RMERF counts, October 23

Monday, October 23 [Day 31] (George Halmazna, assisted by Dan Parliament and Michael Woertman) 0730-1845. The temperature at 0800 was 2.5C, dropped to the day’s low of -1.5C at 0900, reached a high of 8C at 1600 and was 6C at 1800. Ground winds were initially calm or light becoming SW after 0900, 2-10 km/h gusting up to 35 km/h after 1300. Ridge winds were probably SW light in the morning and moderate in the afternoon. Cloud cover was 30-40% cumulus all day with some lenticular cloud forming after 1530. Ridges were clear all day, but finding and identifying high-flying birds over the Fisher Range against a blue sky was a challenge. A total of 89 migrant raptors of 5 species were counted between 0843 and 1757 with a peak Golden Eagle count of 15 between 1500 and 1600. The count comprised 1 adult Bald Eagle, 4 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1j, 3u), 1u Cooper’s Hawk, 1u dark morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk and 82 Golden Eagles (39a, 5sa, 13j, 25u). Eagles flew on both the eastern and western routes to 1230, after which they all flew from ridge level to very high above the Fisher Range for the rest of the day. Several other bird species were noted including 1 Ruffed Grouse perched high in an aspen tree, 7 California Gulls (5a, 2j), 1 Northern Pygmy-Owl seen in flight, 1 Northern Shrike seen chasing 2 Grey Jays, 10 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 12 American Robins, 1 American Pipit, 1 Lapland Longspur, 1 Snow Bunting, 6 Dark-eyed Juncos, 113 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches in 5 flocks, 2 White-winged Crossbills and 18 Pine Siskins. Only two visitors were at the site today.

11.25 hours (343.4) BAEA 1 (83), SSHA 4 (76), COHA 1 (18), RTHA 1 (29), GOEA 82 (2640) TOTAL 89 (2936)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 32] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Denise Cocciolone-Amatto and Raymond Toal) 0900-1800 (Observation from the Waterton 61 wellsite on the western flank of the ridge). It was finally a pleasant day with a starting temperature of 5C that reached a high of 9C at 1500 and 1600, and was 7C at 1800. Winds were W-WSW 25-40 gusting 50-60 km/h, and cloud cover was 30-100% thin altostratus, cumulus and lenticular except for 1200 and 1300 when it was 5-20% cumulus. Observing conditions were excellent throughout and the sunshine or hazy sunshine all day was very welcome. There was a persistent raptor movement throughout the day that involved 117 birds of 8 species seen between 0916 and 1741. The count was a season-high 12 Bald Eagles (8a, 4sa), 27 Sharp-shinned Hawks (21a, 6u), 4 Cooper’s Hawks (2a, 2u), 3 Northern Goshawks (1a, 2j), 1 adult light morph Broad-winged Hawk, 3 Red-tailed Hawks (1 light juvenile calurus, 2 dark adult harlani), 30 light morph Rough-legged Hawks and 37 Golden Eagles (18a, 1sa, 17j, 1u). These totals include 26 migrants (3 Bald Eagles, 3 Sharp-shinned Hawks, 2 Cooper’s Hawks, 8 Rough-legged Hawks and 10 Golden Eagles) seen by Raymond between 1430 and 1650 from the west ridge of Kyllo Ridge near the Waterton 68 wellsite. Seventy raptors were recorded at both sites between 1400 and 1700. Other migrant birds were 4 Common Loons that flew high to the west at 1301, 2 American Robins and 789 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches that flew south in 9 flocks throughout the day.

9 hours (262.1) BAEA 12 (80), SSHA 27 (716), COHA 4 (85), NOGO 3 (68), BWHA 1 (33), RTHA 3 (223), RLHA 30 (270), GOEA 37 (1370) TOTAL 117 (2960)

 

Steeples [Day 24] (Vance Mattson) 1330-1530. It was another pleasant day with a temperature of 12C, light west to calm conditions and 20% cumulus cloud cover that gave a sunny day. Five migrants were seen: 1 adult Bald Eagle, 1 adult Northern Goshawk and 3 Golden Eagles (2a, 1j). All but the last Golden Eagle at 1530 glided very high over the site. An adult non-migrant Bald Eagle was also present.

2 hours (113) BAEA 1 (160), NOGO 1 (9), GOEA3 (75) TOTAL 5 (403)

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

 

DAYS 31

HOURS 343.4

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 1

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 83

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 5

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 76

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 18

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 22

Accipiter sp. (UA) 3

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 29

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 20

Butte sp. (UB) 9

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2640

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 2936