, calm conditions and cloudless skies that produced extended soaring flight. A total of 17 migrants of 3 species moved up to 1756 with 15 of the birds migrating after 1500 and 7 after 1700, The count was 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1 adult Northern Goshawk and 15 Golden Eagles (8a, 1sa, 5j, 1u) which was the highest Golden Eagle passage at the site since the 75 counted on October 6. Non-migrants were 2 juvenile Bald Eagles that flew to the north, and 1 adult Golden Eagle.

6 hours (107.5) SSHA 1 (72), NOGO 1 (6), GOEA 15 (129) TOTAL 17 (400)

 

 

 

SUMMARY COUNTS, FALL 2018
MOUNT LORETTE September 20-November 15 VICKI RIDGE September 20-November 15 STEEPLES September 20-November 15
DAYS 23 20 24
HOURS 238.8 175.8 107.5
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0 0 1
OSPREY (OSPR) 3 8 2
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 63 98 83
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 6 13 12
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 52 553 72
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 5 70 4
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 22 34 6
Accipiter sp. (UA) 6 5 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1 22 3
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1 2 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 23 152 75
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 7 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 22 141 3
Buteo sp. (UB) 5 25 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1719 1714 129
Eagle sp. (UE) 16 3 2
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0 11 3
MERLIN (MERL) 3 19 2
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1 3 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 1957 2897 400