RMERF counts, September 28

Thursday, September 28 [Day 8] (Caroline Lambert, assisted by Rick Robb) 0745-1930. The temperature at 0800 was 0C but it reached a season high of 21C at 1700 before falling to 15C at the end of observation. It was calm to 1100 then winds were S-SW 0-5 km/h to 1200, 5-10 km/h to 1800, then it was calm again for the rest of the day. Ridge winds were probably light SW all day and the sky was completely cloudless. With the exception of a single Bald Eagle seen to the west, all birds moved slowly along the Fisher Range with much flapping and soaring in the calm air but none rose significantly above the ridge. A total of 26 birds of 6 species moved after 1100 and comprised 1 adult Bald Eagle, 5u Sharp-shinned Hawks, 2u Cooper’s Hawks, 1 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 1 unidentified dark morph Buteo, 15 Golden Eagles (3a, 2sa, 7j, 3u) and 1u Peregrine Falcon. Other birds seen were 2 Ruffed Grouse, 3 Grey Jays, 1 Clark’s Nutcracker, 6 American Crows, 10 Common Ravens, 4 American Robins, 1 White-throated Sparrow 2 Dark-eyed [“Oregon”] Juncos, and 15 Pine Siskins. A single Painted Lady butterfly was also on the wing. In contrast to yesterday’s crowds only 16 visitors came to the site today. [Correction to yesterday’s report: George McDougall High school is in Aidrie, not Calgary]

11.75 hours (96.59) BAEA 1 (15), SSHA 5 (26), COHA 2 (6), RTHA 1 (12), UB 1 (2), GOEA 15 (141) PEFA 1 (3) TOTAL 26 (221)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 9] (Peter Sherrington) 0900-1830. The temperature was already 12C at 0900 and rose to a season high 22C at 1800. Winds were initially W 10-15 gusting 25 km/h; at 1250 they switched to E 2-10 km/h and at 1545 switched again to SW 15-20 gusting 25 km/h. It was completely cloudless all day giving summer-like conditions in late September. The first migrant was not seen until 1114 and 9 birds had flown south when the wind changed to E at 1250, the next 3 hours produced only 7 migrants but almost immediately after the winds shifted to SW there was a steady stream of birds with 26 more seen between 1600 and 1811. The final count of 42 birds of 11 species was 1 Osprey, 2 subadult Bald Eagles, 1 juvenile Northern Harrier, 13 Sharp-shinned Hawks (12a, 1u), 2 adult Cooper’s Hawks, 1 juvenile Northern Goshawk, 1 adult light morph Broad-winged Hawk, 5 calurus Red-tailed Hawks (3 light adults and 1 juvenile and 1u dark morphs), a season high 14 Golden Eagles (2a, 2sa, 8j, 2u), 1adult female columbarius Merlin and 1 adult male Peregrine Falcon. A few minutes after the wind shifted to the SW the resident male Golden Eagle soared high above the ridge and made a high intensity display flight almost as if it was celebrating the event! A juvenile Northern Shrike and a female Pine Grosbeak were both firsts for the season and other birds present were 2 Ruffed Grouse, 5 Clark’s Nutcrackers, 1 Red-breasted Nuthatch, 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, only 1 Mountain Bluebird, 22 American Robins, 2 Dark-eyed [“Oregon”] Juncos and 13 Red Crossbills. Most remarkable for late September, however, were the 6 species of butterfly flying on the ridge that comprised 4 very late Woodland Skippers, 1 Clouded Sulphur, 1 Mourning Cloak, 1 Green Comma, 1 Satyr Comma and 3 Painted Ladies.

9.5 hours (73.33) OSPR 1 (6), BAEA 2 (9), NOHA 1 (4), SSHA 13 (213), COHA 2 (38), NOGO 1 (25), BWHA 1 (11), RTHA 5 (48), GOEA 14 (55), MERL 1 (10), PEFA 1 (6) TOTAL 42 (438)

 

Steeples [Day 5] (Vance Mattson) 1400-1700. The temperature was 19C at 1400 but quickly warmed to a season high 24C where it remained for the rest of the observation period. It was mainly calm with occasional light W-SW winds and it was cloudless throughout. A total of 9 migrants of 4 species moved between 1408 and 1621 that comprised 5 Bald Eagles (4a, 1j), 2 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 1u), 1 juvenile light morph Broad-winged Hawk (that was the first bird of the day) and 1 adult Golden Eagle. Most birds soared lazily above the ridge. The only non-migrant raptor was an adult Bald Eagle.

3 hours (23) BAEA 5 (26), SSHA 2 (53), BWHA 1 (3), GOEA 1 (15) TOTAL 9 (155)

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

DAYS 8

HOURS 96.59

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 1

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 15

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 2

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 26

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 6

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 8

Accipiter sp. (UA) 1

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 12

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 0

Buteo sp. (UB) 2

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 141

Eagle sp. (UE) 2

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0

MERLIN (MERL) 1

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 3

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0

Falco sp. (UF) 0

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 1  P

 

TOTAL 221