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RMERF counts, October 4 with revised Lorette report, and October 5

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Thursday, October 04 Mount Lorette [Day 13] 0745-1930 (Rick Robb and Cliff Hansen). The initial temperature was -5C, the high at 1600 and 1700 was 3C and it was 0C at the end of observation. Ground winds were light (<5 km/h) and variable all day, and ridge winds appeared to be light W. Cloud cover was 60% altocumulus and cirrus that became cumulus and cirrus at 1400 and reduced to 20% after 1500. The ridges were clear all day. There was a fairly strong raptor movement of 125 migrants of 5 species between 1125 and 1923 that included the highest Golden Eagle count of the season. The count was 2 Bald Eagles (1a, 1j), 7 Sharp-shinned Hawks (5a, 2u), the first Swainson’s Hawk of the season, a light morph adult, 1 adult rufous morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, and 124 Golden Eagles (16a, 2sa, 71j, 35u). Golden Eagle movement was increasingly strong from mid-afternoon with hourly counts of 21 (15-1600), 18 (16-1700), 25 (17-1800), 32 (18-1900) and 12 (19-1923). Only a few Golden Eagles were located over Mount Lorette and they appeared originate from Heart Mountain farther to the north, from where they crossed Wasootch Creek and flapped low to the SE in front of the Fisher Range, although there was some soaring flight between 1400 and 1700. [NOTE: the low adult and subadult counts and the high count of juvenile birds are anomalous compared to the Vicki Ridge count of October 5 and the Lorette count of October 6]. Other birds seen were 1 Hairy Woodpecker, 4 Common Ravens, 2 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 3 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 1 Swainson’s Thrush, 1 Varied Thrush, 2 American Robins, 2 American Pipits, 1 Song Sparrow and 6 White-winged Crossbills. Many of the birds were seen feeding at the river’s edge on newly emerged stoneflies. Looking distinctly out of place in the snowy landscape was a single Mourning Cloak butterfly on the wing. There were 5 visitors to the site today.

11.75 (125.5) BAEA 2 (14), SSHA 7 (39), SWHA 1 (1), RTHA 1 (12), GOEA 124 (405) TOTAL 135 (523)

Thursday, October 04 Vicki Ridge [Day 10] 0930-1745 (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Hilary Atkinson observing from the Lynx Creek road). The starting temperature was -5C, the high was 1C at 1600 and it was -2C at 1745. Winds were light all day, WSW to 1030 and subsequently E 4-10 km/h. Cloud cover was 100% stratus that became 100% altostratus, cirrostratus, altocumulus and cumulus after 1500 that produced hazy sunshine all day. There was another fairly strong and varied raptor migration with 107 birds of 12 species moving between 1044 and 1733. The flight comprised 2 Ospreys, 4 Bald Eagles (2sa, 2j), 1 adult male Northern Harrier, 61 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 60u), 10u Cooper’s Hawks, 3 Northern Goshawks (1a, 2u), 3 small unidentified Accipiters, 3 Red-tailed Hawks (2 calurus: 1u light, 1 dark adult, and 1 adult dark harlani), 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk, 1 unidentified dark Buteo, 12 Golden Eagles (9a, 3j), 1u American Kestrel, 2 columbarius Merlins (1 female, 1u), 1u Peregrine Falcon, 1 large unidentified falcon and 1 small unidentified raptor. Fifty of the birds moved between 1300 and 1500.

8.25 hours (89) OSPR 2 (8), BAEA 4 (26), NOHA 1 (12), SSHA 61 (389), COHA 10 (54), NOGO 3 (21), UA 3, RTHA 3 (78), RLHA 1 (16), UB 1 (4), GOEA 12 (251), AMKE 1 (11), MERL 2 (14), PEFA 1 (6), UF 1 (2), UU 1 (2) TOTAL 107 (919)

 

Thursday, October 04 Steeples [Day 12] 1300-1900 (Vance Mattson). The entire valley was enshrouded in low cloud which began to clear at 1300 but the mountains remained enveloped so Vance conducted the count from the balcony of his house in Wasa. The temperature was 6C, winds were calm or light W and cloud cover was 100-70% altocumulus, cumulus and altostratus; the mountains remained 90-100% obscured throughout. A season high total of 66 raptors of 10 species migrated between 1332 and 1812 comprising 2 Ospreys, 11 Bald Eagles (5a, 5j), 2 Northern Harriers (1 adult female, 1 juvenile), 11 Sharp-shinned Hawks (3a, 1j, 7u), 2 Cooper’s Hawks (1a, 1j), a season-high 28 Red-tailed Hawks (24 calurus: 20a (19 light, 1 dark), 1 light juvenile, 1 rufous juvenile and 2 unaged; 1j dark morph harlani and 3 birds of unknown race, morph or age), 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk, 6 Golden Eagles (3a, 3j) 1 unidentified eagle, 1 female American Kestrel and 1u columbarius Merlin. About 90% of the birds moved over or just east of Wasa Lake and the highest hourly counts were 17 from 1600 to1700 and again from 1700-1800. There was also a strong movement of 147 American Crows including flocks of 28 and 40 birds, and 5 California Gulls also moved to the south.

