Mount Lorette, Beaver Mines and Steeples, April 22 with April and final count summaries.

April 22 [Day 51] (Jim Davis, assisted by Ruth Morrow, Cliff Hansen and Chris Hunt) 0745-1645. The temperature at 0745 was -3C, reached a high of 10C at 1400 and was 7C at 1645 when fog on the ridges brought the count to an end. It was calm in the valley to 1100 then NE winds 5-20 gusting 30 km/h persisted for the rest of the day. The ridges were also calm to 1100 when light NE winds developed that became moderate after 1300. Cloud cover was 10% cirrostratus to 1000 after which 50% cumulus cloud developed that steadily increased to 100% stratus and cumulus at the end of observation. Observing conditions were excellent to 1545. After 1500 fog began to develop on the top of the ridges and light rain fell shortly after and the count was abandoned at 1645 with all ridges obscured and moderate rain falling. The last day of the count produced 54 migrant raptors of a season high 10 species that, with the exception of 3 birds that moved above the centre of the valley, migrated on a western route from the face of Mount Kidd to the NW behind Mount Allan between 0855 and 1615. The flight comprised 4 Bald Eagles (3a, 1sa), 1 female or juvenile Northern Harrier, 2 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1j, 1u), a season high 4 Cooper’s Hawks (2a, 2j), 2a Northern Goshawks, a season high 21 calurus Red-tailed Hawks (16 light morph: 14a, 2u, 2a rufous morphs and 3 dark morphs: 2a, 1j), 1 dark morph Rough-legged Hawk, 2 unidentified dark morph Buteos, 10 Golden Eagles (3a, 1sa, 4j, 2u), a season high 6 columbarius Merlins (2a males, 2a females, 2u) and 1 dark morph Gyrfalcon. Four of the Merlins moved as male-female pairs and continuously interacted as they flew. The only resident raptors seen were 3a light morph Red-tailed Hawks. Other birds noted included 3 drumming Ruffed Grouse and two that sat on the trail in bright sunshine oblivious to the presence of goshawks in the area, 2 Sandhill Cranes that flew high to the west over the centre of the valley, 4 Northern Flickers, 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 3 Tree Swallows, 5 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 3 Mountain Bluebirds (1m, 2f), 28 American Robins, 5 Varied Thrushes, 15 American Pipits, 1u Yellow-rumped Warbler, 1 Song Sparrow that sang for 2 hours in the morning, 6 Dark-eyed Juncos, 1 male Red-winged Blackbird and 1 Western Meadowlark. Fourteen visitors shared the last day of the season.

9 hours (584.2) BAEA 4 (216), NOHA 1 (5), SSHA 2 (16), COHA 4 (9), NOGO 2 (27), RTHA 21 (70), RLHA 1 (23), UB 2 (5), GOEA 10 (2254), MERL 6 (11), GYRF 1 (3) TOTAL 54 (2670)

 

Mount Lorette April summary (With percentage variance from long-term 20 year average 1993-2016, that excludes the anomalously low counts in 2008-2010 and 2012 which are considered invalid). 21 days (-0.7), 256.6 hours (+5.5): BAEA 65 (-9.7) , NOHA 4 (-1.2), SSHA 14 (-37.2), COHA 9 (+50), NOGO 17 (+45.9), BWHA 3 (+1900, and the highest April count ever), SWHA 2 (the first records ever for the current count period, RTHA 60 (+148 and the highest ever April count), RLHA 2 (-86.7 and equals the lowest March count ever), UB 2 (+66.7), GOEA 240 (-52.7), UE 4 (+233) AMKE 4 (+321), MERL 9 (+109), GYRF 2 (+ 344), PEFA 3 (+253 which equals the highest April total in 1995), PRFA 1(-16.7), UF 1 (+100), UU 1 (-16.7) TOTAL 443 (-34.7) (15 species).

 

The fall 2017 count at Mount Lorette will start on September 20.

