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Fall Count 2021

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The Fall 2021 Migration Count has commenced and runs from Sep 20th until Nov 15th with observers at the Mount Lorette site daily — including viewing equipment available to the public. If interested in visiting the site, we suggest that you visit after 3pm. We see the majority of the migrating eagles in the later afternoon. This is the 29th consecutive year of vigilant recording. Mount Lorette site, Observation map.

PRESENT COUNTS:
Mount Lorette Count Summary, 2020 Fall
Vicki Ridge/Steeples Count Blog, 2020 Fall

Related links: Count Reports

 

Observations

10/22/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Caroline Lambert, Rick Robb

Observations:

It was overcast and gloomy for most of the day, although the lack of sun did not stop the temperature from being abnormally warm. Few raptors were seen until mid-afternoon. A few sprinkles of rain were felt between noon and 3pm, but it was not enough to wet the ground. However, once the rain (if it can be called that) had passed, some blue sky was seen and a steady stream of raptors ensued until almost sunset.

10/21/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Graeme Dunlop, Ruth Morrow

Observations:

A nice sunny day with light SW winds and some high cirrus clouds. Ridge winds SW, light with gusts to 35km/h. A total of 50 Golden Eagles were seen, mostly between 13:00 and 18:00. All birds used the eastern flightpath.

10/20/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Bill Wilson, Brian McBride and Cliff Hansen

Observations:

It was a great day weatherwise. The sky was clear to 11 am, then cloud increased quickly to 100% altostratus and cumulus for the rest of the day; but ground winds were light all day, so the cloud wasn't a problem. Ridge winds were light to 11 am, then SW to SSW 20 - 40 km/h. The first migrant raptor was a Rough-legged Hawk at 8:20 am, but then the second (a Golden Eagle) wasn't until 2:05 pm. Movement was fairly steady after that.

10/19/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:George Halmazna, Dan Parliament

Observations:

Today was one of the rare windless days with the perfect blue and clear sky all day. The light ground breeze starts after 14:30 hrs from NE. The ridge wind was all day between 13-20 km/hr only. There was no raptors migration till 14:44 hrs and all birds flew over Fisher Range or below ridge level.

10/18/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Lori Anderson, Glenn Webber

Observations:

At the onset of the count, fog came rolling in from the north end of the valley and totally covered the western ridges until 12:00. All day the valley seemed like a battleground for the strong threatening winds from the North and the Western sky holding its ground with low Southwestern winds. At ground level, winds blew from the north with gusts of 30 km/h. For whatever reason, it was not a Flying day and we only found seven migrants between 11:00 and 15:00, but we did witness a ferocious fight between two American Dippers on the river!

10/17/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:George Halmazna, Dan Parliament with help from Cindy Parliament.

Observations:

Very warm day for October with clear sky for most of the day. Afternoon Ground wind was gusting from SW to 28 km/hr. Ridge wind on Nakiska was from SSW gusting up to 103 km at 10:00 hrs to 69 km at 15:00 hrs. Most eagles flew between 10-12:00 hrs. Last eagle observed at 13:22 hrs. No migrating raptor observed after 14:38 hrs.

10/16/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Blake Weis, Annie Finch

Observations:

During the walk in to the site a juvenile Goshawk flushed from a tree near the pathway. Judging by the pile of feathers left behind it seemed to be in the process of plucking a Ruffed Grouse. The first migrant was counted at 9:57 am and the last at 5:13 pm. Unfortunately, movement was slow and sporadic. In what seems like the theme for Saturdays during this fall count migrants flew very high over the Fisher Range and were difficult to age silhouetted by persistent clouds. It was very windy with gusts up to 60 km/h at ground level and up to 136 at ridge level.

10/15/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Caroline Lambert, Rick Robb

Observations:

The day was dominated by strong winds - on the ground, at ridge level, and high up. Other than all migrants showing up somewhere along the east ridge, there was no consistency to flight path. Some eagles came in low and stayed low, some came in high above Patrick, and some came from high overhead and reached the ridge well beyond Patrick. The first eagle was seen at 9am, and there was a steady flow of around 10 per hour until 3pm, when the flow stopped abruptly, and only one per hour was seen after that. There were few other migrant raptors, and few of the smaller birds.

