subscribe: Posts | Comments

Mt. Lorette Observations

The main observation site is the Hay Meadow, Mt. Lorette Site. The site is located in Kananaskis on the bank of the Kananaskis River. It has a view of the open valley. which allows excellent (though rather distant) viewing of the Fisher Range to the east. The bulk of the Golden Eagles and other raptors use this ridge as part of their preferred migration route.

Mt. Lorette Observations

See the seasonal count reports and daily summaries for historical observation counts. The following observations started in Fall 2021.

11/15/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observations:

No count due to poor weather conditions. Snow and rain are forecast for the entire day.

11/14/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observations:

No count due to poor weather conditions.

11/13/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Blake Weis, Annie Finch

Observations:

It was a blustery day with wind gusting to 40 km/h and ground level and up to 93 at ridge level. Cloud cover was 30% cumulus for the first few hours but increased to 80-100% for the rest of the day as sheets of altostratus passed over. Eagles moved through in a slow trickle for most of the day starting at 9:38 am and ending at 4:15 pm. All of them used the eastern ridges and none were especially high despite the strong wind.

11/12/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Caroline Lambert, Rick Robb

Observations:

The sun did not make an appearance today. Initially the east ridge was clear while the west ridge was partially obscured, and a couple of early migrants kept hopes up. Light rain fell off and on throughout the morning, and gradually became more constant while the clouds became gradually lower, eventually obscuring both ridges. The count was abandoned early at 4pm.

11/11/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Graeme Dunlop, Ruth Morrow

Observations:

Overcast and calm morning. Cloud layer gradually thinned and broke-up throughout the day becoming clear by mid-afternoon. Ground and ridge-level winds were calm to light SW all day. Slow raptor movement. All birds flew over the Fisher Range close to ridge level.

11/10/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Bill Wilson, Brian McBride and Cliff Hansen

Observations:

A nice mix of sun and cloud all day, with ground winds mostly SSW 5-10 occasionally gusting to 20 or 30 km/h and ridge winds SW to W 30 to 50, gusting up to 80 km/h. Despite the "light" ground winds, though, what wind there was was feeling very chilly by the end of the day.

11/09/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:George Halmazna, Dan Parliament

Observations:

Overcast and calm morning with windy afternoon and slow clearing. Strong ridge winds, mainly on the west side of the valley. There was no migration of Golden Eagles today. Two Bald Eagles only were flying south direction low on the east side of the valley.

11/08/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Lori Anderson, Blake Weis

Observations:

It was a good day for November, although it seemed so quiet with very few birds in the area, a reminder that deep winter is on its way. Snow fell lightly at intervals from 9:00 to 14:00. Ground winds 5-10 km/h with gusts up to 30km/h. Ridge winds 34 to 60 km/h with gusts from 60-107 km/h. The Eastern ridges were clear all day and all of the migrants were found on that route. The Western ridges were partially obscured all day with a storm system insisting from the S/SW for most of the day. Cloud cover was usually about 80% Cumulous and Alto Cumulous but varied between 40 and 100%.

11/07/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Caroline Lambert, Blake Weis

Observations:

The forecast of "mainly sunny" was mainly wrong, as we barely saw the sun all day. The west ridge was mostly obscured all day, and the east ridge oscillated between being obscured and completely clear. The weather radar map showed a narrow band of snow that seemed to persist throughout the day around the watch site, with no snow anywhere to the north or south. Snow fell off and on all day. In spite of the conditions, two migrants were seen during a break in the snow.

11/06/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Blake Weis, Annie Finch

Observations:

Cloud cover varied from 30-80%. Wind gusted from the SW up to 30 km/h at ground level and 80 and ridge level. Those weather conditions were good for observation and migration but few raptors turned up to take advantage of them

11/05/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Caroline Lambert, Rick Robb

Observations:

Conditions were entirely favourable for migration with strong westerly winds and clear ridges, but this had no impact on the birds, as very few migrants were seen. The temperature was warmer than normal, and a Chinook arch was present over the east ridge for much of the day, which would have aided in spotting eagles had there been any to spot. A late Mountain Bluebird hunted energetically over the meadow all day, but otherwise the day was completely unremarkable.

11/04/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Graeme Dunlop, Ruth Morrow

Observations:

A mix of sun and cloud with some light rain. Much darker clouds to the south and west for most of the day. SW winds. Calm at ground level in the morning, stronger in the afternoon. Ridge winds strong all day with some gusts over 100 km/h. Slow day for raptors.

11/03/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Bill Wilson, Brian McBride and Cliff Hansen

Observations:

It was a pleasant day with 90% to 100% cloud and light ground winds (usually 5-10 km/h, occasionally 20 or even 30 km/h) and winds aloft WSW 20-30 gusting 50-80 km/h. No precipitation. The cloud provided excellent conditions for locating migrants but tough conditions for aging them. Fortunately, many passed in front of dark rock at some points in their passage, making it much easier to age at least these ones.

