RMERF counts, September 29

Friday, September 29 [Day 9] (Blake Weis) 0735-1945. The temperature again reached 21C at 2100 from a morning low of 5C, and at the end of observation it was 14C. Ground winds were NW 0-5 gusting 10 km/h to 1000 then variable S-SW-SE 0-10 gusting 20 km/h to 1800 after which they were 0-5 km/h; ridge winds were W-SW light to moderate all day. It was again cloudless with the exception of 1500-1700 when 10% cirrus developed. A season-high 73 raptors of 4 species migrated between 0835 and 1905 comprising 1 subadult Bald Eagle, 6 Sharp-shinned Hawks (2a, 1j, 2u), the first Rough-legged Hawk of the season, a dark morph juvenile, and a season high 65 Golden Eagles (12a, 7sa, 33j, 13u). Movement was steady all day but peaked in the evening with 33 of the birds moving between 1700 and 1905. Only 4 birds used the W route, all between 1000 and 1100, and the Golden Eagles all moved above the Fisher Range although only 19 were initially located at Mount Lorette. Resident and non-migrant birds were an adult male Sharp-shinned Hawk hunting in the meadow, 1 or 2 Northern Goshawks, 1 adult Golden Eagle and a Prairie Falcon that was seen hunting a meadow high at the northern end of the Fisher Range. Other bird species were fairly common and included 2 single unidentified white-headed gulls flying high to the south, 1 Golden-crowned Kinglet, 9 American Robins, 2 Lapland Longspurs, 2 Yellow-rumped Warblers, 1 White-throated Sparrow, 1 Dark-eyed Junco, 4 White-winged Crossbills and 37 Pine Crossbills. There were 11 visitors to the site today.

12.33 hours (108.9) BAEA 1 (16), SSHA 6 (32) RLHA 1 (1) GOEA 65 (206) TOTAL 73 (294)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 10] (Peter Sherrington) 0900-1830 and Kylo Ridge near Waterton 68 well site (Denise Cocciolone-Amatto, Raymond Toal) 1310-1700. The temperature was already 12C on the ridge at 0900 that rose to a high of 21C at 1400 and 1500 and was still 18C at the end of observation. Winds were SW-WSW 30-40 gusting to 47 km/h to 1200 after which they were W, and occasionally NW, 22-35 gusting 50 km/h throughout the afternoon. It was again cloudless with the exception of 1300-1500 when 10-30% cirrus cloud developed. There was a strong and persistent raptor movement all day involving 11 species that migrated between 0910 and 1819. The flight comprised 1 subadult Bald Eagle, 4 juvenile Northern Harriers (1 female, 3 males), a site record 110 Sharp-shinned Hawks (82a, 6j, 22u), 7 Cooper’s Hawks (4a, 2j, 1u), 4 Northern Goshawks (3a, 1j), 3 Broad-winged Hawks (2a light, 1j dark), 14 Red-tailed Hawks (calurus 11 light adults, 2 dark: 1j, 1u; harlani dark 1j), 2 adult Ferruginous Hawks (1 “intermediate”, 1 dark), 2 unidentified dark morph Buteos, 21 Golden Eagles (4a, 2sa, 15j), 3 American Kestrels (2 females, 1 male) and 1 adult male Peregrine Falcon. Maximum hourly movement was 27 birds between 1100 and 1200 and again from 1200 and 1300. The adult “intermediate” Ferruginous Hawk seen soaring at 1230 (which was, incidentally, also the 500th migrant of the season) sported a plumage that I had never seen either in the field or illustrated. The head, body and tail were all pure white but the under wing coverts were black. It was a really beautiful bird and I would be interested in hearing from anybody who may have seen or heard of a similar plumage in the species. Other birds on the wind-swept ridge were scarce and included 1 Golden-crowned Kinglet, 1 American Robin, 1 female Varied Thrush and 2 Pine Siskins. A single Mourning Cloak was the only butterfly seen.

The count about 2 km to the west of Vicki Ridge on Kylo Ridge near the Shell Waterton 68 gas well site yielded a further 47 migrants of 9 species that comprised 1 Osprey, 1 adult Bald Eagle, 1 juvenile Northern Harrier, 23 Sharp-shinned Hawks (14a, 9u), 2 adult Cooper’s Hawks, 1 juvenile Northern Goshawk, 1 small unidentified Accipiter, 4 Red-tailed Hawks (calurus 2 light adults, 1 rufous juvenile; 1 adult dark harlani), 11 Golden Eagles (5a, 2sa, 4j), and 2 American Kestrels (1 female, 1u). The combined count involving 219 migrants of 12 species is given below.

(Combined count) 9.5 hours (82.83) OSPR 1 (7), BAEA 2 (11), NOHA 5 (9), SSHA 133 (346), COHA 9 (47), NOGO 5 (30), UA 1 (1), BWHA 3 (14), RTHA 18 (66), FEHA 2 (4), UB 2 (2), GOEA 32 (87), AMKE 5 (13), PEFA 1 (7) TOTAL 219 (657)

 

Steeples [Day 6] (Vance Mattson) 1300-1700. The weather was similar to that of yesterday with the temperature reaching 24C, calm to light W winds that became moderate between 1600 and 1630 and cloudless skies. Fifteen migrants of 6 species were seen that comprised 1 Osprey, 4 Bald Eagles (2a, 1 late subadult, 1j), 7 Sharp-shinned Hawks (3a, 4u), the season’s first Cooper’s Hawk (a juvenile), 1 juvenile Northern Goshawk and 1 adult light morph Broad-winged Hawk. Non-migrants were an adult Bald Eagle, an adult Northern Goshawk and 4 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks.

4 hours (27) OSPR 1 (2), BAEA 4 (30), SSHA 7 (60), COHA 1 (1), NOGO 1 (5), BWHA 1 (4) TOTAL 15 (170)

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

 

DAYS 9

HOURS 108.9

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 1

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 16

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 2

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 32

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) 1

Buteo sp. (UB) 2

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 206

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

 

TOTAL 294