10/14/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Graeme Dunlop, Ruth Morrow

Observations:

Mostly sunny with a few scattered cumulus. Steady movement of eagles from sunrise to near sunset. Flight pattern seemed to correlate closely with wind speed. When winds were lighter most birds appeared over Fisher Range from a north east direction before gliding southward at or near ridge level. When winds were stronger birds flew much higher and usually came from the north west, gliding high overhead or towards the Fisher Range.

10/13/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Bill Wilson and Ale Guerrero

Observations:

Cool but generally light ground winds, so quite pleasant. Ridge winds SW 3 to 10 km/h to 3 pm, then mostly SW 20 to 30 km/r to the end. 100% stratus with ridges mostly obscured in cloud and light to very light snow until noon, then decreasing obscuration during the afternoon. The first migrant raptor was seen shortly after 2 pm.

10/12/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:George Halmazna, Dan Parliament with help from James Bannon & Teresa Gawron

Observations:

Clear day with a cold morning and cloudless day. The clear sky was creating very challenging conditions for spotting and aging migrating raptors. Eagles were flying over the whole valley, but still, the majority flew over Fisher Range.

10/11/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Lori Anderson, Glenn Webber

Observations:

It was a wee bit chilly first thing in the morning at -8C and there was no wind. The complete calmness spelled out a grim forecast for the day’s activity but in spite of the low winds, we had quite a good turnout. Ridge winds varied between 3-20 km/h from the WNW/WSW and two squalls snuck in from the north, one at 14:45 and another around 17:30. For some reason, it was very easy to identify the plumage of the Raptors today even with white/grey cloud and at great distances, although most flew at a lower altitude due to the lower winds. The light seemed more subdued. Most of the birds were found on the Eastern route.

10/10/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Ethan Denton, Neil Denton

Observations:

A miserable, blustery day throughout which we experienced rain, hail, snow, and fog. The ridges were nearly constantly totally obscured. With the poor conditions set to continue throughout the day, we returned to the comfort of our car and watched for a further 2 hours to see if conditions would change. When they didn't, we called it a day, though we did drive by the site again 2.5 hours later to no avail.

10/09/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Blake Weis, Annie Finch

Observations:

Migration picked up early with the first eagle at 8:30 am and ended late with the last at 6:59 pm. Cloud cover was heavy in the morning and evening though the sky was nearly cloudless in the afternoon. All but one migrant used the eastern ridges. Earlier in the day migrants were detected low over Patrick and the north side of the Fisher Range. Later in the day most were popping up over the ridges around the south side of the Fisher Range and Mount McDougall.

10/08/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Ethan Denton, Neil Denton

Observations:

Despite virtually no Ridge winds at the start of the day, eagles began trickling through around 8 and continued throughout the day. For the first couple hours, they followed the western range, but by noon all our birds were heading south along the Fisher range. Throughout the day there wasn't a cloud to be seen, and after the shrike made an appearance the same could be said for passerines. The clear skies made aging easier than usual, and gave a lovely view of Venus and it's moons at the end of the day.

10/07/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Caroline Lambert, Rick Robb

Observations:

There was a constant stream of migrants throughout the day, starting shortly after 8am and lasting until after sunset. A short squall in late afternoon did nothing to stop the flow. All migrants were along the east ridge. Although the ridge winds were moderate, it appeared that the eagles were gaining much altitude over Mt Lorette, and then flying seemingly over our heads to reach the east ridge. Fortunately there was sufficient cloud cover that locating them was not too hard, although getting them in the scope for ID was difficult. Yesterday's inclement weather seemed to have held up some of the migrants, and these passed through early in the morning (more than 70 by 11am!), creating an ID challenge as they were silhouetted against

10/06/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Ethan Denton, Ruth Morrow

Observations:

Scattered showers and unpredictable weather patterns kept eagles down today. Though the eagle count was shockingly low for the date, other raptors were in fine form with the highlight being a very unusual bird for the count, a dark morph Ferruginous Hawk!

