RMERF counts, October 22

Sunday, October 22 [Day 30] (Bill Wilson, assisted by Lori Anderson) 0725-1845. The temperature was initially 2C, the high was 6C at 1300 and it was again 2C at the end of observation. Ground winds were SSE 5-10 gusting 33 km/h to 1400 after which they were 5-10 km/h, while ridge winds were strong WSW to 1400 then moderate NNW for the rest of the day. Cloud cover was 90-100% stratus all day with the exception of 0800 when it was 80%, and occasional mixed snow and rain showers occurred throughout the day. The eastern mountains were clear to 0900 and then were 10-30% obscured for the rest of the day and became 100% obscured during precipitation events. The west was 10% obscured to 0900 and then was 90-100% obscured that only reduced to 50% at the end of the day. Despite the gloomy conditions there was a slow but persistent raptor migration involving 50 birds of 4 species that moved between 0826 and 1836 and comprised 2 Bald Eagles (1a, 1j), 1u Cooper’s Hawk, 2 Northern Goshawks (1j, 1u), 44 Golden Eagles (16a, 4sa, 10j, 14u) and 1 unidentified eagle. All birds moved down the Fisher Range and probably mainly came from Mount Lorette. The peak movement was 15 Golden Eagles between 1200 and 1300 which was the only hour with a double-digit count. Other birds seen included 6 California Gulls (4a, 2j), 1 juvenile Herring Gull and 1 unidentified white-headed gull migrating south, 1 Northern Pygmy-Owl that perched near the site, 1 American Tree Sparrow and around 600 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches including a single flock of 400 birds. There were 22 visitors at the site today.

11.33 hours (332.2) BAEA 2 (82), COHA 1 (17) NOGO 2 (22), GOEA 44 (2558), UE 1 (4) TOTAL 50 (2847)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 31] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Denise Cocciolone-Amatto and Raymond Toal) 0915-1800 (Observation from the Waterton 61 wellsite on the western flank of the ridge). The temperature at 0915 was 3C rose to a high of 7C at 1200 and again at 1500, but fell to the day’s low of 2.5C at 1235 following a prolonged heavy rain shower; at 1800 it was 4C. Winds were initially variable 5-18 km/h, but after 1200 they were W-WSW 35-50 gusting to 70 km/h, and 80 km/h around noon. Cloud cover was 100% stratus with steady rain to 1100 after which it was 40-90% cumulus and stratus that produced light rain showers, and granular snow and sleet flurries for most of the rest of the day. The exception was 1215-1235 when heavy rain fell. It was a thoroughly unpleasant day but was again redeemed by a sporadic but fairly strong and varied raptor movement of 115 birds of 8 species between 1058 and 1749. The count was 1 Osprey, 6 adult Bald Eagles, 10 Sharp-shinned Hawks (4a, 6u), 1 adult Cooper’s Hawk, 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 22 Rough-legged Hawks (17 light, 2 dark, 3u), 73 Golden Eagles (51a, 3sa, 11j, 8u) and 1 adult male Peregrine Falcon. Sixty-one of the birds were counted between 1300 and 1500 which was the only prolonged period of almost tolerable weather in the day. The only other birds of note were 2 Northern Shrikes (1a, 1j) and 920 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches in 6 flocks, the largest of which was 500.

8.75 hours (253.1) OSPR 1 (10), BAEA 6 (68), SSHA 10 (689), COHA 1 (81), NOGO 1 (65), RLHA 22 (240), GOEA 73 (1333) PEFA 1 (17) TOTAL 115 (2843)

 

Steeples [Day 23] (Vance Mattson, assisted by Virginia Rasch) 1130-1800. ….Meanwhile across the Rockies it was a beautiful day with a starting temperature of 6C that rose to a high of 12C and was still 9C at 1800. Winds were moderate W and S that became mostly calm after 1530. Cloud cover was 20-40% cumulus and altostratus which concentrated mostly as a backdrop behind the ridges that gave both excellent observing conditions and a sunny day. A total of 50 migrant raptors of 5 species were counted between 1243 and 1640 that comprised 29 Bald Eagles (14a, 1sa, 13j, 1u), 1u dark morph Broad-winged Hawk, 2 Red-tailed Hawks (1 light juvenile calurus and 1 dark adult harlani), 3 Rough-legged Hawks (2 light 1 dark), 13 Golden Eagles (10a, 1sa, 1j, 1u), 1 unidentified Buteo and 1 unidentified eagle. The total is the second highest count at the site this season. The second bird of the day was not seen until 1348 and the busiest hours were 16 between 1400 and 1500, and 22 from 1500 to 1600. As yesterday non-migrants consisted of a conspicuous adult Red-tailed Hawk and an adult Golden Eagle. A first for the site were two flocks of migrating Snow Geese: 14 at 1451 and 15 at 1525.

6.5 hours (111) BAEA 29 (159), BWHA 1 (5), RTHA 2 (46), RLHA 3 (6), GOEA 13 (72), UB 1 (1), UE 1(1) TOTAL 50 (398)

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

 

DAYS 30

HOURS 332.2

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 1

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 82

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 5

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 72

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 17

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 22

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) 2558

Eagle sp. (UE) 4

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 3

MERLIN (MERL) 5

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 2

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 6

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 4

Falco sp. (UF) 2

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

 

TOTAL 2847