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Mount Lorette (21 Mar 2023) 53 Raptors

Mount Lorette
Alberta, Canada

Daily Raptor Counts: Mar 21, 2023
Species Day’s Count Month Total Season Total
Turkey Vulture 0 0 0
Osprey 0 0 0
Bald Eagle 1 46 46
Northern Harrier 0 0 0
Sharp-shinned Hawk 0 0 0
Cooper’s Hawk 0 0 0
Northern Goshawk 1 3 3
Broad-winged Hawk 0 0 0
Swainson’s Hawk 0 0 0
Red-tailed Hawk 0 0 0
Ferruginous Hawk 0 0 0
Rough-legged Hawk 0 0 0
Golden Eagle 51 367 367
American Kestrel 0 0 0
Merlin 0 1 1
Gyrfalcon 0 0 0
Peregrine Falcon 0 0 0
Prairie Falcon 0 0 0
Unknown Accipiter 0 0 0
Unknown Buteo 0 0 0
Unknown Falcon 0 0 0
Unknown Eagle 0 5 5
Unknown Raptor 0 0 0
Total: 53 422 422
Observation start time: 06:45:00
Observation end time: 19:45:00
Total observation time: 11.25 hours
Official Counter Caroline Lambert
Observers: Lynette MacCulloch

It was a quiet day for visitors. Nearly all the passers-by stopped to chat – a total of 11.

Around 2pm we experienced a rather unusual event – a mini tornado. First we heard a rumbling, cracking noise from the other side of the river. Looking in that direction, we expected to see ice crumbling into the river due to melt as it was quite warm. Instead we saw the wind drilling into the ice on the gravel bank, causing pieces of ice to fly up in circles. A few seconds later we were hit by a massive gust of wind that knocked the chairs over – fortunately we were able to grab the scopes before those toppled too. The tornado lasted maybe a minute before the wind dissipated, and it went back to being a mild, sunny day.
The temperature started at -14C, rose to +5C in the late afternoon, and had dropped back to 0C by the time we left. There were no clouds at all, so it was difficult to judge winds. At ground level there was not much wind, other than the twister, until late in the day when there was a continuous strong breeze from the north. The weather station on Centennial Ridge indicated very low winds most of the day, picking up towards the end of the day, with the direction ranging from northwest to northeast.

Raptor Observations:
In spite of the low wind, there was a constant stream of eagles, starting around 1100 and continuing until 1900. The first couple were seen at Mt Lorette, but, until late afternoon, most were seen on the west ridge. Most of these appeared over the left slope of Olympic, rose in thermals, then glided off to the northwest. Around 1700 the movement abruptly switched to the east ridge, with the eagles skimming the top of the ridge and soaring a little to gain enough altitude to make it to Mt Lorette, where they soared again.
The resident Golden Eagle was seen hunting over Hummingbird Plume, and there were two appearances of an adult Northern Goshawk flying low across the meadow. One immature Northern Goshawk was intercepted by a second one that appeared to be chasing it out of the area.
The end tally for migrants was 51 Golden Eagles (49a, 1sa, 1u), one adult Bald Eagle, and one immature Northern Goshawk.

Non-raptor Observations:
The only non-raptor migrants were three European Starlings. Other than a brief squabble between three Hairy Woodpeckers, there was not much going on in the bird world. Other birds were: Common Raven 8, Black-capped Chickadee 4, Boreal Chickadee 1, Pine Siskin 12

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Mount Lorette information may be found at:
More information at [Site Profile] [Day Summary] [Month Summary]
Count data submitted via Dunkadoo – [Project Details]