RMERF counts, April 15

Sunday, April 15 Mount Lorette [Day 42] 0600-2015 (Bill Wilson, assisted by Cliff Hansen). The temperature at 0600 was -1C, the high was 9C at 1700 and it was 2C at the end of observation. Ground winds were SW 0-3 km/h to 1100 then SSW-SSE 0-10 gusting to 22 km/h to 1800 when the arrival of a cold front switched winds to N-NE 5-15 gusting to 37 km/h that brought light to moderate snow until the end of observation. Ridge winds were difficult to assess but were probably calm or light NNE to 1400 after which they were light and moderate after 1800. Light snow also fell to 0800 and all ridges were obscured to 0900. The east was 60-90% obscured to 1300 and was then clear to 1800 after which it was 60-100% obscured again. The west was 70-100% obscured to 1300, clear to 1800 and up to 90% obscured thereafter. Despite these unpromising conditions there was a fairly strong raptor movement, probably in anticipation of the passage of the cold front, with 74 migrants of 4 species moving between 1020 and 1855. The count was 5 Bald Eagles (2a, 3j), 4u Sharp-shinned Hawks, 1 adult dark morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 63 Golden Eagles (13a, 10sa, 22j, 18u) and 1 unidentified eagle. Only eight birds used the western route and the rest mainly moved low with much soaring against the face of the Fisher Range, or were initially located around Mount Lorette. Some birds also soared high above the centre of the valley before gliding to Mount Lorette. Only 6 birds moved before 1300 but then the pace gradually quickened and peaked at 24 between 1700 and 1800 just ahead of the passage of the front, and 7 more Golden Eagles migrated under deteriorating weather conditions between 1800 and 1855. Non-migrant or resident raptors were 3 Bald Eagles (1a, 2j), 1 adult Northern Goshawk and 2 or 3 Red-tailed Hawks. Non-raptor bird species recorded were a single flock of 70 Snow Geese that flew from behind Mount Lorette to the NE above the valley at 1102, 10 Canada Geese, 1 Mallard, 1 female goldeneye sp., 11 Common Mergansers, 2 Killdeer, the first Wilson’s Snipe of the season that was heard calling, 32 (probable) California Gulls that flew very high to the NE, 2 Hairy Woodpeckers, 1 Northern Flicker, 1 Belted Kingfisher, 2 adult Northern Shrikes that, as yesterday, often noisily interacted, 2 American Crows, 24 Common Ravens, 2 Black-capped Chickadees, 2 Mountain Chickadees, 1 American Dipper, 2 Mountain Bluebirds (male and female), 1 Varied Thrush, 75 American Robins, 4 European Starlings, 4 Bohemian Waxwings and 4 Common Redpolls. Twenty visitors made it to the site before the snow arrived.

14.25 hours (473.6) BAEA 5 (164), SSHA 2 (16), RTHA 1 (21), GOEA 63 (2209), UE 1 (25) TOTAL 74 (2480)

 

Sunday, April 15 Beaver Mines [Day 49] 0715-2015 (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Denise Cocciolone-Amatto and Monica Bartha). The temperature reached a high of 12C at 1300 from a morning low of 2C, and it was still 7C at 2015. Winds were very variable and light to 1330 after which they were mainly W-SW, 20-30 km/h to 1700 and then 5-15 km/h for the rest of the day. Cloud cover was 79-100% mainly cumulus and stratus all day which gave hazy sunshine and brief sunny periods and provided good observing conditions. Migration was slow and sporadic with only 33 migrants of 5 species seen between 0957 and 1848 that comprised 4 Bald Eagles (3a, 1sa), 2 adult Northern Harriers (1 male and 1 female), 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, 2 calurus Red-tailed Hawks (1 light adult and 1u dark morph) and 24 Golden Eagles (14a, 3sa, 3j, 5u). The pace of movement quickened after 1500 under moderate W-SW winds when 24 birds were counted. Eleven occurred between 1700 and 1800 when Golden Eagles soared very high above the ridge before gliding to the north. The spring-like conditions finally produced the first swallows of the year: a Tree Swallow at 1723 and 2 Violet-green Swallows at 1845. With more snow forecast for tomorrow they might well regret their arrival!

13 hours (496.2) BAEA 4 (336), NOHA 2 (8), SSHA 1 (32), RTHA 2 (117), GOEA 24 (1458) TOTAL 33 (2142)

 

Sunday, April 15 Steeples [Day 34] 1300-1930 (Vance Mattson). The temperature reached a high of 11C, winds were moderate SW and cloud cover was 50-80% mainly cumulus cloud which provided excellent viewing conditions. Migration conditions were also good and a total of 30 migrants of 6 species moved between 1455 and 1905, 26 of which were seen after 1700. The count was 3 Turkey Vultures, 11 Bald Eagles (2a, 1sa, 8j), 2 adult Sharp-shinned Hawks, 4 calurus Red-tailed Hawks (4 light morphs (3a, 1j) and 1 rufous adult), 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk and 9 Golden Eagles (3a, 1sa, 5j). The high hourly counts were 12 (1700-1800) and 13 (1800-1900), and notable was the high percentage of juvenile birds of both eagle species. Once again non-migrant raptors were dominated by Turkey Vultures with soaring groups of 4 and 5 birds seen, and also present were 1 juvenile Bald Eagle, an adult Northern Goshawk, 1 hunting Red-tailed Hawk and the resident pair of Golden Eagles.

6.5 hours (149) TUVU 3 (12), BAEA 11 (159), SSHA 2 (5), RTHA 4 (25), RLHA 1 (4), GOEA 9 (584) TOTAL 30 (793)

 

 

 

SUMMARY COUNTS, SPRING 2018
MOUNT LORETTE March 1- BEAVER MINES   February 25- STEEPLES     March 1-
DAYS 42 48 34
HOURS 473.6 496.2 149
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0 0 12
OSPREY (OSPR) 1 1 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 164 336 159
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 1 8 0
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 16 32 5
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0 4 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 11 21 2
Accipiter sp. (UA) 1 0 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 2 10 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0 0 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 21 117 25
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 6 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 13 97 4
Buteo sp. (UB) 1 11 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2209 1458 584
Eagle sp. (UE) 24 3 0
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 1 5 2
MERLIN (MERL) 1 12 0
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 7 8 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 1 7 0
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2 3 0
Falco sp. (UF) 0 0 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 3 3 0
   
TOTALS 2480 2142 793