6 hours (47) OSPR 2 (2), BAEA 11 (27), NOHA 2 (6), SSHA 11 (34), COHA 2 (4), RTHA 28 (64), RLHA 1 (1), GOEA 6 (20), UE 1 (1), AMKE 1 (3), MERL 1 (1) TOTAL 66 (168)

 

Friday, October 05 Mount Lorette [Day 14] 0800-1900 (Caroline Lambert, assisted by Rosemary Power). The temperature at 0800 was -11C but reached a high of 3C at 1600 and 1700 and was -1C at the end of observation. Ground winds were SW 0-5 km/h all day, and ridge winds were moderate, SW to 1700 then W. Cloud cover was 60% cirrus and cirrostratus to 1000 then 60-100% altostratus with minor cumulus for the rest of the day; the ridges were completely clear. There was a strong raptor movement dominated by Golden Eagles with a season high 349 birds of 6 species moving between 0904 and 1846. The count was 3 Bald Eagles (2sa, 1j), 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1u Northern Goshawk, 1u light morph Red-tailed Hawk, 1 unidentified Buteo, a season high 337 Golden Eagles (207a, 29sa, 51j, 50u), 3 unidentified eagles, 1 female columbarius Merlin and 1 unidentified raptor. All the eagles moved mainly close the Fisher Range ridge, but as relatively few birds were seen leaving Mount Lorette it is probable that most of the birds, as yesterday, originated from Heart Mountain. Golden Eagle movement was strong all day and peaked at 62 birds between 1400 and 1500 and 6 other hours produced over 30 migrants, Other birds included 1 Sora, presumably the bird reported a couple of days ago, 6 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 10 American Robins, 1 American Pipit, the first Pine Grosbeak of the season, 50 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches, 6 White-winged Crossbills, 2 Pine Siskins, 1 Song Sparrow, 1 Lincoln’s Sparrow, 1 Orange-crowned Warbler and 1 Yellow-rumped Warbler. Seventeen visitors to the site enjoyed the spectacular eagle movement.

11 hours (136.5) BAEA 3 (17), SSHA 1 (40), NOGO 1 (15), RTHA 1 (13), UB 1 (4), GOEA 337 (732), UE 3 (10), MERL 1 (2), UU 1 (1) TOTAL 349 (862)

 

Friday, October 05 Vicki Ridge [Day 11] 0900-1800 (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Hilary Atkinson, Denise Cocciolone-Amatto, Pat Lucas and Trevor Lewis, observing from the Waterton 61 wellsite). The temperature at 0900 was -1C, the high was 6C at 1500 and it was 4.5C at 1800. Winds were WNW 20-25 km/h to 1000 and were then W 20-35 gusting 55 km/h that dropped to 15-20 km/h after 1630. It was initially cloudless but cirrus and altocumulus cloud rapidly developed after 1000 and was 100% mainly altostratus and altocumulus cloud after 1200 which produced gloomy conditions for much of the afternoon. A season high 205 raptors of 8 species were seen between 0908 and 1744 that comprised 2a Bald Eagles, 49 Sharp-shinned Hawks (9a, 40u), 3 Cooper’s Hawks (1a, 2u), 3a Northern Goshawks, 14 a Red-tailed Hawks (12 calurus: 10 light, 2 dark and 2 dark harlani), 7 Rough-legged Hawks (6 light, 1 dark), a season-high 126 Golden Eagles (78a, 14sa, 34j) and 1 adult male Peregrine Falcon. Peak moment was 53 raptors between 1400 and 1500 and the maximum Golden Eagle passage was 36 between 1300 and 1400. Only 3 birds moved after 1700. Other birds seen included 5 Clark’s Nutcrackers, 11 Mountain Bluebirds, 10 American Robins, 40 Bohemian Waxwings, 25 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches, 5 Red Crossbills and 27 Pine Siskins.

9 hours (98) BAEA 2 (28), SSHA 49 (438), COHA 3 (24), NOGO 3 (24), RTHA 14 (92), RLHA 7 (23), GOEA 126 (377), PEFA 1 (7) TOTAL 205 (1124)

 

Friday, October 05 Steeples [Day 13] 1330-1800 (Vance Mattson). Weather conditions were similar to those of yesterday with the mountains completely obscured, a temperature of 7C, calm and 100% stratus, altostratus and dark cumulus. Observation was again from the balcony of Vance’s house in Wasa from where he counted 15 migrants of 4 species between 1342 and 1548. The count was 8 Bald Eagles 6a, 1sa, 1j), 1a light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 1 dark morph Rough-legged Hawk, 4a Golden Eagles and 1 unidentified eagle. Movement was similar to yesterday but with less soaring flight.

4.5 hours (51.5) BAEA 8 (35), RTHA 1 (65), GOEA 4 (24), RLHA 1 (2), UE 1 (2) TOTAL 15 (183)

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUMMARY COUNTS, FALL 2018
MOUNT LORETTE September 20-November 15 BEAVER MINES September 20-November 15 STEEPLES September 20-November 15
DAYS 14 11 13
HOURS 136.5 98 51.5
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0 0 1
OSPREY (OSPR) 3 8 2
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 17 28 35
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 6 12 6
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 40 438 34
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 4 57 4
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 15 24 0
Accipiter sp. (UA) 2 3 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1 14 3
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1 2 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 13 92 65
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 3 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 4 23 2
Buteo sp. (UB) 1 4 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 732 251 24
Eagle sp. (UE) 10 1 2
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0 11 3
MERLIN (MERL) 2 14 1
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0 0 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0 7 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 3 2 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1 2 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 1 2 0
   
TOTALS 862 1124 183