Mount Lorette and Beaver Mines, April 15

April 15 [Day 44] (Jim Davis, assisted by Ruth Morrow) 0800-1900. The temperature high was 5C at 1300 and 1400, and it was 1C at both the start and end of observation. Ground winds were 10-22 gusting to 35 km/h, SW to 1400 then W for the rest of the day, while ridge winds were strong all day and reflected the ground wind directions. Cloud cover was 70-90% cumulus and stratus to noon and 100% stratus for the rest of the day that produced light snow from 0900 to 1100 and moderate snow after 1400. The western ridges were 80-100% obscured all day and the east was completely obscured after 1400. Despite the conditions 15 migrant raptors were seen between 0858 and 1502, 5 of which moved from the northern end of the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette while the rest were seen flying low near the site and either continued low down the valley to the N or flew to the NW across Skogan Pass. The count, which involved 7 species, was 2 Cooper’s Hawks (1a, 1j), 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 2 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks, 6 Golden Eagles (3a, 1sa, 1j, 1u), 2 female American Kestrels, one of which hunted the meadow for 10 minutes before flying to the north, 1u columbarius Merlin and 1 dark morph Gyrfalcon. Resident birds were a pair of Red-tailed Hawks that soared over Hummingbird Plume Hill, and an adult Golden Eagle that flew to the south above the Fisher Range. Other birds recorded included 1 Trumpeter Swan that above the river at 1000, 5 drumming Ruffed Grouse, 7 Mountain Bluebirds (5m, 2f), 5 American Robins, 1 Varied Thrush and 200 Dark-eyed Juncos, most of which were “slate-coloured” morphs, that fed in the meadow with a single European Starling for much of the day. The last hour of the day was spent at the Lusk Creek site where the clouds hovered just above the ridge, but the only birds seen were a single flock of 75 Canada Geese flying north. Surprisingly, considering the weather, 33 visitors made it to the Hay Meadow site.

11 hours (504.6) COHA 2 (4), NOGO 1 (19), RTHA 2 (37), GOEA 6 (2153), AMKE 2 (3), MERL 1 (4), GYRF 1 (2) TOTAL 15 (2490)

 

Beaver Mines [Day 49] (Peter Sherrington) 0800-1800. It was 0C at 0800, rose to a high of 7C at 1600 and it was 5C when observation ended at 1800. Winds were strong W-WSW all day 40-50 gusting to 70 km/h, and cloud cover was 70-100 % altostratus and cumulus for most of the day apart from 0830-1030 when it cleared to 10% cumulus, and 1600-1730 when it was 20-30% cumulus and altostratus. There were persistent light snow flurries to 1400, after which observing conditions improved considerably. There was a steady movement of 36 raptors of a season-high 12 species between 0833 and 1734, of which 7 birds were seen between 0833 and 0857 which raised the expectation of a significant movement. The final total, however, only equaled the highest count for the month so far and comprised 2 Ospreys, 2 adult Bald Eagles, 6 Sharp-shinned Hawks (2a, 2u), 2 adult Northern Goshawks, 1 dark morph adult Swainson’s Hawk, 5 adult Red-tailed Hawks (4 light calurus and 1 dark harlani), 1 light adult Ferruginous Hawk, 1 dark morph Rough-legged Hawk, 1 unidentified light morph Buteo, 11 Golden Eagles (8a, 1sa, 2j), 1 male American Kestrel, 1 grey morph adult male Gyrfalcon and 2 Peregrine Falcons (1a male, 1u). The 2 resident pairs of Red-tailed Hawks were mainly seen hunting between 0838 and 1743. And only 1 brief display flight was observed.

10 hours (436.3) OSPR 2 (7), BAEA 2 (290), SSHA 6 (48), NOGO 2 (62), SWHA 1 (2), RTHA 5 (164), FEHA 1 (5), RLHA 1 (65), UB 1 (14), GOEA 11 (1027), AMKE 1 (4), GYRF 1 (5), PEFA 2 (7) TOTAL 36 (1779)

 

Steeples (Vance Mattson) No observation.

 

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

 

DAYS 44

HOURS 504.6

 

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 0

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 208

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 3

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 7

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 4

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 19

Accipiter sp. (UA) 0

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 3

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 37

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 22

Buteo sp. (UB) 3

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2153

Eagle sp. (UE) 13

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 3

MERLIN (MERL) 4

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 2

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 4

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 1

Falco sp. (UF) 2

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

 

TOTAL 2490