RMERF counts, October 16

Monday, October 16 [Day 25] (George Halmazna, assisted by Dan Parliament) 0715-1700. The temperature was already 9.5C at 0715, rose to a high of 12.5C at 1500 and was still 12C at the end of observation. Ground winds were SW 20-30 km/h that gusted to 65 km/h after 1300 and ridge winds were very strong SW all day. Cloud cover was 60-80% cirrostratus, altostratus, cumulus and stratus all day and observing conditions were good except when high flying eagles disappeared into low cloud above the Fisher Range. There was another fairly strong raptor movement, again dominated by Golden Eagles, between 0853 and 1627 with a peak hourly count of 26 between 0900 and 1000. The count was 2 adult Bald Eagles, 106 Golden Eagles (51a, 1sa, 5j, 49u), 1u Gyrfalcon and 1 adult Peregrine Falcon. All birds moved very fast and on average 200-400 m above the Fisher Range, and often disappeared into the cloud base. This, combined with the difficulty of keeping the telescope trained in the high winds, accounts for the high percentage of unaged Golden Eagles. Other birds seen included 3 Trumpeter Swans, 8 high-flying migrating Common Loons seen on four occasions, 2 Evening Grosbeaks and 5 Pine Siskins. Thirty-one visitors also braved the winds to arrive at the site today. George was taken ill late in the afternoon and had to leave the site early, but by that time no migrant had been seen for over half-an-hour so few birds are likely to have been missed. We wish him a speedy recovery.

9.75 hours (281.6) BAEA 2 (66), GOEA 106 (2081), GYRF 1 (2), PEFA 1 (6) TOTAL 110 (2339)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 25] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Raymond Toal) 0830-1815 (Observation from the Waterton 61 well site on the western flank of the ridge). 0845-1815. It was a warm day with a starting temperature of 10C that reached a high of 14C at 1600 and was still 12C at 1800. Winds were WSW-W all day 30-60 gusting 70-80 km/h and reaching above 90 km/h at 1500 and 1600. I saw two trees fall and heard others crash to the ground in adjacent woodlands. In compensation, however cloud cover was 20-70% thin altostratus, altocumulus and cumulus all day which provided sunny conditions and excellent light to observe and age the migrants. There was a fairly strong and varied raptor movement involving 8 species that comprised 1 juvenile Bald Eagle, 24 Sharp-shinned Hawks (18a, 4u), 1 adult Cooper’s Hawk, 1 adult light morph Broad-winged Hawk, 4 adult Red-tailed Hawks (calurus 3: 1 light, 2 dark; harlani 1 dark), 23 Rough-legged Hawks (22 light, 1 dark), 2 unidentified Buteos (1 light, 1 dark), 107 Golden Eagles (68a, 9sa, 30j) and 1 Prairie Falcon. The count includes 31 birds (2 Sharp-shinned Hawks, 1 Red-tailed Hawk, 3 Rough-legged Hawks and 25 Golden Eagles) seen by Raymond between 1150 and 1400 on the western side of Kyllo Ridge near the Waterton 68 well site. By 1400 143 migrants had been counted but the following 4 hours produced only a further 21 birds as the winds reached their maximum velocity for the day. Once again the only migrating songbirds were Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches with flocks of 30 and 75 flying south at 0930 and 1306 respectively. Tomorrow’s forecast calls for winds gusting 90 to120 km/h so I think it is safe to assume that I will not be observing from the top of the ridge!

9.5 hours (208.1) BAEA 1 (51), SSHA 24 (632), COHA 1 (79), BWHA 1 (31), 4 RTHA (209), RLHA 23 (141), UB 2 (17), GOEA 107 (1113), PRFA 1 (2) TOTAL 164 (2419)

 

Steeples [Day 19] (Vance Mattson) 1330-1530. Observation was from the South Lakit site where the temperature was 12C, winds were strong SW, and 40% cumulus, altocumulus and altostratus cloud cover gave sunny conditions. Ten migrant raptors were seen that comprised 6 Bald Eagles (4a, 1sa, 1j), 1 juvenile light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk and 3 adult Golden Eagles. Four Bald Eagles were above the site at 1530 when Vance had to leave because of a teaching commitment, so more migrants might have been expected.

2 hours (90.5) BAEA 6 (112), RTHA 1 (43) GOEA 3 (50) TOTAL 10 (318)

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

 

DAYS 25

HOURS 281.6

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 1

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 66

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) 2081

Eagle sp. (UE) 3

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 1

MERLIN (MERL) 4

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 2

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 6

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 3

Falco sp. (UF) 2

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

 

TOTAL 2339