11/02/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:George Halmazna, Dan Parliament

Observations:

Very nice day for November. Chinook cloudiness in the morning with clearing in the afternoon. Ridge wind from SW all day. From 50-81 km in morning hours to 25-40 km in mid-afternoon. Eagles flew over Fisher Range from 10 to 17:00 hrs.

11/01/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Lori Anderson, Blake Weis.

Observations:

The cloudless morning was bitter cold. When the long-awaited Sun finally touched the valley at 10:00, everything glittered like diamonds on the frosty white land, and steam evaporated on the river creating a fantasy dreamland! There was little to no wind at ground level and the ridges only received between 6 and 17 km/h SW/SSW all day with no gusts. Needless to say, there was very little raptor movement and much flapping from the few who dared make the trek. The nice thing was that we got some closer views of the eagles as they travelled from Lorette to the Fisher Range.

10/31/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Bill Wilson and Ian Dowson

Observations:

It was a beautiful, cloudless day with almost no wind (0 to 5 km/h, getting up to about 10 km/h for only a couple of hours). Smoke from somewhere made the ridges a bit hazy until about mid-day. Ridge winds were very light. Half the hourly readings at Nakiska Ridgetop were "calm", and the other five were no more than 6 km/h. All Golden Eagles crossed the face of Patrick; none were observed above the summit. One of the Golden Eagles landed four times for 1 to 5 minutes each time as it crossed the face of Patrick, and another landed once for about a minute. Most used a flap-glide-flap-glide flight style, so they had to work to get where they were going. Several also

10/30/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Blake Weis, Annie Finch

Observations:

It was a sunny day with very little wind and about 10 cm of fresh snow on the ground. In the afternoon the western ridges were partially obscured by low cumulus from snow-making on Nakiska. The sky was totally clear otherwise. Raptor migration picked up later in the day as most of the birds were recorded after 3 pm. The last few passed just after sunset. All migrants used the eastern ridges and most of them were detected over Patrick and the Fisher Range. With the lack of wind migrants were usually moving low and slow with much soaring. They were well lit from below by sun reflecting off snow which (finally) made excellent conditions for ageing.

10/29/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Caroline Lambert

Observations:

Low clouds hung over the ridges all day, with intermittent rain/snow. No observation was conducted.

10/28/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Graeme Dunlop, Ruth Morrow

Observations:

Cloudy day with dark rain/snow clouds to the south and west. Ridges became increasingly obscured through the day and rain began falling in late afternoon. Count was ended at 17:15 pm. Only 5 Golden Eagles were seen.

10/27/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Bill Wilson, Brian McBride, Dennis Tostowaryk

Observations:

A pleasant mix of sun and cloud, although with a chilly wind gusting to 20 or as high as 40 km/h.

10/26/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:George Halmazna, Dan Parliament

Observations:

A windy day with flurries developing on SW and W sides of the valley from 13:00 hrs. Rain with snow in higher elevation moved over the valley after 16:45 hrs. All ridges were obscured after 17:20 hrs. Eagles were migrating for 8 hours, from 9-17:00 hrs and all were flying over Fisher Range. 1st Golden Eagle flew at 9:11 hrs and last at 16:51 hrs.

10/25/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Lori Anderson, Ian Dowson

Observations:

Apart from a rainy period from 10:00- 12:00 and a few strong gusts of wind, it was a great fall day. Ground winds blew from the south and the SW/WSW ridge winds ranged from 40-80 km/h with gusts up to 115 km/h. Most migrants preferred the Eastern Route and appeared over Patrick or North Fisher. An adult Northern Goshawk flew down and came within a few meters of the site offering a great view of its steel blue/grey plumage.

10/24/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Graeme Dunlop, Ethan Denton

Observations:

A cool, cloudless morning. Clouds gradually increased through the afternoon becoming 100% stratus by evening. Ground and ridge winds light S to SW. After a quiet morning Golden Eagles suddenly began appearing at noon. Between 13:00 and 15:00 129 Golden Eagles were seen. Movement slowed after 16:00. Most birds used the eastern flightpath.

10/23/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Blake Weis, Annie Finch

Observations:

We started the count later than usual due to heavy rain in the morning. By 11 am it had turned to light rain and the ridges were still obscured. The low cloud slowly lifted off the mountains between 2 and 5 pm and the rain stopped around 4 pm. The first migrant was seen at 1:16 pm soaring low below the cloud in front of Patrick. It ramped up from there into a big rush late in the day. The last migrant passed just before sunset at 6:23 pm. Continuing the Saturday trend most of them were difficult to age silhouetted by heavy cloud cover. The highlight of the day was a black swift which few south down the valley around 4:50 pm. That species

10/22/2021

Season:Fall 2021

Observers:Caroline Lambert, Rick Robb

Observations:

It was overcast and gloomy for most of the day, although the lack of sun did not stop the temperature from being abnormally warm. Few raptors were seen until mid-afternoon. A few sprinkles of rain were felt between noon and 3pm, but it was not enough to wet the ground. However, once the rain (if it can be called that) had passed, some blue sky was seen and a steady stream of raptors ensued until almost sunset.