Mount Lorette and Beaver Mines, March 18

March 18 [Day 17] (Jim Davis, assisted by Ruth Morrow) 0800-1600. Jim and Ruth arrived at 0800 when the temperature was -1C with steady freezing rain that had turned the parking area into an ice-rink which made even standing difficult. All the mountains were obscured (and remained so for the rest of the day) so they left immediately for the Lusk Creek site where they spent the rest of the day just east of the downslope storm. There the temperature reached a high of 7C at 1400 where it stayed until the end of observation. Winds at Lusk were generally light and cloud cover was 100% stratus with the exception of 1100-1200 when 10% of the sky cleared to the NW. Rain and low cloud persisted all day to the west but the Lusk Creek site remained dry and the highest foothills ridge was clear until 1515 when rain and fog finally moved in from the west and the count was abandoned at 1600. There was a fairly strong raptor movement of 64 birds between 0919 and 1414 comprising 7 Bald Eagles (4a, 1sa, 2j), 2 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 54 Golden Eagles (35a, 2sa, 2j, 15u) and the season’s first Gyrfalcon, a white morph bird that was seen at 1158. Most of the birds moved close to the ridge-top beneath the cloud, and the highest hourly count was 36 birds recorded between 1100 and 1200. A Northern Pygmy-Owl called 5 times near the site but could not be located.

8 hours (171.2 BAEA 7 (73), RLHA 2 (18), GOEA 54 (611) GYRF 1 (1) TOTAL 64 (717)

 

Beaver Mines [Day 21] (Peter Sherrington) 0800-1730. The starting temperature was 6C, rose to a high of 10C at 1200 and 1300 and was 7C at the end of observation. Winds were WSW-W throughout, 40-50 gusting 65 km/h to 1600 after which they moderated slightly to 25-40 km/h, and cloud cover was 100% stratus and cumulus all day with the exception of 0900-0945 when it reduced to 70% producing the day’s only sunny period. Light rain started at 1000 and light to moderate rain then persisted for the rest of the day. The mountain ridges to the SW were obscured all day but the “Big Hill” remained clear until 1700. A total of 29 migrants moved between 1017 and 1556 comprising 1 adult Bald Eagle, 3 adult Northern Goshawks and 25 adult Golden Eagles. Fourteen of the birds were seen between 1100 and 1200 after which the movement became very sporadic. All the birds soared high over the hill in the rain before gliding to the NW, and the last 5 Golden Eagles were seen between 1536 and 1556 after which the rain became heavier and the count was stopped at 1730. The surprise bird of the day was a Wilson’s Snipe that was feeding by a small meltwater stream in the corner of my yard, which is the first March record for the area.

9.5 hours (162.1) BAEA 1 (126), NOGO 3 (20), GOEA 25 (553) TOTAL 29 (766)

 

Steeples (Vance Mattson) No observation. It rained all day and the ridges were all obscured.

 

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

 

DAYS 17

HOURS 117.2

 

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 0

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 73

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 0

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 1

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 0

Accipiter sp. (UA) 0

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 2

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 18

Buteo sp. (UB) 1

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 611

Eagle sp. (UE) 8

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0

MERLIN (MERL) 1

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0

Falco sp. (UF) 1

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 0

 

TOTAL 717