RMERF counts, April 20

Saturday, April 20 Mount Lorette [Day 49] 0705-2015 (Blake Weis, assisted by Ruth Morrow). The starting temperature was 0C, the high was 8C at 1700 and 1800 and it was 6C at the end of observation. Ground winds were SW 0-5 km/h to 1000, N-NW 0-5 gusting 20 km/h to 1900 and N-NW 0-10 km/h for the rest of the day, while ridge winds were moderate SW all day. Cloud cover was 100% low stratus and fog that obscured all ridges to 1000 when it began to break to 90% stratocumulus, cumulus, cirrus and stratus and further reduced to 70% at 1500,, and was then 70-80% cumulus, cirrus, altocumulus and cirrocumulus for the rest of the day. The eastern ridges did not fully clear until 1700 and the west not until 1800, but the only precipitation was light snow flurries between 1100 and 1200. Locating conditions were excellent after 1000 and resulted in the highest count since April 12 that comprised 33 migrants of 6 species seen between 1117 and 1952. The count was 2 Ospreys that were the first of the season. 3 Bald Eagles (1a, 2sa), a season-high 4 adult Northern Harriers (3 males, 1 female), 2 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks, 4 Rough-legged Hawks (3 light, 1 dark), 2 unidentified Buteos, 15 Golden Eagles (3a, 2sa, 9j, 1u) and 1 unidentified eagle. Birds moved fairly steadily throughout and peaked between 1800 and 1900 when 1 Osprey and 8 Golden Eagles were seen. Most birds were seen over the western part of the valley to 1400 after which they were mainly located above the Fisher Range although some eagles seen over Mount Lorette later in the day may have originated from Wasootch Creek north of the Fisher Range. Resident birds were 1 adult Bald Eagle that flew south from Mount Old Baldy at 1400, 3 sightings of single adult Northern Goshawks and 1 calling from the nest site, three sightings of single soaring Red-tailed Hawks and 1 adult Golden Eagle that soared high above the Fisher Range at 1555 before gliding high to the south. Other birds in the area were 4 Canada Geese, 5 Mallards, 3 drumming Ruffed Grouse, 1 Killdeer, 1 Wilson’s Snipe that performed its winnowing display flight for the first time this season early in the morning, 1 Hairy Woodpecker, 4 Northern Flickers, 12 Common Ravens, 3 Tree Swallows, 2 Black-capped Chickadees, 6 Mountain Chickadees, 2 Boreal Chickadees, 6 Red-breasted Nuthatches, 3 American Dippers 2 of which were seen at Troll Falls, 10 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 3 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 2 male and 1 female Mountain Bluebirds, 6 singing Varied Thrushes, 39 American Robins including a single flock of 13, 2 American Pipits, 1 White winged Crossbill, 2 Red Crossbills, 7 Pine Siskins, 1 singing Fox Sparrow, 4 Song Sparrows, 16 Dark-eyed Juncos, 1 of which was hyemalis and 3 montanus, and 1 male Red-winged Blackbird. Three White-tailed Deer fed in the meadow late in the evening, 3 Bighorn Sheep were seen on Olympic Summit and there were fresh tracks of Canada Lynx and Black Bear in the 2cm of snow that had fallen overnight. There were 15 visitors to the site today.

13.16 hours (566.2) OSPR 2 (2), BAEA 3 (205), NOHA 4 (5), RTHA 2 (13), RLHA 4 (15), GOEA 15 (2091), UB 2 (3), UE 1 (26) TOTAL 33 (2396)

 

