RMERF counts, September 24

Sunday, September 24 [Day 4] (Bill Wilson, assisted by Lori Anderson) 0635-2000. The temperature was -2C to 0800 but rose to a season-high 14C at 1700 and was 11C at the end of observation. Ground winds were mainly WSW all day 3-5 gusting10-20 km/h, while ridge winds were WSW-SW light to moderate. It was cloudless until 10% cirrus developed at 1100 which quickly developed into 80-90% cirrus, altostratus and cumulus which persisted for the rest of the day and reached 100% at 2000. Observing conditions were excellent and the mountains were clear all day. A season-high total of 48 migrants of 6 species, that included the first significant Golden Eagle movement of the season, was counted between 0946 and 1901. The count was 3 Bald Eagles (1a, 2j), 1 juvenile Northern Harrier, 3 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 2u), 2 adult Northern Goshawks, 1 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk and 38 Golden Eagles (10a, 2sa, 21j, 4u). The flight was fairly steady all day and almost exclusively along the Fisher Range, with 12 of the Golden Eagles moving between 1700 and 1800. The pair of resident Golden Eagles was seen on two occasions, and a non-migrant Red-Tailed Hawk was also seen. A Great Horned Owl was heard singing early in the morning and other bird species included 1 Brown Creeper, 39 American Robins, 1 Lapland Longspur, 1 Yellow-rumped Warbler, 3 Song Sparrows and an unidentified blackbird species that flew overhead. A flock of 30 Common Ravens moved into the mountains to roost late in the day. There were 39 visitors at the site today.

13.42 hours (48.34) BAEA 3 (10), NOHA 1 (2), SSHA 3 (14), NOGO 2 (7), RTHA 1 (6), GOEA 38 (52) TOTAL 48 (96)

 

Vicki Ridge (Peter Sherrington) [Day 5] 0900-1820. The starting temperature was 5C, reached a season’s high of 13C and was 10C at 1800, and winds were steady W all day 18-25 occasionally gusting to 32 km/h. It was cloudless to 1030 when traces of cumulus began to develop NNW of the ridge, which greatly assisted in locating early migrants, and these expanded to 20% cirrus and cumulus to 1640 after which it was 50-70% spectacular plumes of cirrus that dwindled to 10% at 1800. Observing conditions were excellent all day and produced a season-high count of 85 raptors (one more than yesterday) of 9 species, comprising 50 Sharp-shinned Hawks (32a, 9j, 9u), 7 Cooper’s Hawks (4a, 3j), 6 Northern Goshawks (4a, 2j), 2 light morph Broad-winged Hawks (1a, 1j), 11 Red-tailed Hawks (10 calurus: 7a and 2j light morphs, 1 juvenile dark morph; and 1 juvenile dark harlani), 6 Golden Eagles (1a, 1sa, 4j), 1 male American Kestrel, 1 female richardsonii Merlin and 1 adult male Peregrine Falcon. Movement was steady all day with at least 9 birds moving each hour between 1000 and 1800, with a maximum movement of 16 between 1500 and 1600.The highlight of the non-raptor migration came at 1458 when a flock of 5 high-soaring Greater Sandhill Cranes elegantly drifted southward. Other birds seen included 5 Clark’s Nutcrackers, 10 Red-breasted Nuthatches, 27 Mountain Bluebirds, 110 American Robins, 1 Lapland Longspur, 2 Yellow-rumped Warblers and 2 Dark-eyed [Oregon] Juncos.

9.33 hours (35.58) SSHA 50 (98), COHA 7 (20), NOGO 6 (13), BWHA 2 (6), RTHA 11 (36), GOEA 6 (21), AMKE 1 (8), MERL 1 (3), PEFA 1 (2) TOTAL 85 (221)

 

Steeples [Day 3] (Vance Mattson) 1245-1745. The temperature reached a season high 18C, winds were light NE and calm after 1500 and cloud cover was 30% cirrus, cumulus and altocumulus to 1530 after which it rapidly thickened to 100% altocumulus and cumulus but the ridges remained clear. A total of 20 migrants of 7 species were counted between 1319 and 1654 comprising 8 Bald Eagles (3a, 1sa, 4j), 5 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 1j, 3u), 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 1 juvenile light morph Broad-winged Hawk, that was the first migrant seen today, 3 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks, 1 adult Golden Eagle and 1 columbarius Merlin of unknown sex or age. Eleven migrants moved between 1503 and 1559. Non-migrants consisted of 6 sightings of single Turkey Vultures, 1 adult Sharp-shinned Hawk, 2 adult Red-tailed Hawks and a Golden Eagle with a full crop at 1713.

5 hours (15.5) BAEA 8 (20), SSHA 5 (51), NOGO 1 (3), BWHA 1 (2), RTHA 3 (38), GOEA 1 (14), MERL 1 (1) TOTAL 20 (143)

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

 

DAYS 4

HOURS 48.34

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 1

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 10

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 2

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 14

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 7

Accipiter sp. (UA) 1

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 6

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 0

Buteo sp. (UB) 0

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 52

Eagle sp. (UE) 0

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0

MERLIN (MERL) 1

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 2

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0

Falco sp. (UF) 0

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 0

 

TOTAL 96