Mount Lorette, Beaver Mines and Steeples, March 25

March 25 [Day 24] (Jim Davis, assisted by Chris Hunt and Cliff Hansen) 0730-2000. The temperature was -1C at 0730, reached a high of 6C at 1300 and was 3C at 2000. Ground winds were generally light occasionally gusting to 21 km/h to 1400, then SW 25 gusting 60 km/h that only moderated after 1800. Ridge winds were SW all day, initially light and moderate at the end but strong to very strong between 1000 and 1900. Cloud cover was stratocumulus and lenticular to 1000 and 50-80% to 1300 after which it was 100% stratus to 1700 which cleared to 50% cumulus by 1800 and was cloudless at the end of observation. Moderate snow fell to 1300, and at 1400 the count was moved to the Lusk Creek site where light snow continued to fall until 1715. The eastern route was 50% obscured to 1000 after which it cleared until 1300 although Mount Lorette remained obscured during most of this period. The west was 40-100% obscured throughout. At Lusk Creek the highest foothills ridge was clear. At the Hay Meadow site a total of 10 migrants were seen between 0843 and 1300 all arriving at Mount Lorette from the centre of the valley. At Lusk Creek a further 53 birds were seen of which 26 moved between 1700 and 1800 and 11 between 1800 and 1900. The final tally of 63 birds was 7 adult Bald Eagles, 1 adult Northern Goshawk and 55 Golden Eagles (32a, 2sa, 5j, 16u). Other birds recorded at the Hay Meadow site were 1 Barred Owl singing east of the river at 0904, 1 Northern Pygmy-Owl, 2 Northern Flickers, 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 3 male Mountain Bluebirds, 2 American Robins, 72 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches and 1 Common Redpoll, while at Lusk Creek 5 unidentified gulls flew north and 30 Red Crossbills were seen. Three Grey Wolves howled from the top of the ridge just after 1800. After the strong Golden Eagle migration of the last week 25 visitors were in the Hay Meadow in the expectation of another strong movement today but unfortunately they were disappointed.

12.5 hours (258) BAEA 7 (124), NOGO 1 (5), GOEA 55 (1776) TOTAL 63 (1947)

 

Beaver Mines [Day 28] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Mark and Ian Sherrington) 0800-1830. The temperature at 0800 was 3C rose briefly to a high of 11C at 1300 and was 6C at 1830. Winds again were moderate to strong W-WSW 20-40 gusting up to 60 km/h, and cloud cover was 40-90% cumulus to 1530 that brought snow flurries and one period of snow between 1452 and 1530, after which it was 30% cumulus and sunny. Raptor movement was again slow and sporadic with 38 birds of 7 species migrating between 0957 and 1824. The flight comprised 4 Bald Eagles (3a, 1sa), a season high 4 Sharp-shinned Hawks (3a, 1u), 1 adult Cooper’s Hawk, 1 adult Northern Goshawk, a season high 9 adult calurus Red-tailed Hawks (7 light, 2 dark), 17 Golden Eagles (16a, 1u) and 1 unidentified eagle. Three resident Red-tailed Hawks were conspicuous all afternoon interacting, displaying, hunting and harassing migrating Golden Eagles.

10.5 hours (231.3) BAEA 4 (189), SSHA 4 (10), COHA 1 (3), NOGO 1 (37), RTHA 9 (28), RLHA 1 (46), GOEA 17 (868), UE 1 (2) TOTAL 38 (1213)

 

Steeples (Vance Mattson) [Day 10] 1130-1830. Observation was again from near the Bill Nye site where the temperature reached a high of 6C, winds were strong S-SW and cloud cover was 70-40% cumulus that left the ridges mostly clear. Wet snow fell from 1430 to 1445. A total of 23 migrants of 4 species were counted comprising 6 Bald Eagles (1a, 5j), 1 adult Sharp-shinned Hawk, the season’s first migrant Red-tailed Hawk, an adult light morph calurus, and 15 Golden Eagles (14a, 1j). The highest hourly movement was 8 between 1500 and 1600, and the last bird was seen at 1814. Non-migrants were local Red-tailed Hawks, 2 Golden Eagles (1a, 1j), 6 Bald Eagles (5a, 1j) and two sightings of single Turkey Vultures.

7 hours (44.5) BAEA 6 (74), SSHA 1 (2), RTHA 1 (1), GOEA 15 (316) TOTAL 23 (399)

 

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (March 1 to April 22)

 

DAYS 24

HOURS 258

 

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 0

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 124

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 0

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 2

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 5

Accipiter sp. (UA) 0

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 3

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 21

Buteo sp. (UB) 2

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1776

Eagle sp. (UE) 9

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0

MERLIN (MERL) 2

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0

Falco sp. (UF) 1

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 1

 

TOTAL 1947