 

 

Beaver Mines [Day 56] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Gord Petersen) 0800-2000. The temperature at 0800 was 2C, the high was 14C at 1400 and it was 11C at 2000 when the count ended. Winds were light (4-9 km/h) and variable to 1400 after which they were moderate E 11-20 occasionally gusting to 35 km/h. Cloud cover was 100% thin cirrostratus to 1000 which became thick after 1030 and produced a perfect halo around the hazy sun that persisted for 1.5 hours. In the afternoon cloud cover varied from 80-100% continuously changing cumulus, cirrus, altostratus and altocumulus that generally provided good locating conditions for birds that often soared very high above the ridge and valley. The first migrant was not seen until 1112 but there was then a steady stream of migrants that peaked at 14 birds between 1400 and 1500, and the last bird of the season was an adult dark morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk at 1812. The count was 38 migrants of 9 species and comprised 1 Osprey, 5 Bald Eagles (4a, 1sa), 6 Northern Harriers (2a males, 3a females, 1u), 2a Cooper’s Hawks, 1u Northern Goshawk, 1u light morph Broad-winged Hawk, 12 calurus Red-tailed Hawks (10 light: 9a, 1j, 2a dark), 9 Golden Eagles (1a, 1sa, 2j, 5u) and 1u American Kestrel). The flyway was often crowded with at least 6 soaring, hunting and displaying resident Red-tailed Hawks that were active between 0956 and 1937. The resident male Northern Harrier displayed a few times and both birds hunted the valley floor, especially late in the day; at 1730 the female caught, mantled and partially ate a vole, and returned at 1852 to finish her meal. A pair of Sandhill Cranes were present in the valley for much of the day and periodically displayed and at least 4 other birds were seen soaring and gliding high above the valley during the day. At 1540 a flock of 5 American White Pelicans soared high to the NE of the ridge before majestically gliding high to the north in a tight group. It was a good last day.

12 hours (510.1) OSPR 1 (10), BAEA 5 (304), NOHA 6 (70), COHA 2 (14), NOGO 1 (72), BWHA 1 (15), RTHA 12 (214), GOEA 9 (1069), AMKE 1 (6) TOTAL 38 (1992)

 

Beaver Mines April summary (new high April counts for the site in bold, and last year’s count numbers in parentheses). 22 days (22), 211.8 hours (194.3), TUVU 1 (0), BAEA 73 (119), NOHA 54 (46), SSHA 48 (89), COHA 11 (18), NOGO 26 (15), UA 1 (3), BWHA 12 (9), SWHA 2 (5), RTHA 116 (236), FEHA 5 (0), RLHA 14 (48), UB 11 (10), GOEA 120 (132), UE 1 (1), AMKE 5 (5), MERL 7 (10), GYRF 1 (2), PEFA 10 (9), PRFA 2 (4), UF 1 (0), UU 2 (1) TOTAL 533 (762) (18 species (17 species)).

 

Beaver Mines Count summary (new high counts for the site in bold, and last year’s count numbers in parentheses). 56 days (52), 510.1 hours (401.3), TUVU 2 (2), OSPR 10 (0), BAEA 304 (278), NOHA 70 (68), SSHA 71 (98), COHA 14 (18), NOGO 72 (59), UA 1 (4), BWHA 15 (9), SWHA 3 (5), RTHA 214 (301), FEHA 7 (6), RLHA 68 (148), UB 11 (10), GOEA 1069 (1169), UE 3 (3), AMKE 6 (10), MERL 18 (16), GYRF 5 (9), PEFA 11 (11), PRFA 9 (9), UF 1 (4), UU 2 (6) TOTAL 1992 (2037) (18 species (17 species)).

 

Steeples (Vance Mattson) No observation.

 

Steeples Count summary 15 days (69.5 hours) TUVU 3, BAEA 110, SSHA 3, RTHA 4, RLHA 1, GOEA 386, UE 6, AMKE 1, MERL 1 TOTAL 515 (8 species)

 

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22) (with percentage variances from the long-term averages for the period 1993-2007, 2011 and 2013-16)

 

DAYS 51 (+2.4)

HOURS 584.2 (+5.4)

 

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0 (-100)

OSPREY (OSPR) 0 (-100)

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 216 (+19.5)

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 5 (+4.2)

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 16 (-35.5)

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 9 (+33.3)

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 27 (+17.4)

Accipiter sp. (UA) 0 (-100)

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 3 (+1900: new high spring count)

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 2 (n/a: first records for count period)

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 70 (+145.2: new high spring count)

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 (-100)

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 23 (+18.9)

Buteo sp. (UB) 5 (+163.2)

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2254 (-23.9)

Eagle sp. (UE) 13 (+276.8)

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 4 (+321.1)

MERLIN (MERL) 11 (+64.2)

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 3 (+150)

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 4 (+247.8)

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 1 (-53.5)

Falco sp. (UF) 2 (+135.3)

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2 (+11.1)

 

TOTAL 2670 (-18.5)