RMERF counts, April 16

Tuesday, April 16 Mount Lorette [Day 45] 0715-2015 (Blake Weis, assisted by Brian McBride). The temperature at 0715 was -5C, the high was 8C between 1600 and 1900 and it was 6C at 2015. Ground winds were S-SW 0-5 gusting 15 km/h to 1300, variable SW-W-NW 0-5 gusting 20 km/h between 1300 and 1500, and then W-SW 0-5 gusting 25 km/h for the rest of the day. Ridge winds were SW all day, light to moderate to 1300, moderate to 1900 then light to moderate for the rest of the day. Cloud cover was 80-90% cirrus and cirrostratus to 1100 that reduced to 70% altocumulus and cirrus at 1300, and 20% altocumulus at 1600 after which it increased again to 90% altostratus, altocumulus, cirrus and cirrostratus for the rest of the day. All ridges were clear. A total of 18 migrant raptors of 3 species moved between 1120 and 1830 comprising 2 adult Northern Goshawks, 1 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk and 15 Golden Eagles (8j, 7u). Movement was slow and steady throughout with a maximum hourly count of only 4 Golden Eagles between 1500 and 1600. The two goshawks and 2 Golden Eagles were initially located at the northern end of the Fisher range, 3 Golden Eagles were first seen over Mount Lorette and probably came from Wasootch Creek, while the rest moved on the western route with most birds soaring over Olympic Summit before gliding high to the NW behind the summit of Mount Allan. Non-migrant birds were 1 resident adult Northern Goshawk that hunted north of the site and displayed above the southern end of Hummingbird Plume Hill, 1 adult Red-tailed Hawk that soared over Hummingbird Plume Hill and the resident pair that was seen in a spectacular talon-gripping free-fall display just south of Olympic Summit at 1740 after the male was seen displaying there earlier at 1458. Yet another flock of Snow Geese, this time 50 birds, flew high across the valley and over the Fisher Range to the east at 1900, and other birds noted were 3 Canada Geese, 3 Mallards and a pair of Bufflehead (new for the year) on the river, 4 Ruffed Grouse, one of which 3 drummed, 1 female American Three-toed Woodpecker on Stoney Trail west of the site, 1 Hairy Woodpecker, a pair of Northern Flickers, 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 3 Canada Jays, 1 Black-billed Magpie, 1 American Crow, 10 Common Ravens, the first Northern Rough-winged Swallow of the season at 1430, 5 Black-capped Chickadees, 5 Mountain Chickadees, 1 Boreal Chickadee, 3 Red-breasted Nuthatches, 1 Brown Creeper, 1 Golden-crowned Kinglet, 1 singing Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 2 pairs of Mountain Bluebirds, 2 singing Varied Thrushes, 20 American Robins, 2 European Starlings, 3 American Pipits, 1 White winged Crossbill, 2 Pine Siskins, 2 American Tree Sparrows, 1 Fox Sparrow that sang at 0930, 1 Song Sparrow and 10 Dark-eyed Juncos, 3 of which were montanus. Eight White-tailed Deer fed in the meadow in the evening and there was only 1 visitor at the site today.

13 hours (516.8) NOGO 2 (15), RTHA 1 (10), GOEA 15 (2074) TOTAL 18 (2359)

 

Tuesday, April 16 Beaver Mines [Day 44] 0645-2030 (Peter Sherrington assisted by Hilary Atkinson). The temperature was -1C at 0645, the high at 1700 was 11C and it was 6C at 2030 when observation ceased. Winds were generally light NW-SW to 1330 when they significantly increased to WSW-W 20-35 gusting to 45 km/h for the rest of the day. Cloud cover was 100-80% cirrostratus with minor altocumulus and cumulus to 1300, 10-40% cumulus to 1730, 90-100% altostratus, cumulus, cirrus and altocumulus to 2000 that quickly dwindled to 10% altocumulus at 2030. Observing conditions were excellent throughout and a total of 30 migrants of 6 species were seen between 1037 and 2016 that comprised 9 Bald Eagles (5a, 3j, 1u), 3 Northern Harriers (1 adult female, 1 juvenile female and 1 juvenile male), 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, 2 adult Northern Goshawks, 4 Red-tailed Hawks (1a and1u light morph calurus, and 2 birds of unknown race or age) and 11 Golden Eagles (5a, 4j 2u). Movement was fairly steady throughout with a maximum hourly count of 6 birds between 1037 and 1100, and single adult Bald Eagles at 2003 and 2016 were the first migrants seen after 2000 this season. A resident pair of Northern Harriers was seen with the male displaying on a couple of occasions, birds from two pairs of Red-tailed Hawks were conspicuous throughout the day and a male resident Golden Eagle flew from the ridge to the SE at 1106. Other birds seen were a pair of Canada Geese, 5 Mallards, 1 male Common Merganser, 17 Rock Pigeons, at 0830 a pair of Sandhill Cranes unconcernedly fed in the valley close to a family group of three Coyotes, and 3 other birds flew high to the SW above the ridge at 1116, 2 Downy Woodpeckers, 1 Hairy Woodpecker, 1 Northern Flicker, 2 Blue Jays, 21 American Crows, 20 Common Ravens, 1 Black-capped Chickadee, 1 Mountain Chickadee, 1 male Mountain Bluebird, 4 American Robins, 129 European Starlings, 30 Evening Grosbeaks, 1 female Cassin’s Finch, 20 Pine Siskins and 6 male Red-winged Blackbirds.

13.75 hours (545.5) BAEA 9 (207), NOHA 3 (21), SSHA 1 (22), NOGO 2 (26), RTHA 4 (98), GOEA 11 (579) TOTAL 30 (1020)

 

Tuesday, April 16 Steeples [Day 38] 1300-1800 (Vance Mattson). The temperature was 19C, it was calm with intermittent W winds and cloud cover was initially 50% cumulus but quickly became 100% altostratus for most of the day. No migrant raptors were seen, but non-migrant birds were 5 Turkey Vultures, 7 Bald Eagles (4a, 3j) that included 2 pair-flights, and 1 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk that indulged in a spirited aerial duel with a raven.

5 hours (168) TOTAL 0 (689)

 

SUMMARY COUNTS, SPRING 2019
MOUNT LORETTE March 1-April 22 BEAVER MINES   March 1-April 22 STEEPLES     March 1-April 22
DAYS 45 45 38
HOURS 516.8 545.5 186
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 1 0 3
OSPREY (OSPR) 0 0 0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 201 207 212
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 1 21 1
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 5 22 1
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 0 2 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 15 26 0
Accipiter sp. (UA) 1 0 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0 0 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0 0 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 10 98 8
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 2 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 11 25 3
Buteo sp. (UB) 1 6 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2074 579 453
Eagle sp. (UE) 25 2 7
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0 2 1
MERLIN (MERL) 6 9 0
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1 6 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0 5 0
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2 7 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1 0 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 4 1 0
   
TOTALS 2359 1020 689