RMERF counts, October 7 and 8

Sunday, October 07 Mount Lorette [Day 16] 0710-1920 (Bill Wilson, assisted by Lori Anderson and Patrick Farley). The temperature at 0800 was -7C, the high was 7C at 1600 and 1700 and it was 1C at 1920. Ground winds were SW all day 5-8 km/h which probably also reflected the ridge winds. There was a trace of altostratus at the start which expanded to 40% at 0900 and was 0-20% for the rest of the day with a trace of cumulus developing at the end of observation. There was a fairly strong raptor migration with 105 birds of 7 species moving between 1046 and 1829 comprising 8 Bald Eagles (1a, 1sa, 6j), 5u Sharp-shinned Hawks, 2 adult Northern Goshawks, 1 small unidentified Accipiter, 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk, 86 Golden Eagles (41a, 5sa, 29j, 11u), 1u Merlin and 1 adult Peregrine Falcon which was the first for the season. Most of the birds used the eastern route but about 20 of the Golden Eagles were seen to the west. There was much soaring and flapping and gliding flight in the light winds. The highest hourly counts were 23 from 1200 to 1300 and again from 1300 to 1400 and there was a late peak of 14 birds (1 Bald Eagle and 13 Golden Eagles) between 1800 and 1829. Other birds included the Sora that was first reported on October 3, 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 2 Clark’s Nutcrackers, 1 American Dipper and 3 American Pipits. Twenty-six visitors enjoyed both the weather and the birds.

12.16 hours (160, 2) BAEA 8 (38), SSHA 5 (50), NOGO 2 (18), UA 1 (5), RLHA 1 (9), GOEA 86 (1000), MERL 1 (3), PEFA 1 (1) TOTAL 105 (1176)

 

Monday, October 08 Mount Lorette [NO OBSERVATION]. (George Halmazna, assisted by Dan Parliament 0745-1200). The temperature was -2C to -1C, wind was WNW 5-10 km/h and low stratus cloud obscured all the ridges and produced steady snow. Birds seen around the Hay Meadow and at Lorette Ponds included the now apparently “resident” Sora, 1 Varied Thrush, 1 American Dipper, 1 Song Sparrow, 1 Savannah Sparrow, 4 Rusty Blackbirds (3 males, 1 female) and 1 Palm Warbler.

 

Sunday, October 07 Vicki Ridge [Day 13] 0900-1815 (Peter Sherrington to 1415; Doug and Teresa Dolmen after 1415, observing from the Waterton 61 wellsite). The temperature at 0900 was 0C the high was 9C at 1300 and 1400 and it was 6C at 1815. Winds were NW 3-10 gusting 15 km/h to 1200, and W in the afternoon to 10 km/h. Cloud cover was 0-10% in the morning with trace amounts of altocumulus and cirrus, 30-80% cirrus, cumulus and altocumulus to 1700 and it became almost cloudless again at the end of observation. There was another fairly strong and varied raptor movement of 150 birds of 11 species between 1036 and 1810 that comprised 7 Bald Eagles (5a, 2sa), 15 Sharp-shinned Hawks (3a, 1j, 11u), 5 Cooper’s Hawks (1a, 4u), 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 1 unidentified small Accipiter, 3 light morph Broad-winged Hawks (1a, 2u), 11 Red-tailed Hawks (calurus 9 : 4a, 1j light, 4a dark, and 2 dark harlani: 1a, 1j), 3 Ferruginous Hawks (1j light morph and 2a dark morphs), 2 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 7 unidentified Buteos (1 light, 4 dark, 2u), 94 Golden Eagles (38a, 13sa, 30j, 13u) and 1u columbarius Merlin. The busiest hours were 47 including 31 Golden Eagles (1100-1200) and 33 including 19 Golden Eagles (1200-1300) Other birds seen were 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 1 Blue Jay, 5 Clark’s Nutcrackers, 1 Black-billed Magpie, 30 Common Ravens, 2 Mountain Bluebirds, 2 American Robins, 2 Red Crossbills, 15 Pine Grosbeaks (the first for the season), 6 Pine Siskins and 1 Yellow-rumped Warbler.

9.25 hours (115.8) BAEA 7 (41), SSHA 15 (464), COHA 5 (64), NOGO 1 (27), UA 1 (4), BWHA 3 (18), RTHA 11 (122), FEHA 3 (6), RLHA 2 (32), UB 7 (19), GOEA 94 (646), MERL 1 (16) TOTAL 150 (1508)

 

Monday, October 08 Vicki Ridge [NO OBSERVATION]. Ridges obscured all day by low cloud to 1100 and dense fog with light rain thereafter.

 

Sunday, October 07 Steeples [Day 15] 1145-1845 (Vance Mattson, assisted by Joe Rothermund, Dianne Cooper and Virginia Rasch). The temperature was 10C, winds were calm to light variable, and cloud cover was 10% cumulus. A total of 22 migrants of 4 species were counted between 1258 and 1801 comprising 4 Bald Eagles (3a, 1j), 11 Sharp-shinned Hawks (6a, 5u), 4 Red-tailed Hawks (2j light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks and 2 (1a, 1j) dark morph harlani (1a, 1j)), and 3 Golden Eagles (2a, 1sa). Many migrants appeared from behind the main ridge and were difficult to spot in the blue sky and the presence of 3 other observers was a great help. Resident Golden Eagles were seen on 2 occasions, and 13 non-migrant Bald Eagles (8a, 4j, 1u), 11 of which moved to the north along the ridge including a group of 6 at 1641.

7 hours (65.5) BAEA 4 (53), SSHA 11 (54), RTHA 4 (72), GOEA 3 (102) TOTAL 22 (309)

 

Sunday, October 08 Steeples [Day 16] 1245-1745 (Vance Mattson, assisted by Pam Power and Knut Finstad). The temperature was 8C, conditions were calm and cloud cover was 90-100% altostratus and cumulus. Eight migrants of 4 species were seen comprising 5 Sharp-shinned Hawks (2a, 3u), 1 adult dark morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 1 dark morph Rough-legged Hawk and 1 juvenile Golden Eagle. I resident Golden Eagle was seen, and 2 non-migrant juvenile Bald Eagles flew to the north along the ridge.

5 hours (70.5) SSHA 5 (59), RTHA 1 (73), RLHA 1 (3), GOEA 1 (103) TOTAL 8 (317)

 

 

SUMMARY COUNTS, FALL 2018
MOUNT LORETTE September 20-November 15 VICKI RIDGE September 20-November 15 STEEPLES September 20-November 15
DAYS 16 13 16
HOURS 160.2 115.8 70.5
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0 0 1
OSPREY (OSPR) 3 8 2
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 38 41 53
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 6 12 8
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 50 464 59
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 4 64 4
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 18 27 1
Accipiter sp. (UA) 5 4 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1 18 3
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 1 2 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 14 122 73
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 6 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 9 32 3
Buteo sp. (UB) 1 19 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1000 646 103
Eagle sp. (UE) 11 1 2
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0 11 3
MERLIN (MERL) 3 16 1
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1 0 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1 7 1
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 3 2 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1 2 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 3 4 0
TOTALS 1176 1508 317