RMERF counts, October 17

Tuesday, October 17 [Day 26] (Bill Wilson to 1300 and Jim Davis 1300-1600, assisted by Dan Parliament) 0700-1600. The temperature was already 13C at 0700, rose to a high of 14C and was 9C when heavy rain ended the day’s count at 1600. Ground winds were SW all day 20-40 gusting up to 71 km/h, and ridge winds were also SW, strong to noon then very strong for the rest of the day. Cloud cover was 10% cumulus to 0800 then 90-100% stratus that brought light rain starting at 1200 that became heavy at 1530 and completely obscured the eastern ridges; the west was 50% obscured from 1200 to 1500 after which it was completely enveloped in cloud. The conditions produced a very poor sporadic raptor movement with only 12 birds seen between 0816 and 1451. The count was 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk, 1 light morph unidentified Buteo and 10 Golden Eagles (4a, 1j, 5u). Five of the eagles were counted before 1000 and the 2 Buteos and the last 2 eagles were seen after 1400. All the eagles flew at ridge level above the Fisher Range and the two Buteos flew low from the north above the valley and sought tree roosts as the rainfall intensified. The only other birds seen were 4 Common Ravens, and the very uncomfortable day was shared by 7 visitors to the site.

9 hours (290.6) RLHA 1 (19), UB 1 (9), GOEA 10 (2091) TOTAL 12 (2351)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 26] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Denise Cocciolone-Amatto and Raymond Toal) 0900-1700 (Observation from the Waterton 61 wellsite on the western flank of the ridge, and from the west ridge of Kyllo Ridge near the Waterton 68 wellsite). The temperature was 13C at 0900, reached a high of 16C at 1400 and was 11C when steady rain started to fall at 1700. Winds were WSW –W all day, moderate (< 40 km/h) to 1000 but then rapidly increased in velocity to 50-60 gusting 85-90 km/h and over 100 km/h after 1400. Cloud cover was 0-30% cumulus, altocumulus and lenticular to 1400 that gave sunny conditions until 1420 when dark stratocumulus moved rapidly from the west which quickly became 100% for the rest of the day and brought the aforementioned rain at 1700. A meagre total of 19 migrants were counted between 0947 and 1626, both the first and last birds being the only Sharp-shinned Hawks seen today. The count was 2 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 1u), 1u Northern Goshawk, 1 adult dark morph harlani Red-tailed Hawk and 15 Golden Eagles (7a, 1sa, 7j). Eleven of the Golden Eagles moved between 1000 and 1200, but as serious winds developed after 1200 movement became very sporadic. The count was split between the Waterton 61 site and west Kyllo Ridge near Waterton 68 (the two sites are about 3 minutes apart by car) in an unsuccessful attempt to find a raptor flow. Three American Robins were the only other birds of note seen. The forecast is calling for much of the same weather tomorrow!

8 hours (216.1) SSHA 2 (634), NOGO 1 (60), RTHA 1 (210), GOEA 15 (1128) TOTAL 19 (2438)

 

Steeples [Day 20] (Vance Mattson) 1130-1630. The temperature was initially 15C that dropped to 10C by 1530, winds were very strong SW and cloud cover was 100% dark altostratus and cumulus that brought rain at 1545 and completely obscured the ridges. Only 4 migrants were seen: 3 juvenile Bald Eagles that moved together at 1208 and 1 adult Golden Eagle that braved the winds at 1452. The winds took down two trees in the area including a large Tamarack very close to the site.

5 hours (95.5) BAEA 3 (115), GOEA 1 (51) TOTAL 4 (322)

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

DAYS 26

HOURS 290.6

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) 19

Buteo sp. (UB) 9

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2091

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 2351