Saturday, April 20 Beaver Mines [Day 49] 0630-2030 (Peter Sherrington assisted by Hilary Atkinson). The temperature at 0630 was 2C, the high was 7C at 1700 and it was 5C at 2030. Winds were calm or light (<5 km/h) to 1400, then NE 10 km/h and finally SW-W 10-15 km/h after 1900. Cloud cover was 100% stratus almost throughout the day that began to break at 2015 and reduced to 80% cumulus at 2030. Steady light and occasionally moderate rain started falling at 0840 and persisted to 1550 after which there were further periods of rain to 1820, and the ridge was obscured between 0930 and 1200. There was a compressed raptor movement of 12 birds of 7 species between 1503 and 1752 that comprised 3 Bald Eagles (1a, 2j), 2 adult Northern Harriers (1 female and 1 male), 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, 2 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks, 1 light morph juvenile Ferruginous Hawk, 1 subadult Golden Eagle and 2 female columbarius Merlins (1a, 1u). Six of the birds were seen between 1503 and 1600 and 4 between 1711 and 1752. Resident birds were a pair of Northern Harriers and 2 pairs of Red-tailed Hawks that hunted low above the bottom of the valley, a non-migrant juvenile Northern Goshawk that made three low hunting passes at a group of Mallards on the creek, the third of which was presumably successful as it failed to re-appear from the willow shrub behind which it dived at 1943, and a male Prairie Falcon hunted songbirds in the rain near the site at 1215. Other birds were 1 Greater White-fronted Goose that flew to the NE above the valley at 1910, a pair of  Canada Geese, 2 pairs of Wood Ducks, 12 Mallards, 1 pair of Green-winged Teal, a pair of Common Mergansers that flew high to the north at 1732, 9 Rock Pigeons, a pair of Sandhill Cranes that fed by the creek at 1518, 2 pairs of Downy Woodpeckers, 1 pair of Hairy Woodpeckers, 1 pair of  Northern Flickers, 4 Blue Jays, 1 Clark’s Nutcracker, 5 American Crows, 11 Common Ravens, 14 Tree Swallows most of which flew high towards the SW, 2 Black-capped Chickadees, 2 Mountain Chickadees, 2 Red-breasted Nuthatches, 1 American Dipper that flew high to the NE above the creek at 2028, 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 5 American Robins, 88 European Starlings, 32 Evening Grosbeaks, 2 female Cassin’s Finches, 10 Pine Siskins and 11 male Red-winged Blackbirds that included 5 females which were the first seen here this year.

14 hours (601.8) BAEA 3 (214), NOHA 2 (28), SSHA 1 (34), RTHA 2 (110), FEHA 1 (4), GOEA 1 (599), MERL 2 (14) TOTAL 12 (1099)

 

Saturday, April 20 Steeples [Day 40] 1300-1800 (Vance Mattson). The temperature was 15C, winds were moderate N and cloud cover was 100% thin altostratus and cumulus that reduced to 40% cumulus and produced mainly sunny conditions. The 6 migrants seen comprised 5 Bald Eagles (3a, 2j) and 1u Sharp-shinned Hawk, with 3 of the Bald Eagles moving between 1545 and 1600. Non-migrants were 11 Turkey Vultures, 4 Bald Eagles (1a, 3j), 1 adult Northern Goshawk, three sightings of single Red-tailed Hawks including one that displayed, and 1 juvenile Golden Eagle that was intensely harried by a Red-tailed Hawk but remained entirely aloof throughout a series of bombing flights.

5 hours (195.5) BAEA 5 (217), SSHA 1 (2) TOTAL 6 (695)

 

SUMMARY  COUNTS, SPRING 2019
  MOUNT LORETTE March 1-April 22 BEAVER MINES   March 1-April 22 STEEPLES      March 1-April 22
DAYS  49  49  40
HOURS 566.2 601.8  195.5
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU)  1 2 3
OSPREY (OSPR) 2  1  0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 205  214  217
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 5  28  1
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA)  5 34 2
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA)  0 4 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 15 28 0
Accipiter sp. (UA) 1 0 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0 2 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0 0 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 13 110 8
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 4 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 15 26 3
Buteo sp. (UB) 3 6 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 2091 599 453
Eagle sp. (UE) 26 2 7
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0 5 1
MERLIN (MERL) 6 14 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 2396 1099 695