RMERF counts, October 18

Thursday, October 18 Mount Lorette [Day 25] 0750-1920 (Rick Robb and Cliff Hansen). The temperature at 0750 was 0C, the high at 1700 was 12C and it was 6C at the end of observation. Ground winds were generally less than 5 km/h and only reached 5-10 km/h between 1400 and 1500, and ridge winds were light SW-WSW for most of the day. Cloud cover was 70-100% stratocumulus to 1300, 90-60% altocumulus and cumulus to 70% that gave sunny breaks after 1400, and finally 90% altocumulus and cumulus at the end of the day; all ridges were clear. There was another fairly strong raptor movement with 90 birds of 5 species seen between 0934 and 1852 comprising 2 adult Bald Eagles, 2u Sharp-shinned Hawks, 1u Cooper’s Hawk, 3 Rough-legged Hawks (1 light, 2u) and 82 Golden Eagles (40a, 7sa, 12j, 23u). Golden Eagle movement peaked between 1500 and 1600 when 21 birds were seen, and migration was entirely on the eastern route with much flapping flight in the calm conditions and soaring after 1400 when the sunny breaks created thermals. Golden Eagles were not seen over Mount Lorette until 1649 after which most birds were initially located there. Resident birds were an adult Bald Eagle that flew low above the river and a Northern Goshawk that twice was heard calling near the site. The highlight of the non-raptor sightings was a flock of 10 Evening Grosbeaks that perched near the site, a species that is surprisingly uncommon in the valley, and 1 Mourning Cloak butterfly was also seen. A total of 78 visitors at the site all enjoyed sights of migrating Golden Eagles today.

11.5 hours (261.3) BAEA 2 (71), SSHA 2 (55), COHA 1 (6), RLHA 3 (25) GOEA 82 (1907) TOTAL 90 (2160)

 

Thursday, October 18 Vicki Ridge [Day 22] 0830-1835 (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Hilary Atkinson, Doug and Teresa Dolman and Raymond Toal, observing from the Waterton 61 wellsite). The temperature at 0830 was 10C, the high was 16C at 1400 and 1500 and winds were W-WSW all day 25-35 gusting to 55 km/h to 1600 and then 40 km/h for the rest of the day. Cloud cover was 10-30% altostratus and cirrus to 1330 then 70-80% altostratus, altocumulus and cirrus that reached 100% at 1800. Numbers of migrating Golden Eagles continued to steadily decline from the high count on October 15, but there was still a fairly strong movement of 176 birds of 8 species between 0858 and 1804 that comprised 10 Bald Eagles (5a, 1sa, 2j, 2u), 10 Sharp-shinned Hawks (4a, 6u), 4 adult Northern Goshawks, 3 adult Red-tailed Hawks (1 light calurus and 2 dark harlani), 23 Rough-legged Hawks (20 light, 1 dark, 2u), 124 Golden Eagles (83a, 14sa, 24j, 3u), 1 male grey morph Gyrfalcon and 1 adult male Peregrine Falcon. Movement was steady to 1700 and peaked at 51 birds (48 Golden Eagles) between 1200 and 1300) but only 9 birds were seen after 1700. Other bird species were again scarce but included a flock of 30 Pine Siskins that flew low near the site.

9.75 hours (195.7) BAEA 10 (120), SSHA 10 (575), NOGO 4 (44), RTHA 3 (157), RLHA 23 (209), GOEA 124 (1979), GYRF 1 (4), PEFA 1 (9) TOTAL 176 (3299)

 

Thursday, October 18 Steeples [Day 26] 1300-1800 (Vance Mattson). The temperature was 6C to 9C, it was again calm and cloud cover was initially 90% altostratus that thinned to 60% then 30% altocumulus as the afternoon progressed. No migrant raptors were seen, but the pair of resident Golden Eagles soared above the ridge and above the site.

5 hours (115) TOTAL 0 (404)

 

 

SUMMARY COUNTS, FALL 2018
MOUNT LORETTE September 20-November 15 VICKI RIDGE September 20-November 15 STEEPLES September 20-November 15
DAYS 25 22 26
HOURS 261.3 195.7 115
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0 0 1
OSPREY (OSPR) 3 8 2
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 71 120 85
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 6 14 12
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 55 575 72
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 6 72 4
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 22 44 6
Accipiter sp. (UA) 6 5 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1 24 3
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1 2 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 25 157 75
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 8 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 22 209 3
Buteo sp. (UB) 5 25 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1907 1979 131
Eagle sp. (UE) 16 3 2
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0 12 3
MERLIN (MERL) 3 20 2
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1 4 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1 9 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 3 3 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1 2 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 4 4 1
TOTALS 2160 3299 404