RMERF counts, October 20

Friday, October 20 [Day 28] (Blake Weis, assisted by Caroline Lambert) 0815-1845. The initial temperature was 2C, the high was 6C from 1300 to 1700 and it was 4C at the end of observation. Ground winds were SW all day 0-5 km/h to 1100 and then 10-15 gusting 35 km/h for the rest of the day, while ridge winds were SW moderate becoming strong after 1700. Cloud cover was initially 100% cumulus, cirrus and altostratus that steadily thinned to 20% at 1200 before again thickening throughout the afternoon and reaching 100% altostratus and cumulus after 1800. Rain fell from 1300 to 1400 but the eastern ridges were clear all day and the west was only briefly 50% obscured around 1500. There was a fairly strong raptor migration dominated by Golden Eagles with 60 birds of 5 species moving between 0949 and 1736. The count was 5 Bald Eagles (2a, 3j), 1 juvenile Northern Goshawk, 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk, 52 Golden Eagles (27a, 2sa, 9j, 14u) and 1 Prairie Falcon. Only the last Golden Eagle of the day was seen to the west, 3 of the Bald Eagles moved above the centre of the valley and the rest were seen migrating along the Fisher Range close to the ridge top. The day began encouragingly when 9 birds were recorded between 0949 and 1000, but the flow slowed and only a further 8 birds were seen up to 1500. The day ended on a high note, however, as a further 43 migrants moved between 1500 and 1736. There was also a good variety of non-raptor birds that included 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 2 Northern Shrikes, 1 Blue Jay, 14 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 7 American Robins, 1 Lapland Longspur, 1 Yellow-rumped Warbler, 1 Dark-eyed Junco, 30 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches, 1 Pine Grosbeak, 2 White-winged Crossbills, 14 Pine Siskins and the first Common Redpoll of the season. The 27 visitors to the site included a party of 24 from Robert Thirsk High School in Calgary.

10.5 hours (310.9) BAEA 5 (72), NOGO 1 (19), RLHA 1 (20), GOEA 52 (2177), PRFA 1 (4) TOTAL 60 (2447)

 

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 29] (Peter Sherrington) 0900-1730 (Observation from the Waterton 61 wellsite on the western flank of the ridge). The temperature at 0900 was 7C, the high was 8C from 1100 to 1300 and it was 4.5C when observation ended at 1530. Winds were WSW and occasionally W 35-45 gusting to 60 km/h all day, and cloud cover was 100% altostratus and cumulus to 1010, 70-80% altostratus, altocumulus and cumulus to 1400 and then 100% altostratus and cumulus that brought light rain for the rest of the day. Despite the gloomy conditions there was a fairly strong, persistent and varied raptor migration with 91 birds of 8 species moving between 0932 and 1707. The flight comprised 2 juvenile Bald Eagles, 1 adult male Northern Harrier, 16 Sharp-shinned Hawks (7a, 9u), 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 3 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks, a season high and site record 44 Rough-legged Hawks (37 light, 3 dark, 4u), 23 Golden Eagles (18a, 1sa, 3j, 1u) and 1 adult male Peregrine Falcon. Each hour between 1100 and 1700 saw the movement of between 11 and 17 birds. Migrant songbirds were 525 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches that flew to the S or SW in 8 flocks and 3 Pine Siskins. At 1720 a flock of 400 European Starlings dropped in and fed on the ground at the site which provided my only company for the day.

8.5 hours (235.3) BAEA 2 (59), NOHA 1 (15), SSHA 16 (663), NOGO 1 (63), RTHA 3 (216), RLHA 44 (202), GOEA 23 (1200), PEFA 1 (14) TOTAL 91 (2622)

 

Steeples [Day 21] (Vance Mattson) 1400-1600. Migratory conditions were poor and no migrant or non-migrant raptors were seen. The temperature was 9C, winds were moderate W and 100% stratus cloud cover brought periodic light rain and mostly obscured the ridges.

2 hours (97.5) TOTAL 0 (322)

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

 

DAYS 28

HOURS 310.9

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 1

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 72

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 5

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 71

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 16

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 19

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) 20

Butte sp. (UB) 9

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2177

Eagle sp. (UE) 3

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 1

MERLIN (MERL) 4

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 2

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 6

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 4

Falco sp. (UF) 2

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

 

TOTAL 2447