RMERF counts, October 20

Saturday, October 20 Mount Lorette [Day 27] 0755-1900 (Blake Weis, assisted by Patrick Farley and Gord Petersen). It was another pleasant day with a starting temperature of -1C, a high from 1400 to 1800 of 14C and 10C at the end of the day. Ground winds were variable 0-5 gusting to 15 km/h to 1100 and S-SW gusting to 23 km/h for the rest of the day, while ridge winds were moderate SW-WSW all day. It was cloudless to 1500 when 10% cirrus developed that increased to 30% for the last hour of observation. A total of 84 migrant raptors of 4 species moved between 1035 and 1815 consisting of 8 Bald Eagles (4a, 1sa, 3j), 1u dark Red-tailed Hawk of unknown race, 72 Golden Eagles (47a, 4sa, 8j, 13u), 1 unidentified eagle, 1u grey morph Gyrfalcon and 1 small species of falcon. All birds moved on the eastern route generally being located high above Mount Lorette but losing altitude while gliding to the end of the Fisher Range and then usually soaring against the face of the mountains to regain ridge hight before gliding high to the SE. Golden Eagle movement was fairly steady throughout with a maximum hourly count of 18 between 1700 and 1800, and 7 birds were seen between 1800 and 1815. Non-migrant birds were 1 or 2 adult Bald Eagles, a hunting Northern Goshawk and an adult resident Golden Eagle that was seen to the west on the southern flank of Mount Allan. Other birds seen included a Ruffed Grouse, 1 female American Three-toed Woodpecker near the parking area, 2 Brown Creepers, 1 Golden-crowned Kinglet, 6 White-winged Crossbills, 8 Pine Siskins and 1 Lapland Longspur. All the 35 visitors to the site today were able to observe migrating Golden Eagles.

11.08 hours (283.2) BAEA 8 (95), RTHA 1 (24), GOEA 72 (2079), UE 1 (20), GYRF 1 (2), UF 1 (3) TOTAL 84 (2368)

 

Saturday, October 20 Vicki Ridge [Day 24] 0845-1815 (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Hilary Atkinson, Dan and Charlene Lee and Trevor Lewis, observing from the Waterton 61 wellsite). The temperature at 0830 was 10C, the high was a season-high 18C from 1500 to 1700 and it was still 14C at 1815. Winds were strong WSW 40-50 gusting 60 km/h to 1700 after which they diminished to W 10-15 km/h for the rest of the day. It was completely cloudless all day which produced challenging observing conditions. There was a fairly strong but highly sporadic raptor movement of 129 birds of 6 species between 0852 and 1812 that comprised 12 Bald Eagles (6a, 2sa, 3j, 1u), 8 Sharp-shinned Hawks (2a, 6u), 2 adult Northern Goshawks, 3 light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks (2a, 1j), 12 Rough-legged Hawks (10 light, 2u) and 92 Golden Eagles (69a, 2sa, 18j, 3u). Most birds were first seen above Vicki Ridge but after kiting and soaring high the majority glided to the west to Kyllo Ridge where most then glided to the south but others continued towards the west. The highest hourly counts were 23 (all Golden Eagles) between 1200 and 1300, and 26 (including 16 Golden Eagles) between 1700 and 1800. Other birds included 1 female Dusky Grouse near the site, a tight flock of about 100 Grey-crowned Rosy Finches that flow low close to the site and which contained one conspicuous pale leucistic bird, and 12 Pine Siskins. The warm weather also produced 1 Mourning Cloak and 2 Zephyr Comma butterflies.

9 hours (213.7) BAEA 12 (143), SSHA 8 (596), NOGO 2 (47), RTHA 3 (160), RLHA 12 (234), GOEA 92 (2107) TOTAL 129 (3502)

 

Saturday, October 20 Steeples [Day 28] 1230-1830 (Vance Mattson). The weather was the same as the past several days: a temperature high of 12C, calm conditions and cloudless. The dearth of raptor migrants continued with 6 hours of observation producing just 2 birds: a juvenile Northern Harrier at 1724 and an adult Golden Eagle at 1502. Non-migrants were 2 Northern Goshawks (1a and 1j) seen on two different occasions, and a resident Golden Eagle soared above and in front of the ridge from 1806 to 1828.

6 hours (127) NOHA 1 (13), GOEA 1 (141) TOTAL 2 (415)

 

 

SUMMARY COUNTS, FALL 2018
MOUNT LORETTE September 20-November 15 VICKI RIDGE September 20-November 15 STEEPLES September 20-November 15
DAYS 27 24 28
HOURS 283.2 213.7 127
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0 0 1
OSPREY (OSPR) 3 8 2
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 95 143 85
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 6 14 13
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 57 596 72
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 6 72 4
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 24 47 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) 24 160 75
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 8 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 22 234 3
Buteo sp. (UB) 5 25 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2079 2107 141
Eagle sp. (UE) 20 3 2
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0 12 3
MERLIN (MERL) 3 20 2
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 2 4 1
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1 9 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 3 3 0
Falco sp. (UF) 3 2 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 4 4 1
   
TOTALS 2368 3502 415