10/05/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:George Halmazna, Dan Parliament with help from James Bannon & Teresa Gawron

Observations:

Warm day for October. Sunny all day with gusting ground winds up to 40 km/hr. On Nakiska ridge, at 15:00 hrs wind was gusting up to 82 km/hr. A steady flow of migrating Golden Eagles continuously for 10 hrs.

10/04/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Lori Anderson Glenn Webber

Observations:

What a gorgeous sunny fall day this was! Continuous strings of Canada Geese painted the morning sky as they made their way to warmer wintering grounds, although they might have been second-guessing themselves with these conditions. For most of the day, low winds blew at ground level and enough wind at the ridges to give us plenty of eagles and other raptors to observe. Ridge winds between 20-40 km/h and gusts between 40- 65 km/h. We had our first eagle at 9:14 and the last few at 19:22 after sunset. A light layer of altostratus and at times cirrus (mares' tails and mackerel scales) formed the backdrop for the eagle path during most of the day, which made locating easy but identification an arduous task.

10/03/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Ethan Denton, Neil Denton

Observations:

Although the day was pleasant for observers, flying conditions were far from ideal. Clear blue skies made aging birds difficult, but the tricky conditions meant that for much of the day, there weren't many birds to age anyways. Right at the end of the day, a change in winds saw a late push made, to bring the day's numbers up a bit. Almost every raptor seen flew low into Mt. Patrick before hitting a strong thermal and rising several 100m to coast across the rest of the Fisher range. Overall a very nice, but slow, day at the site.

10/02/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Blake Weis, Annie Finch, Tim Dickson, Theresa Gawron, James Bannon

Observations:

It was warm but with strong wind gusting up to 60 km/h in the afternoon. The heavy cloud cover was helpful for spotting migrants as most of them flew extremely high over the Fisher Range, but made ageing impossible in most cases.

10/01/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Caroline Lambert, Rick Robb

Observations:

There was not much hope for a major flight today as the wind was forecast to be light. This was true until mid-afternoon, but then the wind picked up a bit and there was a steady stream of eagles until sunset, with the last eagle being seen against a pink-tinged backdrop long after the last sunlight had gone from the Fisher range. The afternoon wind was sufficient for the eagles to fly very high above the Fisher range, making them frustratingly difficult to pick out against a mostly blue sky with binoculars, and impossible to find in a scope.

09/30/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Graeme Dunlop, Ruth Morrow, Johan Poll

Observations:

Generally a nice day, windy and lots of clouds but quite sunny and warm. Ridge winds SW with gusts up to 140 km/h in the morning. Decent early movement of Golden Eagles with 40 birds seen before 11a.m. (first birds observed 10 minutes before sunrise with a pair soaring into vivid pink clouds). A cold front passed through late on the previous day so this had likely held some birds back. Vast majority of birds flew high from Mt Lorette to Fisher range, often angling into the strong wind with wings half-closed until half way across the valley before turning towards Fisher Range. High percentage of unaged birds due to a combination of high flying, below average lighting conditions and also many of the morning

09/29/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Bill Wilson, Brian McBride, Cliff Hansen, James Bannon, and Teresa Gawron

Observations:

Generally a pleasant day, lots of cumulus cloud but lots of sun. Winds quite variable from 5 to 20 km/h and the odd gust to 40 or even 60 km/h. A cold front moved in about 2:30 pm, dropping the temperature by three degrees.

09/28/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:George Halmazna, Ian Dowson

Observations:

Cloudy morning after rain with flurries in higher elevations over night. Overall day was cloudy with moderate wind in afternoon. On & off periods with flurries on west side in afternoon. Nice "flow" of migrating Golden Eagles between 11:00 hrs and 15:00 hrs. Than everything stoped and nothing was flying rest of the day.