RMERF counts, April 18

Thursday, April 18 Mount Lorette [Day 47] 0715-2010 (Blake Weis, assisted by Rachel MacKay). The temperature at 0715 was 5C, the high was 14C from 1700 to 1900 and it was 12C at 2010. Ground winds were W-SW all day, 2-5 gusting 15 km/h to 0900 and then 5-10 gusting to 32 km/h for the rest of the day, while ridge winds were moderate to strong NW all day. Cloud cover was initially 40% altocumulus, lenticular cirrus and altostratus that gradually spread to 70% at 1100; between 1100 and 1300 it was 80-90% cumulus, altocumulus, altostratus, cirrus, cirrocumulus and cirrostratus, at 1300 and 1400 it was 100% altostratus and cumulus and for the rest of the day it was variable 50-80% cumulus, altocumulus, altostratus and cirrus with minor stratocumulus developed to the west. The variety of cloud forms was not matched by the number of raptor migrants as again only two were seen: 1 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk that flew north from the Fisher Range at 1458 and an immature Bald Eagle that flew from the south face of Mount Lorette to Mount McGillivray and on to the NW at 1844. Resident birds were a pair of Red-tailed Hawks soaring over Hummingbird Plume Hill and single birds, probably of the same pair, that hunted north of the site, and an adult Golden Eagle that flew low from Mount Lorette to the Fisher Range at 1140. Other birds noted in the area were 3 Canada Geese and a pair of Mallards on the river, 3 drumming Ruffed Grouse, 1 Hairy Woodpecker, 3 Northern Flickers, 1 Canada Jay, 1 American Crow, 7 Common Ravens, 3 Black-capped Chickadees, 2 Mountain Chickadees, 2 Boreal Chickadees, 2 Red-breasted Nuthatches, 1 American Dipper seen at Troll Falls, 1 Golden-crowned Kinglet, 1 singing Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 1 male and 2 female Mountain Bluebirds, 2 singing Varied Thrushes, 15 American Robins, 2 American Pipits, 12 White winged Crossbill, 2 Pine Siskins, 1 Fox Sparrow that sang only in the morning, 1 singing Song Sparrow, 10 Dark-eyed Juncos, 3 of which were montanus, the first Western Meadowlark of the season and 1 male Red-winged Blackbird. Three White-tailed Deer fed in the meadow early in the morning and again late in the evening, a single Bighorn Sheep was seen on Olympic Summit, and there were 5 visitors to the site today.

13.92 hours (544.2) BAEA 1 (202), RTHA 1 (11) TOTAL 2 (2363)

[Addenda to April 17 report: while driving to the site, at 0945 Cliff saw an adult light morph Ferruginous Hawk soaring low at the confluence of the Kananaskis and Bow Rivers, 18 km NNE of the Hay Meadow site. Three Mountain Bluebirds, 2 males and 1 female, were also seen in the Hay Meadow.]

 

Thursday, April 18 Beaver Mines [Day 47] 0630-2045 (Peter Sherrington assisted by Hilary Atkinson). The temperature at 0630 was already 7C, the high at 1200 and again at 1600 was 14C and it was still 10.5C at 2045. Winds were again strong WSW-W all day, 40 to 50 gusting 70 km/h and to 90 km/h at 1400 and 2045. Cloud cover was 60-100% altostratus, cumulus, cirrus, cirrocumulus, altocumulus and lenticular to 1530, 20-70% cumulus to 1900 and then 100-30% thin cirrostratus and cumulus for the rest of the day. Observing conditions were very good all day and produced a varied if sporadic movement of 22 raptors of 11 species between 0926 and 1821. The flight was 1u Turkey Vulture at 1703, 1 Osprey at 1640, both of which were the first of the season, 1 subadult Bald Eagle, 3u Sharp-shinned Hawks, 2 Cooper’s Hawks (1a, 1u), 2 Northern Goshawks (1j, 1u), 1 adult light morph Ferruginous Hawk, 1 dark morph Rough-legged Hawk, 7 Golden Eagles (3a, 4j), 2 columbarius Merlins (1 male, 1 female) and 1 male Prairie Falcon. Resident birds were 1 male Northern Harrier and sporadic sightings of hunting Red-tailed Hawks. Other birds seen were 1 Canada Goose, 2 male and 1 female Wood Ducks, 5 Mallards and 2 pairs of Green-winged Teal on the creek, a lek of 8 Wild Turkeys that comprised 5 very aggressive displaying males that fought amongst themselves and 3 females that completely ignored them and calmly fed close by, 17 Rock Pigeons, single Sandhill Cranes that flew high to the SW at 0913 and 1801, 1 Wilson’s Snipe, 1 Downy Woodpecker, 2 male Northern Flickers, 6 Blue Jays, 2 Black-billed Magpies, 4 American Crows, 32 Common Ravens, 1 Tree Swallow, 4 American Robins, 65 European Starlings, 30 Evening Grosbeaks, 1 female Cassin’s Finch, 15 Pine Siskins and 7 male Red-winged Blackbirds.

14.25 (573.8) TUVU 1 (1), OSPR 1 (1), BAEA 1 (211), SSHA 3 (30), COHA 2 (4), NOGO 2 (28), FEHA 1 (3), RLHA 1 (26), GOEA 7 (591), MERL 2 (11), PRFA 1 (8) TOTAL 22 (1067)

 

Thursday, April 18 Steeples [Day 39] 1300-1730 (Vance Mattson). The temperature was 14C, winds were moderate to strong S and cloud cover was 100% altostratus and cumulus that slightly obscured the ridges at 1700 and brought light rain. It was another slow day with no migrant raptors and just one non-migrant juvenile Bald Eagle seen.

4.5 hours (190.5) 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  47  47  39
HOURS 544.2 573.8  190.5
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU)  1 1 3
OSPREY (OSPR) 0  1  0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 202  211  212
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 1  25  1
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA)  5 30 1
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA)  0 4 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 15 28 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) 11 103 8
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 3 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 11 26 3
Buteo sp. (UB) 1 6 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2076 591 453
Eagle sp. (UE) 25 2 7
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0 5 1
MERLIN (MERL) 6 11 0
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 1 6 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0 5 0
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2 8 0
Falco sp. (UF) 1 0 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 4 1 0
       
TOTALS 2363 1067 689