RMERF counts, October 30

Monday, October 30 [Day 38] (George Halmazna, assisted by Dan Parliament) 0735-1915. The starting temperature was a chilly -9.5C and it fell further to -12C at 0900 before warming to a high of 5C at 1600, but was -5C at the end of the day. Fortunately the ground winds were very light all day 0-3 km/h, mainly SW except for 1200 and 1300 when they were NE, and ridge winds were also light all day. The sky was cloudless to 1000 when 100% cirrus, cirrostratus and altostratus cloud quickly developed and persisted to 1500 after which it gradually cleared and the last two hours were again cloudless. There was a moderate eagle movement that started at 1140 and involved 8 Bald Eagles (6a, 1sa, 1j) and 26 adult Golden Eagles all of which flew fairly low down the Fisher Range. The highest hourly count was 12 (4 Bald and 8 Golden Eagles) between 1700 and 1800, but the strongest Golden Movement was 9 between 1800 and 1900. There were good numbers of other birds that included 65 Canada Geese, 1 Northern Shrike, 1 male Mountain Bluebird, 3 American Robins, 30 Bohemian Waxwings, 30 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches, 4 Pine Grosbeaks, 4 White-winged Crossbills, 38 Common Redpolls and 139 Pine Siskins; a Great Horned Owl sang at 1849. Six Mule Deer, 1 White-tailed Deer and 35 Elk were also seen, and there were 10 visitors to the site.

11.67 hours (416.6) BAEA 8 (150), GOEA 26 (3152) TOTAL 34 (3542)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 39] (Peter Sherrington 0930-1815 (observation from the ridge top) and Gord Petersen 1300-1750 (observation near the Waterton 68 well site just below the western edge of Kyllo Ridge). The temperature was -3C at 0930, reached a high of 5C at 1700 and was 3C at the end, but it felt much colder as persistent W winds blew at 20-30 gusting to 40 km/h all day. It was cloudless to 1100 when cirrus and altostratus cloud began to form that reached 100% at 1130, which thickened to a blanket of altostratus that persisted to 1430 when it broke up to 80-60% lenticular and altocumulus and by the end of observation it was almost cloudless again. The count on Vicki Ridge was 48 raptors of 6 species between 1116 and 1743 that comprised 22 Bald Eagles (11a, 3sa, 8j), 1 juvenile male Northern Harrier, 2 adult Northern Goshawks, 1 adult dark morph harlani Red-tailed Hawk, 2 light morph Rough-legged Hawks 19 Golden Eagles (14a, 2sa, 3j) and 1 unidentified eagle. Nearly all the birds glided high to the south above the ridge and only a couple of birds were seen over eastern arm of Kyllo Ridge to the west. Gord, again observing from just below the western edge of the western arm of Kyllo Ridge, between 1300 and 1750 counted 27 migrant raptors between 1332 and 1744 that consisted of 6 Bald Eagles (2a, 4u), 2 Northern Goshawks (1a. 1u), 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk, 12 Golden Eagles (2a, 10u) and 6 unidentified eagles. Only three of these birds moved along the ridge towards the south, the rest being seen well towards the west mainly moving above the Carbondale Ridge where they were silhouetted against the afternoon sun. The most remarkable aspect of today’s count was that after 324 Rough-legged Hawks were counted during the last 10 days, only 3 were seen today. With the exception of ravens, other birds were scarce and included a male Pileated Woodpecker that flew low over the site, and the only migrant songbirds were 117 Bohemian Waxwings that flew south in 5 flocks and 4 Pine Grosbeaks. A male Mountain Bluebird was also reported by David McIntyre at the southern end of the ridge. The combined raptor count is given below.

8.75 hours (324.8) BAEA 28 (190), NOHA 1 (19), NOGO 4 (95), RTHA 1 (233), RLHA 3 (425), GOEA 31 (1752), UE 7 (14) TOTAL 75 (3774)

 

Steeples [Day 31] (Vance Mattson) 1330-1530 (observation from the South Lakit site). The temperature was 7C, it was calm and cloud cover was initially 60% altostratus that reduced to cloudless skies by 1445. Migration was slow but steady throughout with a count of 11 eagles: 5 Bald Eagles (4a, 1sa) and 6 Golden Eagles (5a, 1j). The two adult Golden Eagles that were in the air when Vance had to leave suggested more migrants were likely on the way.  Once again, calm conditions produced low flight and offered excellent views of the birds as they passed overhead.

2 hours (143.3) BAEA 5 (209), GOEA 6 (110) TOTAL 11 (508)

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)  

DAYS 38

HOURS 416.6

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 2

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 150

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 6

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 81

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 18

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 27

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) 26

Buteo sp. (UB) 10  

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 3152

Eagle sp. (UE) 6

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 3

MERLIN (MERL) 5  

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 4  

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 7

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 6 

Falco sp. (UF) 3  

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2  

 

TOTAL 3542