RMERF counts, October 22

Monday, October 22 Mount Lorette [Day 29] 0730-1900 (George Halmazna, assisted by Dan Parliament). The temperature was -8C at 0730 but reached a high of 13C at 1600 and was 3C on departure. Ground winds were very light (<5 km/h) SW and occasionally SE all day, and ridge winds were light SW all day. It was cloudless to 1600 after which there was 10% cirrus for the rest of the day. The pleasant weather produced a raptor migration of 46 birds of 5 species that moved between 1156 and 1723 and comprised 1 adult Bald Eagle, 1 adult female Northern Harrier, 1 juvenile Cooper’s Hawk, 1 adult Northern Goshawk and 42 Golden Eagles (32a, 7j, 3u). All the birds used the eastern route and were mainly initially located over the north ridge of Mount Lorette from where the crossed the valley and moved with flapping flight either behind or across the face of the northern end of the Fisher Range. Maximum movement was 1600-1700 when 16 Golden Eagles were counted. There was a good variety of other birds in the area including 5 Ruffed Grouse, one of which was heard drumming, a female Red-breasted Merganser that was probably a new species for the site, 1 female Common Merganser, 1 Varied Thrush, 24 Bohemian Waxwings, 8 Pine Grosbeaks, 3 male Cassin’s Finches, 1 White-winged Crossbill, 5 Evening Grosbeaks and 9 Pine Siskins. Thirty-one visitors enjoyed both the birds and the weather.

11.5 hours (306.4) BAEA 1 (134), NOHA 1 (7), COHA 1 (7), NOGO 1 (30) GOEA 42 (2196) TOTAL 46 (2547)

 

Monday, October 22 Vicki Ridge [Day 26] 0845-1745 (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Hilary Atkinson observing from the ridgetop). It was a beautiful day and a real pleasure to be back on top of the ridge again. The temperature was -3C at 0845 and rose to a high of 16C at 1500 and 1600 and was still 14C at the end of observation. Winds were W-WSW all day 10-15 gusting to 22 km/h apart from the first and last hours when it was calm. It was cloudless to 1130 and again at 1800 but for the rest of the day there was 10-30% cirrostratus cover that provided reasonably good observing conditions. The day produced a fairly strong and varied raptor movement that involved 85 birds of 7 species that were seen between 0931 and 1729, although only 2 of these birds were seen before 1210. The count was 16 Bald Eagles (9a, 6sa, 1j), 4 Sharp-shinned Hawks (2a, 1j, 1u), a season-high 13 Northern Goshawks (10a, 2j, 1u), 1 adult dark morph harlani Red-tailed Hawk, 11 Rough-legged Hawks (9 light, 2 dark), 39 Golden Eagles (21a, 5sa, 13j) and 1 adult male Prairie Falcon. The highest hourly count was 24 between 1600 and 1700, and 1300-1400 and 1400-1500 produced 19 and 20 birds respectively. Most of the late afternoon movement involved slow high soaring flight which gave us time to fully enjoy watching the birds under perfect viewing light. Other birds seen on and from the ridge were 17 Canada Geese migrating in 2 flocks, 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 1 juvenile Northern Shrike, 4 Canada Jays, 5 Clark’s Nutcrackers, 1 Black-billed Magpie, 116 Common Ravens including 80 after 1730 that soared in flocks of up to 30 birds before flying to the west, 15 Mountain Chickadees, 5 Red-breasted Nuthatches, 5 American Robins, a single flock of 30 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches that flew south at 1530, 3 female red Crossbills, 2 female Cassin’s Finches, 10 Evening Grosbeaks and 8 Pine Siskins. One Mourning Cloak butterfly flew in the late afternoon sunshine. It was a very enjoyable idyllic day.

9.5 hours (232.7) BAEA 16 (166), SSHA 4 (609), NOGO 13 (65), RTHA 1 (163), RLHA 11 (265), GOEA 39 (2166), PRFA 1 (4) TOTAL 85 (3650)

 

Monday, October 22 Steeples [Day 29] 1530-1800 (Vance Mattson). The warm stable weather system persisted with a temperature of 13C, calm conditions and a cloudless sky that failed to produce any migrant raptors. The resident Golden Eagle pair was seen, especially the female that was conspicuous perching on the ridge on three occasions and was mobbed by ravens each time she took flight.

2.5 hours (129.5) TOTAL 0 (415)

 

 

 

SUMMARY COUNTS, FALL 2018
MOUNT LORETTE September 20-November 15 VICKI RIDGE September 20-November 15 STEEPLES September 20-November 15
DAYS 29 26 29
HOURS 306.4 232.7 129.5
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0 0 1
OSPREY (OSPR) 3 8 2
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 134 166 85
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 7 14 13
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 62 609 72
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 7 72 4
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 30 65 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) 27 163 75
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 8 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 29 265 3
Buteo sp. (UB) 5 25 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2196 2166 141
Eagle sp. (UE) 22 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 4 0
Falco sp. (UF) 4 2 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 4 4 1
   
TOTALS 2547 3650 415